Hot Dogs: How to Find the Right Dog for Hot Weather

With Summer coming up and the weather just getting hotter in general, a lot of future dog
owners may be asking what breeds are best for the hot climate. And if you live in a part of the
country that experiences extreme heat for large amounts of the year, asking this question
should be near the top of your list. Even people who do their research into a new pet
beforehand often leave out this hugely important consideration. Keep in mind, no matter how
well the dog you choose fits into your lifestyle and housing situation, all of that is meaningless if
the poor guy is too uncomfortable to truly enjoy life. Because many people choose muts as
pets, instead of discussing specific breeds, it’s probably better to instead identify the traits that
a good hot weather dog has.

The two most obvious of these have to do with coats. Any dog with a short coat is going to do
better in hot climates. But that doesn’t mean that long-coated dogs should automatically be
disqualified. What you should really be more concerned about is if the dog you’re looking at has
a second coat. Many dogs have two coats: a top layer that is coarse, and a bottom layer that
acts more like a down insulator. Not all long-haired dogs have two coats, and these single-
coated long-haired dogs can often do just fine in hot weather.

Much of the other factors have to do with physical features. In general, dogs that are lanky,
have a long nose, big ears, light colored fur, and a small body will do well. All of these physical
characteristics help a dog to release heat much more easily from their body. Big ears are
something of a double-edged sword. Very big ears that hang a lot, like a basset hounds, can
actually have the opposite effect. Instead of helping to radiate heat off the body, they can
actually act as a kind of blanket, insulating the dog even more. It’s rare to find a dog that has
ALL these features but even one or two go a long way in helping to cool off a hot dog.

Of course, you can also use this information in reverse. Dogs with double coats, short snouts, a
stocky build, and smaller ears, and dark fur generally do much better in cold climates.
It never hurts, at least in the case of purebred dogs, to look at where the breed originated. If
the region where the dog came from is known to experience serious heat, you shouldn’t be
surprised to learn that the dog does well in that climate, regardless of what it looks like. As
always, do your research, be honest with yourself about what you need in a dog and the
climate that you live in, and make a well thought out informed decision. Being great with
animals and knowing how to train and care for a dog isn’t everything. If you haven’t set your
new dog up for success in this other area, it will be hard to manage everything else.