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10 Dog Breeds That Suffer the Most in Extreme Heat, Veterinarians Say

Some dog owners need to be extra mindful when temperatures rise.

Temperatures are rising across the U.S. as summer rolls in, and multiple cities throughout the country are already facing record-breaking heat waves. But when extremely hot weather shows up, it's not only a potential health concern for humans.

"High temperatures can affect dogs differently depending on a variety of factors," Angela Beal, DVM, an experienced veterinary technician working with MarketWatch Guides, said in a quote provided to Best Life. "Generally, it's advisable to avoid taking your dog out when temperatures exceed 85°F, especially if the humidity is high."

When dogs are exposed to hot outdoor surfaces, they can get painful burns on their paw pads, "leading to discomfort, limping, and potentially severe injuries," according to Beal. But certain dogs breeds are also more susceptible to heat-related issues like heatstroke, which is a "life-threatening condition that requires immediate veterinary attention," she explains.

Wondering if your pup needs extra care right now? Read on to discover the 10 dog breeds that suffer the most in extreme heat.

RELATED: 8 Dog Breeds With the Worst Health Problems, Vet Tech Warns.

Chow Chow

Chow chow dog breed fluffiest dog breeds

Cat Henstridge, a small animal veterinarian based in the UK, took to her TikTok @Cat_The_Vet in September of last year to warn viewers about the dog breeds most likely to be affected by heatstroke. According to Henstridge's video, Chow Chows are 17 times more likely to suffer than the average dog.

"Hardly surprising when you consider that they've got a double whammy of a slightly flat face and a massive coat," Henstridge notes.


English bulldog playing with an awesome french bulldog.

You should also be wary about letting your Bulldogs go out in the sun—and that includes both English Bulldogs and French Bulldogs, according to Henstridge.

Beal is inclined to agree. "Brachycephalic breeds, such as English and French Bulldogs, with their short noses and elongated soft palates, have difficulty regulating their body temperature and are highly vulnerable to heatstroke," she shares.

RELATED: I'm a Dog Walker and Would Never Own These 5 Breeds.

Dogue de Bordeaux

Dogue de Bordeaux dog, standing outdoors with sky background

Closely related is the Dogue de Bordeaux breed, which Henstridge groups alongside the Bulldogs in terms of heatstroke risk. The Dogue de Bordeaux is also a brachycephalic breed.

"Proving what we have always known, our flat-faced breeds are massively more vulnerable in the hot weather, and we really need to take great care of them," she cautions.


Greyhound in Grass
Alexandra Morrison Photo/Shutterstock

You might not necessarily expect a Greyhound to be especially at risk in the heat, but Henstridge says this another breed you need to keep a careful eye on.

"We think it's due with the fact that they've got a large muscle build relative to their body size, and that means that with exercise, their core temperature can rise quite high, particularly on hot days," she explains.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Lari Cavalier / Shutterstock

Next on Henstridge's list is the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. According to the vet, this breed is more susceptible to heatstroke because it is "flatter face, fluffy, and prone to obesity, which is also a risk factor."

RELATED: The 10 Most High-Maintenance Dog Breeds, New Study Shows.


lethargic pug laying down
fongleon356 / Shutterstock

Pugs are another brachycephalic breed you need to be careful with on hot days, according to both Henstridge and Beal.

"In addition to something immediate such as heat stroke, it's also possible that over-exposure to high temperatures can cause long term damage to your Pug's organs including the heart, kidney and liver," the experts at BlueGrass Pug Rescue in Louisville, Kentucky, warn on their website. "It's not at all uncommon for Pug owners to find their Pugs enjoy lying outside, but please remember that your Pug really doesn't know any better and it's up to you to be careful."

Springer Spaniel

English Springer Spaniel in grass

Springer Spaniels are also at risk in the heat, Henstridge says. This breed is known for "going crazy with exercise" and for having a "very thick coat," both of which can make it more susceptible to heatstroke, according to the vet.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever Wagging Tail

For the same reasons as the Springer Spaniel, Henstridge says Golden Retriever owners should be cautious when it comes to hotter temperatures, too.

"Golden Retrievers are sensitive to heat, as their thick double coat can make them prone to overheating," the experts at Waggle further explain on their website. "In hot weather, providing ample shade and fresh water is crucial."

RELATED: 10 Household Items You Didn't Know Were Toxic to Dogs, Vets Say.


siberian husky
Dioniya / Shutterstock

Huskies are known for their ability to thrive in colder climates. But while they can live in hot weather, too, their thick coats may cause them to "struggle to dissipate heat effectively, increasing their risk of overheating," Beal cautions.


Alaskan Malamute stands on green grass against the background of a flowering tree

Similar to Huskies, the Malamute breed is also more at risk in hotter temperatures, according to Beal.

"Alaskan Malamutes have a thick double coat that is designed to protect them from the cold. However, this coat can also make them prone to overheating in hot weather," the experts at Off the Leash Blog explain. "When the temperature rises, the dog's body temperature can also increase quickly, leading to heat exhaustion or heatstroke."

Kali Coleman
Kali Coleman is a Senior Editor at Best Life. Her primary focus is covering news, where she often keeps readers informed on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and up-to-date on the latest retail closures. Read more
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