Everyone knows that dogs love to spend time outside, whether taking a walk or frolicking around in the park with other four-legged friends. But snow has finally hit some areas of the country, and with it comes concerned dog owners questioning if the weather is too frosty for their dogs to tolerate.
When does a romp in the backyard become a risk to your dog’s health? How cold is too cold for your dog? Here’s how to determine when you should bring your pets inside so you can keep them warm and safe all winter long.
As a general rule, many animal welfare organizations suggest that if it’s too cold for you to be outside, then it’s too cold for your pets. There are several other factors that contribute to a canine’s ability to withstand frigid temperatures.
Like humans, some can bear the drop in temperature better than others, especially if they are bred for cold weather.
Breeds with longer, thicker coats, such as Siberian huskies, Saint Bernards, and Newfoundlands, are better suited to low temperatures, having been brought up in northern climates.
On the other hand, shorter-haired dogs like Greyhounds, Dalmatians, and American pit bull terriers will have more difficulty maintaining warmth in the winter.
The size and age of your dog can also affect cold tolerance. Smaller breeds lose body heat faster. Furthermore, younger pups and senior dogs have a harder time regulating body temperatures. If it’s very chilly out, have them wear a sweater and restrict their exposure to the outdoors.
In addition, health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and kidney disease can make the cold an issue. No matter your dog’s breed, size, or age, it’s important to protect them from any ailments that the cold may bring.
A good guideline to follow is to limit their time spent outside if the temperature drops to 30 degrees Fahrenheit or below.