A woman running through on a park path with her dog in cold weather.

Do Dogs Like Cold Weather?

As the chill of winter starts to creep in, many dogs love spending time outside, whether taking a good walk or romping with four-legged friends at the dog park. So, it’s no surprise that when the weather gets cold, their instinct is to seek shelter and warmth. But do dogs enjoy spending time outdoors during the winter months?

Individual dogs can have different preferences when it comes to cold weather – some will love playing in the snow and are better suited for colder climates. Others would prefer to stay inside on a chilly day. Most dogs can handle lower temperatures as long as they’re dressed appropriately in a warm coat and booties.

Why Do Some Dogs Love The Cold Weather?

A woman jogging through a park with her dog in the cold weather.
Jogging is a great way to spend some quality time with your dog in cold weather.

Some dogs are genetically more adapted to cold climates, and these breeds tend to have thick, dense fur coats that keep them warm in freezing temperatures. These breeds also tend to enjoy being outside and active in the snow. Dogs love cold weather for several reasons. Some of the main reasons include the following.


Dogs need daily exercise, and cold weather allows them to stay active outdoors.

Playing In The Snow 

Many dogs are naturally built for cold weather and love to play and frolic in the snow.

Natural Instincts

For some breeds, winter is natural and instinctive – their coat helps keep them warm, and their feet are built for walking in the snow.

Winter Activities 

During colder months, dogs may feel more energized from being outside and taking part in activities like:

  • Hiking
  • Running
  • Swimming

These activities offer new opportunities to explore the outdoors that can be fun for both humans and dogs alike.

Fresh Air

Cold weather means fresh air, which can help improve a dog’s mood and keep them healthy.

What Type Of Dog Is Best Suited For Colder Climates?

Some dogs that have a layer of dense undercoat which helps to keep them warm in low temperatures and withstand harsh weather conditions include:

  •  Golden Retrievers
  •  Chow Chows
  •  Bernese Mountain Dogs
  •  Samoyeds

They may even enjoy spending time outdoors during cold months! 

Long-haired dogs are also known to be able to handle colder temperatures better, such as Old English sheepdogs and the Australian shepherd. Dogs with thick fur and a double coat are also suited for colder climates. Other breeds such as chihuahuas and greyhounds, which have shorter coats, may not be the best choice for colder climates as they are prone to getting cold quickly. 

Factors That Impact Whether A Dog Likes Cold Weather

When it comes to whether a dog likes cold weather, it highly depends on the dog. Some dogs may love the snow and enjoy playing in it, while others may not be as enthusiastic about spending time outdoors in colder months. There are a few factors that affect how dogs respond to the cold.


The breed of a dog can determine whether it will enjoy being in colder climates or not. It is important to consider the breed of dog when thinking about how well they would do in colder climates. For example, some double-coated breeds, such as huskies, may have an easier time withstanding cold temperatures than short-haired breeds like dachshunds. 


The size of a dog can also affect how well it does in cold weather. Smaller dogs tend to have less body fat and less insulation than larger dogs, which means they will not retain as much heat. This means that smaller dogs are more likely to need extra protection against the cold weather. 

Coat Thickness

Breeds with double-layered thick coats are better suited for cold weather, whereas dogs with thinner coats may be more prone to getting cold quickly. The thickness of the coat can make a difference in how well a dog withstands cold temperatures too. 

Age And Health Status

The age and health of a dog can affect whether or not it will be comfortable in cold climates. Younger dogs tend to have better circulation and more energy, which helps keep them warm in colder temperatures. On the other hand, older dogs may struggle to regulate their body temperature as well during the winter months.

Dogs that have any sort of physical disability may not be able to walk, play, or run in the snow like other dogs. This means they’re easily chilled and won’t be able to enjoy the cold weather as much as healthier dogs. 

Activity Level

Another factor that can determine whether a dog likes cold weather is its activity level. Active dogs tend to generate more body heat, enjoy outdoor activities and daily walks, and are more likely to be able to tolerate cold weather. But less active dogs may not be able to generate enough body heat in cold weather and get cold quickly.

Which Dogs Are Sensitive To Cold Weather?

Some dog breeds that are particularly sensitive to cold weather are as follows:

  • A small dog with a short coat
  • Short-haired or hairless breed
  • A puppy
  • An indoor pet dog
  • An old dog
  • Dog with a medical or heart condition, arthritis, and joint problems

These may be more sensitive to cold weather than other ones.

How Cold Is Too Cold For Your Dog?

At temperatures below 45°F (7°C), most dogs will start to feel uncomfortable. Smaller breeds and those with thinner fur, puppies, indoor-only pets, and those with medical issues may be even more sensitive. When temperatures drop to 32°F (0°C) or lower, it’s too dangerous for those vulnerable dogs to stay outside for long. At 20°F (-7°C) or lower, hypothermia and frostbite become a real risk. 

Symptoms Indicating Your Dog Is Cold

When dogs are too cold, they show some symptoms, including sneezing, coughing, running nose, difficulty breathing, lethargy, less energy, and slower reflexes. Checking your dog’s paws and ears for signs of chapping, frostbite, and coldness is also an important way to determine if it is too cold.

How To Keep Your Dog Warm During The Winter?

A warm coat or sweater will help to keep your dog comfortable when outdoors in cold weather. Avoid walks on icy surfaces, as these can be dangerous for dogs and provide insulation booties to protect their feet. Keep blankets available indoors, and consider wearing a scarf around your pet’s neck if they’re going outside. Finally, provide warm food and drinks to help your dog stay warm from the inside out.

In Conclusion: Do Dogs Like Cold Weather?

Ultimately, the answer to whether or not dogs like cold weather is largely dependent on the breed, size, and health of your pet. With a few extra precautions, you can help ensure that your pup remains comfortable and safe in any temperature.

So, don’t let the cool weather keep you from spending quality time with your furry companion – just be sure to dress it appropriately and provide plenty of warmth!

Do you plan to take your dog out in the cold weather? Let us know your thoughts and why in the comments below!

Dr. Majid Tanveer (DVM)
Dr. Majid Tanveer (DVM)
Dr. Majid is a licensed veterinarian, writer, and animal welfare advocate. He obtained his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Pakistan. He has been working as a senior veterinarian for five years. Over the last few years, Dr. Majid has worked extensively for the betterment of animal welfare and rights in his country. He is also a proud owner of a dog, which he loves dearly. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his dog and indulging in his hobby of writing.