The UK is in the midst of an unexpected arctic blast with temperatures plummeting to below freezing. But while we rummage through the wardrobe for more layers, it’s important to be mindful as to how the cold is affecting our dogs too.
Dog walks are essential for your pup and going without exercise is bound to do more harm than good. But how cold is too cold? And is there a point where walkies become too risky?
Experts at Fetch Pet have compiled a simple and effective guide to understanding if the weather is too extreme for your furry friend. Here’s everything you need to know about walking your dog in the cold.
When is it too cold to take your dog for a walk?
According to Fetch Pet, your canine’s size will determine how cold is too cold to go for walkies. But as a general rule of thumb, if temperatures dip to -6C and below, all sized dogs are at major risk of hypothermia and frostbite.
But it doesn’t have to be freezing for you to start being mindful of your dog’s safety. It’s potentially unsafe for little-or-medium-sized dogs with thin coats to be outside when the temperature drops below 7C.
Dog breeds like Siberian Huskies, Samoyed and Newfoundlands have denser coats and are usually more comfortable in colder temperatures. The breed’s familiarity with the cold is important to note and will determine how much you can trust them to play in the snow or brace the arctic temps.
Fetch Pet veterinarian Dr Aliya McCullough warns that safety is also dependent on conditions and taking your dog in rainy, windy, foggy and overcast conditions when it’s below 0C isn’t the best idea. Supervision is also crucial, in case your pup bolts for a freezing lake or gets lost in the snow.