Expert Issues Warning Over When It’s Too Cold To Walk Your Dog

An expert has issued a warning over when it's too cold to walk your dog.
Credit: IGV & Alamy

An expert is warning dog owners not to walk their four-legged friends when it’s too cold.

It’s that time of year again when going outside just isn’t so appealing.

The recent drop in temperatures has most of us reaching for the thermals and heated blanket, whilst staying firmly indoors.

But sadly, from time to time, leaving the house is an absolute necessity.

And as any dog owner knows, that includes taking your pooch for a walk.

However, it turns out that in some temperatures, walking your dog isn’t just unnecessary – it’s actually dangerous!

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While we’ve all seen impressive images of huskies or Newfoundlands frolicking in snow-covered landscapes, most dogs can be sensitive to lower temperatures.

An expert has now issued a stern warning to owners of certain breeds of dog.

They’ve revealed the exact temperature when taking your dog outside becomes detrimental to their health, and it’s left the internet shocked.

“If it’s around -5℃ or below, it’s best to keep them indoors or take very short trips outside,” Lorna Winter, co-founder of puppy training app Zigzag, tells Metro.

She explains that using your own body temperature can be a good way to judge how your dog is feeling.

Dog in snow.
The expert suggests using your own body temperature to judge whether your dog is cold. Credit: IGV

“If you need a hat and scarf to be standing outside, it’s likely your pup will be cold too,” the expert says.

“If they’re moving around then the exercise might be keeping them warm, but pavements are cold and puppies are close to it so feel the cold.”

You should look out for signs that your dog is feeling the chill.

You may notice them shivering, or trying to get closer to you to use your body heat.

Winter also revealed that the temperature threshold for dogs varies massively between different breeds.

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“Breeds that are better at tolerating the cold (often because they have thicker fur, a double coat or a heavier frame) include Newfoundlands, Siberian huskies, Tibetan Mastiffs and Norwegian Elkhounds,” she explains.

“Breeds that have shorter hair and are smaller are less able to cope with cold weather. This includes chihuahuas, whippets and French bulldogs.”

Alongside this valuable information, Winter also shared the most useful tips she uses to keep dogs safe and warm.

She adds: “Get them some clothes too – whether you opt for a simple jumper, coat, or more of a onesie, it will help your puppy stay warm when they’re out and about.”

And it’s not just when on walks that dogs can benefit from some extra layers.

Husky in snow.
Certain dog breeds can handle the cold weather better than others. Credit: Kateryna Babaieva/Pexels

“Some puppies who really feel the cold may benefit from wearing pyjamas overnight to keep them warm at night, too,” the expert continues.

If clothing isn’t enough, there are also some handy gadgets on the market to help keep your pooch snug.

“You can microwave a heat pad for puppies that retain the heat to keep them warm at night,” Winter adds.

“Some puppy heartbeat toys also have a heated inner you can microwave and give them to snuggle up to.”

Dog in snow.
Our four-legged friends can also benefit from a few extra layers! Credit: IGV

If you do need to take your dogs outside in low temperatures, some shoes can also offer huge benefits.

Not only will they keep your hound’s paws warm, but they can also protect them from ice and uncomfortable grit or potentially dangerous antifreeze chemicals.

But if it is below -5 and you have a dog breed that doesn’t fare well in cold weather, it’s probably best to give walkies a miss.

You should still make sure your dog is getting enough exercise and stimulation – but try to do so inside the home through toys and games.

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Written by Annie Walton Doyle

Annie Walton Doyle is a content editor at IGV who specialises in trending, lifestyle and entertainment news. She graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London, with a degree in English Literature. Annie has previously worked with organisations such as The Huffington Post, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Harvard University, the Pulitzer Prize and 22 Words.