How Cold Is Too Cold To Walk My Dog?
The winter time can be lots of fun for you and your dog. There are all sorts of fun outdoor snow games to play, winter trails to hike, and of course - the Holiday season! However, with all that fun are a few dangers. Just like humans, dogs are able to develop conditions such as hypothermia or frostbite if left out in the cold too long.
This is why it’s important for you, as a dog owner, to pay special attention to how long you are staying outside with your dog. Dogs may seem immune to the cold due to their warm fur coat, but this isn’t the case. Dog’s can freeze just like us! Let’s talk about some warning signs that clue you in about when it is too cold to walk your pup.
Is Your Dog Big, Small, or Somewhere In Between?
Your dog’s size can be a major factor in how long they are able to endure the cold weather, but not the only factor. Big, large dogs with thick fur can definitely withstand more cold than a smaller, short-haired dog.
In fact, some experts say that teacup dogs shouldn’t go outside in the Winter AT ALL without a coat. If your little lapdog is too cold and shivering to the point where they cannot concentrate on going potty - you’re going to end up with lots of accidents. Save yourself the trouble and your dog the pain, and invest in a little coat for your pup. Or, you can train them to go on pee-pads inside the house. They will thank you later!
Even large and medium size dogs are not completely cold-resistant. While they may be able to handle more than the aforementioned teacup dog, they too can reach a point where they are ready to warm up. Signs may include curling up, lifting up their paws, and even shivering or whining if they’re really uncomfortable. It’s important to pay attention to these signs and then act on them accordingly.
What Is The Weather REALLY Like?
Well, it’s definitely cold out, right? But let’s get a little more in-depth on what weather conditions can make it truly too cold for your dog.
Wind chill can make a cold day even colder for both you and your dog. So when you’re checking the weather for the day, take the wind chill into account. Always go by that temperature instead of without.
What if it’s snowing outside? While it can be fun for a few moments to watch your pup play with the snow, days when it is snowing can be very cold. Especially if the snow is wet. In fact, experts say that you and your dog’s body temperature will lower even quicker with more moisture in the air. So on days like this, you’re free to walk if you wish, but maybe cut your walk time in half.
Pay Attention to the signs and Symptoms
If your dog is uncomfortable and too cold, there are subtle signs your dog will show you. A few common signs that your dog is ready to warm up include shivering, hunching, lifting up their paws repeatedly, or whining. If your dog is exhibiting any of this behavior, head inside to warm up!
Another important sign to pay attention to is how you are feeling. Yes, you! It’s critical to take into account your own well-being as well as your dogs. Health and safety for the both of you is always top priority.
Brush Up On Winter Safety
If you’re unsure the length of time it is safe to be out in the cold with your dog, don’t be afraid to consult your veterinarian. They will be able to arm you with the necessary knowledge on how to keep your dog both happy and safe.
There are also lots of great resources where you can read up on winter safety tips for you and your dog. It’s always important to pay attention to you and your dog’s mood, but again if you’re unsure - your vet is your best friend!