Health & Wellness

How cold is too cold for your dog?

Know when to bundle your pup up

As temperatures drop, it’s important to think about how the cold weather could be affecting our pups. Pet expert, Dr. Kim Smyth, gave us some tips on when it's safe for our dogs to be outdoors. 

Size

Your pet’s size helps determine when it’s safe for them to play outside in the cold. To make the process easy to determine, Dr. Smyth created the Cold Weather Safety Chart.


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Let’s say it’s 40 degrees Fahrenheit (around four degrees Celsius) outside. It’s potentially unsafe for little or medium sized dogs with thin coats to be outside, but probably OK for big dogs, especially with heavy coats.

Coat weight

You should also consider the thickness of your pup’s coat. If your dog has a thin coat and the temperature is below 45 degrees, it’s time to bundle up. 

Moisture

If it’s raining and cold outside, it’s probably a good idea to keep your pup indoors as much as possible. 

Familiarity with the cold

Safety also depends on whether your dog is used to being outdoors. If they’re a cold-friendly breed (like huskies), or used to outdoor winter fun then it’s OK to trust your individual pup’s comfort level. 

Supervision

If it’s a chillier day and you want to let your pup play outdoors, make sure to stay nearby. You’re your dog’s best advocate when it comes to cold weather safety, so if you feel uncomfortable, chances are they do, too. 

Supervision also brings up an important topic: hypothermia. If you find a dog that’s showing signs of hypothermia, which include shaking, lethargy, stiff muscles, low heart rate or dilated pupils, act fast. Call your vet and move them into a warm area and cover them with blankets. You can also incorporate heating blankets or bottles, but make sure to put several layers between the heating elements and the dog to avoid burning the pup’s skin. 

Your dog depends on you to keep them safe. With this information your pup can have so many more fun, snow-filled adventures.

Dr. Kim Smyth

Dogs

Pet Health

Cold Weather

Safety

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

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