How Cold is Too Cold for Dogs?

Border collie lying down in the snow

Changing seasons in Naperville means keeping everyone in your family warm, including your dog! Just like us, a dog’s body temperature hovers around 100 degrees, and anything below 90 could be damaging to your pet’s health. How cold is too cold for dogs? Use these dog care tips from The Rescue Vets to keep your pup snuggly and warm all winter long.

What Temperature is Too Cold for Dogs?

While some dogs were bred for colder temperatures, most will feel comfortable in temperate environments, around 70 degrees indoors or outdoors. Moderate temperatures ensure pups stay regulated regardless of their coat length. This is ideal, but what is too cold for dogs?

  • Is my house too cold for my dog? If you find yourself reaching for a blanket, your pup may be chilly too. In the winter it’s best to keep your home around or above 60 degrees for maximum comfort.
  • Is it too cold for a dog to be outside? Many dogs crave outdoors time to burn off energy and stay entertained, but when is it too cold for a dog to be outside? Your dog is okay to play in the snow for short bouts, but once it gets to 20 degrees or below, it’s a good idea to limit outdoor time to protect their paws and extremities.

If you own a smaller breed with shorter fur, it never hurts to throw on a sweater or vest to give them extra warmth outdoors. Puppies and small dogs don’t have the body mass to generate as much heat, so bundle them up anytime the temperature drops below 45 degrees. Many Glen Ellyn dog owners wonder if their dogs need boots during winter, but unless your pet has a paw injury or it’s especially icy outside, most dogs will find booties uncomfortable and distracting from their playtime.

What are the Signs That My Dog is Too Cold?

Whether indoors or outdoors, your dog may be too cold if you notice:
  • Shivering
  • Whimpering
  • Slower movements
  • Less playful
  • Acting anxious
  • Cold to the touch paws, ears, or tail

You know your dog better than anyone else, so if you notice unusual behavior this winter, it could be a reaction to the temperature or even hypothermia. It’s time to bring your dog in for a vet visit when these conditions worsen.

Small dog under blankets

Need to schedule an appointment with a Veterinarian?

Please contact Springbrook Animal Care Center.