It’s only May, and the temperatures have already started creeping up. When I walk Middle now and in the summertime, a lot of people stop me and ask if she’s hot. After all, her and other Samoyeds have those thick, fluffy white coats, even in the summer. Do Samoyeds get hot in the warm weather? Can they live in more humid environments?
Samoyeds do indeed get warm in the heat, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get one if you live in toastier climes. You just have to take extra care of your dog, preventing dehydration and striving to keep them as cool as possible.
In this article, I’ll tell you what your Sammy does to prepare their bodies for summer and what you can to as well to keep them comfortable. You don’t want to miss it!
Why Does My Samoyed Shed in the Spring?
Before we can talk about Sammies in the summertime, let’s discuss a bit about the legacy of this great dog first. The Samoyed comes from the cold regions of Siberia. They’re very adept at handling chilly temperatures, as their fur grows dense and heavy to compensate.
Unless you live in Siberia yourself, then you probably have four seasons in a given year. You may notice your Samoyed does just fine in the autumn and great in the winter, but once spring rolls around, they’re a little uncomfortable. That becomes a lot uncomfortable in the summer.
Samoyeds aren’t really warm-weather dogs. They try to prepare for the upcoming hotter weather by shedding mass amounts of fur in the spring. Still, they retain some of their fluffy coat no matter the season.
As mentioned in our last article, imagine if you had to spend the summer in a sweater. You couldn’t take it off, only adapt to the heat in your new heavy layer of clothing. That’s kind of what life’s like for a Samoyed in the summertime.
How to Know If Your Dog Is Dehydrated
The summer heat can knock almost any breed of dog off its feet, even those with much less fluff than the Samoyed. Since your Sammy is much more susceptible to heat, you need to know the signs of dehydration in dogs. This way, if your pup needs a break and some water, you can get it to them stat.
Skin Elasticity Decreases
The skin pinch test will tell you right away if your dog is dehydrated. You should grab some of your Sammy’s skin with your index finger and thumb. Give it a slight pinch and then wait to see what happens. Does their skin bounce right back or does it stay tented for a minute or so? If it’s the latter, your dog needs water and shade immediately. If it’s the former, your Sammy isn’t dehydrated.
The American Kennel Club says you should do the skin pinch test long before dehydration becomes a risk. This way, you can tell what normal dog skin elasticity should feel like.
Gum and Nose Dryness
Do you know why a dog’s nose gets wet? It’s actually a thin mucus that covers their proboscis. This mucus allows them to smell more efficiently. Other reasons for the wetness include the dog licking their nose or sweat.
As your Samoyed becomes dehydrated, their nose will get dry. They’ll also produce less saliva and so their gums will dry out.
With less moisture, besides the dry gums and nose, your Sammy’s eyes could dry out as well. They may also appear like they’ve sunken in somewhat.
Anytime your dog pants, they’re at least somewhat dehydrated. That said, there’s a big difference between a few pants here and there and constant, excessive panting.
The Dog Doesn’t Want to Move or Eat
You might think your Sammy doesn’t want to move because of the heat, but this could well be a sign of dehydration. If they don’t even seem interested in eating, then you know you’re dealing with a dehydrated dog.
Ignoring dehydration can lead to death in dogs. If you notice any of the above signs, you should move them to a cool, shady place as soon as you can. They’ll need water as well as other fluids for restoring electrolytes. I recommend you bring your dog to the vet for severe cases of dehydration.
Tips for Keeping Your Samoyed Cool for the Summer
You know now that dehydration is a very serious matter for dogs. You want to do your best to keep your Samoyed cool and comfortable all summer long, but admittedly, you’re not sure where to start. In this section, I’ll share my favorite tips I’ve used for protecting Middle from the vicious summer heat.
Thin and Trim Your Sammy’s Coat
I don’t really advocate shaving your Samoyed outright. That said, feel free to thin and/or trim their coat. You might want to cut them weekly or biweekly before your dog’s fur grows too unruly. If you’re not comfortable with the scissors, you can always take your Samoyed to a groomer or a vet. However, doing this as often as you need to in the summer can get costly fast.
Watch the Times You Take Your Dog Out
From noon to 2 p.m., the sun rises to its highest point. It’s often hottest during that time of the day. You should avoid taking your Samoyed out in the sweltering afternoon heat, whether for a walk or for other outdoor activities.
Instead, get into the habit of waking up early and walking your dog. You can also do so after sunset. The temperatures should begin dropping at those times.
Stick to the Grass and Other Soft Surfaces
Concrete and pavement can get very hot. Unless you have little dog booties for your Sammy, then keep them walking through other surfaces like dirt, grass, and sand. Otherwise, they could burn their feetsies.
Maintain Your Dog’s Toenails
You shouldn’t let your pup’s toenails get too long, nor the fur around it. Samoyeds can dissipate heat from their feet. If theirs get too hairy, it becomes harder for your dog to release any heat. Thus, they get warmer faster and possibly dehydrated.
Rinse off Your Sammy Sometimes
On a very hot day, you might opt to put your Samoyed in the shower to help them cool down. It should only take a few minutes for your dog to stop panting. I don’t suggest showering them too often, but if push comes to shove, use this method.
Never Leave Your Dog in the Car for Long
The temperature inside your car isn’t the same as the temperature outside. It’s much hotter. According to HeatKills, a car interior can reach 104 degrees Fahrenheit after 30 minutes, even if it’s only 70 degrees outside. That’s over 30 degrees warmer!
Keeping your dog inside a hot car for too long can kill them. I don’t recommend leaving your Sammy in the car ever. If you absolutely must, though, then make sure it’s for only five or 10 minutes. Turn the air conditioner on and up high and put the windows down. Remember that each minute you’re gone, the car temperature increases more and more.
Use the Air Conditioner Indoors
While oscillating fans work to an extent, they only cool down the room they’re in. Your Samoyed needs coolness no matter where they go in the house. Rely on your home’s air conditioning for that. Even if you’re a bit chilly, think of your Sammy and keep the temperature somewhat lower than usual.
Have a Consistent Source of Cold, Fresh Water
Your dog needs to drink, and they may do so more voraciously in the summertime. After they come outside from playing or taking a walk, they’ll dunk their head in their bowl and begin slurping to refresh themselves. Always make sure you’re refilling your dog’s bowl during the spring and summer. For an added treat, you might even add an ice cube into their water bowl. Your Sammy will love it!
Frequently Asked Questions
How hot is too hot for a Samoyed to stay outside?
If it’s hotter than 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius), then it’s time to bring your Samoyed inside. You’ll want to redirect them to a cool room with air conditioning. Give them plenty of water as well.
Wait until sunset or sunrise. Then you can take your Sammy out. They can enjoy their time with you much more when it’s not so hot. Remember, Samoyeds need lots of exercise. You can’t omit that from their lives, even in the summer. You just have to get creative about the times you take them outside.
Can I take my Samoyed swimming in the hot weather?
Absolutely! If you missed it, check out this article about swimming with your Samoyed here. As I said in that article, swimming benefits your Sammy in a lot of ways. They avoid dehydration, stay nice and cool, and get their exercise, too. Plus, you and your family will make some incredible memories and get some great bonding opportunities. What’s not to love?