Should I shelter my dog if it is cold?

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dog with sweater

Many people decide to shelter their dogs when the coldest seasons arrive, with sweaters or layers lined with sheepskin to prevent them from passing cool.

However, this curious practice does not benefit dogs at general levels, being even counterproductive on many occasions.

So from Dogsis we will explain when it is advisable to shelter our dog and when we should avoid it.

Index of contents

  • 1 Dog breeds that need a coat when it’s cold
  • 2 When should a dog be sheltered?
  • 3 The danger of heat stroke

Dog breeds that need a coat when it’s cold

Dressing a dog is an absurd fashion that may seem aesthetically curious but is actually very counterproductive, as it has very negative effects on dogs.

There are only a few breeds that due to their low level of body fat may need to be sheltered on certain occasions, such as chihuahua dogs who have a very weak physical understanding and a very low fat percentage.

The Chihuahua is a dog that suffers from many muscle spasms that can make us think that it is shivering, so caution must be taken as it does not always need to be sheltered.

Other types of small dogs and even hairless dog breeds also often need to be sheltered in the colder seasons, to prevent them from getting sick by catching a canine cold, also known as kennel cough.

However, most breeds do not require any type of coat, since thanks to their coat of hair and a thick layer of fat that they have under their skin, they can cope with low temperatures without any problem.

Even some races like the Nordic ones (AlaskanHusky …) love to live in very cold climates, where temperatures never rise above zero degrees, without any need to be clothed.

sheltered dog

When should a dog be sheltered?

Most breeds do not need to be sheltered, but if we have a small dog like the Chihuahua, it is advisable to shelter it a little when we go for a walk outside and the temperatures are very cold.

Below ten degrees it is advisable to put a thin coat on them, below five degrees it is better to put something on them that gives them more heat.

We should never shelter them if we are indoors and the ambient temperature is good, nor in times when it is not cold, because they can suffer heat stroke and die.

Dogs that are tied to a chain and have no ability to move / run to generate heat can also be sheltered when temperatures drop too low. Although obviously the best thing is to let them live inside the home.

If there is a storm and it rains heavily but it is hot, a dog should not be sheltered. If it rains a lot and it is cold, we can put a waterproof layer to prevent it from getting very wet and to dry it more easily when you return.

The danger of heat stroke

As bad as letting a dog be exposed to low temperatures without the possibility of getting hot is over-sheltering it and causing it to suffer from heat stroke.

A heat stroke is what happens when the dog’s temperature rises more than it should and its body does not have the capacity to cool down. For example, if we shelter a dog in summer or indoors, with the heating on.

Dogs do not sweat and cannot tell us that they are overheated because we have put warm clothing on them when it is not necessary due to our inexperience. If their body temperature goes too high, they will die.

It may interest you: Symptoms of heat stroke in dogs

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