View Full Version : Anyone else's dog not want to walk in the heat?

Daisy's Mom
24th April 2008, 11:34 PM
We are trying to be diligent about walking Daisy. But now that it is warm here, she does not want to go outside at all. I walked her the other evening when it was about 65 degrees (perfect to me for walking), and she was just dragging and tongue lolling after about 15 minutes. I had forgotten how much she hated to be in the heat last summer. Just now I went out with her with little treats and tried to get her to chase a toy for a treat. No go. It's about 82 degrees here, I would say. I did get her to stay and then run to me a few times, but her heart clearly wasn't in it.

When she's hot, all she wants to do is to lay on the parts of our floor that are tile, or on top of one of the A/C vents (or both -- our tiled laundry room has a vent in the floor and that's where she goes when she's at her absolute hottest.) If she's been outside for 3 minutes pottying, she runs in and flops down immediately on the tile to cool her belly.

I don't know how we are going to keep up the walks this summer when it's 80 degrees at 6 am! Do you all take your dogs out in the heat? Our average evening here in the summer is probably 82 degrees. Last night, Daisy could not sleep and kept me up most of the night. I think it's because it was too hot in the house for her. We have now turned the A/C on, so hopefully tonight will be better. I'm very hot natured, but she has me beat, probably because she's wearing a fur coat! Maybe we'll have to move to Alaska.

25th April 2008, 12:06 AM
my dogs always want to walk but I won't do it in the heat for their sake (and mine), 65 is perfect though, I wonder if something else is going on? thyroid problems? fever? very overweight? sounds a little problematic to me, maybe it warrants a vet visit, she should be more heat tolerant than that.

25th April 2008, 12:37 AM
Agree with Nancy; that sounds unusually intolerant. Mine are happy to be active in weather well into the 70s and low 80s here (I always bring water for any active time). I'd bring her to the vet and have other possibilities checked out.

25th April 2008, 02:27 AM
That does seem very heat intolerant. I think 65F is about 18C and that is just a beautiful temperature. If she were overweight that could explain it, but I guess like other's have suggested, a vet check might be in order.

Daisy's Mom
25th April 2008, 02:16 PM
We will be having her checkup in a few weeks. He will be doing a blood test then and I'll have him check her thyroid levels. Heat intolerance is usually associated with hyperthyroidism, and another symptom of that is being underweight. She's definitely not that! She is overweight, so I know that contributes to it somewhat. That's part of my concern because I want to walk with her a lot this summer, and I can already tell the heat is going to bother her. She was the same way last summer. Any kind of exercise outside in the heat at all and she was just beat. She would literally run to our laundry room to get to her cool spot and she would lay there for at least a half an hour.

She is still excited to go on her walks, but she just can't take it too long outside and I'm not sure how far to push her.

25th April 2008, 03:13 PM
You should never push a dog to do any kind of exercise it isn't comfortable with, and for eager dogs you have to be careful they don't overpush themselves. :eek: Jaspar once kept trying to chase a ball even though he had a bad concussion! I have to really be careful with how much he wants to do in terms of running and agility -- he'd play fetch until he falls over if he could.

This really does not sound right -- mild heat alone shouldn't bother a dog that much. We had a Great Pyrenees, full coated, in California central valley weather for half her life and the heat was no big deal to her for walks and it got into 90s-100s all summer long. I'd be looking at thyroid, heart problems, etc. Also cut her food in half if she is really overweight -- just being overweight puts huge extra strain on their system and contributes to the development of heart problems far earlier than they'd otherwise get them and would contribute to her exhaustion. One recent study showed obese dogs die on average 3 years earlier than fit dogs and we all know we often lose this breed early as is. On average, three years less life for a cavalier means they will die at only age 6 or 7. :(

Daisy's Mom
26th April 2008, 02:33 AM
I will definitely speak to the vet about it at our appointment. Daisy was heart checked last year at a Cavalier specialty show by a veterianary cardiologist and came up clear. Our own vet also did a very thorough exam in December when we came to him for the first time. (We switched vets recently.)

If it were a thyroid problem, heat intolerance would indicate hyper-thyroidism, but that's not consistent with her being overweight. But who knows because I am also hyperthyroid (have been dealing with that for years), but I'm also overweight. So maybe she takes after me! I hope not.

I'm definitely going to watch her carefully. Maybe what she's doing is normal. Maybe I'm exaggerating unintentionally due to paranoia, I don't know. We just went for a pretty long walk and she was definitely tired out. When we got back, she laid on the A/C vent or the tile floor and panted for about 20 minutes when we got home. It's really nice outside, maybe 70 degrees. Does that seem normal for her to be that hot/winded?

We are working on the weight, but it does not seem to be coming off. I feed her a little bit less than half a cup of salmon dry dog food twice a day. It's probably between a third and a half a cup. I use the salmon variety of Taste of the Wild because it's the lowest in calories. Actually, I can tell you the metric amount because our measuring cup I use has that -- it's a hair under 150 (ml? mg? I didn't pay attention to the units.) Then she gets a piece of dried chicken breast that's wrapped around a piece of carrot or apple (Free Range brand) when she goes into her crate in the morning, and another one of those or a half of an Ark Naturals glucosamine jerky type treat in the evening.

That doesn't seem like that much to me, especially since she's a bigger Cavalier. The vet said her optimal weight would be 22-23 pounds. What do you think? She's been getting a 45 minute walk every day, plus whatever regular activities she does (fetching, going up and down the stairs, going outside and chasing the rabbits to the back of the yard at top speed at least once a day, often more, etc.)

We might have to take more drastic measures in terms of diet dog food if she doesn't start losing.

26th April 2008, 03:29 AM
After you've had her checked at the vet, if everything is okay except her weight, is it possible to have her chase a tennis ball down the stairs or across a room, so that she's being "exercised" in A/C? We have high humidity here, already and I find that also affects the pups negatively.

When we've had to get weight off a dog, we've cut out all treats and just stayed with their normal foods.

Good luck at the vets, hope you can find a reasonable solution.:)

26th April 2008, 03:10 PM
Agree with all that has been said above, I tend to walk my lot last thing at night when we (eventually) get hot weather here.
You could try giving her 2 shorter walks a day instead of just one long one maybe? Also agree with giving her a bit of play exercise in the house too.

Daisy's Mom
27th April 2008, 12:07 AM

I just looked at the measuring cup I use, and it is 150 calories, not 150 mls. :roll: (Sorry, not really up on the metric system.) It was a giveaway from a dog food company, so apparently a little less than half a cup equals 150 calories from that food.

28th April 2008, 01:06 AM
My cavalier is anti-heat as well. He's been dragging more lately now that the weather's warming. I have had him out on 90 degree days and he's done OK (didn't realize it was so hot at the time!), but it was a new place with interesting smells. At home, he'd rather stay in when it gets above 75 degrees. I try to walk him in the evenings. 1/2 cup of food once a day is what my healthy Cavalier gets and he is 22lbs. He also averages a 35 minute walk daily.

Oh, I also shave him about 6 months a year. He seems much happier with a short summer coat. Otherwise he has a huge black bear coat. Needless to say, he can go out in subzero temps without problem!

28th April 2008, 02:25 AM
Barkleigh lives in Florida. Last summer he was adverse to staying out when temps were above 90 deg. He loved helping water the flowers and diving under the hose, but was not to keen on the pool. We taught him to swim for safety and how to get to the steps. We have not allowed him to jump off the seawall due to alligators! (His cousin, the springer, jumps all the time.) But that is only during the day when the gators are not active.

Anyway, we did a lot of exercising around the pool which is cooler and damp and tossing a ball and toys in the house and no long walks except in the evening--often after dark and only for 10 minutes or so. (We have a big yard so he doesn't have to go out on the hot street.)

Now it is getting warm and his coat is much longer. I just posted a query under grooming about various summer grooming cuts. Today he ran around in the sun for a long time "helping" with gardening chores. After dinner we did our usual 1 1/4 mile walk, but he was tired and dragged the last way home. (He walks twice that amount crossing back and forth and checking out squirrels etc.) He's quite long, but not chubby. He weighs about 24 pounds and eats about 3/4 cup food or less once a day with 2 tiny treats--one at lunch, one at breakfast. No scraps.