What is Too Cold for a Dog to be Outside?

What is Too Cold for a Dog to be Outside?

Dogs can have one of two main coat types. A double coat consists of a top layer, called the top coat, that has stiff and naturally water repellent hairs that protect the dog’s skin.
A bit shorter than the top layer is an almost fleece-like layer, called the undercoat, used to insulate the dog during the cooler and warmer months (yes, the undercoat acts as an air conditioner during the summer; it holds in cool air).

Most herding, working and sporting breeds have a thick double coat. The single-coated dogs have only the top coat and typically don’t do too well in the cold. The maltese and field spaniel, for example, have long, single coats; and the doberman, greyhound and most hounds have a short single coat.
Dog owners should use common sense in severe weather. If the outdoor temperature is too hot or cold for a human to be comfortable, it’s too severe for their dog.
In general, cold temperatures should not become a problem for most dogs until they fall below 45°F, at which point some cold-averse dogs might begin to feel uncomfortable. Temperatures lower than 32°F can cause hypothermia or frostbite.

Dogs do have fur coats, but it is of no help during a bitter cold. They are just as sensitive as people to a drop in the temperature. If the outside temperature falls below 50 ºF, small to medium-sized dogs begin to feel a cold nip. Larger dogs can, however, tolerate temperatures up to 40 ºF.

Certain longer-haired breeds may love to stay outside longer even in the winter cold, but if you have a short hair breed, they will get cold quick. Putting a nice warm sweater or coat that doesn’t restrict their movement is a good idea, they will sure appreciate. If it’s freezing outside, a 15-20 minutes walk is probably more then enough.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Don’t forget the paws in snow , ice and salt !!! Try to avoid too much exposure to these especially in combination !!! Wash paws off after exposure with WARM water and soap . Apply a thin coat of petroleum jelly !!! Condition and cover paws to protect and to keep them supple !!! Salt on ice is how to make ice cream !!!

    1. Very good idea! Thank you for adding that Roderick! In fact we use olive oil or coconut oil to condition the pads. They do wonders 🙂

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