When Is it Too Cold to Walk Your Dog?

It’s important for all canine friends to get adequate exercise, but they won’t be very happy — or safe — when walking in frigid temperatures. But when is it too cold to walk your dog? There isn’t a single answer to this question, because there are several factors that can influence how cold is too cold for your pooch. If you want to learn when it is too cold to walk your dog, then here are the details you should consider.

Your Dog

Perhaps the single most important factor you need to consider when deciding when it is too cold to walk your dog is your canine companion. Just like humans, no two dogs are truly alike, and their ability to endure the cold can also differ greatly — and some are bothered by the cold far more than others. To learn more about how cold is too cold for your beloved pooch, review these four traits:


Some breeds of dogs have a greater tolerance to the cold than others, largely because of how much fur they have. For example, a Bernese Mountain Dog will fare better in cold climates than a bull terrier might. In general, dogs with thicker coats are going to have a better time in the winter than dogs with shorter coats. When temperatures drop to low levels, dogs with less fur on their bodies are at greater risk of hypothermia and frostbite, making frigid conditions potentially life-threatening.


The size of your canine also must be taken into account when deciding what temperature is too cold to walk your dog. Larger dogs are going to be less sensitive to cold conditions than small dogs, as they lose body heat faster because of their tinier size. This means that if the temperature is below freezing, small dog breeds shouldn’t be let outside at all, even if they have a thick coat of fur.


If you want to learn when it is too cold to walk your dog, consider their age. The age of your dog plays a part in its ability to regulate body temperature. As a result, dogs that are very old or young puppies may have a harder time staying warm outside.


While it’s important for owners to know what temperature is too low for their dogs, they may give signs of their own to let you know. Shivering, tucking their tail, and other behaviors are clues that they’re too cold for the current temperature.

The Weather

When is it too cold to walk your dog? Obviously when there’s snow outside, of course! Precipitation, whether it be snow or rain, can make their fur wet, lowering their body temperature even lower. Additionally, owners should do more than just check the temperature before they walk their dogs; but the wind chills as well. 

The time your beloved pooch spends outside is also a factor because even if your giant and thick-coated dog can endure cold weather better than others, it shouldn’t be outside in frigid temperatures longer than it needs to be. This means that the time spent outside should also be considered when determining what temperature is too cold to walk your dog — dogs in cold weather should be outside for around 30 minutes or so, while smaller and less furry dogs should only have walks that last around 15 minutes.

Whether it’s hot or cold out, your canine friend is always welcome at our dog daycare in Philadelphia! At Pooch Care Plus, we have the experience to handle all of your dog care needs, including if you ever need pet-sitting services in Philadelphia and the surrounding area. For more information, give us a call today!

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