Is Your Dog Too Cold At Night? (Solved!)

There are many indicators to look for when trying to assess if your dog is cold at night.    You should always research the breed of your dog to check to see what temperatures they can withstand before subjecting them to extreme weather conditions.  A dog that is exposed to extremely cold conditions for too long can have severe complications that can lead to illness, pain, amputation, or death.  Always consult a veterinarian if you are concerned about your dog’s symptoms.

This article will explain how to know if your dog is too cold. It also discusses ways to ensure they can keep warm and the signs and symptoms of exposure to cold temperatures for too long.

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Are there signs that your dog is cold at night?

There are many signs to look for when evaluating if your dog is cold in the evening.  These signs include:

  • They are shivering.
  • They are hunching their back with their tail in between their legs.
  • They are acting distressed or as though they have anxiety.
  • They are curling up in a tight ball with their nose and tail tucked away.
  • They are cold to the touch on any body part.
  • They are exhibiting a lack of energy.
  • They are displaying an unwillingness to put their paws on the ground.

Can my dog sleep outside?

Your dog can sleep outside, but it is not recommended.  You generally do not want to leave your dog unattended for extended periods.  If the temperature is too frigid, you will want to catch the signs and symptoms of illness before it turns fatal. 

Is your dog’s fur enough to keep them warm?

A dog’s fur coat does a great job at insulating your dog’s natural body heat.  But you cannot count on it always being enough to keep your companion warm.  Chances are if you are feeling cold, so are they.

How can I tell if my dog is cold while they are sleeping?

A cold dog will have a difficult time sleeping. They will curl up in a ball and tuck in their nose and tail to insulate their heat.  They may also whine to get your attention.  Because they cannot speak to tell you the problem, you should check for other signs of being cold as well.

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How can I make sure my dog is warm enough?

Give them a blanket and insulate their doghouse if they sleep outside.  You can also give them a sweater and booties to wear. I highly recommend letting them sleep indoors, especially in the winter months, if you are in an area that gets below freezing.

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How cold is too cold for my dog?

This depends on the dog breed.  A Siberian Husky can withstand much colder temperatures than a short-haired Chihuahua. A good rule of thumb is if the temperature is at 45° Fahrenheit, it is probably too cold for your canine companion.

Why is my dog shivering?

Shivering is a natural response to frigid temperatures.  Your dog’s body is creating rapid contractions to generate heat. This act slowly brings up your furry friend’s temperature to prevent hypothermia.

What problems can come from my dog being cold?

Many problems can occur from long exposure to freezing conditions. The most common concerns include:

  • Frostbite- Frostbite happens when your dog has been exposed to extremely cold temperatures for too long.  Their veins will constrict to limit blood flow.  This helps ensure their core organs get the heat the body is producing. This can cause severe damage to your pet.
  • Pneumonia- Pneumonia is an infection of the dog’s lungs.  This illness is highly contagious, so you must do your best to keep your dog and their items away from other animals in your household.  Do not forget to wash all their bedding, bed, food bowls, and collars.
  • Hypothermia– Hypothermia is when the body’s core temperature is lower than its normal levels. This can potentially be deadly if not treated right away.

Should I worry if my dog’s paws and ears are cold?

You should worry if your dog has any cold body parts.  When a dog is cold, the body will work to maintain warmth to the major organs first. This will leave little heat for the dog’s extremities.  If you notice your dog’s paws and ears are cold, they could get frostbite. 

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What are the signs of Frostbite?

Frostbite is a very serious condition that can cause permanent damage to your canine that can lead to amputation or death.  Look for these symptoms if you suspect your dog may have frostbite:

  • Color of skin changing to grey, blue, or worst-case scenario: black.
  • Swelling in the affected area.
  • Pain when touching the affected area.
  • Feeling cold to the touch.

If you think your dog has frostbite, move them to a warm location.  Never rub or massage the affected area as this will cause severe pain.

What are a dog’s symptoms of pneumonia?

Dogs can catch illnesses such as pneumonia just like a human can.  Be on the lookout for these signs and symptoms that your companion may not be feeling well:

  • They have a fever.
  • They are lethargic.
  • They have a runny nose.
  • They have discharge from their eyes.
  • They have a cough.
  • They have difficulty breathing.

Always take your furry friend to the vet to treat their illness. No one wants to see their best friend sick.

What are the signs of Hypothermia in a dog?

If you are concerned about hypothermia, you should take your dog to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Here is a short list of symptoms to watch for:

  • Your dog becomes lethargic.
  • Your dog seems unusually clumsy.
  • Your dog has stiff joints.
  • Your dog has difficulty breathing.
  • Your dog may suffer from loss of consciousness.