When is it too cold to walk your dog?


With plummeting temperatures, it’s important to keep your dog warm on his walk

The UK is bracing for arctic temperatures this week, with heavy snowfall forecast in Scotland and the Met Office issuing a level 3 cold weather warning for England.

People are being told to prepare for ‘severe cold and icy conditions’ with the drop in temperatures being blamed on an ‘arctic maritime air mass’.

The public is urged to be mindful of vulnerable friends and family and ensure they heat their homes to 18C and wear ‘multiple layers of clothing’ to stay warm, but what about our four-legged friends?

With the temperatures dropping, it’s important to keep your dog warm during the winter and when you take him out for walks.

So how do you know when it’s too cold to walk your dog and how do you keep him warm? Here’s everything you need to know.

When is it too cold to walk your dog?

According to Derby Telegraph researchers, any temperature between -1C and 4C could be “potentially dangerous” for small and medium-sized dogs. Whereas for large dogs it is between -6C and 1C.

They also said potentially dangerous temperatures are -4°C for small dogs and between -4°C and -9°C for medium-sized dogs, advising pet owners not to expose their animals at such low temperatures for an extended period of time.

The researchers added: “Common sense should be used to consider the duration of exposure to a given temperature when assessing risk.”

While the Evening Standard recommended to be “cautious when the temperature drops below about 7C”, adding that anything below that is too cold for your dog to swim in.

A woman walks a dog in the snow in Glasgow in 2021 (Photo: AFP via Getty Images)

When is it too cold for a dog to sleep outside?

According to the RSPCA dogs should not be kept in temperatures below 10°C, it is essential that in cold weather if you keep your dog outside your home that he is kept warm and not exposed to the elements. They also “advise monitoring the temperature daily.”

How to keep your dog warm?

It is important to keep your dog warm in unseasonably cold weather. Depending on the breed, some may have a thick coat of fur, so don’t have them clipped and let their fur grow out during the winter months. If you have a short-haired dog you can help keep him warm by buying him a coat to wear in cold weather, this will need to be introduced gradually so your dog can get used to the coat and feel comfortable. comfortable in it.

If you plan to walk your dog at night, it’s a good idea to invest in a reflective coat, as well as a flashing collar or light-up accessory that will help you and your dog stay visible on dark nights. ‘winter.

What tips are there for walking your dog in cold temperatures?

There are lots of things you can do to keep your dog warm this winter. The Dogs Trust have put together eight tips to keep our four-legged friends safe and warm when temperatures start to drop. They are:

  • If it’s snowing, keep your dog on a leash
  • Make sure your dog wears a collar and ID tag and is microchipped
  • Wipe your dog’s paws, feet and belly after walks
  • Never leave your dog in the car
  • Don’t let your dog walk on frozen ponds
  • Keep antifreeze away from your pet
  • Make sure you and your dog are dressed for the weather
  • Regularly check your dog’s leashes, collars and harnesses