How cold is too cold for my dog?

Cold Weather and Dogs

Brrrrrr! Just how cold is too cold for your dog?  The answer varies.

The answer is not as simple as you would think. As size, breed, age all are factors in determining how cold weather can affect your dog. 

Many people think that dogs are protected against colder weather, because of their fur coats.  That is incorrect. 

There are many factors that can negatively impact your dog's health and being aware of these factors are crucial to keeping your dog safe, healthy and warm during these colder months.

When temperatures fall below 32 degrees F, pets that are smaller, with thinner coats, and are very young, old or sick, should not be left outside. In fact their outside time should be little to none. 

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

Difficulty Regulating Body Temperature:

If you dog is older or is sickly, you will want to be super careful about having your dog outside during colder weather. If your dog's temperature drops too low, it can lead to: heart irregularities, lower oxygen, suppressed immune system, and strain on their liver. 

Solutions:

If you have a senior dog or sick dog, keep their outside time minimized in colder weather. A jacket or sweater will help add extra protection from the cold temperatures. When letting them out for exercise, do it in short intervals and keep an eye on them.
Place a pee-pad down inside to allow them to go to the bathroom during extreme cold weather.
In harsher cold weather it is safest to keep your dog inside and protected from the elements.  Utilizing a pee pad is the best and safest solution for days that dip 20 degrees F and lower.