During the summer months, there are those that love the heat and those that despise it. With the two sides of heat tolerance at polarizing ends, it makes us wonder which side our dogs fit into. Do rottweilers like the heat, or better yet, are they okay to stay outside in the heat of the summer sun?
Rottweilers are able to live in the heat when the right precautions are taken. Requirements include supervision, provision of shade and water. Rottweilers may be able to survive in the sun but they shouldn’t be kept outside all day in hot weather.
To make sure your rottweilers best interest is in mind, there are some preventative measures that can be taken. In addition to this, if your rottweiler becomes overheated, there are some treatment methods to help them to make a full recovery.
Rottweilers in the Sun
Rottweilers along with most other dogs are able to live and survive in warmer and hot temperatures. Rottweilers actually grow a different coat of fur during the springtime in preparation for the summer months.
Their bodies know what to expect when the sun comes out and stays out longer and with a hotter temperature associated with it.
Rottweilers love playing outside as well, and being outside and playing outside is really good for them. They would definitely prefer being outside in the heat over being outside in the cold.
However, just like any person, too much heat can be dangerous for rottweilers, they are at risk for many things that we are all at risk for when we spend too much time outside and in the sun.
You will find many of the preventative measures that can be taken for rottweilers in the sun are the same as for humans.
Dangers of Keeping a Rottweiler Outside in the Heat
While it is possible to let your rottweiler stay outside in the summer or in the hot months, you should be aware there are risks.
Of course, everything has a risk. However, there are some pretty scary and serious things that can happen if the right measures are not taken. Even if every precaution is taken, too much heat is… too much.
Here are some of the things to be wary of:
- Heat Exhaustion
These problems are easily avoided. The most important thing that you can do when it comes to keeping your rottweiler outside in the heat is supervision. Do not just leave your dog outside all day without checking on him or her.
Let’s break it down.
Rottweilers and Sunburn
Rottweilers can actually get sunburned. The most common place to find a sunburn on a rottweiler is on their ears and nose. Just like the sunburns we get, they are pretty painful on rottweilers.
To prevent sunburns on rottweilers, again, is similar for preventing sunburns on humans. You can buy sunscreen for dogs that you can put on your companion if you have an activity planned to be outside for a long period of time. It is not necessary to put sunscreen on every day or if the activity outside is just them playing outside for a little bit.
Activities where sunscreen might be necessary are: going hiking, going to a lake or beach, camping, etc. Mainly just activities where you will be outside the whole day, or for the majority of it.
Make sure when getting sunscreen for your rott that you get a sunscreen that is meant for dogs. Sometimes ingredients in body products such as sunscreen for humans may be harmful to dogs.
Another idea is putting a lightweight t-shirt on your rottweiler. This can protect his or her skin from UV rays from the sun.
The best way to treat a sunburn is to just avoid it by doing one or more of these preventative things listed.
If it is too late, and you are reading this after your rottweiler got a sunscreen, there are some things you can do to help relieve the pain that the sunburn caused.
You can apply Aloe Vera to the burned area. Make sure the Aloe Vera is labeled “pet safe.” Applying a cool, wet towel to your rott’s sunburn can also help to relieve the pain for a least a little bit.
If you run into a sunburn problem, ask your vet for tips and tricks on how to help your pup. They will know your rott’s individual needs and how to best help him or her.
Rottweilers and Heatstroke
Heatstroke symptoms, prevention, and treatment is something that you should really pay attention to. Dogs that stay in the sun too long are in danger of getting heatstroke. Heatstroke is sometimes known as sunstroke.
Heatstroke or sunstroke is when a dog’s body temperature regulating is malfunctioning. Sunstroke happens more in dogs because it is a result of the sun, not necessarily just from the heat.
Symptoms of Heatstroke
There is a huge variety of symptoms when it comes to heatstroke in dogs. A good rule of thumb is that if you are observing any abnormal activity in your dog, it is hot outside, and your rott has been outside for a long period of time then there is a chance that he or she could be experiencing heatstroke.
Some common symptoms include:
- Excessive constant panting (heavy or rapid)
- Quick breathing (aside from just panting)
- Signs of discomfort
- Loss of consciousness
- Muscle tremors
- Unwillingness to move or walk around
- Dry red gums
Prevention of Heatstroke
Preventing heatstroke in your rottweiler is really quite simple. Nothing should surprise you or seem out of the ordinary. Things such as keeping water available at all times and keeping them out of the sun are the most basic ways of preventing heatstroke.
Other things that can be done include being cautious when walking your pup. Rottweilers need a lot of exercise, regardless of the temperature due to their body type. So just because it is hot outside, doesn’t mean you should bag physical exercise altogether. There are some ways to make walking your rottweiler in the summer safe.
When you go on walks make sure the pavement that you are walking on isn’t too hot. You may have shoes on, but your rottweiler doesn’t have that luxury. If the pavement is too hot for you to walk on barefoot, it is likely that it is also too hot for your rottweiler.
When you are out on walks, keep a bottle of water and a water bowl with you. Take breaks often, especially if it seems like your rottweiler is tired or worn out. Chances are they will get tired quicker in the hotter weather.
During the summer you will want to take shorter and slower walks as opposed to months where the temperature is more bearable. Walking your dog doesn’t need to be a race, so take your time and let him or her take a few breaks along the way.
Treatment of Heatstroke
If you begin to notice some of the symptoms listed above in your rottweiler, it is better to act sooner rather than later. Always err on the side of caution.
If you are near a bathtub, fill it up with cool water and put your rottweiler inside the tub. Don’t put his or her head under the water. Make sure it is shallow enough so he or she can’t be fully submerged.
This is the fastest way to treat heatstroke, but if you don’t have a cool source of water available immediately, get your rott to a shady place as soon as you can.
Again, if you are unable to put your rottweiler into the water, then apply cool, wet towels to his or her body allowing his or her body to cool off.
Make sure if your rottweiler is experiencing heat stroke that he or she has a source of water to drink. You don’t want to force him or her to drink, but give them the option by having a water source there if they want to.
Talk to your vet if your rottweiler gets heatstroke. They will know how to best help your rottweiler in your specific climate and with your specific rott.
Ways to Help Rottweilers Stay Cool in the Heat
Even if your rottweiler doesn’t have the amount of sun exposure that could risk him or her getting a sunburn, it is still important to take preventative measures to ensure he or she stays cool even just in your backyard during the summer months.
Swimming in a cool pool or in a natural body of water is a great way for your rott to stay cool. However, it is important to know that rottweiler aren’t built to be swimmers because they have such large muscular bodies. So if your rottweiler doesn’t want to swim, that is normal.
You can have access available to a swimming pool if you would like, and if you teach your rott and help him or her become comfortable around and in the water then it can be a great way to stay cool. If you want to learn more about rottweilers and swimming, here is our swimming rottweilers article that can help you in teaching them to swim.
Have Water Available
Cool, fresh drinking water should become your rottweilers best friend during the summer. They should have constant access to water. Putting water bowls in different places around the house as well as outside is a good idea.
Make sure you are checking their water bowl often, dumping and refilling if the water seems dirty or has gotten too warm. If it is really hot outside, their water will likely heat up pretty quickly.
You should always keep an eye on their water sources, in case it runs out, gets dirty, or gets too warm.
You can also put ice cubes out for them to chew on. Those are fun for them to chew on and they keep them hydrated.
Keep Them in a Grassy and Shaded area
Like mentioned earlier, rottweilers still do need physical exercise, and so it is good for them to be able to play in the backyard throughout the day. It is wise to have an area for them that is grassy and shaded.
The area needs to be grassy because concrete can heat up to be too hot for them to walk on, as well as increasing their risk for sunburns from the reflection of UV rays. The grass is cool and protects their feet.
Having a well-shaded spot is also important because it allows them a break from their exposure to the sun. Especially in super hot climates, shaded areas can really be beneficial because those areas’ temperature can be much cooler than areas that are completely in the sun.
However, it is not wise to keep them outside all day. During the hottest parts of the day bring them inside and let them enjoy cooling down inside.
Go on Walks in the Morning or Evening
This was touched on a little bit, earlier in this post when discussing ways to prevent heatstroke. This tip is good for more than just that too though, it is just a good tip in keeping your dog cool in general.
I have said it a few times, but it is so important to not cut off all physical activity for your rottweiler during the summer. They are dogs that need at least two hours of physical activity to stay healthy and maintain their weight. So be sure to not completely eliminate their walks or play time outside.
However, it is smart to choose a cooler time during the day to go on walks with them.
Walking them early in the morning or later in the afternoon or evening is a good idea because first, the temperature is cooler during those times. The sun isn’t out as bright, and the pavement isn’t as hot.
Keep the Air Conditioning On
Bringing your pup inside the house to stay out of the heat is only a solution if the inside of the house isn’t just as hot as the outside.
Sometimes it is easy to get in the habit of bringing the dog inside before leaving to go somewhere and then also turning the air conditioning off as well since no one will be home.
It is important to not forget about your dog who is still in the house. A hot house can be just as bad, and even worse than the heat outside since outside they have access to fresh air.
Something good to remember is that if you feel uncomfortable in the temperature of the house then your rottweiler probably does too.
Keep Them Out of Hot Cars
A hot car is the last place your rottweiler wants to go. Do the best you can to keep them out of hot cars, just in general. If you have to take them with you somewhere, roll a window down, or turn the air conditioning up so they can stay cool.
Never, ever leave your dog inside of the hot car while you go somewhere. The inside of a car is often around 20 degrees hotter than the temperature outside. Leaving your rott in a car that is nearing or even exceeding 100 degrees can kill them.
It increases the risk of getting heat stroke, and if you aren’t there to help them if they begin to suffer from heat stroke their symptoms could go completely unnoticed and they could suffer from brain damage if not death.
Talk to Your Vet
Your Veterinarian knows your rottweiler best. If you have questions about symptoms you see, reach out to your vet for help. They not only know your dog, but they know the area in which you live, so they can give you more specific advice for your rottweiler’s and area’s individual needs.
Summertime is a great time of year that many people do enjoy, as you take these preventative measures with your rottweiler, they can stay safe and have fun with you as you enjoy your summer vacation.
- Keep rottweilers hydrated.
- Watch out for symptoms of heatstroke and learn treatment and prevention in case your pup gets heatstroke.
- Apply sunscreen to your rott before going on long, hot, and sunny excursions.
- Choose the time you go on walks carefully, if the pavement is too hot for your bare feet, it is too hot for your rottweiler’s.
- Keep your house air conditioned so it is an escape from the heat.
- Never keep your rottweiler inside of a hot car.
- Keep your vet in the loop, they know your rott best.