It is easy to question whether or not our poodles are going to be safe outside in the cold, as the cold affects us all. For that reason, I am here to answer all your questions about poodles in cold weather.
Poodles should not stay outside in the cold for long. The only time a poodle should be out in the cold is when he or she is exercising with proper protection: paw wax, a jacket, and nose butter. Temperatures below 35 degrees can be dangerous.
Outside of these simple solutions, it is important to know how to protect your poodle during the colder seasons. Below, I will explain what you can do to give your poodle an enjoyable winter.
Poodles in Cold Weather
Depending on where you live, winter months can be extremely brutal. Temperatures drop to dangerous levels while we wrap ourselves in the thickest blankets and sweaters we own.
Although poodle’s hair looks like the thickest out of all the dog breeds, it is actually deceitfully thin.
Poodle’s have only a single coat of hair.
This is in comparison to other dog breeds which have a double coat. This means that there is an undercoat beneath the layer of fur that we see. Undercoats give dogs protection from many things, especially temperatures changes. Because poodles are without an undercoat, they are left vulnerable to cold weather.
We as humans, can go into a hypothermic state and get frostbite in the cold weather. Poodles are just as susceptible to these problems.
For this reason, a poodle should never just be left outside in the cold weather. It is dangerous for poodles to be outside because they have a single coat which makes it hard for them to manage the cold weather.
|Over 45||Your poodle is safe.|
|35- 45||Put a jacket on your poodle.|
|20- 35||Dangerously cold for your poodle.|
|Below 20||Watch your poodle closely. |
Risk of hypothermia and frostbite.
If you are wanting to take your poodle outside to exercise during the winter, that is perfectly fine. Poodles still need their exercise, even when it’s cold out. Because your poodle will be exercising, their body temperature should stay at safe levels.
However, even when you are exercising with your dog when it’s cold, you should not stay outside for too long.
A good guideline for how long your poodle should stay outside is however long you can stay outside.
Your poodle’s body will react to cold weather similarly to yours.
So, as long as you are going outside to exercise with your dog, they should be safe. You will be the gauge for how long you should stay outside. When it gets too cold for you to bear, know that your poodle is just as cold as you are.
When you feel as though you are freezing and begin to shiver, head inside with your poodle.
If you are outside for under an hour, you will typically be safe.
However, this will fully depend on just how cold it is outside. The colder it is outside, the less time your poodle should be outside.
Prepping Your Poodle
Although your poodle should be outside exercising in cold weather (depending on just how cold it is), you will not want your poodle to be outside without protection.
Certain areas of your poodle’s body become susceptible to damage during the cold winter months. These parts include:
- Skin and Coat
Because of the cold, dry air that is present during the winter, these areas are often left vulnerable. Luckily, there are certain measures you can take to prevent any damage and keep your poodle happy and healthy.
Your poodle’s nose is always wet. If it is not from your poodle licking his/ her for the one hundredth time today, it is because your poodle’s nose has natural moisture.
Unfortunately, this is not so good in the winter.
Wet noses will often become chapped and damaged in the cold winter wind. Your poodle will go outside and lick his/ her nose. Then, the dry air will soak up that moisture causing a dry, damaged nose. Then, your poodle will lick his/ nose again as the process repeats over and over again.
The damage caused to your poodle’s nose can include cracking. Over time, these cracks get even worse.
So, although your dog is innocently licking his/ her nose without any expectation for the consequences, you will have to find a solution for your poodle.
Luckily, there is a product out there that will protect your poodle’s nose in the winter.
Nose butter does many things.
- Protects your poodle’s nose from chapping
- Stops windburn
- Heals any damage present with your poodle’s nose (cracking and drying)
Nose butter is a simple solution to protect your poodle’s nose during the winter.
Because your poodle’s paws are attached to his/ her legs which on him/ her to walk, it is important to keep the paws safe and protected.
Unfortunately, the winter brings about many things that can damage your poodle’s paws.
With your poodle’s paws on the cold ground, they are extremely susceptible to drying and cracking. And, over time the cold ground can even cause infection within your dog’s paws.
Another hazard present for your poodle’s paws in the winter is ice melt or salt. Even if you are not putting these chemicals down, it can be tracked into your area. Your neighbors could even spread these chemicals.
When your poodle’s paws touch these chemicals, it burns.
Aside from these pains, your poodle’s paws also feel pain from ice within the snow. It is not uncommon for there to be sharp pieces of ice within snow banks. So, when you poodle steps in the snow they are at a high risk of being in pain.
Luckily, there is a solution for the damage done to your poodle’s paws as well. This solution is paw wax.
Paw wax does many things, such as:
- Provides protection from the cold
- Acts as a barrier against elements
- Moisturizes paws
- Provides traction
Paw wax will simply make your poodle’s paws feel much better during the winter. Paw wax will act as shoes do for us in protecting us.
Skin and Coat
With a single coat, your poodle’s skin will easily be under attack from the cold wind.
That is why it is so important that you give your poodle a jacket to wear. Although some dogs do not require a dog and you may not want your poodle to look silly, he/ she needs it. The cold is very harsh for him/ her. (Plus poodles look very cute in jackets).
A jacket will go a long way in protecting your poodle from hypothermia and frostbite.
However, putting the jacket on your poodle will only add to the possibility of mattes. The possibility of mattes is also raised as people typically leave their poodle with a longer haircut during the winter.
This makes it extremely important to bathe your poodle like usual.
Bathing ensures that all the dirt and debris present in your poodle’s hair is gone. Some conditioners will also help to prevent tangling with your poodle’s hair.
Tips for Keeping Your Poodle Safe in Cold Weather
Aside from what has already been mentioned to keep your poodle safe, here are a few other tips that will keep your poodle safe in the winter.
Play Catch Inside
Exercise for poodles is so important.
Depending on where you live, there may be some days where it is simply too dangerous to take your poodle outside. But, your poodle will still need exercise.
That is why playing catch inside is the perfect option for winter. Your poodle will be engaged while exercising and getting rid of some energy.
During the winter, the air becomes very dry.
You may already have humidifiers in your home. But did you know humidifiers are great for your poodle as well?
Some of the problems that your poodle experiences in the winter are:
- Dry cough
- Dry Eyes
By placing a humidifier by your poodle’s sleeping area, you will prevent these problems that winter presents.
Watch Out for Cold Warning Signs
It is not common for a poodle to shiver. So, when you see a poodle shivering, you should bring him/ her inside immediately. They are very cold when they are shivering.
Because hypothermia and frostbite are risks for poodles, you should be watching for signs of the issues.
The signs that you may see are:
- Poodle looking around for warmth
- Slow movements
- Poodle being anxious
- Poodle walking with a paw or leg lifted
Anytime you are outside with your poodle, you will want to watch them and make sure none of these warning signs are present. Even if you are exercising, these signs may occur.
Some poodles may show these signs in obvious ways while others may be more subtle. Just watch closely.