Rachel
Rachel is a stay-at-home pet mom, caring for her dog, cat, turtle, tortoise, and fish. She's a content writer in various niches but most notably in the pet field, educating pet parents on the health and wellbeing of their furry friends. When she's not writing, she's reading, playing video games, or organizing something.
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Health

How Much Do Dogs Feel the Cold and Should They Live Inside?

Rachel Poli Author
Rachel
Apr 5 ·

Dogs can get hot and cold just like humans can. Even though they have a furry coat, not all dogs are built the same. Some can withstand the cold better than others. But how much do dogs feel the cold? Let’s talk about it.

How Cold is Too Cold?

If the temperature outside is below 45 degrees F, that’s too cold for your dog. However, some dogs have thicker coats and can withstand temperatures below 32 degrees F.

Dogs who are more likely to get colder are smaller dog breeds. Also, dogs with short coats are more likely to get colder than dogs with longer coats.

Dogs Feel the Cold

How To Tell If Your Dog Can Handle the Cold

As mentioned before, every dog is built differently. However, there are a few factors to consider when figuring out what type of weather your dog can withstand, and it all has to do with the way they’re built.

Can Dogs Feel the Cold? Coat Type and Color

For example, dogs with short coats (like the Italian Greyhound) are more inclined to get cold faster. Conversely, dogs with long coats may stay warmer for a little longer.

On the other hand, dogs with double coats (such as the Siberian Husky) can withstand the cold efficiently.

In addition, some dog breeds were developed for cold climates. For instance, the Saint Bernard was bred to help rescue people from the Alps. So, they’re used to the cold. 

Also, their coat color has something to do with it too. If it’s cold out, but it’s sunny, darker colored coats (such as black or chocolate brown) will absorb the sun easier, thus holding onto more heat. 

Dogs Feel the Cold

Age and Health

Of course, puppies and senior dogs will have trouble regulating their body temperature. Also, if their immune system is compromised or they’re sick, it’ll be more difficult for them to regulate their body temperature. Thus, they’ll get cold easily.

Can Dogs Feel the Cold? Weather Conditions

The weather also has something to do with it. For instance, if it’s super windy outside, the temperature will feel colder than it is because of the wind chill.

Dampness is also a factor. If it’s raining or snowing, then your dog’s fur will be wet, allowing the cold to sit within their fur. 

Also, if it’s cloudy outside, then your dog won’t be able to get any vitamin D from the sun. However, if your pup is running around outside, that can help them get warmer.

How To Tell If Your Dog Is Cold

It’ll be easy to see if your dog is cold. But, first, if you’re cold, your dog is cold too. They might be able to stand the cold a little bit longer than you, but it won’t be for too much longer.

However, your pup will also let you know if they’re cold. For example, they’ll show some body language signs, such as:

  • Barking
  • Whining
  • Dropped ears
  • Shivering
  • Paws raised
  • Slowing down
  • Searching for warmer places
  • Anxiousness
Dogs Feel the Cold

Should Dogs Live Inside?

No matter what dog breed you have, every pup should live indoors. It’s much safer for them to be inside the house with you and have a roof over their heads.

Some dogs prefer to be outside, and it’s okay to let them roam in a fenced-in yard. However, you’ll still need to check on them from time to time and bring them inside for the night.

Can Dogs Feel the Cold? How To Keep Your Dog Warm

In the winter or on freezing days, you can take precautions to keep your dog warm, depending on where you live.

Give Them A Sweater or Jacket

Not everyone likes to dress up their dogs. Not every dog wants to be dressed up. However, no matter if your dog is small or big, having a jacket for them is good for many reasons.

For example, you can give them a raincoat for rainy days or a winter jacket when it’s snowing outside. If you take your dog on a walk no matter the weather, giving them a jacket is a good idea, so they’re not soaked by the time you get home.

Dogs Feel the Cold? Provide A Warm Spot For Them Indoors

Your dog should have their own space in the house that’s warm and comfortable. Give them a couple of blankets, whether it’s their crate or a dog bed.

Also, you can put their comfortable spot near the heater. Just be careful of your dog overheating or getting dry skin (in case they love sitting by the heater).

Limit Their Outside Time

Even if your dog loves to be outside, it’s always good to limit their outside time in the winter.

For example, you can bring them on a quick walk or let them roam the yard for ten to 15 minutes. But then you’ll want to bring them back into the house to ensure they don’t get too cold.

Dogs Get Cold, Too

Overall, dogs can get cold just as much as humans can. Depending on their coat, they might withstand the cold longer, but it’s easy for dogs to get too cold and then get sick. Luckily, it’s easy to keep them warm. 

Rachel Poli Author
WRITTEN BY
Rachel
Rachel is a stay-at-home pet mom, caring for her dog, cat, turtle, tortoise, and fish. She's a content writer in various niches but most notably in the pet field, educating pet parents on the health and wellbeing of their furry friends. When she's not writing, she's reading, playing video games, or organizing something.
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