As temperatures dip below the 50s in Central Florida, you may be worried about your four-legged companion and how they’re handling the chilly weather.
Not all dogs are the same and outdoor temperatures, whether warm or cool, are going to feel different depending on the dog.
No matter the weather, most dogs will be OK in the elements for short periods of time. It’s their size and type of coat that could determine how they feel the weather. However, there is a general rule of thumb. Check out temperature safety guidelines below.
Small Dog Guidance
According to intermountainpet.com, small dogs like Chihuahuas and Yorkshire Terriers can typically deal with temperatures between 50 and 60 degrees. Owners should keep an eye on their dogs to see how they react to temperatures below that threshold.
Depending on the breed, it could be unsafe for small dogs to be out in 30 to 40-degree weather. Dogs with heavy coats like a Maltese could probably withstand the temps better than a Chinese Crested. Hairless pups should consider a sweater.
Temperatures below 25 degrees is dipping into the dangerous category, according to veterinarian Jennifer Coates as written on Pet MD.
Medium-sized Dog Guidance
Dogs who are considered medium are typically between 25 and 60 pounds. Think Beagles or Australian Shepherds.
Much of the guidance for small dogs will also apply to most medium-sized dogs. Obviously the bigger, the more likely they are to handle colder temperatures. Veterinarians also note that more heavy-set medium-sized dogs have more potential to function better than small dogs do in 15 to 20-degree weather but these temps are still dangerous, so try to keep pets out of the cold.
Large Dog Guidance
Dogs at least 50 pounds and a height of about 24 inches can be considered large, according to the American Kennel Club. Envision an American Bulldog or Husky.
No matter the coat, these larger dogs can generally withstand temperatures 45 degrees or above. Depending on a pet’s breed and specific needs, owners should keep an eye on how their dog reacts to temperatures below 35 degrees.
It’s safe to say any temperatures below 15 degrees isn’t safe for most pets, no matter their size.
However, vets say dogs much like humans get accustomed to certain climates. That being said, Florida dogs may need some extra love as temperatures dip below the 40s in the mornings, so make sure to take extra care of your pup when you go for your first walk of the day.
If you have any other concerns or want more specific advice for your pet, make sure to consult your vet.