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Why Does My Dog Want To Stay Outside in the Cold? 4 Reasons & What To Do

Adam Mann

By Adam Mann

newfoundland dog out in the snow

When the cold weather hits, some dogs just can’t wait to get outside. If that sounds like your dog, you don’t need to worry. However, if this is a sudden new behavior for your dog, you might want to dive a bit deeper. They could have a newfound love for the great outdoors, they might need a little more exercise, or they might have an underlying health problem driving this behavior.

We’ll go over all the different options for you here. That way, you can make an informed decision about whether this behavior is normal for your dog or if you should think about a visit to the vet.

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The 4 Reasons Why Your Dog Might Want to Stay Out in the Cold

There are plenty of reasons your pup might want to go outside when the cold weather hits. We’ve highlighted four of the most common reasons your dog might want to get out in the cold for you here:

1. They Enjoy Cold Weather

Some dogs simply enjoy the cold weather! While any dog might prefer the cold, this is especially true for cold-weather dog breeds with a double coat. These dogs come from cold lineages, and their double coats make them feel more comfortable when the weather is a bit colder.

If this sounds like your pooch, give them a little extra time outside in the winter. They’re not cold, and they’ll enjoy the time outside in their natural element!

2. They Want More Exercise

Sometimes, it’s not that your dog wants to get out into the cold, it’s just that they want to get out. When the cold weather hits, we’re less likely to go on long walks with our dogs and spend more time with them outside, which leads to them looking like they’re constantly trying to get out.

If this sounds like your dog, make it a priority to get them out a bit more, even if it means putting on an extra layer or two yourself.

Welsh corgi dog running outdoors in the snow
Image Credit: Happy monkey, Shutterstock

3. They’re Uncomfortable Inside

How hot do you keep the inside of your home during the winter months? Or perhaps there’s another animal or person inside your home that they don’t like. There are plenty of things that can make your dog uncomfortable, and it could be that they’re just trying to get away from whatever it is.

4. Health Problems

While it’s unpleasant to think about, sometimes your dog starts to like the colder weather a bit more because of an underlying health condition. These health conditions can make your dog constantly feel hot, and the cold weather can feel good if this is the case.

This is likely the issue if it’s a sudden change with your pup. If they go from hating the cold one day to loving it the next, you’ll want to take notice and see if there’s something a bit more serious going on.

a young vet checking a maltese dog
Image Credit: Creativa Images, Shutterstock

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How Cold Is Too Cold for Your Dog?

When it comes to how cold is too cold for your dog, it’s really tough to come up with any exact standard. That’s because some dogs handle the cold better than others. Not only that, but the conditions affect how cold is too cold too.

For instance, a Chihuahua in a 40-degree rainstorm with howling winds might not be all right, while a Husky on a 20-degree day might be just fine outside!

You should use these temperatures as a general guide for days without rain or excessive wind. You should also ensure your pup has access to a warmer area if they need to warm up from the cold!

Small dogs generally shouldn’t spend extended amounts of time in weather that is colder than 45°F. Most larger dogs are fine in temperatures right around 32°F, while most winter hardy dogs can handle temperatures around 20°F.

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Final Thoughts

There’s a good chance if your dog loves the cold, it’s just a personal preference, and there’s nothing to worry about. But if it’s a sudden and drastic change from their typical behavior, do yourself a favor and talk to a vet. They can help you rule out something more serious and give you a little extra peace of mind by telling you if everything is alright!

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

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