Is Your Dog in Danger Because of Winter Temperatures?

Angela Vuckovic
by Angela Vuckovic

Freezing winter temperatures have got us all chilled to the bone, but how can you know what weather is too cold for your pet? Here’s what animal experts have to say about winter safety for dogs.

In no time, a winter wonderland can turn into a frosty nightmare. Even more so than us, our four-legged babies are sensitive to the cold, and being exposed to any extreme temperatures can have devastating consequences. But how cold it needs to get before your pet is in danger?

Dr. Kim Smyth, a doctor of veterinary medicine, adapted The Tufts Animal Condition and Care (TACC) system to a nifty, easy to understand infographic that tells you precisely what temperatures are safe for different types of dogs.

Source: Petplan

As you can see from the chart above, all you need is to check the weather conditions on the left side, pair them with your dog’s size (small, medium, or big dog), and you’ll instantly know if it’s too cold for your dog to be outside. All temperatures marked with red can be lethal for dogs, orange signifies danger, yellow warns you that there is unsafe potential, and the green means that the risk is unlikely.

The system takes into account different specifics that could improve or worsen your dog’s chances. For example, if you have a heavy-coat breed, like a Siberian Husky, Newfoundland, or Norwegian Elkhound, you’ll subtract a point. Another point is docked if your furry companion is a working dog, that’s accustomed to harsher weather conditions. But, even with those two points down, subzero temperatures range from unsafe potential to life-threatening, regardless of your pooch’s warm coat and accustomedness to frigid winters.

In the same manner, extra points can be added that make seemingly tolerable cold much worse for your pet. That’s why, with two “bonus” points for wet weather, chilly winter morning can feel like a night in the Arctic for a small, sensitive pooch.

The main takeaway from this list should be that you need to take everything into account when it comes to cold weather and pets. Their breed or size, as well as the different weather conditions paired with the low temperatures, can make a big difference in the way they experience the cold. Just remember, what may seem like another winter day to you, can be a life-threatening ordeal for your furball, so make sure your pet is safe and warm in this crazy weather!

Angela Vuckovic
Angela Vuckovic

A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.

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