What Temperature Is Too Cold For Dogs Outside And Inside?

What Temperature Is Too Cold For Dogs Outside And Inside?

Almost every dog loves spending time outside running around the backyard or the dog park, playing with their friends, and getting some much-needed exercise.

But during the cold season, not only going outside becomes hazardous for our pets, but staying inside can be challenging, if you haven’t adjusted the indoor temperature to a level preferred by the canines. 

But what temperature is too cold for dogs outside or inside? Knowing the answers to this question is important to keep our dogs safe from getting cold. Dogs do much better at temperatures between 45⁰ Fahrenheit to 90⁰ Fahrenheit. Once it goes below 40⁰ Fahrenheit, cold-averse dog breeds may be affected by the cold. Potentially lethal temperatures start at 32⁰ Fahrenheit, and small dog breeds will start showing hyperthermic conditions. 

Everybody enjoys nature’s changes when the sweltering days finally become much more bearable. But the cold season dragging behind may not bring ideal conditions to our pet friends, and it is crucial that we take some steps to keep them protected from the cold.

What Temperature Is Too Cold For Dogs Outside?

When the environment is getting ready to cover itself with the snow-white blanket, we start changing our outfits and bringing the dusty heaters out of the store rooms. While we are going through these changes, we must also keep our four-legged friends in our minds. 

Keeping them comfortable during cold seasons is vital since they cannot express their feelings. But to do that, we must know one critical piece of information. What temperature is too cold for dogs Outside and Inside?

Without knowing this, we wouldn’t know how to adjust the house’s thermostat to match our dogs and us and when not to take our furry friends outside for a quick run. 

So, what temperature is too cold for dogs outside? While it depends entirely on the dog, knowing how to estimate a comfortable temperature level for your dog will be easier if you know the following details. 

There is something you should consider before trying to find out what temperature is too cold for dogs.

The way a dog feels the cold and warm temperatures differs independently from dog to dog with related to the features of the dog, such as;

  • The coat type

Dog breeds like Siberian huskies, malamutes, mountain dogs, Newfoundlands, etc., have a thick undercoat with double fur layers.

This fur helps them protect themselves from extreme cold conditions. And that is why these dog breeds do much better than others when the outside is colder than preferred. 

But dogs like terriers, pinschers, short-haired dachshunds, etc., will not feel the same as the huskies about the cold weather.

And whenever the surroundings get colder, they will try to cover themselves up to protect themselves from the cold. 

  • Size

And the size also plays a significant role in determining how much cold a dog can tolerate. The tolerance is at the minimum level when their size is small, such as chihuahuas and toy breeds.

The smaller the size, the quicker they lose body heat. That’s why you shouldn’t have to worry about breeds like Newfoundlands when it is cold.  

  • Health and age of the canine

Heal and age is another fact because the older a dog gets, the colder he feels. And when their health is also not at its best, the dogs will succumb to hypothermia or frostbite quicker than a young dog with excellent fitness.

Therefore you must pay more attention and help them stay warm during winter. 

  • Weight

A fat dog will have a thicker layer of fat deposits inside his body that acts as insulation against chill weather.

Therefore, plumper, big dogs will be able to stay in cold temperatures longer than thinner dogs. 

Now that you know the facts determining a dog’s level of cold tolerance, you must also keep this in mind.

If you can feel the cold, so is your dog. 

And as I mentioned at the beginning of this article, your pet, no matter how furry or big he is, will start to feel cold as soon as the temperature is around 40⁰ Fahrenheit.

The only thing is that dogs with different features may be able to tolerate this temperature better than others. 

But keep in mind that when researching what temperature is too cold for dogs, as soon as the indicator goes below 40⁰ Fahrenheit, small dogs and dogs with thinner fur coats may start showing discomfort.

But if it reaches closer to 32⁰ Fahrenheit, these dogs are in much danger of hyperthermia and frostbite. Taking them out will not be an option for you.

And below 20⁰ Fahrenheit, your big dogs with thicker coats and good health will also be in danger of succumbing to lethal conditions.

What Temperature Is Too Cold For Dogs Inside?

Sometimes, no matter how much you increase your heater’s capacity during winter seasons, you will still reach for another blanket because you feel chill. But did you ever wonder whether your pet feels the same if you are chill even when you’re inside? 

Dogs, too, may feel this chill even when you’re assuming the temperature is at a preferable level.

So during the winter season, even if you and the pet have been inside the house all day long and your heater is working perfectly, keep an eye out for the following discomfort signs in your dog. 

  • Whimpering
  • Trying to sleep or curl into a ball in a corner all the time
  • The nose and paws are cold when you touch
  • Not active as he used to be
  • Shivering

So if you notice any of the above symptoms or any other suspicious activity in your furry friend, you must immediately spring into action and do something to keep the pet warm.

Giving the pet a dog jacket and a cozy bed will be suitable for a start. And making sure that his bed isn’t anywhere chilly is also another way to keep him warm.

Thank your for reading this post. Stay tuned with Jack Russell Owner. See you next time!


  • Dominic Parker

    Dominic P. is a dog behavioral researcher who graduated from the University of Surrey and holds BVMsi (Hons) in Veterinary Medicine and Science. He has been around dogs since childhood and has unconditional love for dogs. It makes him become a researcher instead of practicing as a veterinarian. Dominic enjoys his work and likes to share his findings with dog parents to give them a better understanding of dogs’ behaviors.

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