How Do You Know If It’s Too Cold For Your Dog To Be Outside?

Many dogs love being outside, regardless of whether it is rain or shine. They get the opportunity to run around, use up some energy, and have a little fun. The problem is, as humans, we need to make sure that our dogs are not put in harm’s way, especially when the winter arrives.

Dogs may be wearing a fur coat all of the time but that doesn’t mean they don’t get cold. Of course, if you are talking about a Siberian husky or Alaskan malamute, then the same principles may not apply at all times. Other dogs are acclimated to live indoors, may have thin coats, and need some extra protection from the cold weather.

How Cold Is Too Cold For Dogs?

Photo: Unsplash

Typically, if the weather is above 45°F, any type of special weather outfit will not be necessary. If the temperature drops any lower, however, certain breeds that are more susceptible to cold will need additional protection.

If you have a dog with a thin coat of fur, a small breed, a senior, or a very young dog, consider the following: If the temperature is below 32°, make sure that they have on a coat or sweater. If the temperature is down to 20° or lower, you should look after the dog very carefully and make sure that they are not getting too cold. Even if the dog is able to take colder weather, it can still be too much for them.

Does My Dog Need To Wear A Coat?

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Some dogs (especially large breeds with thick coats) are going to be perfectly fine outside for a short amount of time in the cold. But certain dogs should always wear winter coats outside, even if they’re just going for a short walk. These include:

  • Whippets, Greyhounds, and dog breeds with thin bodies and fine coats
  • Small dogs or puppies. Larger dogs can generate more body heat and smaller dogs are in closer contact with the cold ground.
  • Seniors. Older dogs have weaker immune systems and may need a coat to stay comfortable and warm.
  • Fortunately, we have winter coats for dogs of all sizes at The Animal Rescue Site Store, where every purchase helps feed hungry shelter pets — in addition to keeping your dog cozy and warm! Here are just a few of our favorites:

  • Be Good NorEaster Plaid Dog Jacket
  • Forest Friends Thermal Reversible Dog Coat
  • AKC Belly Band Dog Puff Coat
  • 3-in-1 Dog Winter Hooded Jacket
  • Should My Dog Wear Boots Outside?

    Photo: Unsplash

    Another question that is sometimes asked is if dogs need boots outside. Fidos paws may seem tough, but even the biggest dogs’ paws can get uncomfortably cold or frostbitten. Dogs should always wear boots if they’re taking long walks outside areas with lots of ice and snow.

    But dogs in cities with milder winters might want to consider dog boots, too, because many U.S. cities use road salts and deicers to winterize sidewalks and streets. Both of these items are toxic to dogs, but winter boots can help prevent your pet from accidentally ingesting salt or deicer (and dog boots can also protect cut, scraped, or injured paws). Check out our selection of dog boots in The Animal Rescue Site store to keep Fido’s paws toasty and warm on your next walk!

  • Blue Neoprene Dog Boots
  • Red Neoprene Dog Boots
  • Red Fleece Lined Boots
  • Blue Fleece Lined Boots
  • Conclusion

    The bottom line is, if your dog is getting too cold, they will likely show that they are getting cold. Watch for any shivering, whining, anxious behavior, or slowing down. If they start looking around for a warm place, take them inside and let them warm up, and make sure your pet is properly dressed to deal with the elements outside.

    Additional Resources:

  • These Five Winter Safety Tips Will Keep Your Pet Safe This Winter
  • Why Not to Leave Your Dog in the Car in Cold Weather
  • Chart Lets You When It’s Too Cold To Walk Your Dog
  • New Law Will Make It Illegal To Leave Dogs Outside In Extreme Weather
  • What Adventure Awaits for a Fox, Cat, and Two Magpies?: Click “Next” below!

    I love to write and it keeps me busy. I've been working online, full time since 1999. When you can't find me at the keyboard, you'll find me getting as much as I can out of life. I enjoy living simply, playing games, visiting the beach, and spending time with my family.
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