There are certain types of dog breeds and sizes that can be affected by the low temperatures of winter. These types of dog breeds are often large and coated with 4 ½ inches to 7 inches long hair. As for some, they possess hollow hairs that act as insulation. But as our puppies grow older (7 years and above, most live up to 9-10 years), they’ll find it difficult to withstand the winter cold like they used to while still young.
As for small sized dogs, they can withstand the low temperatures for a shorter period. Check the temperature guideline below for which small dogs can withstand various temperatures. The scale is in Fahrenheit.
- Above 60 degrees = many hours
- 50 degrees – 2-3 hours
- 40 degrees – 35-45 minutes
- 30 degrees – 15 minutes
- 25-20 degrees – 8-10 minutes
- 15-10 degrees – 3-5 minutes (max)
- Less than 10 degrees – 1-2 minutes
If the outdoor temperature stands at 10 degrees, then you little puppy goes out from a home that optimally warm, his feet pads would be at 85-100 degrees. After spending 5 minutes on a frozen ground at 10 degrees, his foot pad temperature shall have dropped to about 40 degrees. In 10 minutes, it will be about 35 degrees. And a little longer, the dog could suffer frostbite. In such a condition, if your dog doesn’t suffer frostbite, then he could develop sores, and the pads could be chapped, cracked and start to bleed. Perhaps the best way to consider the effects of the low temperature about your dog is to picture yourself outside with a light jacket and socks plus sandals only on your feet. How long can you stand the cold?
Always remember that the ratio of body size to weight, especially in the case of small sized dogs will greatly result to a faster reduction of their body temperature during a cold season than it is with the larger dogs. Due to a smaller body mass, their bodies will disperse more heat much faster. There is a weatherization fact which states that “heat seeks cold,” meaning heat attracts cold. The case applies to any heat source, whether it’s your body, a heating device in the house or your dog.
It is through this mechanism of heat leaving the body to seek cold that makes the body temperature to decrease. As such, you will see small sized dogs shivering much quicker than bigger dogs as long as all external elements are held relatively the same. The large body mass is what enables the large sized animals such as cattle, horses, elk among others to remain at an extremely cold temperature outside. The reverse logic is also true during summer. The small sized dogs will suffer more heat than the bigger dogs. Have you ever noticed that the larger dogs could lie outside in the hot sun for longer while the smaller ones will tend to avoid it for a greater part of the day? In an extremely cold weather, the small sized dogs need to be covered in a coat. It doesn’t matter whether they have short hair, as in Chihuahuas, or long haired as in Westies.