The best temperature for dogs varies depending on the season, your pet’s breed, health conditions, and other factors.
Regarding temperature tolerance, dogs are tougher than people, and many can tolerate colder temperatures than their owners. However, simply because your dog can tolerate a certain temperature does not mean it should, and dog owners must be aware of their dog’s limitations.
As the seasons change, you may wonder about your dog and how they adapt to temperature changes. Some dog owners even buy their pets sweaters to keep them warm or kiddie pools to keep them cool, but can a dog feel hot or cold?
According to research, they absolutely can, so keep that in mind when deciding whether your dog is too hot, too cold, or just right!
Most dogs prefer colder temperatures over warmer temperatures or vice versa. Some dogs like the cold, enjoy laying on cool tile floors and spend time in the snow and colder temperatures. Other dogs prefer to stay inside and cuddle on their cosy bed by the fireplace.
Numerous factors influence what temperatures are appropriate for a specific dog, and the individual and specific environment ultimately determine them.
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Do dogs have a favourite type of weather?
Overall, dogs prefer temperate weather. Humans can recognize preferences in our bodies for different types of weather conditions. These preferences can take various forms, such as how some people prefer to spend their summer vacations in hot countries.
In contrast, others prefer to visit places that do not experience such high temperatures. Dogs do not have such conscious preferences. However, they frequently show a marked preference for or dislike for certain types of weather and thus can be seen to have such preferences individually.
Some dogs, for example, will flatly refuse to go for a walk in the rain, whereas others may see snow falling and go insane, wanting to go out and play in it! Much of what determines what kind of weather any dog prefers is the weather in which they are most comfortable, which their breed and historical origins can significantly influence.
What breeds of dogs are best suited for cold weather?
As most dog lovers know, dog breeds come in a wide variety. Some animals were bred to be cold-weather-adapted breeds. These breeds are the Northern breeds, Arctic breeds, or double-coated breeds. Some examples are:
- Siberian Husky
- American Eskimo Dog
- Alaskan Malamute
- Great Pyrenees
- Saint Bernard
- Bernese Mountain Dog
- Anatolian Shepherd
- Chow Chow
- Norwegian Elkhound
The majority of these breeds have double coats that are thick, water-resistant, and designed specifically for cold climates to add extra insulation. Some breeds make excellent sledges or working farm dogs because they were developed and bred for use in cold temperatures.
What Is the Ideal House Temperature for Dogs in the summer?
When you’re home in the summer, you should set the thermostat between 75° F and 78°F. If you have a large, long-haired dog like a Husky or Samoyed, set the temperature to around 75° F for the dog’s comfort. On the other hand, if your dog has short hair, set the thermostat to 78° F.
When you’re away at work or on vacation, raise the temperature slightly, but don’t go above 80° F, to ensure your pet’s comfort and well-being. Additionally, provide access to fresh water and cool space, like the basement or a room with tiled flooring.
What Is the Ideal House Temperature for Dogs in the winter?
When you are at home in the winter, set the thermostat to 69° F to 72° F. Large animals with thick coats typically prefer the lower end of this temperature range, whereas you might want to set the thermostat higher for your hairless new puppy.
Set the thermostat to below 60° F while you are away from the house. Keep the temperature higher when caring for small, young, or sick animals. Always give your pet a cosy bed, and keep the drapes open so the sun can shine and the pet has a place to sunbathe.
Important winter safety tips for your dog
- In the winter, dogs can and should still exercise. But remember that the first five minutes should be spent gently warming up your dog’s muscles, just like you would.
- Fireplaces both inside and outside your house should be avoided. With a dog nearby, a fire should never be left unattended. Be sure to use a safety screen to protect your pet from embers, flames, and soot.
- Antifreeze should be kept out of dogs’ sight and out of reach.
- Be careful around space heaters because if your dog gets too close, it could burn or tip the heater and start a fire.
How to Set Your Pet’s Ideal Temperature?
Now that you know the summer and winter temperatures, let’s discuss the factors to consider when deciding the ideal temperature for your dog’s needs.
Coat Type: Cold tolerance is higher in dogs with thick, long coats, and they frequently overheat faster than humans. On the other hand, dogs with thin, short fur or hairless fur do not retain body heat and thus prefer warmer temperatures.
Size: Smaller dogs become colder faster than larger dogs, and this is due to their higher surface-area-to-volume ratio. This means that, compared to larger animals, they have more skin to lose body heat.
Body Fat: To fend off the cold, overweight dogs have a thicker insulating layer. Try to keep your pet lean and fit, though, as the health risks of obesity far outweigh the extra warmth in the winter.
Age and health: Puppies, as well as older dogs, need warmer environments. Higher temperatures and heated sleeping areas also benefit animals suffering from acute infections or degenerative joint disease.
Best Temperature For Dogs: Signs Your Dog Is Too Cold
Cold dogs may shiver, hunch over, lift their paws off the ground, or hold them there. Hypothermia is a risk in extreme circumstances, and lethargy, stiff muscles, weakness, drowsiness, and even loss of consciousness are symptoms of hypothermia. If your dog shows hypothermia symptoms, you should seek immediate medical attention.
Some signs that your dog is hypothermic, in distress, or too cold include:
- Reluctance to move positions – often remaining in a curled-up position.
- Listless, weak, or lethargic
- Ice on hair coat
- Trouble breathing
- Inaudible heartbeat
If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms, seek immediate veterinary care and, in the interim, give warm blankets or towels. Ensure to provide a safe shelter for your dog if they prefer to spend extended periods outside in the cold or even sleep there.
This shelter should be a small doghouse, big enough for the dog to turn around, raised off the ground, and lined with a thick layer of dry straw for nesting. A second outdoor dog bed is another option to think about.
All dogs kept outside for an extended period should also have access to plenty of food and fresh, unfrozen water. To help you remember these things, you might even want to keep a list of tips close at hand.
Most dogs shouldn’t typically have a problem with cold temperatures until they drop below 45° F, at which point some cold-sensitive dogs might start to feel uneasy. Owners of small-breed dogs, dogs with thin coats, young and old, or ill dogs should pay close attention to their pet’s health when the temperature drops below 32° F.
All dog owners should be aware that their dogs may become susceptible to cold-related health issues like hypothermia and frostbite once temperatures fall below 20° F.
The best way to watch dogs in the cold is to observe their behaviour closely. Your dog may be experiencing cold weather if you see them shivering, acting agitated, whining, slowing down, looking for a warm place to be, or holding up one or more paws, and this is the time to take them inside.