Originating in Akita and Odate, Japan, the Akita is a Spitz breed perfectly adapted to life in the snowy mountain terrain. In the early 17th century, breeders carefully molded the Akita to meet the needs of Japanese hunters. Since then, people have introduced the Akita to countries worldwide, but how well suited is this double-coated working breed to countries with more tropical climates?
Can Akita live in hot weather? Yes, hot weather is not ideal for the Akita, but they can live in more tropical climates. Living in temperatures that are consistently above 75 degrees Fahrenheit is not best for this breed.
To keep an Akita comfortable and happy in a more tropical climate, your Akita will be limited to living indoors in a temperature-controlled area and forfeit many everyday activities that dogs enjoy, like walking outdoors. In the following article, I will look at what you need to know for your Akita to thrive if you think you might move to a tropical climate. Topics I will cover include – Can Akita live in hot weather? What temperature can an Akita withstand? Can Akita dogs survive in India, Florida, or the Philippines? Can Akita dogs live outside?
Can Akita Live In Hot Weather?
Akitas do not thrive in hot weather. What constitutes “hot weather” is determined by something called the “thermoneutral zone.” The thermoneutral zone or the TNZ is the ambient temperature where a dog does not have to spend energy to maintain its “normal” body temperature. A dog reaches a point of overheating when they are no longer able to regulate their body temperature.
Different dog breeds have different TNZ’s that are influenced by the size, coat type, head shape, and health. According to the College of Veterinary Medicine at Purdue University, the TNZ for most breeds is between 68°F and 80-85°F.
The ideal temperature for the Akita is 75°F. Once the temperature climbs above 75°F your Akita will have to expend energy to cool themselves down. An Akita can tolerate temperatures of 85°F for short periods, but this will tax their body as they work to maintain a healthy body temperature.
What Temperature Can An Akita Withstand?
Temperatures above 85°F are dangerous for the Akita, and when the thermometer climbs to this point, your dog should always be indoors. Living in temperatures above 85°F means that your Akita can only step outside very briefly to “potty” and during that time, they must walk on the grass to avoid burning their paw pads.
Your Akita can live inside all of the time in a tropical climate, but their quality of life will suffer because they will be unable to do many things that dogs love to do (like walking outdoors!) There are a few factors that can impact how quickly your Akita’s body temperature will climb in tropical climates – these include:
Coat style – The Akita has a thick double coat, and keeping that coat short and brushed regularly thins it out and makes it more “breathable.”
Size – Larger Akitas are likely to overheat more quickly because their organs are more overtaxed.
Age – Older Akitas cannot cool themselves as efficiently as younger adult dogs simply because of aging on their bodily systems.
Illness – Like age, illness can impact how efficiently your dog’s internal cooling system functions.
If you live in a warmer climate and you are worried about your dog’s ability to cool themselves, consult your veterinarian as soon as possible to find a solution that will keep your dog comfortable before they suffer the effects of overheating or heatstroke!
Can Akita dogs survive in India, Florida, or the Philippines?
The Akita can live anywhere with the proper precautions, but this does not mean they will thrive. As I mentioned above, the Akita’s TNZ is 75°F, and a healthy dog can maintain a healthy body temperature in temperatures up to 85°F for short periods IF they are not too physically active. So, how do these temperatures compare to India, Florida, and the Philippines?
Akita living in India
According to the India Meteorological Department, the four seasons are as follows:
- Winter – From December to February, Winter temperatures average between 50 to 59 °F in Northwest India and 68 to 77 °F in Southeast India.
- Summer – From March to May, Summer temperatures average between 90–104 °F in Western, Southern, and Northern India.
- Monsoon Season – From June to September. Monsoon temperatures average between 81–95 °F with elevated levels of humidity.
- Post-Monsoon Season – From October to November, Post-monsoon season temperatures average between 77 and 93 °F.
Only one season is conducive to comfortable living for the Akita in India.
Akita dog living in Florida
According to current records, the four seasons in Florida are as follows:
- Winter – From December to February, Winter temperatures average between 52 – 68 °F.
- Spring – From March to May, Spring temperatures average between 65–75 °F with 60% humidity.
- Summer – From June to August, Summer temperatures average between 99–100+ °F with 70% humidity.
- Autumn – From September to November, Autumn temperatures average between 52 and 86 °F.
Three of the four seasons are conducive to healthy living for the Akita in Florida. With the necessary precautions taken in Summer, the Akita can live in Florida happily.
Akitas in Philippines
According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration, there are three main seasons in the Philippines, which are classified as follows:
- Cool-Dry Season– From November to February, temperatures during the cool-dry season average between 74 – 88 °F with 96-100% humidity.
- Hot-Dry Season – From March to May, temperatures during the hot-dry season average between 75–93 °F with 99-100% humidity.
- Rainy Season – From June to October, Summer temperatures average 77–91°F with 100% humidity.
The temperatures and humidity levels during all three seasons in the Philippines are too high for the Akita to live comfortably.
Can Akita Dogs Live Outside?
Any dog can live outside, but no dog should live outside. Dogs are pack animals, and they eat, sleep, and play with their pack. Relegating a dog to the outside of the home is purposefully separating them from their family pack. This separation causes confusion and isolation.
Not only does forcing your dog to live outdoors isolate them, but it contributes to various other problems, including parasite infection, poor socialization skills, exposure to the elements, and susceptibility to interference.
Parasite Infection – Aside from the detrimental mental effects of living outside, forcing your Akita to live outdoors alone increases their risk of parasite infection. Parasites can include anything from fleas and ticks to the hideous botfly!
You can give your dog preventative medications every month, but some parasites are not commonplace enough to treat preventatively. Anytime you relegate your dog to living outdoors, there is a good chance they may get exposed to one or more parasites that they have not been treated against. In some instances, these parasites can even be life-threatening.
Poor Socialization Skills – The Akita can already be fussy about the company that they keep. When you keep your Akita isolated, living alone outdoors, you deprive them of the opportunity to socialize.
Socializing with other dogs early in life is necessary for all dogs because it presents the opportunity to learn how to communicate with and read the communication of other dogs and learn about acceptable and unacceptable behavior.
Socializing with people is equally important to dogs because it exposes and desensitizes them to several types of people and situations. The more people a young dog encounters, the more that they will become accustomed to them.
Exposure to the Elements – Another concern about leaving your Akita to live outside is the elements. Yes, shelter, food, and water are necessary, but these are the basics, and our dogs deserve much more.
Can you imagine being forced to live outside in 110-degree heat but someone telling you – “it is okay, you have shelter, food, and water, you will be fine!” But meanwhile, you are sweltering. You may have the basics, but you are far from comfortable.
Susceptibility to Interference – Lastly, forcing your Akita to live outdoors leaves them susceptible to interference from external factors. These factors include things like:
- People who enter your property for legitimate reasons, for example, package delivery.
- People who enter your property for other reasons, for example, to pet your dog.
- Animals wandering onto your property, for example, stray, loose pets, wildlife.
This same principle applies to the use of invisible fencing. Anytime that you leave your dog outdoors without direct supervision, there is a chance that they could run up against someone or something and get hurt.
Making Your Akita Live Outside Sets Them Up For Failure
A dog needs their family or “pack” for companionship, socialization, education, and happiness. Failure to meet these basic needs can result in a depressed, poorly socialized dog with no basic understanding of how to interact with the world around them. You are setting your dog up for failure in every aspect of their life.
Instead of setting your Akita up to fail, truly make them part of your family by accepting them into your home and spending the time to teach them what they need to know to excel!