Pugs and Hot Weather


Hot weather can adversely affect all short-nosed (brachycephalic) breeds, including Pugs. You should to take special care with your Pug whenever you have him outdoors to ensure he does not develop heatstroke. Pugs aren’t really intended to be outdoor dogs. Because of their short noses and smaller air passages, they can’t cool air sufficiently when they’re confronted with hot weather. You’ll have to watch the weather and the thermometer closely whenever you take your Pug outdoors.

Pugs may be prone to heat stroke if they encounter temperatures over 85 degrees, so it’s best not to risk having them outdoors in this warmer weather. Even if your Pug seems to like the warmth, he could have ill effects later. If you see your Pug start to pant a lot, it’s past time to go inside.

Dogs can succumb to heatstroke very quickly. If you suspect that your Pug has developed heatstroke look for these signs:

  • Rapid panting

  • Bright red tongue

  • Red or pale gums

  • Thick, sticky saliva

  • Depression

  • Weakness

  • Dizziness

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Shock

  • Coma

If you see any of these signs in your Pug you should move him to a cooler area immediately and call your vet. Lower his temperature by wetting him all over with lukewarm water. Do not use very cold water -- the shock of the cold water would be too much for him. Place him near a fan. Do not cool him too quickly since this can cause other medical problems. Once he has begun to return to normal, you should dry him off and cover him with a towel or sheet. You may need to take your dog to the vet for further care, especially if he needs fluids. You can offer him room temperature water or a rehydrating solution such as Pedialyte.

Your Pug’s body temperature is normally 101°F to 102°F. You can take his temperature with a rectal thermometer. If it is above 103°F, then he may be in danger. If it’s over 105°F there is the potential for permanent damage and death.

Even if your Pug does not develop heatstroke, he may be overexposed to the sun or the heat. This can result in long-term damage to his organs -- heart damage, kidney damage and liver damage, for example. You can’t go by what your Pug likes, especially if he likes lounging on the patio when it’s 90 degrees outside.

Remember that humidity will also affect the temperature. The thermometer may read 75, which might be safe for your Pug, but the humidity may be very high, which would make it dangerous for your Pug to be playing outdoors.

Your Pug may also over-exert himself at times. Again, with his short nose and short air passages, this is not good for him. Keep an eye on him when he plays, especially when he’s outdoors. Pugs can engage in some kinds of exercise and sports but you do need to watch them so they don’t overdo it.

Naturally, you should never leave your Pug unattended in a car, especially in warm weather. Even if the temperature doesn’t seem very hot, a car can quickly heat up. For a Pug, this situation can quickly turn deadly.

Remember to always keep lots of fresh, cool water available for your Pug during all kinds of weather.

Short trips outside, under supervision, are fine, but always watch the clock and the thermometer when you take your Pug outside. It’s for the best.

Photo Credit: bump


Pugsmum (about 9 years ago)

I love Pugs and have owned them since 1991 - grew up with a Boxer and I had my first French Bulldog in 1959.

Here is my new webpage about Pug breathing problems with videos and old and new photos and some practical advise about Pugs in hot weather: