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When is it Too Cold to Walk Your Dog?

As temperatures start dipping, you may wonder when if it’s too cold outside to walk your dog. Here are some tips and guidelines for taking your dog on a walk in cold weather.

How cold is too cold to walk your dog?

The answer varies, it depends on your dog! Your dog’s age, breed, size and health are all factors in determining how sensitive they are to cold weather. 

Breed

Some breeds, like huskies, Samoyeds or St. Bernards have heavy coats and can tolerate colder temperatures as opposed to breeds with short, thin coats. 

Size

Small dogs and thin dogs are more sensitive to cold weather than bigger pups. 

Age and Health

Keep in mind that your dog’s health and/or age, can affect their body’s ability to regulate their body temperatures, including older dogs and puppies.

Other factors to consider 

Snow

If it’s snowing, your dog’s coat may become wet and lower their body temperature. 

Wind Chill

Wind lowers the feel of the actual temperature outside. Always use the wind chill temperature when determining if it’s too cold to take your dog for a walk.

In General

Most healthy, medium or large dogs with thick coats can take a 30 minute walk when temperatures are above 20°. Small dogs or dogs with thin coats start to become uncomfortable in temperatures below 45°. Consider limiting walks to 15 minutes for these dogs when temps fall below freezing. 

Signs Your Dog is Too Cold

Regardless of breed, size or age, your pup may indicate they are too cold or uncomfortable. Watch for these signs:

  • Shaking or shivering
  • Whining
  • Lifting or licking paws
  • Tucked tail
  • Slowing down

Tips for Walking Your Dog on Cold Day

  • Keep walks short when temps are below freezing. 
  • For dogs with thin coats, a coat or sweater will give them added protection and warmth.
  • Boots will protect your pup’s paws when it’s icy, and also protects them from de-icers and salt which can damage their paws.

Keep these tips in mind on frigid days when you’re trying to decide when it’s too cold to walk your dog.

Categories

Dog, Lifestyle