When the winter months come closer, we want to prepare in every way possible for the cold that awaits us. But, what should we do with our dogs? Knowing how to take care of your rottweiler when temperatures are more extreme is very important. This post should answer any questions you may have when wondering what to do with your rottweiler when it is cold outside.
Can Rottweilers Stay Outside in the Cold?
Rottweilers can stay outside in temperatures higher than 20 degrees safely. They have outer coats that insulate and keep them dry. However, rottweilers should not stay outside for long periods or in extremely low temperatures.
It is important that you change a few things during the winter if you plan on keeping your rottweiler as an “outside dog”.
Rottweilers and Cold Weather
Rottweilers actually really like being outside in the snow and cold. They were bred to be working dogs that can tolerate especially cold weather. If given the choice to play outside or stay inside, they will most likely choose to stay outside.
Rottweilers have coats that are coarse, dense and straight which acts as insulation against any extreme temperatures. This is why this breed sheds twice a year. They are growing a new coat for the upcoming season change. The shed in preparation for winter months their coat grows back thicker.
You will want to watch the temperature while your rottweiler is outside though. Anything above 40 degrees Fahrenheit is just fine, but once it gets beneath that you will want to pay more attention.
Temperatures between 20 and 40 degrees still pose little threat, but there is some risk. You will want to keep your eye on your rottweiler and make sure they aren’t out for too long.
Once the temperature drops beneath 20 degrees, it can get pretty dangerous. Your rottweiler shouldn’t spend too much time outside in these temperatures.
These numbers all pertain to cold, but dry climates. Once you add snow or rain that can change everything. Any temperature with rain or snow should be monitored because being moisture can make your rottweiler’s body temperature lower.
Age Impact on Cold Tolerance
Age plays a huge role in whether or not you should keep your rottweiler outside on a cold day.
New puppies shouldn’t be outside in cold for very long. Their thermal regulation is not at a high enough level yet and they can sick. This is similar to babies; they can if they are in the cold for too long.
Likewise for older dogs. As rottweilers grow older, it is common for them to develop certain health issues such as hip dysplasia. The cold weather can cause more pain to their joints or other areas that have aged with them and struggle.
Rottweilers in the prime of their lives should do perfectly fine outside in the cold. They actually enjoy being in the cold and playing around in the snow.
Exercise During the Winter
Exercise is absolutely essential for any rottweilers lifestyle regardless of the temperature outside.
Rottweilers have a tendency to become overweight because of the way their body is built, so getting an adequate amount of exercise is super important. They should be outside doing physical exercise for at least 2 hours each day.
This should include going on around 2 walks a day. If the weather is too cold that it hurts their paws to walk on the ground, you could look into getting some dog snow boots for them to use just while going on a walk.
It is also a good idea to bring your rottweiler inside before and after the walk so they have a chance to warm up after being out in the cold.
They should also still spend time outside with you playing and running around in a backyard or at a dog park. Being outside with your rottweiler is a great way to tell if it is dangerous for him or her to be outside. If you are playing with your dog, and you start to get a little too cold for comfort, chances are that your rottweiler isn’t enjoying the temperature either. At that point, it might be time for both of you to take a break inside.
Caring for Rottweilers in the Cold
Like mentioned above, you will need to take care of your rottweiler in a different way in the cold weather to keep him or her safe because of the extreme conditions.
Here are some things that you will need to keep in mind and adapt for the colder months.
1. Food and Water Intake
You always need to watch and monitor your rotts food and water bowls, but it is especially important during winter months. If you feed your dog outside, there are chances that his or her food could freeze over, making it harder for your pup to dig in.
You should always have water available to your rottweiler, and that certainly is at risk to freeze outside.
You may want to consider feeding your dog inside when it is too cold outside. You will also want to change your rotts water bowl much more often than you do during the rest of the year to make sure it stays liquid.
It is also wise to actually completely change your rottweilers food during the winter months. They really need a lot of liquids to maintain and warm their body temperature. You should switch to stew type liquid foods for winter months so they can get this extra liquid.
They will also need more fats and proteins during the winter to keep them warm. If you already choose to feed your dog fatty stew foods then you won’t need to change his or her diet much, but you will still want to apply the other principles for feeding him or her.
2. Watch Out for Ticks and Other Bugs
Bugs are able to handle pretty extreme temperatures. Especially bugs such as ticks or fleas. It can be very very cold and they will still be alive outside.
However, they do not enjoy cold weather, so they are really going to be looking for a warm body to hook onto. Rottweilers are perfect for this job to the ticks.
You will want to check your dog much more often during cold months for ticks or flees just in case during their search for warmth, the latched onto your rottweiler.
3. Be Warry of Rock Salt and Antifreeze
It is so common for people to put out rock salt or antifreeze during the winter months to melt ice and make the ground safer for people to walk on. In doing this, it can actually make the ground more dangerous for rottweilers.
Rock salt and antifreeze contain chemicals that can be poisonous to dogs if they eat it. Make sure that if you are putting out either of these chemicals, you are aware of your rottweiler potentially coming into contact with it.
If it is necessary for you to put it out in a place where you know your rottweiler will be, then you could try putting it out and letting it sit for a while until it does its job, then sweeping up the remains so it doesn’t get in the way of your rott.
4. Ensure there is Proper Shelter
Like mentioned a couple of different times in this post, rottweilers really love being in the cold. This is only the case if they have a place that they can go to for warmth and dry off.
If your rottweiler is an outside dog, you will want to make sure that they have a warm dry shelter outside that will be able to protect them from the cold and snow or rain. It is more important for their shelter to be dry, because again, being wet is more dangerous for them. So be sure to build their outdoor shelter out of a material that will be rain resistant.
You will want to check their outdoor shelter often during the winter to make sure that it is doing its job of keeping your rottweiler safe, warm and dry.
Tips for Cold Weather Outside Living
Remember these tips when wondering how best to take care of your rottweiler during the winter months:
- Age is important, if they are too young or too old, keep them inside more.
- If it is too cold for you, it is probably too cold for your rottweiler as well. If you are inside and your dog is out and he or she looks cold, bring him or her inside.
- Monitor their food, water, and shelter.
- Dry temperatures above 40 degrees are the safe zone, anything below that should be monitored.
- Don’t forget to exercise your rottweiler during the cold months.
If you follow these tips and watch your dog carefully, he or she should be perfectly safe and happy during the cold months of winter.