Dachshunds may be known as wiener dogs, but that doesn't mean yours should be a hot dog. While dachshunds handle the heat better than some dogs, you can't leave them outside in extreme heat. They'll get too hot and struggle to cool back down.
Handling the Heat
Not all dogs handle outdoor heat particularly well, but dachshunds are among breeds that are able to deal with it. They do better in the heat than in the cold. But these generally tough little guys are sensitive to temperature change. If you're going to take your dachshund outside in the heat, it's crucial that you not leave him alone. The signs of heatstroke can come on quickly, so you don't want to leave him outdoors any longer than it takes him to pant while not exerting himself. In extremely hot weather, you don't want him exerting himself much at all. A sprint across the yard is enough, or a walk around the block unless a heat warning is in effect.
Dachshunds are prone to a variety of health problems that can increase the likelihood of overheating. For one thing, they tend to get a little plump. Obesity has dangerous implications for spinal and leg health, in the dachshund particularly, but obesity can also make him struggle to breathe when the temperature rises. This breed is susceptible to thyroid disorders, which can disrupt the way he regulates his internal temperature. Always make sure that your dog has a clean bill of health. If he doesn't, he won't necessarily tolerate the heat as well as others might.
Since you always monitor your dachshunds outdoor activity when it's warm outside, you can watch for and identify evidence of his getting too hot. For example, heavy panting, drooling, weakness and an accelerated heart beat are signs he's too hot for his own good and should go inside where it's cooler. An overheated dog needs a cool environment, cool water and, in extreme cases, immediate veterinary attention.
Dachshunds can stand the heat, but that doesn't mean they want to. Your wiener dog isn't likely to complain if you allow him to stay inside where it's cool. Though some do make it plain they like it warmer rather than cooler, most will prefer the climate-controlled environment, going out for only rudimentary exercise and bathroom breaks. He should always have cool -- not cold -- water to drink, and a place where he can lay down and rest. Dachshunds love to play, but they generally won't hesitate to take it easy when they get too hot or tired
Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.