Basic care

My Dog is Cold

Josie F. Turner
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: March 31, 2019
My Dog is Cold

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Can dogs get cold? This is undoubtedly one of the most frequent questions asked by dog owners when winter arrives. Likewise, if they already have that layer of hair that protects them from low temperatures, why do they tremble when they are on the street? If you are also looking for an answer to this and more issues relating to dogs and the cold, you have found the right place!

In this AnimalWised article we will help you identify the symptoms of feeling cold in dogs, the consequences that it can cause them and how to protect them to avoid these problems. Keep reading and find out if your dog is feeling cold!

You may also be interested in: Is it Bad to Dress Dogs in the Winter?


  1. How to tell if my dog is cold
  2. Consequences of cold in dogs
  3. How to protect my dog from the cold
  4. One last thing...

How to tell if my dog is cold

The first thing we must clarify is that, like us, dogs feel cold and hot, regardless of the breed and type of hair they have. The latter factor will determine the degree of cold or heat that can be endured by the animal. Dogs have a layer of hair and fat on the skin that act as natural thermal protectors. This layer of hair changes twice a year, one in spring and another in autumn, to prepare their body in order to adapt their temperature. However, on many occasions this layer of hair may become insufficient during the winter and, therefore, allow the cold to penetrate our dog.

There are a series of breeds adapted to the cold climates that are able to generate more or less an adequate undercoat during molting, to protect them well from low temperatures. This is why they will hardly require our help to support them in these conditions. Some examples are the Alaskan malamute, Siberian husky or St. Bernard. On the other hand, there are others that are not so lucky and their nature does not offer this possibility, so we must be careful to prevent our dog from feeling cold. Dogs like the chihuahua, the French bulldog, the Yorkshire or the Chinese crested are often the most vulnerable to falling temperatures. This is because they are breeds that have very short hair, barely shed or don't have any hair at all . On the other hand, puppies and elderly dogs are also more likely to suffer from the cold more easily. If we have a companion that meets these characteristics, it will be easy to know if they need to be protected from the winter. So how do we know if our dog is cold?

To answer this question, ask yourself the following question: how does your body react to the cold? With tremors! The body of the dog is no exception and, therefore, tremors are the main symptom of feeling cold. Whether you are indoors or on the street, if your dog starts to shiver, chances are that they feel cold. However, this is not the only sign that can alert us, and there are other symptoms of cold in dogs that we will have to pay attention to:

  • Breathing and slow movements. If you notice that your dog is breathing more slowly than normal or even that they have difficulty doing so, they may be cold. Also, this sign can be accompanied by slow mobility due to muscle stiffness caused by the low temperatures.
  • Increased desire to sleep. Is your dog more tired? Are they sleeping more than usual? If so, it can be a consequence of the cold and you will have to put in place measures to help them with it. Also, watch their posture while they sleep. If they twist as if they want to cover themself with their own body, you must safely cover them with a blanket or warm clothing.
  • Dry skin. In particular, hairless dogs can get dry skin if they feel very cold, which you will have to try and immediately restore.

If you notice that your dog has stiffness in a specific part of their body, you must massage the area very carefully to offer them your warmth and try to relieve the symptoms. If after a few minutes you do not notice improvement, you will have to take them to the vet immediately.

My Dog is Cold - How to tell if my dog is cold

Consequences of cold in dogs

Now that you know the symptoms of cold in dogs, you must know that not actively trying to relieve them can trigger the onset of respiratory problems and pathologies of a serious nature. Here are the most common:

  • Cold
  • Bronchitis
  • Laryngitis
  • Pharyngitis
  • Pneumonia

Although these are the most common diseases in dogs during the winter, they are not the only ones, so protecting them from the cold is a mandatory task for owners if we want to ensure their well-being and good health. This way, if you suspect that your dog may suffer any of these pathologies, do not hesitate and go to the vet as soon as possible. Particularly pneumonia can only be treated with antibiotics that a specialist must prescribe, so act fast and offer the best care to your dog.

My Dog is Cold - Consequences of cold in dogs

How to protect my dog from the cold

The first thing you should check to protect your dog from the cold is their sleeping space. If your dog usually sleeps in the garden or other outside area, AnimalWised recommend you reconsider this and move their bed inside the home so they can feel the heat and not get sick. Likewise, if you reside in a place where the temperatures go down in an excessive way, provide them with a blanket, so that they can cover themself. In addition to these measures, you will have to consider the possibility of buying warm clothes for your dog and dress them before going for a walk. Remember that, just as you cover yourself with layers of clothes to go outside and avoid getting cold, your furry companion also needs an extra coat if they meet the above characteristics (short hair or absence of hair). Among the great variety of clothes for dogs, sweaters and coats stand out as the most practical, comfortable and effective:

  • Dog sweaters

They are usually knit and cover the neck area to help them fight the cold. Being slightly thinner than coats, they are most recommended for the fall season and early winter. Keep in mind that overprotection of the animal from the cold can spark an opposite effect and cause hot flashes. So, don't opt ​​for a coat until the temperatures have reached their lowest point. Also, there are jerseys that have a fleece lining for the most vulnerable dogs. When selecting the most suitable for your dog, you will have to look at the variety of sizes and choose the one that meets the dorsal length of your dog.

  • Coats for dogs

As we said, coats are usually made of materials that are more resistant to cold and, therefore, protect our dog more. In this way, we recommend choosing this item of warm clothing for dogs when winter has already invaded. Here we have more possibilities, and there are coats that only cover the area of ​​the animal and others that include much of the legs and neck. You will have to decide depending on the needs of your dog. If you notice that they feel very cold when you take them for a walk and, even, it is difficult for them to walk, you will have to dress them in a complete coat.

Do not use clothes for dogs outside the cold season. Although they mook look great with the garment on, you must think about their comfort and wellbeing.

My Dog is Cold - How to protect my dog from the cold

One last thing...

If you have noticed that your dog is cold and has clear symptoms of dry skin, you will have to apply a moisturizing shampoo for dogs in order to combat dryness and restore vitality to their skin. Remember that, as an owner, you have a series of responsibilities that you must fulfill if you want to maintain a healthy, happy and happy dog ​​at your side. Offer them all your love and the best care to protect them from the cold and keep them cool in summer.

My Dog is Cold - One last thing...

If you want to read similar articles to My Dog is Cold, we recommend you visit our Basic care category.

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My Dog is Cold