Last Updated on May 18, 2023 by The Puppy Mag
Can Australian Shepherds handle hot weather? It’s an important question that all Aussie owners should consider.
This article will explain everything you need to know about Aussies in hot weather, how they tolerate it, how to keep them cool, temperature advice, and more.
Australian shepherds can adapt to hot weather quickly and easily with a little help from their owners. Aussies can live in hot weather as long as they have a cool place to lay down in the shade, fresh drinking water, and avoid the strong midday heat.
Can Australian Shepherds Live In Hot Places?
Aussies can certainly live in hot parts of the world. In fact, Australian shepherds are gaining popularity in southern California, Florida, Texas, Australia, and even India! Despite looking like they can’t handle the heat, they can adapt fairly easily.
Their history holds an important explanation. Aussies have a mixed history, originating in the Basque region of Spain, before passing through Australia to get to the west coast of America, where the breed started to take off.
- Aussies have not had a history of working or living in cold regions, in fact, most of their breed history involves living in mild and hot parts of the world.
This explains a lot about how Aussies can adapt so easily. As a breed, they are no strangers to heat.
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What Temperature Is Too Hot For Australian Shepherds
Many owners ask me a specific temperature that their Aussie can tolerate.
General guidance from veterinarians is that when the temperatures rise over 20C (68F) most dogs will start feeling uncomfortable and heatstroke becomes possible. The ideal temperature for most dogs is below 19C (66F), especially medium to large breeds.
- Temperatures over 25C (77F) are a cause for concern and owners should already have in place ways to keep their Aussie cool. At 30C (86F) your Aussie should remain indoors in a cool room.
Puppies & Seniors: With puppies (under 1) and seniors (over 8) their tolerance to heat will be lower. It’s best to keep pups and seniors indoors once the temperature starts rising over 20C (68F).
Despite this advice that all owners should certainly follow, it’s also true that all dogs are different and will have their own unique tolerance. Some will be able to tolerate hotter temperatures without ill effect.
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7 Ways To Keep Your Australian Shepherd Cool In Hot Weather
Below are 7 helpful tips that will keep your Australian Shepherd cool and safe in hot weather.
- Avoid hot walking surfaces
- Avoid midday sun
- Get a cooling bed
- Use wet towels to cool your Aussie down
- Keep the AC or fan turned on
- Keep the drinking water fresh
- Get a doggy paddling pool!
1. Avoid hot walking surfaces
The paws of your Aussie are extremely sensitive to heat and are the only point of contact to the ground. Some pavements and tarmacs can become hot to the point they will burn your Aussie’s paws. Burnt paws are very painful and typically require veterinary help.
A good rule to remember is that if the ground is too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your Aussie.
It’s important to consider the surfaces you have in your own backyard, and particularly where you take your Aussie for their daily exercise.
2. Avoid midday sun
Although Aussies handle heat well, we still have to do our part to keep them safe. Avoiding the midday sun is good advice for us as well as our dogs.
This depends on where you are but usually, 12-4 pm is the hottest part of the day, and when the sun is at its highest point.
Exercise your Aussie outside of these hours, and limit the time he spends basking in the sun. Sunbathing is something many dogs love, but too much of it will make them feel unwell.
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3. Get a cooling bed!
Cooling beds or elevated beds are AWESOME. These are simple raised beds that are extremely comfortable for dogs, and provide all-around airflow while laying down.
By laying off the ground their underbelly will catch the breeze and will be able to expel heat freely compared to when laying directly on the ground.
Cooling beds also offer a safe place to lay for those that have hot pavement or concrete in their own backyard. Fortunately, these beds are more affordable than regular dog beds, and for the benefit they bring, are totally worth it.
Our favorite cooling bed: Coolaroo Pet Bed
4. Cool your Aussie down with wet towels
If your Aussie needs to spend some time outside but the temperature is already getting up there, you can pat his body down with a cold damp towel to keep him cooler for longer.
This may only provide temporary relief, but it’s a quick and easy way to cool your Aussie down quickly.
Just take a large bath towel, run it under the cold tap, and pat him down for 5 minutes.
5. Keep the AC or a fan turned on
If you’re living in a hot state or country, your Aussie should always have access to an air-conditioned room that’s also in the shade.
At the very least, have a blower or a fan turned on which he can lay in front of (of course, ensure the setup you have is safe).
Having a cool room that your Aussie can retreat to anytime he’s feeling too hot is basic, but extremely important. This gives your Aussie greater control and freedom to remain at whatever temperature is comfortable for him.
6. Keep the drinking water fresh
Ensuring your Aussie remains hydrated is an obvious one, but should never be overlooked. And whether your Aussie is drinking all of his water or not, it’s important to keep refreshing it.
Dogs are far less inclined to drink their water if it’s warm and filled with gunk from the previous 4 or 5 hours. Always keep the water topped up and fresh, this will encourage your Aussie to drink more of it.
You can also pop a few ice cubes in the water that will act as a little game, this will lead to a lot of fluid intake in no time at all.
Hydration is key and dogs don’t always do their best to drink as much as they should, so it’s up to us to keep an eye on them!
7. Get a doggy paddling pool!
Talk about saving the best one until last! Aussies are a high-energy breed and LOVE to be active. Paddling pools will keep your Aussie as cool as possible while providing physical exercise as well as mental stimulation.
You may need to teach your Aussie to swim first, and this should always be done with a doggy lifejacket and your supervision. But don’t worry, it won’t take long.
I recommend getting one made for dogs, like this one, as the material is tougher than the one made for kids. Their nails may pop regular paddling pools.
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Their Double Coat Helps To Keep Them Cool
Your Australian Shepherd’s thick double-coat doesn’t make life in hot weather harder, it makes it easier! This comes as a big shock to most, but it’s true.
Double-coated breeds have two layers, the undercoat and the topcoat. Both of them perform important roles in cold weather as well as hot weather.
The undercoat is typically used for insulation purposes throughout cold weather, but as any Aussie owner knows, they shed a lot, especially in the springtime.
This “blowout” often leaves mostly only the topcoat. Which allows for greater airflow between the outer hairs and the skin… like a built-in fan.
Plus, the stronger topcoat (guard hairs) also performs jobs like blocking UV rays, direct heat as well as pesky bugs.
The ability to use their double-coat to their advantage, as well as having a long history of living in mild regions, makes hot weather not so bad after all.
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Keep Your Aussie Inside When You Leave The House
Whether you’re going to work, visiting friends, or running errands, always keep your Australian shepherd inside, in a cool shaded room out of the sun.
Whenever you leave, consider your Aussie and how he’s going to be for the duration you are gone for. Ensure his drinking water is completely fresh, he’s had his exercise, and is ready to lay down for a nap.
Consider investing in blinds that reflect or block the sunlight. There are many different types of blinds, screens, and even sticky adhesive films which all do a similar job. This in addition to an aircon or a fan will work excellently.
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Thank you for reading! Back to more Australian Shepherd articles
Can Australian Shepherds live in hot weather?
Yes, Australian shepherds can live in hot weather. Despite their double coat, Aussies are no strangers to heat and can adapt quickly to hotter temperatures
Do Australian Shepherds overheat easily?
Australian shepherd puppies will overheat easily, due to the fact they haven’t yet learned to efficiently regulate their own body temperature. Adults are a little more resilient and better and regulating body temperature.
What temperature is too hot for Australian Shepherds?
Although it will be different for each dog, most Australian Shepherds will tolerate 20-25C (68-77F) without too many issues. These temperatures may already be too hot for puppies and seniors.
What’s the best way to keep Australian Shepherds cool?
The best way to keep your Australian Shepherd cool is to keep them inside your home with the AC running, a fan, with plenty of water. It’s also important to avoid the midday heat.
Will a haircut make an Australian Shepherd feel cooler?
No, giving an Australian shepherd a haircut will not help them feel cooler. This is a big misconception and would likely lead to them overheating easier. Their double coat actually helps to regulate temperature and block out the heat.
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