Did you know that even our beloved canines suffer in cold temperatures? Even though they are covered in their own fur, some dogs suffer in low temperatures more than others do. It is, therefore, a good idea to know what breeds are less resistant to cold weather so that we can learn how to best protect them and keep them healthy.
Age, size and the type of fur are the three main factors that determine just how well a dog can stand up to cold weather. Not unlike humans, generally speaking, puppies and old dogs are those who suffer the most at low temperatures.
Big breeds are quite resistant to the cold. They have the advantage of a greater body mass to insulate them and retain warmth. Smaller breeds are much more sensitive to severe changes in temperature. So while the big dogs can be out of doors when the temperature dips to single digits, the little ones should be kept indoors, or at least be protected from the cold weather with coats or knits when they go out.
Aside from their size, the type of fur they have obviously also plays an important role in keeping them warm in winter. A long-haired Dachshund is, for example, less vulnerable than a Chihuahua. But what really makes the difference in terms of staying warm is the undercoat. Breeds that have a thin undercoat, or even no undercoat, are certainly more at risk at this time of year.
Understanding which breeds resist the cold better than others is a matter of intuition and logic. Nordic dogs like huskies or the Akita Inu, mountain dogs like the St. Bernard, shepherd dogs like the Maremma sheepdog or the Caucasian shepherd and water dogs like the Labrador, Golden Retriever and Terranova all rank high in the resistant category.
It therefore also stands to reason that almost all small and miniature dogs belong in the non-resistant category. They include such breeds as the Chihuahua, Pinscher, Yorkshire, Jack Russell, Beagle and Greyhounds. Amazingly enough, this category also includes Dalmatians, Dobermans and Danes, all of whom, their large size notwithstanding, have short hair and no undercoat.
In order to prevent them from catching colds or other winter maladies, they should have a soft, warm and dry place to sleep in, like Thermo Lord, which looks exactly like a bed with raised sides and comes equipped with a heated rug. Another ideal bed for your four-legged buddy is the Relax F Double Face line of cushions, which have one side covered with cotton and the other with a lovely warm eco-fur. Your dog will never feel cold again if you provide it with one of these!