(Closed) How cold is too cold to walk a dog?

posted 7 years ago in Pets
Post # 34
970 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - Banff, Alberta

-30c is normal winter temperture. -40c is pretty freaking cold you don’t want to go outside, but I had to go to school when it was -40c. -50c you sit bundled up and don’t move, school is cancelled, you don’t go to work, still dog can run out for 5 seconds and run back in. 

Post # 35
5398 posts
Bee Keeper

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@Horseradish:  we live in a desert climate currently, and the official recommendation is not to walk dogs when it’s above 90 F except for at night. 115 would be way too hot. 

Post # 36
1963 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

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@AB Bride:  I’m in AB too, and I think that for us, if it is too cold to be out then it is too cold for the dog. As you mentioned in previous posts even with booties and a jacket dogs have exposed skin, and if the temperature is freeze your nostrils cold, and I wouldn’t be out for more than a few min with exposed skin, then my pup is certainly not going to be out for a walk either. I can bundle myself so that I don’t have exposed skin, but I can’t do that for him. He may need exercise, but I am sure he would rather have an indoor day with bathroom breaks in the yard than frost bite. I think that anything below -25 C is too cold, but it also really depends on the windchill. For reference, we have a short haired dog and his breed does not do extreme temperatures well.


Post # 37
861 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I live in an apartment in Calgary so my dog goes out twice a day regardless of the temp. When it’s freezing cold (like below -40) she won’t go out for more than a minute or two. Dogs don’t want to die, so I think they let you know when they’ve had enough of the cold before they get injured.  My vet said that the only real risk for dog frostbite is when you have them out in the yard unsupervised for a time – they get too cold and stop moving and that’s when frostbite sets in. 

Post # 38
7976 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

Personally, from experience, I would say that most dogs are OK until about -10 degrees C, or so. Beyond that, I would judge by what is OK for a human. Below -10C, and I would not be exiting the property so much.

My welfare come first.

Post # 39
69 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Dogs generally do fine in the cold. Protect the paws with some boots, and if he/she is short-haired or has thin skin then buy a nice sweater.  

If its cold enough out for either the dog or the human to be in pain, then its too cold for a walk. A quick bathroom break outside is all I would do in those conditions. But, there are plenty of ways to exercise a dog in the house both mentally and physically. In the winter we do a lot of training exercises/mental stimulation games to keep our pup busy. 

Post # 40
9948 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Interesting post.

Another Canadian here… and not a dog owner (but I LOVE Dogs, and have many friends that have them)

I know that pets can definitely get frost bite (they talk here in Eastern Ontario when we get extreme cold of pets potentially having damaged paws, or even losing ear tips or tail ends if they are out too long)

So I get your concern

My rule of thumb for myself sans-dog is probably below -25 C (-13 F) … after that I don’t want to go out of the house period, and I’m even more bundled up than my pet would be (in so much as his indoor coat / would be his outdoor coat in most instances)

That and above that I am still able to find the gumption to go out for a brief walk up and down the street…

Below that and I’m like you… when I am home I am home.  I don’t go out at all unless it is ABSOLUTELY FRICKIN NECESSARY.

So if I had a dog, I’d probably be one of the many Canadians who just open the back door for their dog to do their business… and then hop back in.

It gets cold here in Eastern Ontario… but nothing like the deep freeze & wind chill you Western Bees tend to see.

We might see a week or two of -20 C, -25 C and below… or maybe a few days spread throughout the Winter.

And many times that INCLUDES Wind Chill

Whereas you guys can see -20 C as a regular occurance (with or without windchill), and HUGE arctic air masses that can drop your temps down into the -35 C, -40 C, and the occasional -50 C (-58 F)

Brrrrrrrrrr !!

Except for the Calgary area and the Chinooks that bring relief, I don’t think I could ever Winter in cities like Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg / Winterpeg.  LOL


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