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How Hot Is Too Hot For A Newfoundland Dog?

With summer here a common question asked by Newfie owners, including myself, is how hot is too hot for a Newfoundland dog?

Over the last 20 years of owning Newfies, I still have yet to find an exact number for that question because every single Newfoundland dog is different. 

Plain and simple, Newfoundland dogs were made for cool weather.

Their body structure and their double coat are built for cold, there’s no arguing that, but many Newfies live in warm climates and do fine. 

With the right approach and informed owners, most Newfoundland dogs can live comfortably even in hot weather,

how hot is too hot for a Newfoundland dog

Can Newfoundland Dogs Live In Hot Weather?

Most Newfoundlands will be able to adapt to living in warm climates but how well they will in hot temperatures depends on the individual dog.

Leroy always seemed to do fine in moderate heat and humidity whereas Sherman was not a fan of the summer heat at all. 

Currently, Odin seems to do fine in the heat but he definitely would rather be inside in the cool house rather than outside. 

Lou runs warm and based on the way he throws himself over the air vents when the AC is on,  I’m confident in saying he doesn’t like the heat.

He also tends to pant when the temperature gets over 50 degrees Fahrenheit. 

No matter how they feel about the warm weather, all of them enjoyed the air conditioner and cooling pads and will happily choose them over a hot and humid day. 

So while there’s no exact degree of heat that can be given on what’s too hot for a Newfoundland dog, there are some guidelines that you can follow. 

how well do Newfies tolerate heat

 

Age of the Newfoundland

Age will play a big role in how hot is too hot for a Newfoundland

Many senior Newfoundland dogs don’t regulate heat as well as they used to so exposing them to high and humidity can put more strain on their aging bodies.

This could be due to any diseases they are dealing with, medications they are on, pain they are experiencing or overall body condition. 

Puppies are still growing and have tons of energy but they should be exercised in moderation during hot weather.

Offering them a play area inside is a great idea or another activity such as dog puzzles or hide n’ seek.

can Newfoundland dogs live in hot weather

Location of the Newfoundland

Newfies that are born and grow up in warm climates adapt to that climate and way of life.

I always look at it as a Newfie that lives in California will handle the heat much better than a Newfoundland lives in North Dakota.

Sure they will acclimate to the climate they are in but that takes time.

 

In Ohio, we can go from 20 degrees to 60 degrees overnight.

That can be quite a shock to a Newfie’s system and it doesn’t allow them to build up much of a heat tolerance!

I definitely worry about the rise in temperatures rather than the fall of them. 

how hot is too hot for Newfoundland dogs

Humidity

Humidity plays a big part in how well a dog can tolerate a warm summer day.

Humidity is basically water vapor that hangs in the air and makes the temperature feel hotter than it really is.

More importantly, humidity makes it difficult for perspiration to evaporate normally.

This means that the main way that dogs rely on in order to stay cool is hugely affected by humidity. 

can Newfoundlands tolerate heat

Coat Doesn’t Matter. 

A dog’s coat matters to certain extent. 

We line comb or line brush in the spring to remove all of that heavy undercoat that Newfie’s grew in the winter.

This makes it easier for the skin to breathe and it doesn’t trap as much heat.

However, removing the undercoat or giving a Newfoundland a “summer cut” doesn’t always mean that they will tolerate heat better. 

For example, Lou, while still young, doesn’t seem to tolerate heat as well as Odin. 

He’s hot when it’s over 50 degrees and that’s the way he regardless of his coat. 

Just because a dog’s coat is trimmed shorter doesn’t mean they will handle the heat any better, they will still sweat through their paws.

90 degrees is too hot for most Newfoundlands regardless of their coat.

how hot is too hot for Newfoundlands

Health Matters

It takes a lot of energy for a dog to regulate their body temperature and just like age matters so does health when dealing with the heat. 

Dogs that are experiencing pain from an injury such as a cruciate tear or pain from arthritis are already under stress.

Adding heat to their issues will only increase their discomfort.

Newfoundlands that have laryngeal paralysis definitely cannot tolerate the heat as much as healthy dogs along with dogs that have heart conditions such as DCM

Even dogs that are suffering from hot spots or allergies can become more stressed in hot weather. 

Dogs that are overweight or out of shape can not tolerate heat as well and are at an increased risk for heatstroke in the summer. 

how hot is too hot for newfies

Signs Your Newfoundland Is Too Hot

Heatstroke is a common summer condition in dogs and Newfies are no exception. 

The problem is that some of the more common signs that a dog is too hot are panting and drooling which are what Newfoundlands do ALL the time regardless of the temperature outside. 

This is why it’s super important to be aware what your dog’s normal behavior is versus abnormal. 

newfoundland dog panting

Common signs other than panting and drooling that Newfies might show if they’re overheating can be:

  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • irregular breathing
  • bright red gums
  • increased body temperature
  • confusion

Tips For Keeping Newfoundland Dogs Cool In Hot Temperatures

If you’re owned by a Newfie then you already know that it’s their world, we just live in it and there are several ways to make sure that your Newfoundland is happy, comfortable,  and most importantly, cool during the heat of the summer.

Fresh Cool Water

Always make sure that your Newfoundland has constant access to fresh, cool water.

Make sure to regularly check and refill water bowls.

You can also add in ice cubes to the water or place an empty water bow in the freezer and fill with cold water when needed. 

can Newfoundland dogs tolerate heat

Grooming Maintenance

Make sure you’re keeping your Newfoundland’s coat well brushed/combed.

Regular grooming not only keeps the hair from getting matted or tangled but it also helps to keep air moving through the coat.

An impacted coat will only make a dog hotter. 

Tips for Keeping a Newfoundland Dog Cool in Hot Weather

Cooling Supplies

From cooling mats to elevated dog beds, there are thousands of products that help to keep dogs cool.

If cooling mats aren’t your thing, you can place damp towels in the freezer and then take it out when needed.

If you don’t have pool or access to a lake, a small shallow pool, sprinkler or even a splash pad can be fun and keep them cool.

Early/Late Exercise

Consider changing your daily exercise routine to a time of the day when it’s cooler like the early morning or late evening. 

You can even add in additional mental and physical exercise inside.

Create more water-based exercises for your water-loving Newfie like swimming, wading in small kiddie pools or bucket diving.

newfoundland dog sitting in front of a dog canopy

Provide Enough Shade

Creating shaded areas in your yard or outdoor spaces where your Newfie is going to spend time is easy and important.

It can be natural shade through trees or from pet of canopies and shelters.

Battery operated fans and cooling mists can also add additional cool spots. 

Cool Treats

Frozen homemade dogs treats are summer snack for any dog. 

You can customize them however you want adding in your dog’s favorite food.

Or you can even take it one step further and make them a frozen ice lick

Related Articles:

Are Pet Cooling Pads Worth Your Money?

How Cold Is Too Cold For a Newfoundland?

What Temperature Should I Keep My Thermostat On For My Dog In The Summer?

How To Tell If Your Newfoundland Dog Is Overheating

8 Ways To Excercise Your Dog Without Taking Them For a Walk

 

 

 

 

 

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Gregorio Stukart

Wednesday 10th of March 2021

Jen, Living in São Paulo, Brazil, will be a chalenge for my first time neuf, Flora. She is 5 month old and has all the behaviour you have been writing about.She will never see snow but on the weekends we go to a house near a lake and there she swims. Your article on heat was very helpful and we will take an extra care in the hoter days. Thank you Gregorio

Jen

Sunday 9th of June 2019

I'm with you and Sherman! Hahaha

Tails Around the Ranch

Friday 7th of June 2019

I'm with Sherman. Anything over 80F and I feel like I'm evaporating.

Pim

Friday 7th of June 2019

Jen, Its so funny when I read your blog I feel like your reading my mind, I was just thinking about all of our newfs and how they were the same but different when it came to weather. Our first newf Alec over 40 years ago now omg where did the 80's go? He was born and bred in Newfoundland, he was fine with San Francisco and Napa where we lived for his first 3 years then the big move to the East Coast for us. While living in NYC took an adjustment for him, he loved it once we got our routine down with dog walkers and weekends in CT or Upstate he never missed a beat. Our first gal Katie didn't really take to the city and was very happy when we settled full time in Westport , where she had plenty of room to romp or just hang on the deck by the pool. I have found that everyone of my newfies over the years were fine with heat but all of them like me could do with out the humidity. Our newf now Luke is from British Columbia and I have found he is as laid back as our first boy Alec but he is Mr Happiest on the boat with Neal barking at the seals and the gulls or splashing in the pool with the kids that visit all summer as long as I keep his water bucket full of slobber free H2O and his coat free of sand which is another story since we live on an island LOL more sand on him and in the jeep then at the beach, sometimes.

BIg hugs to those brown boys of yours Sherman and Leroy xxxxx, Pim

Jen

Sunday 9th of June 2019

I think that I would be quite happy on a boat like Luke! I can't imagine living on abeach and dealing with the sand all the time. Just one trip to the beach and I find sand in the house for months!

I'll make sure to pass those hugs onto the boys Pim! Thank you <3

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