View Full Version : What kind of weather can dogs handle?

12-20-2005, 04:45 PM
I was just wondering, how long is it safe to have zero outside? I mean, playing and walking with him, can he handle 1 hour, 2 hours? do i need to get him some special doggie coats or something? He is a male akita with lots of fur, it seems like he would be warm but I am never sure. It gets down to 0 degrees farenheit here sometimes...

And also, the other end of the spectrum, how hot is too hot? I am sure 90 degrees would be too hot right?

12-20-2005, 05:36 PM
I'm interested in this too -- we have a relatively cold winter climate (it's been about -5f lately) but Bijou always seems happy and ready to go! I do make sure I dry the snow and ice from her feet when we get back home, though! I've often thought of getting her a cool raincoat/jacket for when it's actually snowing or raining, mostly because they're so darn cute!


12-20-2005, 05:37 PM
The other day it got down to -9 F and Molli and Sammy stayed out for about 10 minutes. But molli has very thin hair and sam is a little puppy. I think Zero will be able to handle about 45 minutes out there before he even starts to get real cold. Akita's have lots of fur protection. I'm sure he could last longer, but I think he will be comfortable for that long. I'm no expert, so I would take other advice also. ;)

Both Molli and Sammy have sweaters and coats *LOL* but Molli can never wear them because Sammy will grab the neck part and choke her.

12-20-2005, 06:00 PM
We get as cold as -40 celsius here.. I start limiting our time outside once it hits -25 celsius. Under -25 celsius, we usually can go outside for 45 minute intervals.

If you keep your dog outside and play or w/e you do for the same amount each day as the weather gets chillier, they should adjust as they are very adaptable. Just make sure they have some water which helps keep their body temperature regulated.

I do reccomend doggie boots. All brands WILL fall off sometimes if you're romping through the snow, but they are good for going for walks.

Doggie coats - not really needed for long haired.. but it's a good idea for short haired if you want to keep up their excersise.

12-20-2005, 06:01 PM
Oh, you guys make me laugh with your idea of "cold"! :p 0F is about -18C, perfect dog sledding weather! Your akita should be able to handle that for hours without even noticing! In fact, he probably enjoys the colder weather.

Seriously, what a dog can handle varies wildly by breed & individual dog. Many sled dogs never get inside a house, but they survive and thrive in temps of -50C! With a decent shelter, a little straw and protection from the wind, a husky will be just fine in just about any weather. A toy poodle will have serious problems in a temp a husky considers too warm!

All of my dogs are outside for some period of time when it's -40C(-40F). Some of them for longer than others. The old timers go out and pee and come right back in. The younger dogs run around, play and then come in to warm up. Heyoka, my malamute, is at his most active when it's that cold. He loves it. Even the huskies think he's a little off his rocker! Hobo can't handle extreme temps as some of his fur never grew back where the wolf ripped him open. He gets frostbite very easily in those spots.

Last winter, in an extreme cold snap, I was outside trying to convince Pingo she should come in. I stuck my head in her doghouse and suddenly realized why she wasn't coming inside..it was warmer in her doghouse--insulated and full of straw! She was toasty warm!

Basically, use common sense and you and your dog will be fine.

12-20-2005, 06:17 PM
MAXIMUS loves the snow and cold. To bad we don't get more. But, when he has enough, he goes for the car. "Let's go, I'm freezing". I think they will let you know. He does have boots though. And doesn't mind wearing them. That is just not his idea of "frosty paws."

12-20-2005, 06:24 PM
Oh, you guys make me laugh with your idea of "cold"! :p 0F is about -18C, perfect dog sledding weather!
I have to agree with ya there! lol. ;)

If he is an Akita I also think he should be fine outdoors for some long time. :) Like Glacier my Huskies are outside, though mine don't come inside...My Australian Shepherd is also outside all the time, so I would think your Akita can handle it! ;) :D The only dog I have inside is Meeko, but he is a Pomeranian :rolleyes:

12-20-2005, 06:41 PM
Well I don't know about celcius but it gets as cold as -50 degrees farenheit w/ the windsheild. My dogs have to go outside to go potty in that. Molli gets SUPER cold.

Toby's my baby
12-20-2005, 06:43 PM
This might sound absolutly horrifying to you all, but right now it is like 6 degrees farenheit, and my dogs stay outside all the time. And none of my dogs have that long of hair. They all have dog houses the people could live in ( they have insulation and windows and everything, VERY warm) but even so, some PTers probably disagree a lot with this, but my dogs have lived outside there whole lives. Boo boo has for 13 years, and at night it averages about -5 F.

12-20-2005, 06:58 PM
We don't really have to worry about winter here. Our winter don't get very cold, at the lowest we might get to around 30 degrees (-1 C) but that's only at night. However Payson is a wimp and he stands outside and shakes when we take him out, so we finally got him a jacket.


Summers here are horrible so we have to be really careful, we get temps of 115+ (46 C).

12-20-2005, 07:06 PM
I really feel it has a lot to do with acclimation and what the dog is used to. It's the same with people really. 35-40 degrees would feel awful cold to someone who was used to deep south temperatures, but it feels like a balmy day to me in the winter. Tommy and Tasha live in the house, if they go out and it is -10 F or colder they pick up their feet and Tasha trembles and they want to come in quickly. But if they were outside all the time they'd be more acclimated and handle it easier, at least Tommy would, not so sure about Tash ;). I think Zero will be fine in about any weather you'd have though, Akitas generally have thick wooly coats and enjoy the cool weather :).

As others have mentioned, I'd worry more about heat in the summer. Overheating is definitely more of a risk for him than getting too cold.

12-20-2005, 07:13 PM
Oh, you guys make me laugh with your idea of "cold"! 0F is about -18C, perfect dog sledding weather! Your akita should be able to handle that for hours without even noticing! In fact, he probably enjoys the colder weather.
lol i new you wouldnt think that it was cold, i agree though my dogs love being outside in the winter its better cuz they dont get hot very fast so they can play more, i wish i could sled with my dogs :( how do you do it glacier?

12-20-2005, 07:44 PM
its gets to around -50*C over here and most of my dogs have short coats lol they do get cold at around -30 and start listing their paws, but 0*F is not cold at all, an akita should not have any problem at all.

12-20-2005, 07:50 PM
Yea i was just making sure. akitas have double coats, and he is very furry so I think he likes the cold just fine.

I am sorry but 0 F is very cold. You can't just walk around in regular clothes. You gotta get your parkas on!! I mean you gotta get bundled up for that kind of temperature because it's just dangerous! I went snowboarding yesterday and it was like 5 degrees F and I was dying from the cold!!! I am talking layers of pants and long sleeved shirts and sweatshirts!!!! :p :D

12-20-2005, 07:56 PM
Im not recomending this.. but our neighbors kept their dogs outside in pens all the time.. and it gets rather cold here during the winter. but their dogs never sufferd any ill causes from it.

dogs do much better then we give credit for out in the elements.
but again,, im not recomending this,, nor do i think its the right thing to do..
i think dogs should be as part as the family and 'with you' not stuck outside.

12-20-2005, 07:58 PM
lol like glacier said 0F is around -18*C which to me, is warm enugh for light pants and tang top lol just toss on a light sweater to go outside lol thats the kind of weather our snow MELTS in lol

12-20-2005, 08:00 PM
its gets to around -50*C over here

With windchill I'm assuming? Where the heck do you live? :eek:

12-20-2005, 08:25 PM
canadian prairies lol my city was the coldest place on earth last winter :p people around here are proud of that fact ;) the movie "just friends" was filmed in my city last winter, I read an artical in the paper, some of the acters stepped off the plane were shocked to say the least, the cameras had to be wrapped in quilts :p

12-20-2005, 08:31 PM
I somehow doubt your city was colder than the Antarctic ;).

edit to say: My first impression by your words was that you meant the coldest place during the entire winter. I can believe for one day a bit easier ;)

12-20-2005, 08:38 PM
canadian prairies lol my city was the coldest place on earth last winter

That's a bit of a exaggeration. :p

12-20-2005, 08:40 PM
Sassy would never be able to handle such freezing tempertures like that. She has very short hair now becuase she got her haircut. But we only take her out for walks in spring and early-mid fall. Also summer. Not winter though. To cold! Even with her coat on. In mid fall we use the coat! Sometimes even in spring!

12-20-2005, 08:49 PM
That's a bit of a exaggeration

ummm no, actually it was a fact, it does not noramly get as cold as it did, but at one point last year my city was reported to be the coldest place on earth. no joke, no exaggeration. we froze if we opend the door, and non of the dogs would go outside they all pottied in the house cuz there was no way they were going out that door!

here I got some proof if ya dont believe me key lake was the coldest, but my city was -52.1*C that day

this is an exerpt of a speach by premier Lorn Calvert:
Premier's Speech: Premier Lorne Calvert
Saskatchewan Centre of the Arts
Regina, Saskatchewan
February 2, 2004

President Badham, President Hardy, Delegates, Legislative Colleagues and Friends:

Thank you President Badham for your introduction and the opportunity to speak to the 99th annual convention of SUMA.

On Wednesday of last week, Saskatchewan earned the dubious distinction of being the coldest jurisdiction on earth that day. Key Lake, Saskatchewan at 52.3 degrees below zero was the coldest community on the planet.

That same day the Mars Rover reported back a temperature on Mars of minus 27 degrees. It struck me that if I were to move my truck to Mars it might have started!

12-20-2005, 09:42 PM
Oh...for one day. Sorry I thought you meant over all.

12-20-2005, 09:53 PM
lol no I meant at one point last winter :p normal is around -50 with the windchill, last winter was simpley abnormally cold, and thank gawd we dont have to deal with THAT every day! lol

12-20-2005, 09:56 PM

I would suggest to view this video from the Humane Society of the United States.

12-20-2005, 11:20 PM
I have to say my three love the cold weather much more than they do the warm. Now it usually doesn't get below zero much here, but they seem just as happy outside when it's 30 or when it's 0. They do have a doghouse but most of the time refuse to go in it (Roxey would much rather sleep on top of it :rolleyes: ). It's not unusual for them to be out for hours at a time in the cold...because they want to be. If they want in all they have to do is ask (scratch on the door or bark).
They expecially love it this year because we have quite a bit of snow on the ground, they play like crazy:)

Of course I do have a husky and a chow, but Bon must be warm blooded because he stays right out there with the girls! I have noticed that they've been eating quite a bit more since they stay out so long.

So I think as long as he's used to it and wants to be out in it there not a thing wrong with letting him be out as much as he wants!

12-20-2005, 11:45 PM
Zero will do just fine with the cold and can handle it for quite awhile.Kujo is an Akita to and when we lived in Florida I could never get him to stay out now that I'm back in Illinois and he's in the cold weather I can't keep him in.My experience with all of my Akita's has been that their much more tolerant to the cold then they are the heat.Once it would hit 85 degrees I couldn't get them to do much of anything other than drinking water and sleeping.They just hated the summers.Once it got cold they sprang back to life.I'd worry more about making sure he's comfortable temp wise when it 's hot .Akita's do very well in the cold,it's the heat that gives me the most trouble with them.In fact,Kujo has asthma and during the summer I have to give him meds at least every other day.I've only had to give it to him once since it's gotten cold.

12-21-2005, 10:27 AM
That will vary based on the individual dog, breed, type of coat, age of the dog, their health and even their diet.

Dogs with longer double coats and good levels of body fat are better at handle a wider extreme of temperatures both hot and cold, since their coat and fat levels act as an insulator, even in high temperatures that insulation helps to keep their core body temps cooler,

If you have a dog with low body fat and thin coat the weather extremes there can handle is much less than the group above. during the hurricanes in the southerns where many people lost power and could not run AC or were trapped in the long traffic tie ups ended up losing their greyhounds to the heat. If I am going to outdoor events with my greyhounds on hot summer days where I won't have indoor shelter for the dogs to cool down in then I have to carry bottles of water some frozen to either pour over them to cool them down or put beside them when they are laying down to help keep them from overheating, my american eskimo though she is older can tolerate the heat better than them and does not need the water soaking.

Dogs that are ill or hyperthyroid will have a harder time with temperature extremes.

As dogs age you will often see reduced ability to handle extremes in temps

Diet, for dogs that spend a fair bit of time out of doors, they will burn off fat faster, so should be fed a higher percentage of fat during cold weather, or fed slightly more,

Windchills and humidity can also be a determining factor on how longer the dog is comfortable outdoor

As for feet, it is not so much the cold and snow that causes a problem but salt. My dogs will get frozen feet at temps below -30 C can handle -10 not problem in the backyard, but walk them on the where is just below freezing where sidewalks and roads are salted and they are holding up the feet crying

12-21-2005, 01:29 PM
Can't help you much. we don't go below freezing here. the dogs seem to enjoy it when it is cold though.

12-21-2005, 02:30 PM
Claire and Rebel always stay inside, they don't go outside for long but more so because I don't want to be out in the cold for too long, lol. They don't like it too much, especially Rebel, dachshunds get cold pretty easily most of the time.