My AC Broke Will my Dog be Ok? [Full-Guide]

Is My Dog At Risk When the Air Conditioner Isn’t Working?

It can be a worrying situation when your air conditioning isn’t working, your home can become uncomfortable and potentially dangerous for you and your pet if the temperature becomes too extreme. Although it may be tempting to keep your dogs and windows open to let in the fresh air, this solution will only be a short-term fix and will not protect you or your dog from the risks associated with extreme temperatures.

broken AC

Common issues: Dehydration

The most common and serious risk associated with high temperatures due to your AC not working is dehydration. Dogs can become dehydrated very quickly when exposed to high temperatures. Dehydration can cause many issues including organ damage which can prove to be lethal if not treated appropriately. It’s essential to prevent dehydration in your dog and give them plenty of water throughout the day in order to prevent any significant health issues.

Common Issues: Heat Exhaustion

Heating exhaustion is also another major risk to consider when your AC isn’t working. The classic symptoms of heat exhaustion range from panting, excessive drooling, and lethargy to vomiting and seizures. If you think there is a possibility that your dog has heat exhaustion you should contain your veterinarian as soon as possible and use whichever methods you have available to attempt to bring their body temperature down to a reasonable level.

Common Issues: Heatstroke

Finally one of the most concerning risks of all for your dog is heatstroke. When the temperature of your home reaches around 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit it can become dangerous not only for your dog but also for you. Be aware dogs are less able to regulate their body temperatures and are more exposed to the risks of heatstroke. Try to keep the temperature in your home at or below 75 degrees Fahrenheit and limit the time your dog spends outside.

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dog heat stroke infographic
The Kennel Club

Understanding the Risks of High Temperatures and Humidity to Dogs

High temperatures and high humidity are extremely dangerous and are something we should take very seriously, especially if our dogs are not accustomed to extreme heat. Dogs can quickly succumb to heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and dehydration when exposed to the wrong conditions for even a relatively short amount of time. Not to mention skin inflammation and sunburns.

In order to protect your dog in the warmer summer months you should explore different techniques to keep your dog cold especially if your AC is broken.

Check out this awesome infographic from Petplan for the full range of information.

Keeping Your Dog Cool and Comfortable When There is No Air Conditioning

Although your air condition unit might be broken there are a number of other things you can do to make sure that your dog stays comfortable. We understand that this can be difficult, especially in the warmer summer months, but there are plenty of ways you can explore.

  1. Provide Shade: If your dog needs to go outside, ensure there are plenty of areas in which your dog can rest. Such as trees or even a sun umbrella can help keep the temperature of your dog down.
  2. Cool your dog’s toys and treats: It might sound strange but you can put your dog’s treats and toys in the freezer. Frozen treats and toys are a great way to help your dog keep its body temperature down whilst having a bit of fun.
  3. An abundance of water! Make sure there is always water available, both inside and outside. Water will prevent dehydration which is one of the main risks associated with high temperatures.
  4. Swimming pools, Baths – If you have the facilities a bath or swimming pool with cool water is one of the best ways to help cool your dog down. If you don’t have access to these maybe consider a trip to the local park or beach. Anywhere cool water is available and you can let your dog splash around to cool down.
  5. Grooming – Some dogs have big heavy coats that can contribute to overheating. If possible you can take your dog to the groomer and have its coat thinned out. This should help your dog regulate its temperature.
  6. Cool beds and blankets – Investing in a cool pet bed or blanket is a great way for the excess heat to be absorbed. Make sure to pick one that is designed especially for hot weather as regular beds and blankets trap too much heat.
  7. Electronic Fans – The classic backup for a broken AC is a fan. Adding a fan to the room or area where your dog is living can help keep them cool and comfortable during the hot summer months. If possible try to pick one that has cord protector technology to protect your dog from any accidents.
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By following these tips you can ensure that your dog maintains a safe temperature and is comfortable even when there is no air conditioning available.

What to Do if Your Dog Experiences Heat-Related Illness or Stress

If your dog starts to experience heat-related illnesses its important to take them to the vet as soon as possible. Heat-related illnesses are no joke and should not be left untreated. Heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke, dehydration, and heat exhaustion can prove to be fatal in severe cases.

Try your best to keep an eye out for signs of heat-related illnesses in your dog. These can include things such as drooling, increased heart rate, breathing difficulty, and decreased coordination. If you notice any of these symptoms try to provide a cool place immediately. If you feel the symptoms are dangerous don’t hesitate to take them to a vet.

Once at the vet your dog will get an evaluation and be treated accordingly. Depending on the severity of the condition your pup might have to stay in the clinic overnight for observation.


It can be difficult to keep your dog cool when your AC is broken but there are still preventative measures that you put in place without that much hassle which will ensure that your pet dog doesn’t suffer from any heat-related illnesses.