Can dogs tolerate the cold weather?

6 October 2020

Can you tell if your dog tolerates the cold weather? Find out the potential risks of dogs and cold weather and how to best take care of your furry friend during the cold season!

dog wrapped in scarf in winter snow - how cold is too cold for dogs

Dogs and cold weather? Beware of this combination! Many dog breeds are highly affected by the icy temperatures which characterize the winter months. Can you tell at which temperature your dog stops tolerating the cold weather? Learn this and more about dogs and cold weather. You will learn how easy it is to enjoy the white season to the fullest!

These temperatures can make your dog freeze

Especially small, short-haired and hairless dogs get cold very easily. This is true also for dog breeds that originally come from southern regions. As soon as your dog begins to tremble, he is already too cold and you should avoid that. Here is an overview of when your dog freezes.

Dogs and cold weather - when is it too cold

Dogs and cold weather: when is it too much?

Your dog …

  • feels unwell, trembles and walks slowly
  • takes a cramped posture
  • cuddles on your leg or on another heat source

If you leave your dog out in the cold for too long, he can catch a cold. Symptoms of a cold:

  •  runny nose
  • sneezing
  • coughing
  • fever
  • watery eyes and
  • listlessness

If the dog is not properly dried and lies on a cold ground, he may get a lung or bladder infection. If your dog is exposed to low temperatures for longer periods of time, he could also suffer from hypothermia. This can be experienced locally, for example, freezing ears or paws. An overall hypothermia of the body can cause deep organ damage and even be deadly. Signs of severe hypothermia include tight and dilated pupils, difficulty in breathing and even coma.

These dogs get cold very quickly

The dog breed and their state of health play a major role in the predisposition to freezing. Dogs with arthritis and joint problems are particularly sensitive to the cold temperatures.

Paws, nose, ears and abdominal region remain unprotected and quite sensitive in all dogs.

Doberman, Boxer or Greyhound are not real winter friends and puppies should not be outside in winter because their bodies are not able yet to keep them warm.

Make sure that the paws are properly maintained, for example, by applying Vaseline before going for a short walk outside and by removing the dirt when returning home.

Dog freezes: preventive measures

Some dogs are genetically well-equipped for winter. But movement is important for all breeds even in the cold season, as it helps our little friends get rid of the fat throughout the season. When the outside temperatures drop sharply, the walks should be very short and it’s best to always keep moving. During a snow hike, it is important to have suitable winter gear for you and your dogs, such as weatherproof dog jackets for winter or suitable dog boots.

These protect against frostbite, dirt, and cold and make the stay outside more pleasant. Before and after the walk you can also practice special paw care for your dog.

Do you have any other tips for us? Leave a comment!

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