Summer Heat and Greyhounds


Summer is here and, with it, hot temperatures. To keep your greyhound safe and happy this summer, here are some guidelines when it comes to summer heat.

Hot temperatures are a danger to your greyhound. Because greyhounds do not have a lot of body fat and just one layer of fur, greyhounds lack the insulation to heat that other dogs have. An ideal air temperature for a greyhound is 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

To keep your grey safe and happy this summer, here are some guidelines when it comes to summer heat:

Leaving car windows cracked open doesn’t work. Look at these temperature statistics:
10 mins in a car     Temp Outside 75 degrees     Inside Temp 100 degrees
5 mins in a car       Outside Temp 85 degrees     Inside Temp 100 degrees

During the hot weather, greyhounds need air conditioning. Remember, greyhounds’ ideal air temperature is 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not leave your greyhound in a hot house. If the power goes out, cool your greyhound (and yourself!) in a cool basement or in your car running the air conditioner. Better yet, find someone with power and air conditioning, and take your greyhound to their house.

The more water the better. Always take water with you in the car, on your walks, for an outing. The water can be in a water bottle, in the form of ice in a thermos, in a squirt bottle to mist your greyhound. Go through a fast-food drive-thru and ask for a cup of ice with a little water for your dog. Most will be happy to give you this for free. Hydrate your greyhound – if s/he doesn’t want to drink, gently pour water into his/her mouth – a lot will spill out on the ground but some will get in to your greyhound.

Take a bandana, small cloth towel, or a cool coat and wet it, then drape it over your greyhound. The cool, wet material acts like an evaporative cooling for your greyhound. Once the cool material gets warm, remove it immediately and re-wet it. Do not leave a warm cloth/towel on your greyhound, as it will trap the heat.

During the Summer, it is best to walk your greyhound in the early morning hours. The temperatures are cooler and so are the sidewalks/roads. Hose or wet your greyhound down before your walk. This will cool your dog and act like evaporation cooling. DO NOT walk your greyhounds during the heat of the day. Even early evenings are still hot, especially sidewalks and roads that have heated up during the day. The later in the evening you can walk your dog the better.

Always supervise your greyhound when s/he is outside, regardless of time of year. Remember, your greyhound loves to run and play and will not stop just because s/he is overheating. It is your job to limit the amount of outside exercise your greyhound has during the summer.

When outside with your greyhound, seek out shade for both you and your greyhound. Also avoid letting your greyhound stand on sidewalks, concrete, asphalt – these material hold heat and your greyhound’s foot pads will easily burn.

Always have the air conditioning on when your greyhound is inside. Remember, the ideal temperature range for a greyhound is 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. A greyhound can have a heat stroke at 80 degrees Fahrenheit when the humidity is high.

Signs of heat exhaustion are heavy excessive panting, skin red/flushed/hot to touch, ear leathers red hot to touch, weakness in standing/walking, fainting.
IMMEDIATE ACTION IS NECESSARY – you must cool your greyhound down immediately. Apply cool water all over your greyhound. Wet towels in cool water and drape them all over your dog, especially the head, groin and armpit areas. The towels will become warm in 2-3 minutes, remove them, wet again with cool water and reapply. Running a fan at low speed over your greyhound with the cool damp towels draped on him/her is good too. Call your vet immediately with your greyhound’s status.