How to protect small dogs from the cold

Winter is now coming: if you have a dog, especially if it is a small dog, a mini dog or a toy dog, it is necessary to be more alert to the colder temperatures.

When the cold of winter becomes more intense, you need to pay more attention to our four-legged friend. Small dogs are very cold, in fact, toy dogs or mini dogs are often seen shivering.

Let's see which dogs suffer most from the cold and how to protect them from the cold.

Which dogs suffer from the cold?

Small dogs are among the coldest dog breeds of all. In general, dogs that have a short coat, or no undercoat, particularly suffer from the cold because of their lack of insulation. They have nothing to protect them from low temperatures.

It can be more difficult for these listed dogs to protect themselves during the winter:

  • Short-haired dogs have less protection and therefore suffer more from the cold.
  • Small or toy dogs such as: Dachshund, Chihuahua, Pinscher, Yorkshire, Yorkshire Terrier, Jack Russell, Toy Poodle, Chinese Crested. These are all breeds of dogs that do not have an undercoat and/or with a very short coat and therefore are exposed to the hazards of winter.
  • Puppies that have not yet experienced very cold weather.
  • Older dogs are more frail and cannot get enough exercise to keep warm.
  • Dogs with health problems are also more fragile and therefore are less resistant to the cold. For some diseases, the cold can become very uncomfortable as, for example, dogs suffering from arthritis see symptoms become more frequent in cold weather.

Depending on the size of the dog, the perception of low temperatures changes. A small, short-haired dog will suffer more from the cold than a large, long-haired dog.

At what temperature is the dog cold?

We know that dogs have a higher body temperature than we do and therefore have better resistance to heat and cold than humans!
You may be wondering at what temperature the dog is cold, the generalized answer is 1°C.
Small dogs also experience cold between 1 and 4°C. In sub-zero temperatures it is absolutely not recommended for smaller dogs to go outside, while for larger dogs it can be a few degrees below zero, but never more than minus 12°C.
The temperature at which dogs feel the cold is quite suggestive because it depends on the dog's resistance to cold in general but also on the weather conditions: wet cold, dry cold, etc.

How to protect the small dog from the cold?

Here are some tips to keep in mind for the colder weather:
  • Protect your puppy from the cold with a suitable dog bed

Make sure your dog's kennel is away from drafts, near a radiator (but not leaning against it) or a fireplace (but far enough away to avoid sparks). More fragile dogs such as an older dog or one with health problems might also like a blanket in its kennel.

Our recommendation: beds from the Italian brand Bau Barù, which you can find in our online shop. The underneath of the kennel is made of insulating leather to prevent moisture or cold from passing through the fabric, so your four-legged friend always stays dry and warm.

  • Protect your dog with winter clothes for small dogs

Clothing for small dogs is not only fashionable but also very useful, especially during the winter months. A coat will be able to provide your dog with extra warmth during the coldest periods and will help keep him dry. Coats, raincoats and dog sweaters are ideal for protecting small dogs from the cold!

Our recommendation: Choose a wool turtleneck sweater to keep your pup warm, you'll find many types and many colors in our online shop. Our favorite: merino wool tubulars from Italian brand Pet Chérie. If your pooch is very chilly we also recommend a down jacket, he can wear it over a sweater as well. Our favorites: the colorful down jackets from the Italian brand I Love My Dog are very comfortable and very warm, they also have a loop to pass the leash through (very convenient for the owners!). It will also be important to have a more or less warm raincoat depending on where you live to protect your pup from the rain and make sure he stays dry.

Check out our online shop for all winter clothes for small dogs: wool sweaters, turtleneck coats, sweatshirts, coats, down jackets, raincoats, etc.

  • To protect your small dog, you can also use a (padded) bag to carry him around

Slipping aboard a bag, your mini dog will be protected from the cold, especially if carried in a doggie bag, perhaps with a blanket as padding on which to snuggle to enjoy the day out and about in the warmth of his fashionable shelter! The bag allows you to be hands-free and your dog will be warm and cozy.

Our recommendation: the shoulder bag that allows you to be hands-free and is less bulky than a handbag. The faux fur one-shoulder bag from Italian brand Bau Barù will be perfect for keeping your small dog warm without sacrificing style! There are also one-shoulders from Italian brand I Love My Dog with faux fur lining so you won't need to add a blanket inside. Your love won't want to leave!

  • Protect your four-legged friend by taking shorter, more frequent walks.

You can still take walks with your dog even if it's cold; getting some exercise will help him feel less cold. Cover him well with a sweater, raincoat or down jacket, depending on the weather conditions. During the winter time, prefer play activities to long walks.
When you take him for walks keep an eye on him to make sure he is responding well to the low temperatures if you see him slowing down or shivering it is definitely time to go home to warmth.

If you've taken your dog for a walk in the snow, remove any ice stuck between his pads and check his tummy fur for anything sticking to it.After the walk you can use an oily cream for his fingertips that you can find in our online shop. Even if your puppy has been wearing a little coat, not all areas of his body will have been covered, so it's best to check. It will also be an opportunity to spot any signs of injury or other damage in the pads and nails.

Our recommendation: plan the walk so that you come home during the daytime if possible, and use different routes to keep your dog interested. Yes as the days are shorter in winter making new routes will help your dog enjoy different sights, smells and sounds.

  • Protect your small dog from colder temperatures with a richer diet.
Finally, good nutrition is always important, and winter is even more so. To combat the cold, our dog will need a richer, more nutritious diet than usual, with more fat and protein. You can also warm his meal slightly by adding a little warm water: this often improves the smell of the food and can make it more palatable in colder climates. Ask your veterinarian for advice on choosing the right food for your four-legged friend.

You may have realized that small dogs and winter don't really get along! To help our little friends have a peaceful winter, we have given you some tips. Keep an eye on your puppy when you take him outside and learn to recognize the signs that let you know he is cold.

If you haven't done so yet, all you have to do is visit our online shop to find warm garments for your mini dog. If you need advice on choosing the right garment or size for your little dog, don't hesitate to contact us we will be happy to help!
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