Many parts of the U.S. are experiencing record temperature lows. And if you’re a dog parent you’ll need to know when the weather outside is too cold for your pet.
According to Tuft’s University’s Animal Condition and Care System (TACC), there are many factors to take into consideration when trying to decide whether to venture out with your dog. Some of which include: environmental health, weather safety, size of the dog, age and breed. When in doubt, let the TACC be your guide.
While this is a standard list, each individual pet is different. You’ll also need to account for your dog’s health as well. Pets with prior conditions like kidney disease, heart disease or diabetes may not be able to regulate their body temperature like other dogs. Owners should make special accommodations, like professional dog boarding for these pets.
A common misconception about dogs and cold weather is that pets are more resistant to cold than their owners. This is not necessarily true. There are some breeds that are built to withstand lower temperatures like the Alaskan Malamute, Great Pyrenees, Saint Bernard and the Siberian Husky. But generally speaking, most dogs are susceptible to frostbite and other hazardous conditions when exposed to cold weather over long periods of time.
Because our pets can’t communicate when they’re feeling too hot or too cold, pay close attention to body language. The list that The Barking Lot provided below offers clues as to when the weather has dropped below normal temps for your dog.
It’s too cold if your dog is:
Whimpering and whining
Moving around more slowly than usual
Experiencing cold body and ears
Experiencing red or swollen paws
Curling up into a ball
If you’re still not sure whether to walk your dog when it’s cold, check the weather. If it’s about 30 degrees outside and the windchill factor quite a bit lower, then it might be wise to leave your pup at home.
If you must venture out with your pet, be sure to bundle him up before you go. Dog boots and a coat that covers everything (except the stomach) from the neck to the base of the tail, should be sufficient. Because his ears, paws and tail are still exposed, limit the time spent outdoors to avoid overexposure.
Sometimes we think our pets are warm enough, even in our homes. But a cold floor can also be a source of discomfort for them. Choose bedding that keeps your dog cozy and warm. Place his bed away from cold or drafty windows and doors. And remember to avoid space heaters.
Don’t forget if you want to get your dog out during the cold winter months, The Barking Lot’s dog daycare in Deerfield is alway open and warm! Make a reservation today.