Akitas are naturally thick-coated canines that produce and shed plenty of hair all year around. Originally bred for hunting within the mountainous areas of Japan, their long-haired coat provided them warmth during the colder winter days when accompanied by their owners.
In this day and age, Akitas have adapted to human family lifestyle and are commonly found as domesticated household pets throughout the world. Unfortunately, however, because of their thick coat, Akitas can not stay outside in the heat, particularly for a long time which can produce difficulties for owners living in warm climates.
Before buying an Akita, it’s ideal to contemplate if your current environmental conditions resonate with what an Akita can withstand. Thus, if you live in an extremely hot weathered country, consider the fact that Akitas do not thrive in hot weather, but prefer colder climates instead.
Akitas and Heat
If an Akita is omitted outside in the heat for too long, there are a few risks that can appear to them which may cause detrimental or fatal effects.
Reasons why Akitas can NOT stay outside in the heat for too long:
- At risk for heatstroke
- Can become extremely stressed and anxiety-ridden
- Possibility of dehydration
- Extreme effects which can lead to fatality
- Exposes their body to sores, cuts, cracking, and dryness
Unfortunately, one of the main causes of fatalities within dogs during the summer season is due to the negligence of owners leaving their dog inside of a car unattended for too long.
Regardless of the windows being slightly cracked down, the lack of cold airflow can create an extremely stressful situation for your Akita. This has a flow-on effect with your dog panting excessively, causing them to have an increased heart rate, which will accelerate dehydration and can lead to death.
The same rule applies to dogs being left inside of a house without adequate cooling alternatives. Investing in a fan or keeping aircon on until you arrive home are all safer alternatives than leaving a dog inside with nowhere cool for them to escape to.
Thankfully, there are certain signs you can look out for to ensure your Akita doesn’t become a victim of such risks, however, it’s always best to prevent such situations from occurring beforehand.
If you have to keep your Akita outside in the heat, consider:
- Invest in a dog canopy or adequate shade
- Purchase an all seasons dog house
- Provide accessible cold water that will last them until you come home
- Protect their paws by wearing dog-shoes or similar
- Moisturize their nose prior
- Make sure they’re up to date with grooming (such as haircuts)
- Keep them inside instead
Remember, Akitas can be outside in the heat, however, it’s best not to keep them exposed to heat for a prolonged time. Either cover them, provide for them, or care for them, but never leave them alone to fend for themselves in the blistering heat.
Akitas in the Sun
When exposed to the sun for too long, their heavy coats and lack of cool can create an unpleasant, anxiety, and stress-ridden experience for an Akita. In addition to this stress, they can become prone to heatstroke or dehydration which is dangerous for any dog.
For this reason alone, it’s suggested not to own an Akita if you live in a warm weathered country or an area filled with extreme humidity or lack of cool-climate areas.
Dangers of Keeping an Akita Outside in the Heat
If you need to keep an Akita outside in the heat for a long period, it’s important to become informed of particular dangers that may result because of it. If you didn’t already know, Akitas prefer colder weather and do not cope with being exposed to warm weather for too long.
Dangers that your Akita is exposed to when kept outside in the heat for too long:
Heatstroke is a serious issue found within dogs that have been exposed to the blistering weather for too long, due to a lack of prevention from their owners (or similar).
Unfortunately, heatstroke occurs when their body temperature rises too quickly causing it to reach an extremely high level. In return, this can become fatal for your dog.
Dehydration is another concern for your canine if exposed to the heat for too long. If you have to leave your dog outside, equip them with chilled, cool water to drink from throughout the day to avoid this problem.
Prolonged dehydration within your dog will cause your dog to faint or collapse which in return, can also serve as fatal.
Psychological issues should also be addressed when learning about the dangers that your Akita may become exposed to if left outside in the heat for too long.
Predicaments such as anxiety are factored, as a lack of cool air can create both stressful and harmful circumstances for your Akita.
Ways to Help Akitas Stay Cool in the Heat
There are several approaches you can help your Akita to stay cool in the heat, particularly if you must leave them inside or outside whilst unattended for a decent period. Here are some ways:
If your dog is an inside dog, consider running the air-con on at a suitable temperature until you arrive home. The temperature should be cold enough to counteract the blistering heat that can seep through your house windows.
For owners with no air-conditioning available, contemplate buying multiple fans to distribute throughout your home. These fans can come in handy if your Akita needs to spend the majority of their day cooling down whilst indoors on a hot summer day.
3. Cold Water
Keep your Akita staying cool in the heat by supplying a large bowl of cold freshwater daily! This will prevent dehydration and can aid in any accelerated panting.
4. Provide Shade
Whenever your dog has no option but to spend the majority of time outside in the summer heat (while you’re running errands), consider investing in a shaded area for them. Perhaps you have a veranda that provides sufficient shade for your dog? If you don’t it’ll be ideal to purchase a Canopy or similar cloth.
5. Never Leave Your Akita Inside of a Car
Considering it is blistering hot outside, DO NOT leave your dog inside of a car, regardless of the windows being down. The heat from the sun absorbing deep within their thick coat will produce elevated panting, which may lead to heatstroke.
6. Wait for the Temperature to Cool Down
Another technique to use when attempting to keep your Akita cool and safe from the outside heat is through waiting for the temperature to cool down before exercising, going for a walk, or exerting energy. Preferably, opt for walking your Akita early in the morning or late afternoon/night time to avoid heatstroke and anxiety.
Protecting Your Dog’s Paws, Nose, and Skin in the Heat
Your dog’s paws, nose, and skin can all become affected when exposed in the heat for too long, therefore it’s a great decision to learn exactly how you can protect your Akita from the intense summer weather.
Akitas paws can become blistered and cracked through continuous exploring of pavement on a hot summer day. As for their nose and skin; They can become sunburnt and experience sudden inflammation due to pre-existing sores.
Protect this from happening by:
- Applying dog-friendly balm to their paws, nose, and skin
- Using dog wax on their paws
- Moisturize their nose and skin frequently
- Invest in over the counter herbal medicines
- Providing enough shade around your home (such as freelance visors or canopies)
- Walk your dog only when it’s a cool temperature
By investing and applying dog-friendly moisturizers and herbal medicines, plus covering your home with as much shade as possible, you run a great chance at protecting your Akita from the dangers that come with hot weather.
Tips for Taking Care of Your Akita in the Heat
Extremely hot weather and an Akita do not go hand in hand with one another, in fact, these high temperatures can become detrimental towards your Akita’s health. Below are 4 tips for taking care of your Akita in the heat:
Providing regular cold water for your Akita to drink from is a foolproof way to keep them safe whilst in the heat.
Water is also great for keeping them cool, therefore, providing water play or taking them for a splash in the river are other great alternatives!
2. Wait for the cool air
Instead of taking your Akita for their daily walk during the hottest peak of the day, wait until it’s cooled right down. This way their paws can be protected from the sun and they won’t be sweating up a storm!
Another method for taking care of your Akita in the heat (or before they hit the heat) is giving them frequent haircuts. Although this can become time-consuming, the less thick their coat is the easier it’ll be for them.
It is vital to provide your Akita enough shade whilst they’re outside soaking up the rays of the sun. Do this by allowing them to roam only in the coolest areas of the exterior within your home or invest in freelance canopies.
How to Tell if Your Akita is Overheating
An overheating Akita is at risk of death failed to be properly cared for; Thankfully there are tell-tale signs you can look out for which will help you determine if your Akita is overheating:
- Excessive panting
- Extreme drooling
- Weakened strength in all fours
- Possibility of collapsing
- Pale discoloration
- Dark-colored gums
Signs of Dehydration
A dehydrated Akita will reveal signs that they need cool air and freshwater. It’s your responsibility to look out for these signs and act accordingly. Signs of a dehydrated Akita:
- Chapped nose/skin
- Uncontrollable panting
- Excessive drooling
- Signs of anxiety or extreme distress
- Sunken eyes
- Hanging head
- Unstable feet
- Loss of appetite
- Dark-colored urine
Signs of Heatstroke and What to Avoid
Heatstroke in dogs is one of the most common reasons for fatalities in the summertime. Here are signs of heat stroke to look out for in your Akita:
- Uncontrollable panting
- Elevated heart rate
- Extreme lethargy
- Sunken eyes and swollen gums
- Keeping your dog inside of a hot car (regardless if windows are down)
- Leaving your dog outside for too long in summer weather
- Waiting for long periods to refill their water container
- Walking/exercising them on hot tarmac
- Trapping your dog inside without sufficient cold airflow
What Not to Do With Your Akita When It’s Hot Outside
List of things NOT to do with your Akita while it’s hot outside:
- Walk your dog (bare-foot) on concrete or similar surfaces in weather 100°F
- High-intensity exercise/play
- Forgetting to provide cold water frequently
- Allowing your dog to roam on hot asphalt for long periods
- Keep them trapped inside
- Leave them unsupervised without adequate shade around
What You Should Know if You Live Somewhere Where it’s Always Hot
For prospective Akita owners looking to acquire this breed of dog, it’s great to consider your natural climate. (Particularly, if you live somewhere where it’s always hot!)
An Akita is a heavily coated canine, originally bred for the mountainous areas within Japan.
Despite their evolving history, these dogs remain to have dense coats that serve as a nuisance for them when exposed to prolonged heat.
If you reside in a hot area, ensure to provide regular grooming to their coat and possibly frequent haircuts that can allow more cold airflow to their body whilst exposed to hot weather.
These animals can become easily stressed and anxiety-ridden if left in the sun for too long, therefore either invest in fans, shade areas for the exterior of your home, or easy access to regular cold water if needed to be left alone.
You can also combat this issue by investing in dog-shoes, adapting their exercise routine to suit the temperature and keeping ahold of dog-moisturizer and similar medicines in case of a heat stroke or dehydration scare.
Why Do Akitas Overheat So Easily?
Basically, Akitas overheat so easily due to their thick coat that covers their entire body. This breed of animal thrives better in mid-temperature to cooler regions and was originally bred for such weather.
Akitas can withstand living outside in the cold if sheltered adequately but are completely the opposite for warmer weather.
Their large body mass and lack of airflow caused by their coat can create all types of problems for them when outside in hot temperatures for too long.
For this reason alone, it’s important to consider the area you live in and it’s natural temperature as Akitas are prone to overheating which can be extremely dangerous for them in the long term.
Does Your Dog’s Diet Affect His Heat Tolerance?
Your dog’s diet doesn’t necessarily affect his heat tolerance, as most dogs can only withstand temperatures up to 130°F before it can become detrimental to their health. As long as you’re providing regular cold water, they should be able to temporarily withstand the heat.
Do Dog Houses Keep Out the Heat?
In short, certain dog houses can aid to keep out the heat and protect your chomper for the blistering sun.
Depending on the materials used, there are some dog houses you can invest in that state to work for all weather types. Such materials used are solid wood or pine made specifically for these dog houses.
In addition, it’s worth mentioning that this should not be relied on for protecting them from the heat if required to be left outside for long periods but can work sufficiently in providing temporary relief and shade.