How Cold is Too Cold to Leave Your Dog Outside?

How Cold is Too Cold to Leave Your Dog Outside?

Winter Safety Tips for Dogs

How Cold is Too Cold to Leave Your Dog Outside?

Now the winter season is here, you might be asking yourself a very important question. How cold is too cold to leave your dog outside? As the temperatures begin to drop, it can get quite dangerous for your dog quite quickly. Instead of risking injury or even death, take a look below at some helpful tips to keep in mind this winter season.

Winter Safety Tips for Dogs

1. Watch the daily forecast.

Sure your thermometer might say it is 40 degrees out, but only by watching or reading a daily forecast can you also know what the wind chill is. Wind chill makes a big difference in what the temperature actually feels like. Stay abreast of the daily wind chill so you can know exactly how cold it feels outside.

2. Make outdoor trips brief.
How Cold is Too Cold to Leave Your Dog Outside? Once the temperature drops below 25 degrees, the air will be painfully frigid. Make outdoor trips brief. Watch for your dog to do his business so you can be ready to let him back in when he is ready. Shorten your walks as well and instead find ways around the home to work a little extra exercise in.

3. Take cues from them.
How Cold is Too Cold to Leave Your Dog Outside? If your dog is too cold, he will let you know. Based on weight and coat, this will vary from dog to dog. Simply watch their signs, such as hesitance to go out, pawing at the back door, or barking to be let in. Shivering would be a good sign that they are too cold and need to be inside with the heat. Should you see these signs, that means they are uncomfortable.

4. Provide outdoor comforts.
If you need to leave your dog outdoors for a period of time, he should have a shelter with closed sides and a roof. The shelter can be lined with straw (straw is better than blankets since it insulates well and won’t freeze) as well as some fresh water. They do make bowls that have a self heating element so if your dog does spend time outside in the winter some warm (compared to the outside temperature) water would be nice.

5. Watch for advisories.
Local animal shelters are very good about letting you know if the weather is posing a health risk to pets. Subscribe to your local shelter’s email alerts, text alerts, or Facebook page so you can stay on top of such warnings.

The winter season can prove to be uncomfortable for your pet, so follow these tips to ensure your dog stays warm and healthy this winter season.

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  1. When it comes to walks, my double-coated corgis are fine well into the teens. I get cold way before they do. But when it comes to just hanging out in the yard, they want no part of it and come back to the door quickly. But that’s true year-round as they want to be where the people (and potential food!) are. LOL!

    Today is 30 and they were content to sit in the backyard sunshine for warmth.
    Taryn recently posted..Cannibal Cardigans Consume Cute Corgi Christmas Cookies on Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

  2. Jessica Sala-Bonin says:

    Excellent post! We never leave the pups out in the cold for more than 5 minutes at a time. Also, very careful to not use rock salt or use a walkway deicer that is pet friendly!

  3. I also worry about the elderly dog owners that use tie-outs and have to go untangle their dog from being wrapped around the bushes and furniture. Going outside onto an ice or snow covered patio can be very dangerous. A fall this time of year could be very serious or even deadly for the elderly. Be careful out there!

  4. One more thing to add is — Wipe down your dog or cat’s feet after walks or prolonged periods outside. Antifreeze and rock salt is poisonous to pets.

  5. Who makes their dog sleep outside?

    • I leave my dogs to sleep outside all year long. One is a chubby Lab and the other an Old English sheep dog. It’s currently 46 degrees outside with no wind. I buy them padded beds and they tear them apart. Not everyone lives in the city and has a small dog, so the need for them to be indoor dogs isn’t necessary.

      • I have 8 huskies and I let them sleep in the tent when out mushing and in the house because im not a dick they work for there room and I respect them the days of dogs sleeping outside are gone if you love them bring them inside or give them to some one who will

      • oh that is bs dogs belong inside at night. Period,

    • my dog loves to sleep outside. So now what? I am a bad owner because my dog loves the outside more?? He has his own doggy house with abunch of blankys and toys and everything a dog needs.

    • My drunk grandma leaves 2 Chihuahuas outside all night in winter. ❄️❄️

  6. Weather can be very frigid in NE Ohio where I live! Thx for the advice! We always appreciate you linking up to the Thoughtful Spot!
    Laura at Mommy Maleta recently posted..Explore Kenya | Country (Week 1)My Profile

  7. I sure there are many four legged friends who will be very grateful for this info. Thanks for letting us get the word out here at #theWeekendSocial. Please come back and share again Thursday 9:00 PM EST. Pinned.

  8. Mom of 4 Rescues says:

    I always worry about my Terrier mix. She stays in at night but, I leave her out during the day. We live in Texas so, if you don’t like the weather just wait 5 minutes and it’ll change. I have her a dogloo house and a self warming bed in her loo. I crawl in there several times a morning just to check to see how warm it is in there before I leave her out. I worry about leaving her in and leaving her out. She is warm natured but, still worry about her getting cold!

    • How did your pup do with the dogloo? I live in central California right now winter weather can get to the 30’s… I have 2 lab mix pups and am thinking of letting them sleep in the garage with a igloo type home and a heating pad with blankets and old comforter we don’t utilize any longer. Will that be ok?

  9. I go to work during the day but I live in Montana. We leave our dogs out in the summer time but now fall is quickly approaching and I worry. It is 51 degrees out now and it feels very cold to me so I wonder if my dogs are okay. Any thoughts?

  10. Hello,I have a lab mixed retriever she does stay outside and at night I worry that it’s too cold for her and she does have a dog’s about 55 degrees out should I bring her in.the house.

    • Hi! My Big Girl, Nala is a Pitador. Half Pitbull half Black Lab. We live in the high desert of So Nv where it gets cold enuff to flurry in the early mornings. Nala and her “sister”, a medium-sized full blood Pitbull stay outside all day in as low as 35 degrees…… long as it’s nice without strong, chilly winds. I bring them in at nite as it can drop as low as 25. Nala tho, Lol, she’d rather stay under the blankets n ON my bed ALLLLL winter long! “Feed me Here n put a doggy-litter box next to the bed, THANK YOU!” Hope this helps. Also, Nala is about 3 years old and weighs about 75 lbs n my pittty is 1 yr n hlf n weighs about 50-55 lbs. So depends on ur Baby’s age n weight. Good Luck n Happy Holidays

  11. James Scott says:

    Once again I look for an answer and find a pseudo article that skirts the answer and pretends to tell you what you are asking. No references, no authoritative accountability; just conjecture by no accredited experts and likely will injure some pets as a result. 25*’s ? Seriously ?!? You would serve pets better were you to NOT comment at all.

  12. Thanks for sharing this about temperature. i have a pitbull. She love to stay outside though she has a dog house. Now i am aware about the temperature.
    Bradley recently posted..Top Tips For Pitbull OwnersMy Profile

  13. Ramona Kasavage says:

    My neighbor leaves her German Shepard puppy ( big puppy but puppy) outside all day everyday and he barks the entire day non stop.Im in Pittsburgh and it’s very cold already and the puppy has been outside this morning already for an 1.5 hours and it’s 22 degrees. I think this irresponsible and unsafe.

  14. my roommate has 3 pitbulls, now grated it doesnt snow here in the bay area, california, but it does rain and get cold out she leaves her dogs outside 24/7. ive tried telling her over and over again, but she dont care, their dog house is one igloo, yjeu all 3 have to fit in and its falling apart, when it reains it gets all wey inside. i dont know what to do to get it thrue her head, that is juust cruel, can someone help please.

    • Report her to your local dog officer! That is cruelty and neglect to animals

    • Provide the stuff needed youreself. It sucks but if your heart is telling you it’s wrong and you tell the owner the same and they do nothing..then try to fix it yourself. Wood shavings and/or hay and proper dog houses work great! You can search craigslist for used houses. I hope this helps a bit.

  15. Yeah I have a half coyote and the other half german sheperd he has the slanted eyes of a coyote. He hates the hot weather but loves the cold its 19 degrees out and snowing and when I try to bring him into the heated shop or indoors he runs off and won’t come when I call him. He is happy and content to be in his dog ouse which I have cover the floor in straw.


  1. […] – Indiana’s fur is certainly no where near frozen but it is cooler than it should be so I am indulging her and making sure she is covered when she wants to be. Who am I to argue if she wants to cuddle under my covers at night. We both stay warmer that way! Be mindful of the time your dog spends outdoors during the winter season. Follow these tips and your dog is sure to thank you. You might also like this article – How Cold is Too Cold To Leave Your Dog Outside […]

  2. Birth Blog says:

    I Live Forty Minutes Outside

    […] wey inside. i dont know what to do to get it thrue her head, that is juust crue […]

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