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We all have a preference when it comes to temperature, but some dog breeds really can’t handle the heat. If you’re thinking about raising a Boxer you might be wondering, can Boxers live in hot weather?
Boxers are a brachycephalic breed, which means that they have short snouts and a compact head shape. This can cause breathing issues in hot weather because their airways become restricted, so they find it difficult to cool down and overheat quicker than other breeds. While Boxers can stand hot weather for short periods of time with appropriate care, they are susceptible to dangerous conditions like heat stroke.
All owners want to ensure that their dogs’ needs are met so they are as safe and comfortable as possible, whatever the weather may be. This article will go into detail about how Boxers handle hot weather, including key information about how to tell if your Boxer is too hot and what you can do to keep your dog cool, happy, and healthy when temperatures are rising.
Can Boxers Live in Hot Weather Climates?
Some dog breeds are very well suited to hot weather and find it easy to stay cool when the temperature goes up, but brachycephalic breeds tend to struggle in the heat. Dogs like Pugs, Bulldogs, and Boxers can find it very difficult to regulate their own body temperatures, particularly when it is hot.
One of the most important ways that dogs cool themselves down is through panting, which they do when they have been exercising or are feeling especially hot. Panting gets lots of air into the lungs and it increases the evaporation of water through the mouth, expelling heat from the body.
Because they are covered in fur, dogs don’t sweat in the same way that humans do, so they rely on panting to help them cool off. Boxers have short snouts so when they are panting heavily, their throats can become restricted and swollen. They find it hard to breathe safely and they struggle to cool down effectively.
You can help a Boxer to stay cool in hot weather, but they are ultimately not suited to a climate where temperatures are high most of the time. Boxers are lovely dogs that anyone would want to bring into their family, but it’s not fair to subject them to uncomfortable and dangerous conditions. There are other breeds that are simply better suited to the heat.
What Happens to Boxers in Hot Weather?
If your Boxer is getting too hot, it can be seriously dangerous for their health. When the temperatures get too much for them to handle, it can cause:
- Dehydration. In the heat, your dog can lose too much water from their bodies as they try to cool down, which is very dangerous for their health.
- Heatstroke. Heatstroke is a life-threatening condition that can be deadly in a very short space of time. It can also lead to vomiting, disorientation, diarrhoea, and seizures.
- Breathing problems. If your Boxer is struggling to breathe in the heat it can quickly become a very serious problem if they are not getting enough oxygen into their bloodstream.
- Sunburn. Because of their short hair, Boxers can suffer from skin damage if they are exposed to the sun, which can cause serious discomfort and lead to skin cancer, rashes, and blisters.
It is really important to remember that hot weather is not just an issue of discomfort and displeasure for Boxers, it can be deadly if it is not handled with the appropriate care.
How Can You Tell When a Boxer is Too Hot?
You need to keep an eye on your Boxer’s wellbeing when the weather is warm as noticing the signs that something is wrong may even save their life. Often, Boxers are so keen to play and please their owners that they will keep exerting themselves even when they are suffering from the heat. If your Boxer is getting too hot, you might notice:
- Excessive panting.
- Deep or shallow breathing.
- Dry or bright red gums.
- Red eyes or ears.
- Weakness or lethargy.
Any of these indicators can be a cause for concern but there are some symptoms that are particularly important to watch out for. Signs of serious heatstroke include:
- Staggering or disorientation.
You should take measures to cool down your dog as soon as possible if you notice any signs that they are too hot. If you are concerned that they are suffering from heatstroke you should get them to a vet immediately.
How Do You Keep a Boxer Cool?
Fortunately, it’s not too complicated to keep your Boxer cool as long as you are proactive and well prepared. When the temperature is rising, there are a few key things to remember.
Lots of Water
Your dog should always have access to cool drinking water, but this is especially important in the heat. Boxers need to take on more water when it is hot to keep their body temperature down, particularly when they are exercising. Keep their water bowl out of the sun so that it stays cool, and make sure it is always topped up.
Take a Break
Boxers get very excited about playtime, but you need to make sure that they are taking time to rest and cool off. When it is hot outside, they can start to pant very quickly so make sure that they are not overexerting themselves and be ready to bring them back inside if they really need to calm down.
Keep Out of the Sun
Keeping your dog in the shade will make a huge difference when it comes to the heat. Reducing the effects of the sun can also include putting them in some protective clothing like a bandana or attaching sun guards to the windows of your car.
Sometimes it is just not safe for your dog to be out in the sun, so you need to make sure that you can keep them occupied and exercised indoors. You might need to save your walks for the late evening or early morning when it is a bit cooler outside.
Run a Bath
Getting your Boxer into a paddling pool or a cold bath may be just what they need if they’re feeling overheated. Not every dog loves a bath, but a splash around can be very cooling in the summer.
Keep the Air Moving
Make sure that your indoor space always has good airflow so that your Boxer is comfortable and they are getting enough oxygen. Fans or air conditioning can help to reduce the effects of the heat, but you may need to open up a few windows to get the air moving.
Protect Their Skin and Paws
Canine sunscreen or sunblock can massively reduce the risk of sunburn for your Boxer, and a high-quality paw wax and nose balm will limit sun damage to vulnerable areas. If the temperatures are high, dark surfaces can become really hot really quickly, so you want to avoid walking on asphalt or concrete that may burn your dog’s paws.
Never Leave Them Alone in the Car
It can never be said often enough: dogs die in hot cars. When it is hot outside, you should be keeping an eye on your dog at all times no matter where they are, but leaving your dog in a car is particularly dangerous and potentially life-threatening.
How Hot is Too Hot for Boxers?
It is hard to say exactly what temperature is too much for a Boxer to handle. With the right level of care and attention, they can be perfectly safe and happy for short periods of time even when it is quite hot outside. On the other hand, even mild heat can be deadly if they aren’t getting enough water and oxygen.
A good rule of thumb is that if you’re feeling hot, then your Boxer is probably feeling even hotter. When the thermometer is reading around 70°F (21°C) you shouldn’t notice too many problems, but any temperatures above 80°F (26°C) are going to be quite a lot for your dog.
There isn’t necessarily a specific temperature that is too hot, it is about being aware of how your dog is feeling and knowing what you need to do in order to keep them safe and comfortable.
The Verdict: Can Boxers Live in Hot Weather?
So, can Boxers live in hot weather? The answer is that Boxers struggle a lot with high temperatures and are not well suited to the heat.
Boxers can survive in hot weather for short periods of time if they are properly cared for, but they are brachycephalic dogs that find it very difficult to cool down when they get too hot. They need a lot of water, rest, and shade, and you should pay close attention to how they are behaving to reduce the risk of heatstroke.
If you are thinking about raising any breed of dog, you should consider their needs first and foremost. Boxers find hot weather much harder than most dogs do, so you need to be very cautious and well prepared for sunny summer days. At the end of the day, if you live in a hot climate you should consider a breed that is better equipped to handle the heat.