Learn when your dog is too cold, tips and measures to help your dog enjoy this time of year.
The icy temperatures do not only make us humans to create, also many dog races are strongly affected by the icy temperatures. But under what temperature do dogs really freeze? And does your dog fall under those dog breeds that suffer the most from it? Learn now when your dog is too cold, as well as tips and measures so that your dog can enjoy the white season to the fullest. Only when you know when your dog starts to freeze, you can get your four-legged friend the perfect winter coat!
When is cold too cold for dogs?
Unfortunately, there is no universal answer to this question. Different dogs tolerate different temperatures. A dog’s ability to withstand the cold depends on many different factors such as breed, size, body fat, health status, and how much time your four-legged friend spends indoors or outdoors. If dogs of certain breeds and physical condition freeze already at the first autumn walk and cannot stay outside for a long time, others of their kind love the snow and cold weather more than anything else. In the list below you can find out which dogs tolerate the cold weather particularly well and which ones prefer to hole up in the warm little room.
&️ A dog’s normal body temperature ranges between 38.3 and 39.2°C¹.
Which dogs are very sensitive to cold?
Breed and health status of the dog play a big role in whether a dog tolerates the cold well. If dogs of a certain breed or with health problems freeze particularly easily, we must make an extra effort to keep them warm and safe through the cold winter months. The following types of dogs are especially prone to being sensitive to cold:
- small dogs
- dogs with short or without fur
- old dogs
- Domestic dogs that are not used to the outdoors
- Dogs with medical conditions or heart problems
- dogs with arthritis and joint problems
- Doberman, Boxer and Greyhound
However, this is not to say that all other dogs are insensitive to the cold, as all dogs freeze above a certain threshold. Paws, nose, ears and belly area are usually unprotected and therefore particularly exposed to the icy weather. Also make sure your dog’s paws are properly groomed, for example, by using Vaseline before walking or removing dirt after a walk.
In general, you can size of your dog assume to determine, what temperature too cold is for him. Use this chart to do so:
How to recognize that your dog is cold
Once your dog starts shivering, he is already too cold. When dogs freeze or start to get cold, these signs often appear:
- They feel unwell, shiver and slow down their pace.
- They adopt a cramped posture.
- They snuggle up to their legs or another source of warmth.
Take good care not to leave your dog outside for too long in cold temperatures or he may catch a cold.
These signs indicate that your dog has a cold
Yes, dogs can catch a cold just like us humans do. Dogs that have caught a cold due to the cold weather often show the following symptoms:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Watery eyes
Although these signs may indicate that your dog has a cold, it may also be a more serious condition, such as.B. the dog flu (influenza), bronchitis, parainfluenza or distemper². Watch for these symptoms after your dog has been outside for an extended period of time and, if necessary, visit the vet to check for any illnesses.
⚠️ Additionally, your dog can get pneumonia or bladder infections if they are not properly dried off and left on the cold ground for extended periods of time. Dry your dog properly after you have spent a long time outdoors, so that he quickly returns to his normal body temperature.
Hypothermia in dogs
If your dog is exposed to lower temperatures for a longer period of time, hypothermia will even occur. This can happen locally, such as freezing of the ears or paws. A Entire body hypothermia can cause deep organ damage and can even be fatal. Signs of severe hypothermia include dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, and even coma.
How to keep your dog warm in winter
If dogs suddenly freeze during the cold season, we recommend the following measures:
- Limit the amount of time your dog spends outside in the cold winter temperatures.
- Keep especially cold-sensitive dogs inside, except of course for short potty breaks.
- Equip your dog with an appropriate waterproof winter coat for dogs or appropriate dog boots.
- Keep your walks short and keep your dog moving.
- dry your dog as soon as possible, if it got wet in the cold weather.
- Make sure your dog has a warm, clean, and cozy place to sleep.
And most importantly..
Make sure your dog doesn’t run away in the cold
Remember, many dogs run away at the first opportunity they get. Puppies, young or untrained dogs, scared dogs – they can all easily run away at some point, leaving you full of concern for their well-being. If your dog gets lost in cold or icy temperatures, it can quickly lead to a dangerous situation.
That’s why we recommend that your dog is both microchipped and wears a dog GPS tracker at all times. So that he can be easily found again, should he ever tear away.
& As a reminder, a microchip helps identify your dog in case someone finds him and takes him to the vet. With a GPS tracker you can follow the whereabouts of your dog in real time.
Here’s why a GPS tracker can be a lifesaver for your dog if he gets lost in freezing temperatures. Read here the story of the beagle dog Bailey.
While some dogs are perfectly equipped for the winter, dogs that are very sensitive to the cold and therefore should spend more time at home during the cold season will freeze. Exercise is important for all breeds, especially in winter, as it helps our furry noses to stay warm and get rid of excess fat. When it gets colder outside, adjust the length of your walks and keep your four-legged friend active. Also consider getting your dog a winter coat or boots that will protect them against the cold and make being outside more bearable. Before and after you’ve been outside, take extra care of your pet’s paws. And make sure your four-legged friend is nice and warm, dry and cozy as soon as he gets home.
More tips on how to take care of your dog in winter
The Tractive blog is a great source of information on how to best care for your four-legged friend. For more info on keeping a dog in the winter, check out these articles:
Do you have any other tips for us? Write to us or share the article with friends!