As the temperature drops during the winter months, your Dachshund will feel the cold quicker than you think. This article will explain everything you need to know about your Dachshund, cold weather, and how to keep him warm.
Do Dachshunds Get Cold Easily?
Yes, dachshunds do get cold easily, and this is mainly due to being so close to the floor. Their short legs only allow their body to be a few inches off the ground. The cold ground draws out the heat from their body, leaving them cold very quickly.
Aside from being close to the ground, Dachshunds also have a long body, and for a small dog, have a large surface area. Having a larger surface area exposed to the outside makes it very hard to retain body heat.
What about Dachshunds with longer coats? Longhaired Dachshunds do in fact have double-coats and although this will make them more tolerable to cold weather than shorthaired Dachshunds, they still get cold quickly. Caution still needs to be taken.
What Temperature Is Too Cold For a Dachshund?
So, how cold is too cold for your furry friend?
● Before talking specifically about temperatures, it’s important to mention weather conditions first. This is because 5°C (40°F) on a dry, sunny day with no wind, is completely different from the same temperature, but on a windy, wet, cloudy day. So it’s essential to think about weather conditions alongside the temperature reading.
● Ok, but what about temperature? A safe guideline to go by for your Dachshund will be 5°C (40°F) on a sunny dry day. If it’s any colder than this or the weather conditions are bad, remain indoors with your Dachshund.
While this is not the minimum temperature other breeds can handle, for Dachshunds with their physical traits previously spoke about, it is. And some may argue that 5°C is even pushing it.
But Do Dachshunds Like Cold Weather? Snow?
Sure! Dachshunds LOVE to play in soft fluffy snow.
The first time your Dachshunds gets to experience snow, be ready for some serious excitement. Enjoy this moment and encourage your little sausage roll to have the time of his life.
Just remember that getting too cold can happen almost immediately without warning. I will be explaining in the sections below the signs to look out for, as well as best practices when outside.
Biggest Dangers Facing Dachshunds In Cold Weather & Winter Months
Let’s run through what to be careful of as the winter months come around and the temperature drops.
Dachshunds are most vulnerable to two serious conditions throughout the cold months:
⭐ Frostbite is when the skin and tissue become damaged through exposure to extremely cold temperatures. The extremities are also at a big risk… Just like water may freeze below zero, so too can the extremities like the paws, tails, nose, and ears. This is a treatable condition but it can be dangerous and painful.
⭐ Hypothermia can be a fatal condition where the organs and cells of the body start shutting down from becoming too cold. Hypothermia can affect the heart, immune system, nervous system, and the normal functioning of organs.
Hypothermia happens gradually, and there are some signs to look out for including:
● Slow movements or affected mobility
● Shallow, taxed breathing
● Dilated pupils
● Excessive shivering
Let’s run through even more signs that your Dachshund is getting too cold below.
Important Read: How long can dachshunds be left home alone?
Signs Your Dachshund Is Getting Too Cold
Knowing what to look for is crucial for the safety of your dog. If you spot your Dachshund getting too cold, you can act quickly and prevent something serious like frostbite or hypothermia from setting in.
⭐ The following signs your Dachshund is too cold:
● Holding up a paw: When dogs get too cold, they will physically try keeping one paw up off the ground. This is one of the first signs you will see
● Slowing down: The body movements of your Dachshund will start to slow down. He may refuse to run or even stop walking altogether
● Shivering / Trembling: When the body gets too cold, an automatic response is to shiver. The muscles start to contract and relax at a rapid speed in order to create heat.
● Tucked tail: If you Dachshund has his tail in between his legs, this means he’s feeling the cold. Tail tucking can also be combined with the hunching of the back. Like when humans are cold, we scrunch our shoulders up to our ears.
● Any other unusual behavior: Observing any other unusual behavior, specifically extra whining, barking, or staring at you. Could all mean something is wrong, and in this case, the temperature!
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What To Do If Your Dachshunds Gets Too Cold
If you see any of the above behaviors, then it’s time to seek a warmer place immediately. If you are close and your Dachshund is still willing to walk you can simply return home as usual.
⭐ If you are still a good 5 or 10 minutes away, it would be better for you to pick up your Dachshund and carry them back. Fortunately, Dachshunds are small dogs, so this shouldn’t be too much of an issue. Plus this will begin the process of warming them back up early and could be the difference in preventing hypothermia or not.
When your Dachshund is too cold:
● Get him inside
● Provide blankets
● Loosely wrap him in a warm blanket if he allows
● Ensure his coat is dry
● Provide lukewarm water to drink (not hot!)
● Sit with him
Do Dachshund Need Coats or Winter Jackets?
Yes, it’s a very good idea to invest in a waterproof winter jacket for your Dachshund to wear when going outside. This isn’t just limited to walks, he can wear it when he needs to go outside to use the potty.
Fortunately, winter jackets are affordable and are readily available online in all shapes and sizes.
We frequently recommend two different winter jackets. Both are incredibly well made, waterproof, and will keep your Dachshund dry and warm.
⭐ Kurgo Waterproof Dog Jacket (higher quality)
The Kurgo is slightly more expensive but is arguable better made and of more premium quality. You can also opt for colors to be more reflective which adds an extra element of safety.
⭐ Kuoser Cosy Reversible Waterproof Dog Jacket (One side waterproof, one side cozy material)
What we like about the Kuoser is that it’s reversible. One side you have similar material to that of Kurgo, but you can also reverse it to a soft and warm material.
You may also get jumpers or sweaters, which are appropriate for wearing around the house. Some houses can be quite cold in the mornings!
10 Tips To Keep Your Dachshund Warm and Safe In Winter
Let’s run 10 ways you can keep your Dachshund warm and safe throughout the chilly winter months.
1. Use Paw Wax or Winter Boots ⭐
Paw wax can be more comfortable than winter boots but they may provide less protection. Either way, paw wax or winter boots will create a barrier between the frozen ground, ice, snow and will help keep prevent his paws from freezing. It will also protect against rock salty and harsh chemicals often used to melt ice.
2. Exercise Indoors When It’s Wet or Windy ⭐
When the weather conditions are wet and/or windy it’s better to stay indoors. Fortunately, Dachshunds are small and it’s not too much of a problem to provide sufficient exercise from inside your home. Remember that weather conditions can make an otherwise tolerable temperature, rather intolerable!
3. Wear An Extra Layer When You Go Out ⭐
When taking your Dachshund out for exercise, wear an extra jumper yourself, in case he gets too cold as he is. This extra layer can be wrapped around him while you scoop him up and return home. This will stop him from getting any colder and may be the difference between hypothermia or not.
4. Remove Snow From His Paws ⭐
If you are outside in the snowy conditions without wearing dog boots (not advised) then it’s crucial for you to regularly remove snow and ice build-up from his paws. This will help prevent them from freezing, but please note that this alone will not provide full protection.
5. Winter Jackets ⭐
Winter jackets are a must for nearly all small dogs, and your Dachshund is certainly no exception. Winter jackets can be windproof and waterproof. This alone will go a long way in keeping him warm while outside exercising. However, even with winter jackets, you should still avoid windy, rainy days of below 5°C. Jackets and coats are great, but won’t make him invincible.
6. Increase His Calories (if his current weight allows for it) ⭐
It doesn’t hurt to provide a few extra calories throughout winter. Of course, it’s important to consider his current weight already, but if he’s on the low end of the scales, increase his cup size a little. Those extra calories will lead to a gradual weight gain, which will make him more tolerable to cold weather. It goes without saying, keep an eye on his weight and don’t overfeed him. If you are unsure as to how much additional food to give him, you can call your veterinarian for advice.
7. Avoid Rivers, Lakes or Bodies of Water ⭐
This is a safety tip for both you and your Dachshund! Bodies of water are a HUGE hazard in the winter months. Frozen ponds may seem like fun, but if your Dachshund gets himself into trouble, it can lead to you going in after him, which could result in both of you in trouble…
8. Don’t Venture Too Far From Home (and don’t spend too long outside) ⭐
If you walk to the local park from your home, consider the distance and whether or not it’s safe to do the same routine throughout winter. You may be surprised just how quickly your Dachshund can go from being fine to being too cold, and this is not a good moment to be far away from home.
9. Provide Extra Blankets Throughout Winter ⭐
Whether your house is cold or not, it helps to provide extra cosy blankets throughout your home in winter. Add one to his bed, and another wherever he likes to lay throughout the day. Unless you have heated flooring, remember that Dachshunds lose a lot of body heat from cold tiles, wooden floors, or laminate.
10. Provide Lukewarm Drinking Water ⭐
Throughout winter, the cold tap can run extremely cold! This may be too cold for him to drink, put him off drinking altogether, or make him cold after drinking… One way to tackle this is to fill up his water bowl with fresh lukewarm water. Of course, It will eventually go cold again, but it will at least be warmer than water from the cold tap.
Keeping your Dachshund warm and cozy is your responsibility throughout winter. These little fluffballs can get very cold, very quickly. Their long bodies and being close to the ground is their biggest weakness in cold weather. Be sure to do everything you can to keep them safe and comfortable.
If you are ever concerned for the safety of your Dachshund you should call a veterinarian immediately.
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