In the United States, emergency vet bills cost between $800 to $1,500 per visit.
One of the most common ways animals can become hurt is when they are left outside and it gets too cold. How cold is too cold for your dog depends on several things like breed, location, and accommodation.
Some breeds thrive outside during the cold weather, but even these hardy breeds like Huskies and Great Pyrenees need proper shelter. In much of the United States, the temperatures in winter can plunge well below freezing.
How Cold Is Too Cold for Dogs
All dogs are different, some breeds can withstand much lower temperatures than others. Knowing the specifics of your dog’s breed is important. Here are some factors that determine how cold is too cold for your dog.
Breed and Size Matter in Cold Weather
Breeds that have thick, heavy fur can withstand cold better than others. Dogs that are smaller and have lighter coats will get cold faster. If you have a small dog such as a chihuahua, it can get too cold for them before it even reaches freezing.
The larger and more robust a dog is, the hardier they’ll be. Size alone isn’t everything, however. Some large breeds like Greyhounds can become cold very easily. How cold is too cold for dogs also depends on body fat and the type of fur they have.
For most breeds and sizes of dogs, there is little to worry about until temperatures reach the 40s. At 45 degrees, some smaller, lighter dogs will begin to suffer from the cold. When the temperature drops to just above freezing, most dogs will need monitoring outside.
Even the hardiest dog breeds can become hypothermic after the temperature reaches 20 degrees. When it gets this cold, protect pets with warm clothing and make sure they don’t stay outside for long.
What If a Dog Lives Outside?
If your dog lives outside, there are some things you can do to help protect them. First, if you live in a northern state, it’s not appropriate for most dog breeds to live outside during winter. Even with the proper protection, they can be overwhelmed by the cold.
Sturdy, windproof protection needs to be available to your dog. If they live outside, make sure their shelter is turned away from the prevailing wind direction. Put heavy plastic or burlap up to keep the wind from blowing into their doghouse.
Any animal that is outside in the cold will need to eat extra food. As mammals, we all burn a lot of calories to stay warm when it gets cold. Increase the amount of food you are giving to your dog if they are outside a lot in the cold. Make sure to use plastic as metal bowls can injure their tongues.
An elevated floor on a doghouse will also help keep them warm. The shelter needs to be large enough they can lay easily but not so large that heat can escape. Following these winter weather safety tips can help protect your pet.
What If My Dog Has Anxiety When Alone?
Many dogs suffer from separation anxiety when their owner leaves them home alone. To help with this, many kennels offer dog daycare for daily care. With a dog daycare, you can feel confident that while you’re at work your furry family member is getting all the attention and play-time they need and deserve.
What If I Am Leaving for a While?
If you’re leaving for an extended period and live near Morris County, you might consider boarding your dog. If you’re going away for business or vacation and can’t take your dog, they need a place to stay. If there’s any chance that temperatures could drop below freezing, consider boarding your pet.
Dog boarding takes care of your animal and ensures they have a warm, safe place to stay and all the food and cuddles they could want.
Different Places Have Different Climates
Just as with humans, cold weather feels different based on wind and humidity. The wetter it is when it gets cold, the harder it is for a dog to survive. How cold is too cold for dogs is also based on how cold it feels.
Just because it is fifty degrees doesn’t mean your dog will be safe. If it’s raining and wet and the wind is blowing, your dog will get cold fast. Any type of severe winter weather like snow, ice or sleet can quickly make it too cold for dogs.
First Aid for Your Dog
If you’re afraid that your dog has hypothermia, you need to take immediate action. Get them warm and dry as fast as possible. Follow the link above for more information about signs of hypothermia and how to treat it.
Dogs Are Sensitive to Their Environment
A lot of first-time dog owners have asked, do dogs get cold? The answer is absolutely yes. Much like a child, many dogs love being outside in the cold. They run around and play and enjoy themselves.
Dogs and humans are both fond of playing in snow and rain. Just because your dog has a good time doesn’t mean they aren’t getting cold. Almost any dog can survive short excursions outside even in bad weather. The key is to not keep them out for very long.
Find a Good Place for Your Pet to Shelter If You Have to Travel
Not just any place will do for your best friend. For many of us, our dogs are members of our family, and to them, we’re part of their pack. Most people wouldn’t want a family member staying somewhere that is uncomfortable, and we wouldn’t want our dogs to either.
Remember that cats get cold too, and should not be left outside either. Just like dogs, they can be hurt by the cold or killed if left out for too long in bad weather. Our house pets are not wild animals and do not have the same skills, even if they like to hunt every bird in the yard.
How cold is too cold for dogs won’t matter if you send your dog for a stay at a bed and biscuit spa-like ours where they will have everything they need. Save yourself the money from expensive vet bills and the heartache of potentially losing a pet to the cold.
If you are in or around Stirling, New Jersey, make sure to schedule a visit for your pet if you’re leaving town. At Elizabeth Anne Kennels, we’ll make sure they are not only kept warm but also have fun the entire time you are gone.