Siberian huskies are obviously well adapted to the cold, but how do they cope when the temperature gets high?
Huskies are more susceptible to heatstroke than other dog breeds because of their thick coats and larger size. Whilst they can tolerate temperatures up to 85°F (30°C), it is not recommended for them to do so for long periods of time. When temperatures start to exceed 70°F (21°C), it is recommended that you take measures to keep your Husky comfortably cool.
So, do you live in an area with a warmer climate? Keep reading for our advice on keeping your husky safe and comfortable.
- Do Huskies Actually Like Heat?
- How Do Huskies Cool Down?
- When Should You Keep Your Husky Inside?
- Huskies And Hot Weather
- How Do Huskies Tolerate The Heat?
- Signs Of Overheating In Huskies
- 3 Tips For Keeping Your Husky Cool In Summer Weather
- In Summary
Do Huskies Actually Like Heat?
Huskies will generally prefer colder environments due to their genetics and adaptations that they have from living in the Arctic.
They are capable of adapting to warm environments, however, and their thick double-coat does actually help to keep them cool. In warm environments, it is crucial to take some precautions to keep them safe.
How Do Huskies Cool Down?
Dogs, like humans, can get overheated and cool down by sweating. However, they sweat a little differently than humans do. Dogs cool themselves by panting and sweating through the pads of their feet.
Panting is a rhythmic process involving inhalation and exhalation of air by the lungs. Panting allows dogs to expel heat from their bodies via evaporation from their mouth and tongue. In hot weather, panting may be more frequent than normal as it helps to lower the body temperature.
Dogs sweat through their paw pads, which also helps them to cool down. The moisture that is produced by the paw pads is then absorbed by the hair on their feet to help keep them cool when walking on hot surfaces such as concrete or asphalt in the summer months.
Their fur also helps them stay cool, which may seem odd since it’s like wearing two coats for people. You would think that it would make them hotter, but the double coat works both ways.
It keeps them warm in winter and cool in summer. The inner layer of fur on their bellies traps a layer of air against the skin, helping to keep them cool. Pretty smart, eh?
These mechanisms have their limits though. Huskies are a winter breed – there’s no denying that they are built to survive in the cold better than the heat.
If the weather outside is too hot for you to handle, it’s almost definitely too hot for your husky.
When Should You Keep Your Husky Inside?
If the temperature is above 85 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius) in the shade, you must take your husky indoors where it is cooler.
Although they can withstand temperatures of up to 85 degrees Fahrenheit, this does not mean it is safe for them to do so! If it is 85 degrees out, the most they can tolerate is 20 to 30 minutes in direct sunlight but we do not recommend that you let them.
We understand that some huskies are sun-worshippers and may seem content to relax in the sun for long periods of time.
The reality is that they often do not realise the harm they are doing to themselves. It is your responsibility to keep them safe and move them to a cooler area before sunstroke starts to set in.
In a shaded area, huskies can stay safe for a little longer but watch for signs of overheating and get them inside quickly if you see any.
Huskies And Hot Weather
Even moderate heat can be dangerous for your husky if they are not used to it. Don’t leave them outside in the sun for long periods without shade or water — especially if it’s hot and humid outside.
Give your husky’s comfort the same consideration you give your own. Avoid going outside during the hottest part of the day, and when it gets too hot, go indoors where it is cooler.
The best way to protect your husky in hot weather is to make sure they have plenty of shade and water.
If you’re going out in the heat with your husky, take along a portable water dish or bring along bottled water so you can keep them hydrated.
Most importantly, don’t take them for walks or runs on hot days. This is especially true if your husky is already panting heavily or appears to be uncomfortable whilst resting.
Keep them cool by limiting their time outside during the hottest part of the day (10 am-4 pm) and watering down any cement areas where they may spend time.
How Do Huskies Tolerate The Heat?
Huskies are one of the most adaptable breeds around in terms of temperature tolerance.
They can comfortably survive in temperatures as low as -60 degrees Fahrenheit if they are adapted to it and as high as 85 degrees if needed.
They’ve been able to adapt to their environment so well that they can even hunt in the snow with very little protection from the cold.
However, that doesn’t mean that they can tolerate extreme heat all the time. They need periods in between to cool themselves down just like humans do.
Huskies are bred to be work dogs, which means they are used to running and being active. When they run, they generate heat which helps them stay warm in the winter. This is when their fur is the thickest.
Huskies have a double coat and the inner layer is the fur that is shed in the summer. When the fur on their bellies is thinner, it allows air to flow through it to release the heat trapped by the dog’s body to keep them cool.
But like any other animal, when they are outdoors on a hot day, they shouldn’t be outside too long.
Their body can only manage to keep them cool for so long without assistance from fans or air conditioning.
Huskies In 100 Degrees Fahrenheit Weather
100-degree weather is too hot for huskies.
If the temperature outside is approaching this level you need to take precautions to keep your husky safe, such as keeping them inside with plenty of water and only exercising when the temperature drops significantly in the morning or night.
Signs Of Overheating In Huskies
Managing a husky during hot weather can be tough work.
Limiting their exercise may benefit their physical health by keeping them cooler, but it can damage their mental health by leading to them becoming bored. We all know that a bored husky is a recipe for tantrums!
Allowing your husky to have some exercise during hot weather is okay as long as you understand and can recognise the signs of heatstroke in dogs.
This way, you can ensure that your husky won’t be too restless but will remain safe.
Overheating is a serious condition that can lead to death. The most common signs of overheating (according to the AKC) are:
- Restlessness or lethargy
- Excessive thirst
- Hyperventilation (fast, shallow breathing)
- Very bright red gums or tongue
- Excessive drooling
Being proactive is key to preventing overheating in huskies. Huskies need shade and plenty of water when outdoors. They also need plenty of exercise and playtime indoors, so they don’t get bored or go stir-crazy.
The best way to prevent overheating is by avoiding being outside during the hottest part of the day.
Go out for walks and activities in the late afternoon or early evening. If you have to be out earlier in the day make sure to bring along plenty of water for them to drink and cool off with as well.
If your husky starts showing signs of overheating, stop what you’re doing immediately and get them some shade and some water.
Keep in mind that sidewalks and cement heat up rapidly in the sun. Before taking your husky for a walk, stand barefoot on the sidewalk for a few minutes. If your feet start to burn – your husky’s paws will too!
Once again, this can be avoided by exercising your husky early in the morning or in the evening once the sidewalks have cooled down again.
3 Tips For Keeping Your Husky Cool In Summer Weather
Keeping your husky cool in summer weather is essential to its health and happiness, especially if you live in warmer places like Texas or Florida.
Here are some tips for keeping your Siberian husky happy and healthy during hot weather:
Huskies need plenty of fresh water at all times, especially when they’re exercising or playing outside on hot days.
If they don’t have access to shade and water then their temperature will rise quickly and cause dehydration.
To prevent dehydration, fill their bowl with cool water and provide a way for them to access water on their own, such as filling up a kiddie pool with water for them to drink or lay in to cool off.
If you can’t keep your husky indoors when you leave for work, this will help until you return home.
As mentioned above, huskies have thick coats which help protect them from cold temperatures but make them overheat easily when it’s hot outside.
Make sure you provide plenty of shade for them such as a dog house, a patio umbrella, or a tarp stretched between two trees.
3. Air Conditioning
If the temperature is above 85 degrees Fahrenheit, you should limit your dog’s time outside.
If it’s above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s best to keep your dog indoors. If you don’t have AC, a fan and opening the windows will work just as well.
Overall, keeping a husky cool is not all that difficult. With a little common sense and careful attention to your dog’s behavior, you’ll be able to keep them both happy and healthy during the summer months.
Header photo by Megan Byers on Unsplash