A Quick Guide to Heat Tolerance in German Shepherds

‘I don’t feel like sitting for hours under the sun. Does my German Shepherd feel the same? Can he tolerate the heat better than me?’

It is one of the most common questions that pet owners ask while shopping for their German Shepherd. When any new parent has decided to make this German beauty a part of the clan, it becomes their duty to create conditions suitable for their dog buddy.

Right from making the food arrangements to an area to play, having or not have an attendant, etc., the new dog parent requires contemplating all impending needs. We would like to help you not miss this very small but crucial detail about your German Shepherd in this state of chaos. Yes, we want you to be acquainted with the heat tolerance of GSD.

GSD and heat tolerance; may have something to do with the coat!

Experts say GSD’s coat work as a fantastic insulator. It protects this herding dog species from excessive heat and cold, apart from giving him an impressive appearance.

So, your furry companion will thrive in hot conditions well. Remember, GSD was native to Germany who was brought to England and then to America. These changes in places and need to survive in these countries made them adequately capable of withstanding reasonably hot conditions.

german shepherd coat

A lot of heat tolerance is attributed to the coat. If you look closely, GSD has multiple layers of coat. This make-up of coat helps him keep cool air trapped, allowing him to feel comfortable irrespective of hot temperatures.

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A quick tip: Don’t overbrush or shave your GSD in hot weather; you are simply robbing him off of the cool air he needs to fight the heat!

How hot will be too hot?

Though the coat has a design that helps regulate the heat, there is a limit to tolerating the heat. The coat’s insulation abilities may lose strength if GSD is kept under direct sunlight for extended hours. After a point, he will also need a shed or other cooling solutions to prevent heat build-up.

Beyond  35 degrees Celsius, the weather is too hot for the GSD!

Hence, when your thermostat in the garden reads 35 degrees or more than that, you need to bring your furry companion inside a cooler place.

This information helps designing the dwelling space for the pet. Keeping with the fact that GSD does need some time outdoors, you can do better if you have a shed in the area you have planned for your pet. GSD can stay outdoors, or play in the garden when the weather permits and can have the choice of sneaking into the shed as the temperature soars.

german shepherd hot swimming

If you have put your loving companion outdoors for long, you ought to keep a watch. Though he will make your task easier by barking if something is not right outdoors, staying attentive is a must.

Let’s investigate the signs that this German beast might display when the heat gets too much for him.

Signs of heat exhaustion in GSD

This canine friend of yours sends clear distress signals when the heat becomes overbearing. A few usual signs may include:

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1.) Unusual panting

The dog will pant more than usual. Panting helps him release heat and makes up for the absence of sweat glands in his body. The obvious outcome will be a little irritated or worn-out dog. Panting does demand labor, remember that!

2.)  Saliva denser than normal

Heat does lead to dehydration. A dehydrated dog’s saliva becomes thicker than usual showing a lack of water in the body.

3.)  May show loss of stamina

german shepherd resting low stamina

German Shepherds do feel exhausted after prolonged hours in bright sun-kissed places. Thus, they may not show expected readiness towards games or exercises due to hyperthermia.

Depending upon the distress level, the GSD may show more severe signs. These symptoms may require an emergency visit to a vet. Some of the serious symptoms of heat-induced discomfort are – disoriented walking, vomiting, diarrhea, and collapsing.

A tip: In no case, GSD can be kept outdoors unattended and for long if the day at hand is brighter than usual.

What to do to keep GSD safe in hot weather?          

Living in a region that observes sunny weather most part of the year and skeptical about GSD’s ability to survive hot weather? Rest assured, there is nothing to worry about. With little arrangements, you can make your sun-kissed home GSD-friendly. Plan and act on the tips below:

Despite all care and concern, if the heat got over GSD, you must know how to rectify the situation at home. It can save a vet visit or those precious minutes that may help avoid an unwanted situation.

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Immediate things to do if the dog has suffered heat stroke

If the dog has suffered a heat stroke, the very first thing to do is put on the air conditioner in the room. Give him an adequately low temperature to help cool down.

Secondly, you can direct him to the water bowl. If the dog shows readiness to drink, quenching thirst can offer a primary aid. Out of exhaustion, your pooch may not show interest; avoid coaxing or forcing in this case.

Let him rest. The biggest service to offer to him will be to help him conserve his bodily energy. Sometimes, the rest solves many problems including heat-induced distress. So, allow him to rest in a cool place.

Summing up,

Heat tolerance in German Shepherds is moderate to good. Still, leaving him outdoors for long under the bright sun is not a good idea. If the dog is persistent in staying outdoors, plan as suggested above. It can help you both sail through the hot weather part of the year comfortably.

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