The ideal indoor temperature for dogs is between 65-75°F. Temperatures over 85°F can start becoming dangerous for dogs. Once indoor temperatures reach 90°F, it is considered too hot and unsafe for dogs.
What temperature is too hot for dogs indoors?
Indoor temperatures over 85°F (29°C) can start becoming uncomfortable and dangerous for dogs. Once indoor temps reach 90°F (32°C) or higher, it is generally considered too hot and unsafe for dogs.
Some key temperatures guidelines for dogs indoors are:
- 65-75°F (18-24°C) – Ideal indoor temp range for dogs
- 75-85°F (24-29°C) – Warm but generally safe if there are ways for dog to cool down
- 85-90°F (29-32°C) – Can start becoming dangerous for dogs
- 90°F (32°C) and above – Too hot and unsafe for dogs
These temperatures apply in general for healthy adult dogs. Puppies, older dogs, overweight dogs or dogs with respiratory issues may start becoming uncomfortable at even lower indoor temperatures around 75-80°F.
Health risks of hot indoor temperatures for dogs
Indoor temperatures over 85°F put dogs at increased risk for overheating, heat stroke and other heat-related illnesses. Some specific health risks include:
- Heat exhaustion – Heavy panting, rapid pulse, fever, vomiting, diarrhea
- Heat stroke – Red or pale gums, seizure, unconsciousness, organ damage or failure
- Breathing problems – Labored breathing, coughing, wheezing
- Increased risk of bloat – Especially in large, deep-chested dogs
Very high indoor heat can also worsen health problems in dogs with respiratory disease, heart disease or laryngeal paralysis.
Obese dogs and brachycephalic (short-nosed) dogs like bulldogs and pugs are especially vulnerable to heat-related issues.
Signs dogs are too hot
Watch for these signs that indoor temperatures have become too hot for your dog:
- Panting heavily
- Drooling excessively
- Appearing anxious or distressed
- Seeking out shade or cool floors to lay on
- Excessive thirst
- Loss of appetite
- Rapid heart rate
- Bright red gums and tongue
If your dog is showing signs of overheating, move them to a cooler area immediately and help them cool down by providing water, wet towels, access to a fan or AC and call your vet if symptoms persist.
Tips to keep dogs cool indoors
If indoor temperatures are getting uncomfortably or dangerously hot for your dog, here are some tips to help keep them cooler:
- Provide access to fresh, cool water at all times
- Give them an ice cube treat or make frozen dog treats
- Fill a kiddie pool or tub with cool water for them to soak in
- Run a fan to circulate air
- Keep blinds closed during the hottest times of day
- Allow access to shaded, tiled areas of the home
- Spray or mist dogs lightly with cool water
- Open windows in the evening when temperatures drop
- Limit exercise to early morning/evening when it’s cooler
- Avoid too much playtime when it’s hot
- Provide access to an air conditioned area
- Consider a cooling vest or mat
- Brush frequently to remove excess coat
Short haired dogs and dogs with long snouts can better regulate their body heat and cope better with higher temps than long haired, short snouted breeds. Still provide access to shade and water.
If allowing dogs access to air conditioning is not possible, avoid having them in excessively hot rooms by keeping them in the coolest part of the home. Basements are often significantly cooler than upper floors.
Ideal indoor temperatures for puppies
Puppies have a harder time regulating their body temperature compared to adult dogs. For puppies under 12 weeks old, ideal indoor temperatures are between 70-80°F.
Puppies should be closely monitored for signs of overheating with indoor temps over 80°F and moved to a cooler area immediately if showing any heat stress. Free access to water is vital for keeping puppies from dehydrating. Placing their water bowl on a towel soaked in cool water can help keep the water cooler.
Avoid direct sun exposure or having puppies in rooms without climate control on hot days. Puppies overheat easily at high temperatures that may be tolerable for adult dogs. Be especially cautious with brachycephalic breeds like bulldogs or pugs, who have more difficulty cooling themselves.
Ideal indoor temperature for senior dogs
Older dogs and senior dogs often start having a harder time regulating their body heat and adjusting to temperature changes. For senior dogs, ideal indoor temperatures are also in the 65-75°F range.
As dogs age, their ability to sweat, pant and circulate air decreases. Dogs over 8 years old should be closely supervised on hot days and moved to a cooler area at the first signs of overheating (heavy panting, restlessness).
Keeping water bowls full and providing access to fans, cool floors and air conditioning helps senior dogs stay comfortable in high heat. Limit exercise to mild levels and avoid long walks in hot, humid weather that could lead to overexertion. Small, low-impact activities in the cooler mornings or evenings are best for senior dogs.
Ideal indoor temperature for overweight dogs
Overweight and obese dogs have an increased risk of overheating in high indoor temperatures. Extra fat makes it harder for dogs to keep themselves cool and regulate their body temperature.
For overweight or obese dogs, ideal indoor temperatures are also in the 65-75°F range. Avoid indoor temps over 80°F whenever possible, and closely monitor overweight dogs on hot days for any signs of heat intolerance.
In addition to access to shade, water and cooled floors, interactive toys and mental stimulation can help keep overweight dogs occupied on hot days without having to be very active. Focus on weight loss to improve their ability to handle heat.
Indoor humidity and dogs
In addition to air temperature, indoor humidity levels can also impact how hot dogs feel and their risk of overheating. In general, indoor relative humidity levels between 30-50% are recommended for dogs.
Higher humidity levels interfere with dogs’ ability to cool themselves through panting and sweating. Very high indoor humidity can make dogs feel hotter even at lower air temperatures that may otherwise be comfortable.
Use air conditioning, dehumidifiers and fans to help lower indoor humidity on hot, muggy days. Monitor dogs closely in humid conditions and limit outdoor time on humid days to prevent overheating.
Leaving dogs in hot cars
Dogs should never be left unattended in vehicles during hot weather. Inside a parked car on a warm day, temperatures can soar to dangerously high levels within minutes, even with windows cracked open.
On a 78°F day, temperatures inside a car can reach between 100-120°F in just 10-20 minutes. At 110°F, it only takes 10-15 minutes for a dog to develop heat stroke, which can be fatal.
If you see a dog in distress in a hot car, take steps to safely remove the dog if possible or call emergency responders right away. Cracking a window is not sufficient to prevent overheating. Only leave dogs in parked cars when absolutely necessary and never for more than 5-10 minutes.
Tips for traveling with dogs in hot weather
When traveling with dogs by car in hot weather:
- Lower windows a few inches to allow air flow
- Run air conditioning or use fans/ice packs to keep the cabin cool
- Stop frequently to offer water, walks and let dogs cool off
- Travel during the cooler morning and evening
- Avoid leaving dogs in parked vehicles
- Display a warning sign on your car that dogs are inside if you must leave them briefly
If you need to leave dogs in a parked RV or trailer, be sure it is fully shaded, leave AC running, avoid direct sun exposure and check on them frequently. Leaving dogs unattended in an RV is risky in hot conditions.
Effects of temperature on brachycephalic dog breeds
Brachycephalic (short-nosed) dog breeds like bulldogs, pugs, boxers and Boston terriers are vulnerable to heat stroke due to their poor ability to cool themselves and regulate their body temperature.
These dogs can easily overheat indoors at temperatures over 80°F. They should not be left outdoors or allowed to exercise/play vigorously in warm conditions. Access to air conditioning and humidity control is very important for their health and comfort.
Signs of overheating in brachycephalic dogs include loud raspy panting, panting with the elbows splayed out, bright red gums and collapse. Seek emergency vet care if they cannot cool down or breathing seems distressed.
To keep brachycephalic dogs comfortable in the heat, restrict exercise to early/late in the day, provide constant access to shade and water, use cooling fans/vests and limit direct sun exposure. Their faces and chests can be misted with cool water and frozen treats provided. Keeping them indoors in air conditioning as much as possible is ideal.
Cold temperature guidelines for indoor dogs
While heat is generally the greater concern for indoor dogs, very cold indoor temperatures can also pose risks if dogs are unable to keep themselves warm.
Guidelines for minimum indoor temperatures for dogs:
- Over 45°F (7°C) – Acceptable for most healthy adult dogs
- Under 45°F (7°C) – Can be stressful to some dogs
- Under 40°F (4°C) – Generally too cold for adult dogs
- Under 35°F (2°C) – Dangerous for all dogs
supervised with access to insulated beds, blankets and crate heaters. Limit time spent in cold garages or basements. Breeds with thinner coats may need light sweaters or jackets below 50°F indoors.
Puppies and senior dogs need closer monitoring and warmer minimum temperatures around 50-65°F. Keep rooms with puppies and older dogs heated consistently within this comfortable range.
Indoor temperatures above 85°F and especially over 90°F can be dangerous for dogs. To keep dogs safe and comfortable inside, ideal indoor temperatures for most dogs range from 65-75°F. Proper precautions need to be taken in very hot or very cold indoor conditions to prevent illness, organ damage or death in extreme cases. Adjust heating, cooling, humidity and access to water accordingly to help dogs maintain a healthy body temperature inside.