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How Cold Is Too Cold for Your Dog?

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How Cold Is Too Cold for Your Dog?

The brutal winter temperatures are only beginning to emerge in Chicagoland, posing a common question for dog owners throughout the city: how cold is too cold for my dog to be outside? While we all know that dogs love spending outside to get much-needed exercise, if temperatures drop too low, you should monitor how much time your dog is spending outside. 

Determining Factors

Like humans, all dogs are not created equal, and there are specific factors to consider when determining how long your dog should spend outside. 

  • Coat type: Some breeds such as Huskies or Newfoundlands have thick, double-layered coats that help them tolerate colder temperatures. Dogs with thin coats are not as tolerant to the cold weather. 
  • Coat color: Darker dogs have an easier time absorbing heat from the sun while they’re outside. Lighter coats don’t absorb heat as well. 
  • Size & weight: Consider both the size and weight of your dog. Body fat acts as a good insulator, however, don’t overdo it. Too much body fat will have serious health problems for your dog. 
  • Age and overall health: Dogs that are very young or very old will have a harder time keeping their body temperatures consistent. 

Temperature Guidelines

Generally speaking, most dogs are fine in temperatures that are 45 degrees Fahrenheit or above. As temperatures dip to 32 degrees, consider monitoring your pet while they are outside to make sure they are behaving okay. As temperatures drop even lower, we recommend utilizing this helpful chart to see what is safe for your dog. 

From dog training in Chicago to helping answer your questions about how to give your dog the best life possible, we are your one-stop resource for all things dog! If you’re interested in any of our services, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team today!

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