Do You Know How Cold Is Too Cold For Dogs?

Do You Know How Cold Is Too Cold For Dogs?

Author WDF Staff


Dogs need to go outside regardless of weather conditions. Although there are breeds that will love cold weather, some will try to escape it. However, your dog will still need to go outside to do its business. But did you ever wonder how cold it is too cold for dogs? Can shorthaired breeds experience health problems if left for too long outside during cold winter days? As you may know, there are many different ways and things that will help you protect your pooch during bad weather conditions. Stay with us and find out all you will need to keep your dog warm during cold weather.

How cold is too cold for dogs?

In the modern world, there are many different types of dog breeds. Those dogs have different sizes and different coat types. Of course, as you may think, large dogs with long hair will have a better tolerance to cold weather compared to small dogs with short hair, and you are absolutely right.

To determine how cold is too cold for your dog, we will have to put some inputs into the equation. The general rule is that if it's too cold for you to be outside, the same applies to your dog (unless you own a longhaired dog breed that likes cold weather). Of course, there will always be exceptions, but this is considered a general rule.

Things you need to consider when determining when it's too cold for your dog include:

  • Age – puppies and senior dogs will get colder much faster
  • Coat type – shorthaired dog breeds will get colder faster compared to longhaired dogs
  • Living conditions – if your dog is used to living in a cozy warm apartment, he will get colder faster than dogs that spend some of their time outside during the day
  • Health conditions – if your dog has some health problem, there is a higher chance they will not tolerate cold that much
  • Size – smaller dog breeds will get colder much faster compared to large and giant dog breeds
  • Dog weight – if you have a giant dog such as Cane Corso or Labrador, they will be far more resistant to cold compared to small dogs such as Saluki or Greyhound

saint bernard in cold

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So at what exactly temperature will a dog get cold?

No matter what dog breed you own, you should know at what point your dog could get cold. Here are some general recommendations:

  • 45°F or higher is the average temperature for all dogs
  • 45 – 32 °F - some dogs could feel uncomfortable at these temperatures
  • 32 – 20 °F - owners of some dogs (smaller ones, shorthaired dogs, etc.) should be careful since this temperature could be too cold for their dogs
  • Below 20°F – owners of all dogs should be careful since most dogs can feel cold at this point.

What dog breeds like cold weather?

Some dogs are used to cold weather since they were bred specifically to survive in harsh climates with constant cold, snow, and wind. Those breeds are not in danger and will enjoy spending as much time in the cold weather. Don't be surprised that if you own a sled dog, he will lay in the snow and not want to go home. This is their natural weather, and they will take advantage of it.

Some dog breeds that love cold weather are:

  • Alaskan Malamutes
  • Siberian Huskies
  • Saint Bernards
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Newfoundlands
  • Keeshonds
  • Samoyeds
  • Bernese Mountain Dogs

husky on snow

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What dog breeds are in danger of getting cold?

Most dog breeds are not so fond of cold weather. They will avoid going out during these times. Most dogs that don't like winter are either smaller dogs or dogs with short hair. Either way, if you own one of these dogs, you shouldn't force your dog to spend a lot of time outside during cold days and always provide your dog with a place to warm up.

Some dog breeds that hate cold weather are:

  • Chihuahua
  • Pug
  • French Bulldog
  • Dachshund
  • Boston Terrier
  • Basset Hound
  • Miniature Pinscher
  • Yorkshire Terrier

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What are the signs that my dog is too cold?

If your dog gets too cold, he could have hypothermia. This is extremely dangerous, and you should be careful and not allow your dog to get it.

Symptoms of hypothermia in dogs include:

  • Shivering
  • Whining
  • Slowing down
  • Lethargy
  • Curling up
  • Looking for warm places
  • Lack of coordination

dog on snow

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If you notice these symptoms, your dog could have hypothermia, and you should immediately help your dog. The best you can do is to take your dog to a warm place and put him in a blanket. If you want to use heating pads to warm your dog, you can, but you must be very careful since they could burn your dog's skin. A better solution is to place warm water bottles around your dog.

After that, you should take your dog to the nearest vet clinic.

The best prevention of hypothermia is to watch out for your dog, never leave him too long in cold weather outside, and always provide him with a warm place where he can curl up.

How to help your dog battle the cold weather?

If your dog isn't a big fan of cold weather, there are ways to make him more comfortable. You can provide your dog with a heated dog bed. Get a doggy sweater and doggy boots for your pooch to feel warm when you go outside.

If your dog doesn't like cold, make sure you don't spend much time outside and allow your dog to choose when he's had enough cold weather.

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World Dog Finder team

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