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What Do Wolves Do in Summer?

During the summer, wolves will cool themselves down and stay for the majority of the day in the shade, while being much more active at night as they are during the winter. 

They will have an abundance of prey during the summer, which gives them more choice of what food they will eat. They will still go after larger animals of prey like deer, caribou, while also attacking smaller animals which are more widely represented during the summer.

However, despite the common opinion that wolves eat more in the summer because there is more food available, they will eat less during the summer than they would in early winter, as a recent extensive study has suggested.

What Do Wolves Do in Summer

A Wolf’s Activity During the Summer

During the warmer days of the summer, wolves will hide away in their dens or somewhere in the shade, resting for the vast majority of the day in order to cool themselves down.

Most wolves will prefer to do most of their activities at night, especially hunting. That’s when it gets cooler which enables them to travel several miles per day, even when they’re looking for new animals to prey on.

At night, they will also explore new territories as they seek to start preparations for the winter quite early. They want to have their territory well mapped out so that they know what to expect during the winter.

Summer is a good time to dedicate more time and effort towards their pups.

For many packs, this is the time when pups will start growing up since most pups are born between February and May. For the first few weeks of May and possibly June, the mother wolf will spend all of her time with the pups if they’re still very small, while the male will constantly try to protect her.

Other members of the pack (if there are any) will also protect their pack, although the male members of the pack will want to wander alone at night, especially the grown up members of the pack.

During the summer, you might also see a wolf panting, which is a sign that the wolf is cooling down. Panting is a built-in mechanism that allows them to cool down by evaporating heat into the air and replace it with cooler air.

It’s fair to say that wolves adjust most of their summer activities according to the weather conditions in their habitat. Once the temperature goes over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, they will spend the majority of their days resting.

What Do Wolves Eat in the Summer?

During the summer, wolves have slightly more choice in terms of the food they eat, including:

  • Hares
  • Rodents
  • Birds when possible
  • Larger game such as deer
  • Moose
  • Caribou
  • Elk
  • Musk-Oxen
  • Beavers

Their menu looks much more diverse than it would look like during the winter. More species will move back to the area of the wolf, which enables the wolf to find food much more easily.

But that doesn’t mean it will also eat more during the summer.

Even though they may eat up to 20 pounds of meat in one meal, they will often prefer to keep it light during the summer and only eat as much as it is necessary. And contrary to the popular opinion, wolves do not hunt for fun, which means they will only kill animals when they feel hungry.

However, at times, they might catch more than they can eat. This is when they will store bones and other pieces of the animal by burying it into the ground. This then allows the wolf to tap into these stores during the winter when the food storages get scarce.

Wolves will do most of their hunting at night in the summer because of the heat. The lone wolf will prefer to eat smaller rodents and mammals. When they hunt in packs, they will go after larger animals like deer, moose, caribou, elk – depending on what territory they live in.

Wolf packs will attack deer and other larger animals from behind which often results in a chase. If that happens, the wolves will bite at the animal’s legs to cripple it and try to bring it down.

Do Wolves Change During the Summer?

Yes, wolves will have a slightly different appearance in the summer as they would normally have in the winter.

  • They will lose their coats and thin them down, which allows them to stay cooler when the temperatures get high
  • They will also be slimmer in terms of weight, as they will lose excess weight in late spring
  • Panting becomes more common
  • Some wolf species also get a lighter coat color

As you can see, a wolf would undergo both physical and behavioral transformation during the summer.

All of these adaptations are made in order for them to survive the vastly different conditions that occur during the summer. Obviously, the weather is warmer but the environment around them is also different; there are other animals in their territory, and also other wolf packs might threaten their territory.

Read Also: What Colors can Wolves Be?

Can Wolves Live in Hot Weather?

Even though we normally find them in colder habitats, wolves are capable of surviving relatively hot environments, as they are able to survive temperatures of up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Arctic wolves, on the other hand, will live in some of the coldest environments in the world. They may have to survive temperatures of 70 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, which they do so with their thick coats and high fat storages.

On the other hand, some wolf species will live in much warmer environments, which forces them to live in temperatures that get higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit. They might be able to survive even hotter temperatures of up to 120 degrees.

They will adapt when it gets hotter by dropping the excessive coat and losing fat, as well as resting for the majority of the day in a shade. But despite those adaptations, some pups might not make it if it gets warmer than that.


During the summer, the wolf will adapt to the changes in the weather by adopting new behaviors and taking on a different physical appearance.

Contrary to popular belief, they will eat less during the summer than they would in early winter, when they need to stock up and prepare for the tough conditions ahead.

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