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How cold is too cold for dogs, discussed and explained [2022]

Last Updated on April 21, 2022 by Dogs Vets

How cold is too cold for dogs, explained

Firstly, all dogs are not the same. Outdoor temperatures are going to feel different to every dog.

When temperatures fall below 32 degrees celsius, pets that are smaller, with thinner coats, and are very young, old, or sick, should not be left outside for very long.

Once temperatures hit around 20 degrees F, the potential for frostbite and hypothermia increases significantly for your dogs.

The definition of “too chilly” for dogs is discussed.

Pets who are smaller, with thinner coats, and that are very young, old, or unwell should not be left outside for an extended period of time when temperatures fall below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. When temperatures reach approximately 20-degrees celsius, the risk of frostbite and hypothermia in your pets increases considerably.

What is the reason for this?

Siberian Huskies and Samoyeds, for example, have a thick, double-layered coat that allows them to withstand far colder temperatures than breeds with a thin coat, such as greyhounds, pit bulls, and chihuahuas, which do not.

In addition, due to their greater surface area to volume ratio, smaller breeds tend to grow colder far more quickly than larger breeds.

Another element that influences how quickly dogs become sensitive to colder temperatures is their body weight.

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Dogs who are thinner get colder much more rapidly, but this is not a good reason to fatten up your pet in preparation for the winter.

There are more health dangers to your dog if he is overweight than there are benefits to his being able to tolerate cold temperatures better if he is overweight.

When determining whether or not your dog can endure a colder environment, it is important to remember that not all temperatures are created equal.

I can vouch for the fact that when the sun is shining and there is no wind, the winter air feels significantly warmer than when there is no sun and a chilly breeze blowing against me.

Before allowing your dog to go outside, consider the weather conditions that are in effect.

What is the temperature outside, and is there any moisture present that could seep through your dog’s fur?

The majority of cold temperatures do not cause discomfort in a dog until the temperature falls below 45 degrees; this is the temperature at which most cold-adverse dogs begin to feel uncomfortable.

Pets who are smaller, with thinner coats, and that are very young, old, or unwell should not be left outside for an extended period of time when temperatures fall below 32 degrees celsius.

When temperatures reach approximately 20 degrees celsius, the risk of frostbite and hypothermia in your pets increases considerably.

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Even if your dog is of a breed that can withstand colder weather, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for indicators that he or she is becoming too chilly.


The following are examples of warning signs:

  • Shivering
  • Whining
  • Developing a weaker state

If you detect any of these indicators, it is possible that your beloved pet is experiencing the beginning signs of hypothermia, and you must get him or her inside immediately.

You should not leave your pet outside for an extended period of time if it is too chilly to be outside yourself.

Is there anything you can do to ensure the safety of your dog when the temperatures begin to drop?

Generally speaking, most dogs will be fine in the elements for short periods of time, although this can vary depending on the breed of the dog.

If your dog has a short hair coat, such as Greyhounds or Chihuahuas, he or she will benefit significantly from wearing a coat or a sweater.

Smaller dogs will also often require a coat when going for a walk or playing in the backyard.

Using boots to assist protect your pet’s paws when it is snowing or icy outside is another option to consider.

The majority of dogs are perfectly content without them and will find them to be extremely uncomfortable.

But if your dog is injured, it will need to be protected, and if de-icers are used to melt ice and snow, boots will help to keep the paws safe from the de-icers.

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Some of these compounds will burn your dog’s paws, so if you decide to use these chemicals, be sure to use pet-friendly de-icers.

When you return back inside after playing outside or taking your dog for a walk in the snow, make sure to wipe down their feet, legs, and belly to remove any snow, ice, and chemicals that may have accumulated there.

Take Note: Chemical de-icers and salt can be potentially hazardous to your dogs if applied directly or swallowed, so be cautious while using them.

Please don’t allow the snow and colder weather to prevent you and your dog from enjoying outside activities and getting some exercise during this time of the year.

Many dogs enjoy prancing through the snow, and the winter season is their favourite time of the year for doing so. However, keep in mind that dogs, like humans, can become really cold.

To ensure that your dogs remain happy and healthy during the winter, keep these useful recommendations in mind.



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