5 Dog Breeds That Need Extra Care in Winter
- by Rufus and Coco
Dog breeds have changed a lot over the past few centuries, and even though breeders are now making sure that as few pets as possible end up suffering from genetic defects, the truth is that not all dogs are the same.
As a result, dogs vary greatly in terms of their coats and their ability to tolerate cold weather. In this article, we will explore five breeds that not only dislike the cold but also struggle with regulating their body temperature during the winter season.
Dogs That Don’t Do Well in Chilly Weather
The Chihuahua is the dog that has to make the biggest amount of effort when it comes to regulating their body temperature. This small breed is equipped with a very short coat, which renders it incapable of putting up with the abuse of freezing weather.
Due to its miniature size and minimal body fat, a Chihuahua lacks the natural insulation necessary to brave the elements. Keep in mind that this breed wasn't designed to endure outdoor living, so even if you have a cozy home, your furry companion will require indoor refuge during the winter months.
To ensure the well-being of your Chihuahua, it is advisable to refrain from bathing them in winter. The rapid loss of body heat in these delicate creatures demands extra caution. Instead, we recommend using our Water Free Wash, a safe and convenient solution to maintain your Chihuahua's cleanliness and freshness without subjecting them to the discomfort of a cold bath.
Although adorable, French Bulldogs have a plethora of health issues, most of them stemming from the fact that they are notoriously brachycephalic. They don’t breathe well when it’s cold or hot, so you will need to ensure that your puppy is as comfortable as possible when the weather is extreme.
On top of that, the short coat that a French Bulldog comes with does little to nothing in the way of protecting them against the winter cold. When the outside temperature drops under 10 degrees Celsius, you should know that your dog will become very uncomfortable and will have a hard time regulating their body temperature.
As for the ideal temperature for a French Bulldog indoors, just set the thermostat to 20 to 22 degrees even when you’re out of the house. This breed is very susceptible to frostbite in its extremities (ears and paws, in particular), so never allow your Frenchie to sleep outdoors in the winter.
This is yet another breed that’s not overly muscular or prone to putting on weight, so there is no insulation layer capable of protecting a Whippet against cold weather.
Moreover, these dogs are naturally athletic, but their skin is very thin, which means that they are prone to sustaining cold-related injuries more than other breeds. This breed actually does well in hot weather by comparison, so even when it’s 30 degrees outdoors, you can safely go out on a walk with your Whippet so long as you have a collapsible water bowl with you.
Although they have a fairly short coat, these dogs love being pampered and being taken care of like any other pets, so do try using our Pamper Spray and our Pet Grooming Glove on your dog’s body just to give them a nice massage and have their coat deodorized, too.
Although the appearance of some Dachshunds doesn’t necessarily suggest this, their coat is really not thick at all. They don’t have an undercoat like other dog breeds, specifically those that are genetically engineered to put up with winter weather.
To make things worse, they’re short, so they always come in contact with the cold ground, pavement or even the snow. They don't like feeling chilly, and they also don’t appreciate getting wet - so if you live in a rainy climate, we suggest getting another breed entirely.
They always do best in outdoor temperatures above 5 degrees for short walks, and they enjoy cozy 20 to 22-degree indoor temperatures the most. If you provide them with an electric blanket or a hot water bottle now and then, they’ll be even happier.
Basenjis are short-haired, so they are not genetically engineered to put up with the abuse of cold weather. Just to give you a clue as to how much this breed hates the winter, we’ll tell you that it hails from Central Africa.
Consequently, if you own a Basenji, it’s actually recommended that you take them out for short 10 to 15-minute walks several times during the day in the winter rather than going on two long walks.
This dog is also notorious for finding opportunities for trouble, so if you make the mistake of leaving them out in the cold, they will wake you and the rest of the neighbourhood up or just forcefully find a spot to retrieve to if they can (and they will escape if that’s what they have to do).
How to Make Your Dog More Comfortable During the Cold Season
Keeping your pet warm and cozy in the winter should always be a priority for you, but it is also a matter of common sense. It is much better to take your dog on three or even four walks every day, each spanning for no longer than 10-15 minutes at a time, rather than having to go out in the cold twice a day for 30-45 minutes.
If your dog is a senior, they will experience not just the discomfort of the cold itself but also a possible episode of arthritis due to the weather. Try to keep your senior pet indoors for as long as possible and give them some supplements, such as those containing glucosamine or chondroitin sulfate.
It would be ideal if you could invest in a heated pet bet, but most electric models will turn themselves off after one or two hours for safety reasons. Some are outfitted with gel layers, so they can heat up from your dog’s body. There are also models that can be heated up in the microwave and that will stay warm for one hour or more.
In case your dog is a short-haired breed and they really have trouble regulating their body temperature, get them a dog vest and a set of booties.
Your pet’s extremities can suffer from the cold just as much as people’s extremities can in the winter - so get a balm (made with coconut oil, for example) and moisturize their paw pads once every couple of days.