Most dogs enjoy playing in the snow.
When the snow is light and fluffy, they plow through it sending billows of snow everywhere. They put their faces in it and scoop it out. They eat it. They roll in it. When it’s more packed and on an incline, they’ll slide down it.
Different dogs have different tolerances to cold based on their breed, coat density, how much time they spend outside, and other factors. But when dogs are having fun, they’re inclined to stay outside too long. Dogs can suffer from hypothermia—which can be life-threatening. Long before that, they get so cold they’re uncomfortable. Pet owners need to know when to bring their dogs in.
Signs to look for:
If you see your dog shivering, bring him in. Like humans, dogs shiver or shake when they’re cold to generate more body heat.
Your hound’s paws may get start to get too cold. The snow can pack between the toe and paw pads of a dog’s foot causing his feet to hurt. If he stops running around as much, has an anxious or pained look on his face, and/or starts holding his paws up one at a time, it’s time for him to come in.
Watch the dog’s body language. If he’s hunched, or if his tail is down or tucked instead of being up and wagging, he’s getting cold.
If you’re on a walk with your dog in the snow and he tries to head for home or starts looking for shelter, pay attention. That’s another clue that as fun as the snow is, the two of you have been our long enough and your dog is ready to get warm.
You should listen as well. Your dog may start whining or barking to tell you he’s getting cold. Even a dog who barks when he’s excited will have a different bark to tell you he’s had enough. Read more at The Honest Kitchen blog.