Cold Weather and Your Dog

Posted on Thursday 1st February 2018 @ 1:50 PM

Questions to Ask Yourself to Gauge How Well Your Dog Might Handle Very Cold Weather

Generally speaking, some types of dogs do better with freezing temps than others. Some things to consider:

How big is your dog? "Small dogs have a larger surface area to volume ratio," writes Dr. Jennifer Coates for PetMD. "In other words, the smaller dogs are, the more skin they have (in relation to their 'insides') through which to lose heat. There­fore, small dogs get colder more readily than do large dogs … all other things being equal."1

How much does she weigh? Just as with thin people, thin dogs get the shivers much faster than dogs with more insulating body fat. 

How old is your dog? Puppies and senior and geriatric dogs can't regulate their body temperature as efficiently as healthy adult dogs, so they get much colder, much faster.

How is her health? Dogs with mobility issues or a chronic disease will be at much greater risk for hypothermia in cold weather than healthy dogs.

What type of coat does your dog have? Double-coated dogs, especially northern breeds like Siberian Huskies and Samoyeds, tend to do much better in frigid temps than other breeds. For dogs with thin coats like the Greyhound, the opposite is true. 

What color is her coat? Dogs with dark-colored coats absorb lots of heat from the sunlight, so on a bright clear winter day, they will be significantly warmer than their light-coated counterparts.

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