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how cold is too cold for dogs

Can you remember back to a snowy winter day you had this winter?

That may be really simple for some of you that get a lot of cold weather.

We know for all of our readers in the southeast and Florida this may mean you have to go back SEVERAL years or to a time where you lived somewhere that actually got snow, but imagine with me that there is snow all on the ground and you are bundled up and trying to keep as warm as you can while the snowflakes fall all around.

It may have been beautiful. It also may have been bitter cold.  But as I’m sure you can imagine the experience may very greatly in your memory dependent upon how long you were outside and how well dressed you were during the cold.

Those were the good ole’ days.

This article will dive into how cold is too cold for dogs to be outside along with some tips for keeping your dog safe during the winter months.

How Cold is Too Cold for Dogs In Winter?

Although winter is officially over on March 19th and March 20th is the start of spring, many parts of the world are still experiencing cold winter weather.

This means that when we’re trying to keep pets safe during winter months it is really important to follow several important tips for cold weather safety for dogs.

You’ve likely gathered your jackets, gloves, and hats from the closet to keep you cozy. While you’re all bundled up, don’t forget about Fido! We all know that dogs have a ‘coat’ of their own, but in bitter temperatures that coat isn’t always enough. You don’t necessarily need to rush right out and buy your pooch a designer jacket and boots with the fur. So what can you do to keep your dog safe in winter?

Not all dos are created equal as it relates to cold weather. We must take into consideration their size, coat thickness and a few other variables.  However, according to Pet MD, when the temperature gets to around 20 degrees F, dogs can develop cold associated health problems such as frostbite and hypothermia.

4 Tips to Keep Your Dogs Safe in Cold Weather

Minimize time outdoors

Most dogs enjoy a little cold weather, and even playing in the snow sometimes. By all means, allow your dog time outside to do their business, and maybe even catch a snowball. But try to minimize their time outside, especially in temperatures 20 degrees or below. If your dog has a short coat or is on the lean side, you might even want to purchase him or her a coat for outdoor activity this winter.

Pay attention to paw pads

Paws really take a lot of abuse in the snowy weather! Be sure to have your groomer keep fur between pads trimmed to avoid snow buildup. Always check your pup’s paws when returning indoors for snow buildup and dry off.

Bathe after outdoor play

This tip is essential if you’re taking your best friend for walks beyond the backyard. Salt, oil, and antifreeze from roads can get onto your dog’s paws and belly. Dogs often want to lick this away, which is extremely toxic. We recommend our soothing oatmeal shampoo this time of year.  Just be sure he or she is completely dry before sending outside again!

Spoil senior dogs

If you have a senior dog, avoid taking him or her for long walks in cold temperatures. The cold can cause arthritis to flare up, causing your dog pain. If you do walk your dog, be sure to keep him or her on a leash. More dogs run away in the winter months than any other time of year.

Keeping your dog safe in winter is crucial to well-being. Of course, we also recommend spending lots of time cuddling your K-9 family members all year round, but especially in winter. 

As you can tell from this article a lot of factors go into how cold is too cold for dogs.  But we want you to always remember that when dogs are cared for with love, fun and comfort in mind, they’ll most likely be happier dogs.

Enjoy those furry snuggles!


Do you get a lot of cold weather where you live? Tell us in the comments below.


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