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Can Chow Chow Live in Hot Weather? 7 Summer Safety Tips

Last updated on April 3rd, 2024 at 12:38 pm

Chow Chows are super beautiful with their lion-like mane, but they come from colder places. So, many dog lovers wonder if they can handle hot weather. Well, the answer isn’t a simple yes or no. Their thick double coat can be a problem in scorching temperatures.

This blog post will tell you everything you need to know about Chow Chows and hot weather. We’ll explore the best climate for these unique pups, the signs of overheating to watch out for, and, most importantly, how to keep your furry friend cool and comfy in the summer. Let’s dive in!

Can Chow Chow live in hot weather?

chow chow colors

Chow Chows have a thick double coat that protects them from harsh winter weather. However, this coat can cause problems for them in hot weather. It traps heat close to their bodies, making it difficult for them to cool down. This can lead to overheating and potential health problems.

However, with proper care and precautions, Chow Chows can still live in warmer climates. Later in this post, we will discuss how to care for their thick fur, suggest ideal exercise routines, and provide warning signs to watch out for to keep your furry friend happy and healthy all year round.

What temperature is too hot for Chow Chow?

Chow Chows can become uncomfortable when it’s too hot outside, but there’s no specific temperature that makes it “too hot” for them. This depends on various factors like their age, health, and how used they are to warm weather. 

However, as a general guideline, temperatures above 75°F (24°C) may cause discomfort to most Chow Chows, especially if they stay in the heat for a long time or exert themselves. In addition, temperatures above 85°F (29°C) can be dangerous for them and increase the risk of overheating, especially when combined with humidity.

What is the best weather for a Chow Chow?

Chow Chows are best suited for cooler climates with moderate temperatures that range from low 40s to mid-70s Fahrenheit (4°C to 21°C). 

Here’s how their unique traits make them well-suited for cooler weather:

  • Thick double coat: Their thick double coat acts as a natural barrier, retaining body heat and keeping them warm even in chilly weather. 
  • Lower energy levels: Chow Chows have lower energy levels, so they don’t require extensive outdoor exercise. Cooler weather aligns perfectly with their laid-back personality!
  • Shorter snout: Chow Chows also have a shorter snout, reducing their ability to cool themselves down through panting. Cooler temperatures help them avoid this need for excessive panting.

Chow Chows enjoy spending time outside, even though they don’t need to sunbathe. They handle cooler climates well, so you can take them for walks and playtime without worrying about them getting too hot. Their thick coat protects them from the rain and snow, making them great companions for people who live in cold areas and like to explore the outdoors all year round.

Can Chow Chows be left outside?

chow dog breed

While Chow Chows may seem like they would make great outdoor dogs because of their thick fur, they are not well-suited for living solely outside, especially in hot weather. Here’s why:

  • Temperature control: Their thick double coat can trap heat, making it difficult to cool down. Leaving them outdoors exposes them to the full brunt of the sun and heat, increasing the risk of overheating.
  • Theft: Chow Chows are a unique and desirable breed, making them vulnerable to theft if left unattended outside.
  • Boredom and destructiveness: Chow Chows are intelligent dogs that crave companionship. Leaving them outside for long periods can lead to boredom, loneliness, and destructive behaviors like excessive barking or chewing.

However, supervised outdoor time can be beneficial for Chow Chows. They can enjoy a change of scenery and sniff around in a secure, shaded area. The key is to ensure they have access to:

  • Shade: Provide ample shade throughout the day, like a covered patio or a large tree. Consider rotating shade structures as the sun moves.
  • Water: Always have a readily available bowl of fresh, cool water for them to drink from.
  • Limited time: Keep outdoor sessions short, especially during peak heat hours. Aim for early mornings or evenings when temperatures are cooler.

Does Chow Chow need air con?

During hot weather, even moderate activity can lead to heat stress in Chow Chows. While air conditioning isn’t absolutely essential for every Chow owner, it certainly plays a crucial role in ensuring their comfort and well-being, especially in hot climates. Air conditioning allows them to be more active indoors without the risk of overheating, keeping them happy and playful.

If you don’t have air conditioning, there are alternative methods to keep your dog cool, such as fans, cooling vests, and damp towels. By combining these strategies, you can create a comfortable and safe environment for your Chow Chow, even during the hottest summer days.

How do you know if a Chow Chow is overheating?

Chow Chows can easily become too hot due to their thick fur and short snouts. Recognizing the following signs of overheating will help you take action to cool them down. Here are some things to watch for:

  • Excessive panting: This is the most common sign that your Chow Chow is too hot. If they pant heavily, even when they are not active, it means they need to cool down.
  • Excessive drooling: Another sign of overheating is excessive drooling. If your Chow Chow is drooling a lot and panting heavily, they may be struggling to cool down.
  • Lethargy or weakness: If your Chow Chow seems unusually tired, uninterested, or wobbly on their feet, it could be a sign of heatstroke.
  • Glazed eyes: Check for glazed or bloodshot eyes, which can indicate overheating and potential organ damage.
  • Stumbling or disorientation: If your Chow Chow seems confused, unsteady, or disoriented, it may be a serious sign of heatstroke and requires immediate action.
  • Vomiting or diarrhea: These symptoms can occur due to various reasons, but during hot weather, they could be a sign of heatstroke.
  • Bright red or purple tongue: A bright red or purple tongue indicates a dangerous rise in body temperature.

Don’t wait for all these signs to appear before taking action. Early intervention is crucial to prevent heatstroke. 

What can you do to treat a Chow Chow suffering from heatstroke?

akita chow mix

If you think your Chow Chow is too hot, it’s serious. Heatstroke can damage their organs and even kill them. Here’s what to do:

1. Get them to a cool place

Take your Chow Chow out of the heat and into a cool, shaded area. This could be your air-conditioned home, a car with the AC on (but don’t leave them unattended in a hot car!), or a cool basement.

2. Cool them down gradually

Don’t use ice baths or cold water. This can shock them. Instead, use cool (not cold) water or a wet towel to gradually lower their body temperature. Focus on areas like the head, neck, armpits, and groin. Let them drink small amounts of cool water if they’re alert.

3. Check their temperature

If you have a pet thermometer, take their rectal temperature. Aim to bring their temperature down to 103°F (39°C) slowly over a period of 20-30 minutes.

4. Get veterinary help

Even if your Chow Chow seems to get better, take them to a vet as soon as possible. Heatstroke can cause internal damage that may not be immediately apparent. A vet can provide proper treatment and monitor for complications.

Important note: These are emergency steps to take until you can reach veterinary help. Do not try to replace professional medical care.

How to keep Chow Chow cool in summer

It can be challenging to keep your furry Chow Chow comfortable in summer. However, with these valuable tips and some forward planning, you can help them stay cool and safe:

1. Strategic grooming

Regularly brushing your Chow Chow can help remove excess fur, which allows better air circulation and reduces heat build-up. Don’t shave them completely, though, as their double coat provides some protection from the sun. It’s best to consult a professional groomer who knows the breed well to give your Chow Chow a summer trim that keeps them cool while still protecting them.

2. Hydration is key

Make sure your Chow Chow always has access to fresh, cool water. Adding ice cubes to their water bowl on hot days can also help. Plus, give them a small amount of cool, low-sodium broth as an extra source of hydration.

3. Shade is your friend

When taking your Chow Chow out for a walk or playtime, try to find shady areas under trees or bring a portable canopy to create a cool spot for them.

4. Adjust exercise routine

Avoid doing strenuous activities during the hottest parts of the day. Instead, go for walks early in the morning or in the evening when it’s cooler. Shorter, more frequent walks are also better than long, midday ones.

5. Cooling mats and vests

Use cooling mats indoors for your Chow Chow to lie on. You can also use cooling vests designed for dogs during short walks or playtime outside.

6. Limited pool time

A small kiddie pool filled with cool water can be a fun way for your Chow Chow to cool down, but make sure to supervise them closely and keep the water cool. Never leave your dog unattended near a pool.

7. Frozen treats

Frozen fruits or vegetables (like watermelon or blueberries) can make for a refreshing and hydrating treat for your Chow Chow. Just make sure to choose fruits and veggies that are safe for dogs and cut them into small pieces that are easy to eat.

How long is the lifespan of a Chow Chow?

chow dog breed

The average lifespan of a Chow Chow is 8 to 12 years. To help your Chow Chow live longer, manage their temperature during hot weather, feed them a healthy diet, exercise them regularly, and take them for routine checkups with a veterinarian. 

For more information on caring for your Chow Chow, check out this comprehensive guide.


Chow Chows have a thick double coat, which makes them more comfortable in cooler temperatures. They can adapt to warmer environments, but it’s vital to do extra things to keep them cool. In hot weather, watch for signs of overheating, provide proper hydration and shade, and adjust their exercise routine. By understanding their needs and taking proper precautions, you can ensure your Chow Chow stays happy and healthy all year round.

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