When the months of winter 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 the best way to look out for your Labradoodle when temperatures are more severe is extremely important. This post should answer any questions you may have when wondering what to do with your Labradoodle when it is cold outside.
Labradoodles are able to stay outside in temperatures higher than 20 degrees safely. They have outer coats that insulate and keep them dry. However, Labradoodles should not stay outside for prolonged periods or at extremely low temperatures.
It is very important that you are aware of a few things during the winter if you plan on keeping your Labradoodle as an “outside dog”.
Labradoodles and Cold Weather
Labradoodles actually really enjoy being outside when it’s cold and snowy. They were bred to be working dogs that can tolerate especially cold weather. If given the choice to stay inside or play outside, they will probably choose to stay outside.
Labradoodles have great coats that act as insulation against any extreme temperatures.
But even with that coat, you should always check the temperature while your Labradoodle is outside though.
Anything above 40 degrees Fahrenheit is fine, but when it gets beneath that you will have to be extra careful.
If the temperatures are between 20 and 40 degrees, it can pose a minor threat, but there is a small risk to consider. You will have to keep your eye on your Labradoodle and make sure they aren’t staying outside for too long.
When the temperature eventually drops beneath 20 degrees, that is where it can get pretty dangerous. Your Labradoodle shouldn’t spend too much time outside when it’s those kinds of temperatures.
These numbers all relate to when we’re talking about cold, but dry climates.
If you add rain or snow to the mix, that can change everything.
Any temperature where rain or snow is involved should be closely monitored because the moisture can make your Labradoodles’ body temperature lower.
Age Impact and Cold Tolerance
Age plays quite a large role in whether or not you can keep your Labradoodle outside on a cold day.
If it’s a new young puppy, it shouldn’t be outside in the cold for very long.
Puppies’ thermal regulation isn’t at a high enough level yet and they can easily get sick. This is the same thing with babies; they will also get sick if they are in the cold for too long.
This is the same for older dogs.
As Labradoodles grow older, it is quite common for them to develop health issues such as for example hip dysplasia. The cold weather will cause more pain to their joints and any other areas that have aged with them.
Labradoodles’ in the prime of their lives shouldn’t have any issues being outside in the cold. They truly enjoy being in the cold and fooling around in the snow.
Exercise During the Winter
Exercise is always absolutely essential for any Labradoodles lifestyle, no matter what the temperature outside might be.
Labradoodles can quickly become overweight if not trained often enough, so getting a satisfactory amount of exercise each day is super important.
They should be outside doing physical exercise for at least 1 hour each day.
This could include going on 2 walks each day.
If you find that the weather is too cold and that it hurts their paws when walking on the ground, you should consider getting some dog snow boots for them to use just for going on walks.
We live in a fairly cold area so we’ve tried several different shoes through the years, and the model my dog has been sporting for the last many years is the Ruffwear Dog Boots. (Amazon link)
- Winter boots: Protect their paws and legs from the elements and ski and snowboard edges; Ideal for cold to extreme cold weather
- Icetrek outsole: Vibram Icetrek outsoles with winter-specific lug pattern give them superb traction on icy or frozen surfaces so they can run, hike, jump, and play with ease
- Waterproof upper: Made with a 3-layer laminated soft-shell upper with DWR (Durable Water Repellent) coating; Weather- and wind-resistant while remaining breathable
- Stretch gaiter: The pullover stretch gaiter with zippered closure keeps boots securely on paws and keeps snow out; This design also protects the cinch closure from the elements
- Secure fit: A reliable hook-and-loop cinch closure system with hardware ensures a snug, secure fit on all paws
It can also be a good idea to bring your Labradoodle inside before and after the walk so they can get a chance to warm up after being outside in the cold.
Even when it’s cold, they should also still spend time outside with you playing and running around in perhaps a backyard or at the dog park.
Being outside with your Labradoodle is a great way for you to know if it’s dangerous for him or her to be outside.
If you are outside playing with your dog, and you start to thinks it feels a bit too chilly, chances are that your Labradoodle isn’t enjoying the temperature either.
At that point, it might a good idea for both of you to head inside.
Caring for Labradoodles in the Cold
Like I mentioned earlier, you will have to take care of your Labradoodle in a different way in the cold weather to keep him or her safe during more extreme conditions.
Here are a few things that you will need to consider and adapt for the colder months.
Food and Water Intake
You always have to watch and monitor your Doodles food and water bowls, but it is especially important during winter months where many people actually forget about it because it isn’t hot.
If you feed your dog outside, there’s a risk that his or her food could freeze over, making it quite difficult for your dog to dig in.
There should of course always be water available to your Labradoodle, and water certainly is at risk of freezing when left outside.
If possible, you should consider feeding your dog inside when it is too cold outside. You should also change your Doodles’ water bowl much more often than you would do during the rest of the year in a way to make sure the water stays liquid.
It can also be a good idea to actually completely change your Labradoodles’ food in the winter months. They actually need quite a lot of liquids to warm and maintain their body temperature. You should consider switching to stew-type liquid foods for the winter months, this will allow them to get the extra liquid this way.
Dogs will also need more fats and proteins during the winter to keep them warm.
If you are already feeding your dog fatty stew foods then you shouldn’t have to change his or her diet much, but you should still apply the other principles for feeding him or her.
Look Out for Ticks and Other Bugs
Bugs are surprisingly adept at handling pretty extreme temperatures. Especially bugs like ticks and fleas. Even when it’s extremely cold outside, they will still be able to live just fine.
But even though they can live outside when it’s cold, they don’t really enjoy the cold weather, so they are always on the lookout for a warm cozy fur to latch onto.
And Labradoodles are the perfect fit for this kind of “mission”.
So you should check your dog for ticks or fleas a lot more often during cold months, just in case that they during their search for warmth, decide to settle down on your Labradoodle.
Be Warry of Antifreeze and Rock Salt
During the winter months, it is very common for people to put out antifreeze or rock salt to melt the ice and make the ground safer for people to walk on.
But by doing this, it can actually make the ground more dangerous for Labradoodles.
Antifreeze and rock salt contain chemicals that can be very poisonous to dogs if they eat any it.
So make sure that if you are putting out either of these chemicals, you are aware of your Labradoodle potentially coming into contact with them.
If you have to put it, and in a place where you know your Labradoodle will occasionally be, then you should try putting it out and then letting it sit for a while until it gets the job done, and then sweep up any remains so it won’t get in the way of your Doodle.
Ensure Proper Shelter is Available
Like I have talked about a couple of different times in this post, Labradoodles really love being in the cold, but this is only true if they have a place where they can go to get warm and dry off.
If your Labradoodle is an outside dog, you will have to make sure that they always have a nice warm dry shelter outside that can protect them from the cold and snow or rain.
It is really important that their shelter is dry because again, being wet is a lot more dangerous for them.
So make sure that you build their outdoor shelter out of a material that is able to completely withstand the rain.
You will have to check their outdoor shelter often during the winter just to ensure that it is doing its job of keeping your Labradoodle as safe, warm, dry, and cozy as possible.
Tips for Cold Weather Outside Living
I’ve previously made an extremely thorough list of 15 Ideas To a Doodle Warm in Cold Weather, that I would recommend you check out.
But as a short summary, these tips are worth remembering when wondering how best to take care of your Labradoodle during the winter months:
- Age matters, whether if they are too young or too old, keep them inside more often.
- If you think it’s too cold, it is probably also too cold for your Labradoodle. If you’re inside and your dog is out and he or she looks cold, get him or her inside.
- Watch over their food, water, and shelter.
- Dry temperatures above 40 degrees are the safe zone, when below that, it should be closely monitored.
- Don’t forget to still exercise your Labradoodle 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.
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