Brrrrr…. it’s cold out, and you might be shivering, but have you ever wondered if your puppy gets cold? You’d be right too, the fact is puppies do get cold, some breeds feel the cold more than others, and some puppies get cold at night as well as the daytime. Young puppies can be particularly vulnerable and feel the cold more, causing them to be ill, so it’s wise to think about your puppy getting cold. 

In this article we’ll be filling you in and teaching you about whether your puppy might get cold, dog breeds that are good with the cold, and breeds that struggle with the cold. We’ll also be helping you figure out when is it too cold for my puppy, if puppies get cold at night, how to tell if your puppy is cold as well as easy ways to keep a puppy warm. 

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sleeping puppy
Photo by Isabela Kronemberger on Unsplash

Can my puppy get cold?

Yes, puppies are unable to regulate their temperature like adult dogs, so feel extremes of cold and warm much more. If you feel cold, you can normally bet your puppy is feeling cold too.  How cold your puppy feels will also depend on their breed, and the job they were bred for.

Breeds that tolerate the cold

Certain breeds from cold climates will have thicker fur or a double coat which helps to insulate them against the cold, They will also often have thicker set or heavier frames too. Here are some dog breeds that tolerate the cold better than others. 

  • Newfoundland – these giant bears originate from Canada and have a thick coat which is also water-resistant.
  • Samoyeds – hailing from the wilds of Siberia, these snow dogs have very thick fur.
  • Siberian Huskies – these Russian sled dogs have a coat that can cope well with the cold
  • Alaskan Malamutes – their thick fur and heavy stature suits their sled dog lifestyle well
  • Tibetan Mastiffs – bred to guard livestock these dogs have very thick fur and are also heavy set.
  • Norwegian Elkhound – bred as a hunting dog they have a thick and insulated coat to cope with the Scandinavian winters.

It’s worth bearing in mind that even though that the above breeds are designed for the cold, changes in living conditions and the prevalence of central heating mean they do adapt and will feel cold.

Breeds that struggle in the cold 

Generally, breeds from hot climates have shorter hair, and carry less weight, so are unable to cope with cold weather. Other breeds who are hunting types with a short type may also struggle with the cold.

  • Chihuahuas – Hailing from Mexico, and bred to hunt vermin, Chihuahuas have a short coat which helps them when the weather is hot, but they’re not so great when it’s cold. 
  • Whippets – this slender slinky dog breed, is bred for athleticism and speed, but not really for coping with the cold. 
  • Hungarian Vizslas – despite this breed being a working gundog, they get surprisingly cold!
  • French Bulldogs – Frenchies are a companion breed and aren’t good with extremes of hot or cold weather, In fact they like nothing better than snuggling under your covers in bed, and no we don’t mind them sleeping in the bed! 
french bulldog in snowman costume
Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash

When is it too cold for my puppy?

If you’re outside and needing a hat and scarf, it’s probably too cold for your puppy to be outside standing around. If your puppy is moving around then it’s likely the exercise is keeping them warm, but pavements are cold and puppies are close to it so feel the cold. 

Do puppies get cold at night?

Yes, puppies do get cold at night, especially if they’re sleeping in draughty rooms, or it’s winter, the nighttime temperatures have dropped, and the heating goes off overnight. Keep them warm by giving them a comfy bed and a cosy blanket to snuggle up to, some pups even wear pyjamas!

How to tell if my puppy is cold?

You can generally tell if a puppy is cold just by looking at them, dogs communicate a lot with their body language. There are signs that your puppy may be cold

Shaking or shivering

Puppies shake or shiver when they’re cold, this muscle movement generates heat and creates warmth.

Seeking out a heat source

If your puppy is desperate to sit or lie on you, next to a radiator or under a blanket, then they’re probably cold. 

Curling up in a ball

Dogs curl up to conserve body heat and provide warmth when they’re cold, so if your puppy is always curling up, chances are they might be chilly! 

How to keep my puppy warm

You can keep your puppy warm by making sure your home is at a comfortable temperature, and making their bed nice and snuggly. You can also buy a cute wardrobe for them for when they go out. Let’s look at how to keep your puppy warm.

Keep your home warm

A comfortable ambient temperature will be the easiest way to keep your puppy warm. This is generally around 21 and 26 degrees Celsius.

Make their bed cosy

Providing a snuggly bed with a nice blanket they can dig and scuff up into a nest will ensure your puppy is kept warm. 

Give your puppy a heat pad

You can microwave a heat pad for puppies that retain the heat to keep them warm at night. Some puppy heartbeat toys also have a heated inner you can microwave and give them to snuggle up to.

Get your puppy some clothes

Whether you opt for a simple jumper, coat, or more of a onesie, it will help your puppy stay warm when they’re out and about. Some puppies who really feel the cold may benefit from wearing pyjamas overnight to keep them warm at night, too.

If you’re worried about your puppy being cold, check the temperature and see if it’s warm for them. Be aware that some breeds of dog feel the cold more than others, and all dogs will generally feel pretty chilly overnight. Puppies don’t regulate their temperature well, so extremes where it is too cold or too hot, can really affect them. 

Check out our guide to when it might be too hot for your dog, and our suggestions for the best puppy beds and blankets. 
Download the Zigzag app today to learn more about teaching your puppy all the important life skills, or even how to teach an old dog new tricks. Chat to our team of professional dog trainers via the in-app chat, and you’ll get tailored advice for your puppy.