Labradoodles love the outdoors! But in the winter months, do Labradoodles get cold?
Labradoodles adapt to freezing temperatures with their thick coat, but be wary because they can still get cold.
In this article, we will talk about the factors that will determine if your pooch can adapt to the temperature and ways to take care of your Labradoodle in the cold weather.
- Do Labradoodles Get Cold?
- Best Temperature For Labradoodles
- Signs That Your Labradoodle Is Getting Cold
- The Dangers Associated With Staying Outside During Cold Weather
- Age And Cold Tolerance Of Labradoodles
- Caring For Labradoodles In The Cold
Do Labradoodles Get Cold?
You probably think that your Labradoodle is impervious to cold weather. Well, you’re partly right. After all, one of the mixes from which Labradoodles descended from is the Labrador Retriever, a breed that handles freezing temperature remarkably well.
Labradors originated from Newfoundland, Canada, where the temperature drops to below 0°C during certain times of the year. Bred to swim in freezing waters, they have developed a high tolerance for cold weather.
Owing to their Labrador ancestry, Labradoodles also have the type of fur that insulates them against harsh weather conditions. Their coats have two layers, the Top Coat or Guard and the Undercoat. It’s the Undercoat that keeps them snug when swimming in icy water.
However, Labradoodles may still feel chilly in winter despite their thick coat and may need some protection against arctic-like conditions.
Certain factors will determine if your fur baby needs a winter coat when the temperature drops to freezing levels.
Labradoodles generally have different coat types and how much protection these coats offer against the cold varies.
Fleece coats are shaggy and soft to the touch. However, the loose, wavy curls don’t do a good job of keeping a Labradoodle warm and cozy in chilly weather. In contrast, wool coats have tightly-spun ringlets that trap warmth, giving wool-coated Labradoodles more tolerance against the winter chill.
Like humans, how well a Labradoodle handles cold weather depends on the state of its health. If your pet suffers from some medical condition, their ability to maintain the body’s ideal temperature may be compromised, and a winter jacket will keep them snug.
Similarly, your Labradoodle will benefit from having some protection if they are underweight as they lack the natural insulation body fat provides.
Labradoodles that are too old or too young need a jacket or other covering during cold days. The thermal regulating capacity of a puppy’s body is not yet well-developed, so young dogs have trouble coping with the cold.
When it comes to senior Labradoodles, their aging bodies tend to become less tolerant of freezing temperatures.
A Labradoodle that’s used to playing outside in the snow from puppyhood will do better against the cold than one who stays indoors all the time. Moreover, if your pooch had never worn a winter coat despite freezing conditions, chances are they’d be uncomfortable if you put too much covering on them.
What’s the weather like in your area? If you live in a place where the temperature during winter typically hovers around 32° Fahrenheit, a winter coat for your Labradoodle is a good investment. Even a dense and plush wool coat is not meant to withstand such a temperature.
By the same token, provide some covering for your pet if you take them out for walks in colder weather. The wind-chill factor can penetrate a dense wool coat, much more a loose and wavy fleece coat that most Labradoodles possess.
Best Temperature For Labradoodles
Labradoodles love playing in the snow. Bred to be working dogs, they tolerate frigid weather pretty well. In fact, given a choice between staying indoors and going outdoors during winter, most would likely opt to romp in the snow.
Be that as it may, it can still get too cold for them. The best way to find out if the weather is too much for your Labradoodle to handle is to step outside and take a walk. If it’s uncomfortably cold for you, your dog may feel the same way.
Temperatures around 50° Fahrenheit and above usually doesn’t pose any risk to Labradoodles, and you don’t have to worry if they play outdoors. But be wary if the number starts to drop.
When the temperature dips to 45° Fahrenheit, it may start to get chilly for your pet. Studies show that at this temperature some dogs may start to feel the effects of the nippy weather.
If it gets colder, at around 32° Fahrenheit, start to pay attention, especially if your Labradoodle is either quite young or is a senior dog. Small breeds are also more susceptible to freezing conditions.
Once the thermometer number plunges to below 20° Fahrenheit, get ready to take action as it can get pretty dangerous for your pooch. If your Labradoodle stays outside too long, they may suffer from hypothermia or frostbite.
Keep in mind that these considerations apply to dry, cold climate alone. Rain or snow changes the situation because moisture can further lower your pet’s body temperature.
Check out this article for tips and hacks on how to prepare your Labradoodle for the winter months!
Signs That Your Labradoodle Is Getting Cold
When your pet is outside during cold days, keep an eye out for signs that the chilling temperature is starting to take its toll. These include the following:
Shivering. Just like humans, dogs shiver when they feel chilly. So a shivering Labradoodle indicates that it’s time to take your pooch indoors and get them warm. They might even need a cuddle! Find out if your Labradoodle likes cuddles by checking out this article.
Slow movement. If your normally active and boisterous Labradoodle seems to slow down after being outdoors for some time, he or she may be feeling cold. Observe your pet’s body language, too. Dogs that hunch their back or tuck their tails close to their body may be trying to keep warm.
Hiding behind trees or other structures. This is your pet’s way of seeking shelter from the cold weather. If you see your Labradoodle crouching behind a post or bush, it’s a sign they are no longer comfortable staying outdoors.
Whining, barking, or moaning. These are the usual ways dogs communicate with their humans. So your fur baby may be trying to tell you to get them out of the freezing weather.
The Dangers Associated With Staying Outside During Cold Weather
Hypothermia and frostbites are big concerns in freezing weather, so it’s important to know the symptoms of the said conditions.
Hypothermia in dogs is marked by certain symptoms, which include shivering, lethargy, weak heartbeat, and difficulty breathing. This is a dangerous condition and can lead to death if not properly addressed.
If you think that your Labradoodle is hypothermic, you need to get them to a warm area and cover them with blankets to push their body temperature up.
Frostbite is another potential risk during freezing weather. It usually affects your dog’s paws, tail, and ears. The areas will be sensitive to the touch and may have some blisters or discolorations.
Don’t rub or massage the affected area, as this could be painful for your pooch. Instead, take your Labradoodle to a dry, cozy spot and use warm (not hot!) water on the frostbitten portions of their body.
Age And Cold Tolerance Of Labradoodles
Age plays a big role in how well a Labradoodle withstands cold weather. Dogs who are at the prime of their lives usually handle cold weather better than their younger or older counterparts.
Young puppies, such as eight weeks old or younger, can’t cope with freezing conditions. At this age, their ability to regulate their body temperature is not yet well-developed. What’s more, puppies are closer to the ground, so the cold can seep into their bodies more easily.
Labradoodle pups who are a bit older can have monitored forays outside in wintertime for short periods. But if your pet starts to shiver or huddles with their companions instead of playing, better take them inside. Young dogs who stay out in the cold too long can get sick.
The same is true for old or senior dogs. As Labradoodles age, they tend to develop health issues that are aggravated by cold weather. One example of such a condition is hip dysplasia, which affects the hip joint. Chilly temperatures can cause the joints to become more painful, so a Labradoodle with this ailment would be better off inside where it’s warm and dry.
Furthermore, old dogs, along with those with weak immune systems, might not be able to retain body heat as well as those who are at their prime.
Caring For Labradoodles In The Cold
Playing in cold weather can be a lot of fun for most dogs. But more so with the active and adventurous Labradoodle. Even if chilly conditions pose some hazards for your pet, it’s easy to protect them from the cold. The same measures you take to keep warm will keep your precious pooch snug and cozy as well.
To make sure that fun in the snow doesn’t impact your pooch, here are some measures you can take.
Dress Them Up
Older dogs, puppies, or those with medical conditions will greatly benefit from having some protection from the chilly air as they may have trouble generating enough body heat.
You might want to try the EMUST Winter Dog Coat to protect your Labradoodle from the cold weather.
However, a jacket only keeps their bodies warm and leaves their paws bare. You can look into purchasing some dog boots to protect their paws from the ice-cold ground.
Look Into Their Diet
Dogs need more warm liquids during the winter months to help them maintain their body temperature. If you feed your Labradoodle dry kibble, consider switching to stew-type food to increase their liquid intake.
To keep their coats plush, dense, and healthy, add more fat and protein to their diet. Feed your furry companion a bit more food, too because they burn additional calories to keep warm.
Clean Their Paws
Ice, snow, and chemicals like antifreeze and de-icers can collect on your Labradoodle’s feet. If your pooch licks them, he or she will swallow the toxic and potentially dangerous chemicals. That’s why wiping down your pet’s paws with towels every time they come inside is a wise move.
Ice and snow can get stuck between your Labradoodle’s toes or cause painful cracks on their paws, so check their feet for signs of injury. Trimming the hair between your dog’s toes will prevent any build-up.
Don’t Leave Your Pet Alone In The Cold
A dense, thick coat offers no guarantee that your Labradoodle won’t get cold after spending too much time in the snow. Besides, your dog’s fur doesn’t cover all their body parts. If you let your canine buddy play outside, do not leave them unattended. In that way, you can monitor their condition and watch out for signs that they’re getting too cold.
Limit Their Time Outdoors
Not even an arctic dog can withstand icy weather for long periods. So if it’s freezing outside but your pooch is itching to go out and play, limiting the time they stay outside is a good compromise.
A short walk or a few minutes of romping in the snow would be enough to help get rid of their pent-up energy.
Keep Your Dog Hydrated
Proper hydration helps regulate your pet’s body temperature, so even though the weather is cold, your dog should still drink enough water. Keep their water bowl topped up and while you’re at it, check to make sure that the water is not freezing over.
Pet-proof Your Home
Because of the cold, your Labradoodle would be spending more time indoors. So it’s a wise move to pet-proof your home.
Dogs who seek heat usually snuggle close to heating sources, so keep an eye out for space heaters as dogs can burn themselves or tip the heater over and start a fire. Also, install radiator covers to stop your pooch from getting burned. Fireplaces are enticing places to warm up, so have a pet-proof system to keep your Labradoodle out of harm’s way.
Never Leave Your Pet In The Car
You know well enough not to leave your pooch inside the car during hot summer days. The same holds for cold weather. A car can turn chilly pretty quickly if you turn off the heater. However, leaving the engine running also poses some risks, including carbon monoxide poisoning in the absence of proper ventilation.
If you need to run out for some errands, leaving your pet home would be a better and safer choice.
Provide Proper Shelter
If your Labradoodle stays outside, make sure they have a dry and roomy shelter to protect them from the cold. The floor should be raised a few inches from the ground and lined with straw or other insulating material.
Don’t leave the door open to the elements. A waterproof canvas or plastic covering will provide protection against the cold and keep warm air in.
Check your pet regularly and give them food and fresh water.
I hope you enjoyed this post, “Do Labradoodles get cold?”.
If you did, then you will also love these helpful Labradoodle posts:
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- Do Labradoodles Like To Cuddle?
- Does My Labradoodle Need A Coat In Winter?
- How Much Does A Labradoodle Cost? [Full Breakdown]
- How To Take Care Of A Labradoodle [Step-By-Step]
Thanks for reading! You can get more tips and tricks for your Labradoodle here.