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Can Labradors Stay Outside in the Heat

Not all breeds of dogs are the same when it comes to surviving extreme temperatures such as hot or cold.  It is important to know just how much your Labrador Retriever can handle in the case of being outside in the heat.

Can Labradors stay outside in the heat?  Labrador Retrievers can stay in the heat up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit without having to come in unless there is high humidity.  If the humidity is between 20-35%, it is important to bring your Labrador in to make sure that they are cool.

It is important, actually, essential that you learn how to keep your Labrador Retriever cool in the summer months.  Heat can be extremely dangerous for your dog, especially if you have a dog that has health problems.

The reason that the heat can be dangerous is that dogs do not have a way to keep cool as people do.  We can sweat, and our body knows how to regulate our temperature when we are too hot or too cold, but with a dog, they do not have this type of body to regulate their temperature.

If you see your dog panting, that is their body’s only device to help to keep them cool in the heat.  When your dog is panting, it helps them to circulate cooler air throughout their body.  Panting helps them to keep their body temperature from getting too high.

When it is above 90 degrees, your Labradors body does not have a way to keep them cool.  The average temperature for your Labrador is between 100 degrees and 101.5 degrees, so when the temperature reaches a point above their body average, they have a hard time regulating their temperature and can quickly overheat.

When your Labrador begins to overheat, it can become dangerous very quickly.  Their body will start to shut down, even their organs.  If you do not pay close attention to your Lab’s body temperature, it can become deadly quickly.

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What Happens if My Labrador Retriever Gets Too Hot?

When your Labrador Retriever gets too hot outside in the summer heat, the chances are that they will have a heat stroke.  Heatstroke is the exact opposite of hypothermia when their body drops too low temperatures in the winter months.

Hyperthermia is the complete opposite, and this is when your Labrador’s body will go beyond their normal temperature to a point where it is dangerous.

When hyperthermia happens, it happens because the Labradors body is not able to fight off the heat, and this usually happens in outside temperatures above 106 degrees Fahrenheit, but can happen in temperatures lower than that.

When hyperthermia happens, it is frequently silent and can cause your dog’s organs to shut down before you even know what is happening. 

One thing to remember is that it is not just the temperature of the outside that can bring about hyperthermia, but other things can trigger it, such as:

  • Over Exercising Your Labrador.
  • Brain Sickness

If you decide to take your Labrador out for a run and the temperatures are warmer than normal, make sure that you can provide your Labrador with drinks and often rests throughout the run. 

Overexerting your Labrador can cause them to experience hyperthermia, and if not properly treated, your Labrador could get sick and even die.

If your dog has anything wrong with their brain, they could also experience hyperthermia very quickly.  Any type of brain malfunctions or lesions on the brain can be life-threatening in the heat.  The body does not know how to fight the heat, and this can be deadly for your Labrador.

Is the Heat All the Same for My Labrador?

Not all the heat is the same as other heat.  When the humidity is high, it can cause your Labrador to get hotter faster.  The air becomes warmer, and the water vapor in the air can cause the air to heat up much quicker than just a high temperature.

When people live indoors, they can regulate their humidity in their home by buying a dehumidifier, but when outdoors, you cannot regulate the humidity and so you must know and understand the heat that you are in before you take your Labrador outside.

If you wonder if it is too hot, if the temperature is high and the humidity is high, the chances are that it is too hot for your Labrador to be outside.  Humidity can increase the temperature quickly, and in high levels of humidity, your Labrador will be more sensitive to the heat, and it is time to bring them inside.

When it is hot and humid outside, make sure that your Labrador is drinking plenty of liquids, so he or she does not get dehydrated.  Dehydration is very dangerous for your Labrador and can increase their organ shut down quickly.

How Do I Know if My Labrador Retriever is Getting Too Hot?

The first thing to do is to be wise about the weather.  If you are too hot, the chances are that your Labrador is too hot as well.  Remember, your Labrador has a dull coat, and this in itself makes it hot for your Labrador. 

But, if you are questioning rather your Labrador is too hot or not, it is important to watch for these signs:

  • Excessive Panting.
  • Problems Breathing.
  • Seizures
  • Muscle Weakness.
  • Trouble Standing
  • Vomiting.
  • High Heart Rate.
  • Excessive Drooling
  • Overly Dry Skin.

Excessive Panting

If your Labrador is panting for long periods, it means that he or she is too hot.  If this does not stop quickly, take your dog in and make sure that they have something to drink.  Cooling down at this stage is very important.

Problems Breathing

If you see that your Labrador is having problems breathing, the chances are that they are experiencing hyperthermia, and it is time to call the vet. 

Take your Labrador in and give them something to drink and keep them cool.  If they regain their breath, then they should be okay, if they do not, get them to the vet quickly.

Seizures and Muscle Weakness

When you see your Labrador having seizures or muscle weakness, and it is excessively hot outside, it is important to rush your Labrador to the vet and get them to help immediately.  These signs can be life-threatening, and this proves that they are already beyond hyperthermia and are very sick. 

Do not wait or try to cool your dog down, turn the air on in the car, and take cold washcloths to wipe them down on the way to the vet.

Trouble Standing

Trouble standing is another sign that your Labrador is probably experiencing a heat stroke.  If your Labrador cannot stand on their own, chances are they are having a heat stroke.  This is another sign that you need to rush your Lab to the vet immediately.


Vomiting can mean that your dog is getting too hot.  If you see your dog stop to vomit or if they are heaving, take them in immediately and get them cooled off.  Make sure to have water on hand so that they can get a drink before they become dehydrated.

High Heart Rate

A high heart rate can mean that your dog overexerted themselves, or it can be a sign of an oncoming heat stroke.  Take your Labrador inside and make sure that they stay cool.

Excessive Drooling

Drooling is a way that you can know that your Labrador is too hot and probably too thirsty.  It is important if you see your Labrador drooling that you take them in and get them cooled off immediately before they get any hotter.

Overly Dry Skin

Even though dry skin is most likely not a sign of a heat stroke, it is a sign that your dog is too hot.  Your dogs’ nose and skin should be moist and should not ever be too dry.  If your dog’s skin gets too dry, it is a sign that he or she is too hot.  Take your dog in and give them water to get their skin and their body hydrated.

Remember, if your dog is already sick with some underlying health issue, having them out in the heat can be much more devastating than a healthy Labrador. 

If your Labrador starts to show any of the signs of overheating, take your Labrador in immediately and make sure to give them something to drink. 

How Can I Stop My Labrador from Having a Heat Stroke?

Many different tips can help your Labrador not to have a heat stroke.  You must avoid this so that you can keep your dog healthy and safe.  To make sure that your dog is cool and that your dog does not experience excessive heat, keep in mind the following tips:

  • Put Their Outside Water in the Shade.
  • Keep Their Water Bowl Filled.
  • Do Not Shave Your Labrador.
  • Add a Fan or Air Conditioner to Your Labradors Room.
  • Freeze Different Liquids for a Cool Treat.
  • Let Your Labrador Play in Water.
  • Do Not Put Your Labrador Out on Concrete or Blacktop.
  • Use a Wet Washcloth.

Put Their Outside Water in the Shade

It is extremely important in the hot weather that you give your Labrador a lot of water and freshwater.  Not only is this extremely important, but it is also even more important that you do not leave your Labradors water bowl in the sun.

Leaving your Labradors water bowl in the sun can cause the water to get scolding hot and can burn your dog when they go to get a drink.  You can even add things like ice to your Labs water bowl if their water gets too warm.

Pay attention to their water bowl to make sure the water is not too warm or is not clean.  It is important for your Labrador to drink lots of water during the hot days.

Keep Their Water Bowl Filled

Keeping your Labradors bowl filled is extremely important.  When it is hot, your Labrador will get hot quickly and will need to have lots of drinks of water to keep cool and hydrated.

Fill up their bowl multiple times a day so that they stay hydrated and have fresh and clean water.  Make sure that your Labrador is drinking.  If you see that their water bowl is not being touched, something has to be wrong, and it is important to take your Labrador to the vet to see if they have something wrong in their health.

Do Not Shave Your Labrador

Shaving your Labrador can be hurtful to their health.  The way that their coat works is that in the summer, the coat is there to help your Labrador be cooler, and in the winter the coat is there to help your Labrador to stay warmer.

When you shave your Labrador, you cause their coat to not grow back the right way, and then their coat cannot protect them.  Not only can shaving cause their hair to grow back strangely or not at all, but it can also cause them to have painful hot spots that are uncomfortable to them. 

Add a Fan or Air Condition to Your Labradors Room

If you are hot, then the chances are that your Labrador is also hot.  It is important that you do what you can to make sure that your Labrador is going to be cool enough in the hot summer months.  In order to do this, put a fan or an air condition in the room that you crate your Labrador.

Remember that when your Labrador is in a room or a crate, they will not have as much airflow as they have out in the open.  It is important that you keep their room cool and comfortable for them. 

Freeze Different Liquids for a Cool Treat

If you want to give your Labrador a great treat in the summertime and help to keep them cool, give them a frozen treat made of water, broth, or even frozen fruits.  Not only are these great treats, but they are also great to help keep your Labrador cool when they are outside.

Let Your Labrador Play in Water

Labradors are bred to want to play in the water.  Allowing them to play in water can help to keep them cool when it is cool.  If you have a pond or a swimming pool, allow your pet to play out in the water.  Remember to watch for blue/green algae poison that can be deadly to dogs.

If all else fails, put out a water hose and let your Labrador get wet that way.  Keeping your dog wet will keep them cool and happy.

Do Not Put Your Labrador Out on Concrete or Blacktop

Concrete and blacktop get extremely hot in the summer.  Make sure that your Labrador is not outside playing on the hot concrete because it can hurt their feet and cause them to get too hot. 

Make sure that you cool down blacktop or concrete with water before allowing your Labrador outside to play.

Use a Wet Washcloth

If your Labrador is outside playing and they seem to be getting hot, wet a cool washcloth and wash your Labrador down.  Keeping your Labrador cool this way can be a fun way to bond with your Labrador.

Even though your Labrador will most likely want to take the washcloth from you, all in fun, at least in the process, they can get extra water and cool down.

What Do I Do if My Labrador Has a Heat Stroke?

If your Labrador has symptoms or begins to have a heat stroke, you need to act right away to make sure that you can get them cooled off. 

You can cool your dog down quickly if you get water on their head because their blood vessels are on their head and close to the surface, and they are the fastest way to cool down.

If this happens, get a cold washcloth and start wiping down your Labrador Retrievers head.  This will cool them off quickly and allow you to get the heat under control.

If you have to use ice cubes to pack around your dog, if your dog is nervous or too hot, the chances are that he or she might not sit down and let you take care of them.  If this happens, try your best to get your dog in some type of water so that their body can cool down quickly. 

Once you get your dog’s body cooled down, take them to the vet to make sure that they did not have any damage to their body.


It is important that you know and understands that there are certain degrees where it becomes dangerous for your Labrador to be outside.  Even though your Labrador is bred to be an outdoor dog, there is a point where it becomes dangerous for your Labrador to be outside.

Pay attention to signs of any type of overheating or any type of heatstroke so that you can keep your Labrador safe and healthy.