When is it Too Cold for Dogs to Be Outside?

While dogs can tolerate cold weather, certain temperatures are considered too cold. The question is: what are these temperatures?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer for all breeds and sizes, but here is a chart (adapted from a system created by Tufts University) and some common sense you can use as a guide.

weather chart for pet safety in cold weather

ADDITIONAL FACTORS TO CONSIDER
Environmental risks
Behaviour and signs of discomfort
Body condition (muscle mass and body fat)
Actual temperature vs ‘feels like’ temperature

SIGNS OF DISCOMFORT
Shaking
Shivering
Tucked tail
Hunched posture
Lifting paws off the ground
Some dogs may need jackets and booties for walks.

HOW TO PROTECT DOG PAWS FROM WINTER AND SNOW

  1. Dog booties are probably the safest option and will prevent injury from hidden items under the snow, salt and ice balls.
  2. Use a paw balm or protective spray before you take your dog out for a walk to prevent snow, ice and salt from getting between toes. Paw balm will also help to keep paw pads hydrated.
  3. Keep a towel on hand when walking your dog and make sure to wipe down their paws after contact with ice and snow to risk cracks, chemical burns and even intoxication if your dog licks his paws.
  4. A good way to help avoid frostbite, is to keep paw hair trimmed and free from clods of ice.

HYPOTHERMIA IN DOGS
Dogs can get frostbite and hypothermia if they are exposed to dangerously cold temperatures for too long.

difference between frostbite and hypothermia

If you think a dog is suffering from hypothermia, do the following:
Contact your vet
Get him or her to a warmer area
Provide heat through thick blankets and a warm water bottle
Always take your dog to the vet if you suspect frostbite or hypothermia.

Related Article

When Is It Too Cold For Cats To Be Outside? Read Now

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