You enjoy taking your Shih Tzu for a walk, and they love going on a walk. It’s a daily habit for the two of you. But what happens when it starts getting warmer outside? Is it still safe for you to take your Shih Tzu walking? How hot is too hot to walk your Shih Tzu? Here’s what you need to know.
How Hot is Too Hot to Walk Your Shih Tzu?
There is more to consider than just the outside temperature when deciding whether or not it is too hot to walk your Shih Tzu.
But when it comes to the temperature, anything over 90 degrees Fahrenheit is too hot.
And depending on the humidity, even 80 degrees could be too hot.
As a brachycephalic breed, Shih Tzus are one of several dog breeds that may have a difficult time cooling themselves off through panting.
That means even when it isn’t super hot, it could still be too warm for your Shih Tzu to be out exercising.
So, what other things should you take into consideration besides the temperature before you decide to take a walk with your Shih Tzu?
1. Where You Walk
If you usually walk down the street on the sidewalk, then you will want to be careful on warmer days.
Concrete and asphalt can heat up quickly and to high degrees.
Your dog’s paws can burn just like your skin can.
Walking on super hot surfaces can and will burn your Shih Tzu’s paws.
If it is hot outside, consider walking in a new location where your dog can walk on grass and where there is shade.
2. How Humid It Is
If you’ve ever lived where the humidity gets really high, then you know how it can make the day much hotter.
People always like to say, it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.
When it is really humid, it becomes more difficult to cool yourself off.
For your Shih Tzu, this is even more of an issue.
Think about it.
It’s a beautiful, summer Florida day.
The temperature is 95 degrees and the humidity is 95 percent.
You walk outside and immediately start sweating.
It feels miserable.
Most likely, you are sweating all over your body.
For your dog, they can only cool down by panting.
And for a little Shih Tzu, it can become very difficult to keep their body temperature regulated.
On really humid days it is best to keep your dog inside and find a cooler activity for them to get some exercise.
A Quick Way To Know It Is Too Hot Out to Walk Your Shih Tzu
There is a quick way to know whether or not it is too hot to walk your Shih Tzu.
Go outside and put the back of your hand on the pavement for 5 seconds or the surface you walk your dog on.
If it is too hot for you to hold the back of your hand to the pavement for 5 seconds, it is too hot to walk your dog.
Also if you notice excessive panting, then that is a sign your Shih Tzu is struggling to keep cool.
And dogs can suffer heatstroke, so on hot weather days, it can be better just to keep them inside and forget the walk.
Don’t forget if you do live near or on the beach, on hot summer days the sand is going to be too hot for your dog to walk on as well.
How to Keep Your Shih Tzu Cool on a Warm Day
There are a couple of ways to help keep your Shih Tzu cool and comfortable when it is scorching outside.
First off, as mentioned, don’t walk them.
Instead, chase them around the inside of your house and throw their favorite toys for them to bring back to you.
It will be enough exercise for them.
If you want to go outside, then consider a doggy or kiddie pool.
If your Shih Tzu likes water, they can splash around a bit and have some cool summertime fun.
Once back inside, consider getting them a cooling mat.
While it might make sense to give your dog an ice cube or to put ice in their water, you really shouldn’t.
I used to give my Shih Tzu, Truman ice cubes because he loved them so much, but then I learned why this isn’t a great idea.
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Dogs tend to chew the ice and with Shih Tzu’s teeth, it is easy for them to crack a tooth, especially one of the larger back teeth.
Luckily, that never happened to Truman, but now I keep the ice for my drinks and just give Truman and Sammy cool, fresh water.
If you want to make it really cold, you can keep a gallon of water in the fridge and then pour it into their bowl from there.
That will provide cool water without having to worry about broken teeth.
Just make sure whatever you do that they have plenty of water and maybe a couple of extra water bowls so they don’t run out.
A fan won’t work as well on your furry friend as it does on you when it comes to keeping cool.
Instead, an air conditioner is the way to go.
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To Sum It All Up:
If you’re uncomfortable outside because it is hot, chances are it will be too hot for your Shih Tzu as well. Cold water can help keep them cool inside. Heavy panting can be a sign that they are having a harder time keeping cool and need to go back inside. Keep in mind that extreme heat is a risk of heat stroke for both you and your Shih Tzu.
This article is informational only and does not substitute for veterinary advice. Always check with your veterinarian if you are concerned about your Shih Tzu. This article should not be considered in any way as veterinarian advice.