Many people know that Labradoodles are like being outdoor, but they will often ask when it is time to bring their dog inside? As the weather starts getting colder, people start worrying about their Labradoodles staying outside during the night.
So, do Labradoodles get cold at night? Even though Labradoodles have a thick coat that can handle most cold weather, Labradoodles will get cold during nights, especially during the chilly winters in the most northern climates.
Let’s take a look at some of the different things you will have to consider before you leave your Doodle outside overnight in the winter.
Labradoodle History in the Cold
Labradoodles are, as we all know by now, a hybrid dog with Poodle and Labrador genes. The Labrador Retriever originates from Newfoundland, Canada where the water and weather can be quite cold.
Labradors’ were bred to be able to swim in the freezing waters of Newfoundland where water temperatures can vary from 32°F (0°C) in the winter to 56°F (13°C) during the summer. The coastal climate on land stays rather moderate where the temperatures usually hover around 32°F (0°C).
Before the breed became known as the Labrador, it was called the St. Johns’ or lesser Newfoundland dog, and these dogs weren’t initially used to flush and retrieve birds.
It was British fishermen that settled Newfoundland and the St. John’s dog was a large part of their fishing industry. Not only were the dogs able to help pull in the nets packed with fish, but they would also jump straight on into the freezing water after any fish that had managed to unhook itself. That gave these dogs a very high tolerance for cold already from the very beginning.
A Labradoodles’ Coat
For the many frustrations that people show about how much Labradoodles shed (and they do shed quite a bit), there is something pretty neat about that coat as it works well to protect a Labradoodle from the cold water.
Labradoodles have two layers of fur. The top layer is called the Topcoat or Guard, and this layer is a bit rougher than the Undercoat.
The Undercoat is what keeps your Doodle cool during the summer and warm during the winter. (Don’t ever shave your Labradoodle as it will remove important insulation). On top of that, the Undercoat also produces oil that can repel water and help your dog keep their skin dry, even if they are swimming in the water.
Together, the Undercoat and Topcoat will also protect your Doodles’ skin from UV rays, regulate temperature, and give your vacuum quite a lot of exercise.
Take a look at this quote from PetMD.com:
“Dogs with thick, double-layered coats tend to be the most cold-tolerant (think Siberian Huskies, Newfoundlands, or Samoyeds). In most cases, these breeds have been developed in Northern climates and may also have other anatomical, physiological, or behavioral attributes that allow them to thrive when it’s frigid.”
Cold isn’t Always Just Cold
While this perhaps doesn’t make a lot of sense at first, it will in a bit. If you’re only determining your dogs’ ability to stay out during the cold based on what the specific temperature, you will most likely forget some of the several other factors that influence how cold it actually is.
As an example, 23° F (-5°C) is cold. But 23°F (-5°C) with a serious wind chill factor can be fatal. The wind will cut through your dogs’ protective coat and lower their temperature to dangerous levels.
When you start to take all of these extra factors of “cold” into account, you will start to notice why it’s impossible to determine one specific temperature where Labradoodles gets cold during the night. We should instead be aware of all the different factors and make an educated decision every single night.
Will Your Specific Labradoodle Get Cold in the Night-time?
It’s not only temperatures that can vary according to multiple variables, but the same can also be said about dogs. Some Labradoodles will be cold at night while others couldn’t think of any place they’d rather be than outside in the cold.
Other things you should take into consideration besides just looking at the temperature includes:
- Age. You should never leave a young or too old dog outside on a cold night as they aren’t able to regulate their body temperature like dogs that are in their prime can.
- Conditioning. If your dog is used to constantly be outside, then it will do a lot better longer than the Labradoodle that hardly gets its paws muddy when playing outside.
- Cloud Cover. When there are no clouds at night it will be significantly colder than if the sky is covered with clouds)
- Dampness. If your dog has been going for a swim or just returned from bathtime, their coat will be damp and cold winds will feel like knives on the skin.
- Weight. Fat works as great insulation against cold weather but if you have a skinny Labradoodle you should get them inside a lot earlier than a well-fed one as they are much more susceptible to the cold.
Make Your Labradoodle Comfortable at Night
If you are searching for a great way to keep your Doodle warm on a cold night, then a great idea would be to consider an insulated kennel cover by Mud River. They produce covers for pretty much any size of dog kennel you can get. Click here to the current price on Amazon.
Labradoodles are certainly well equipped for the outdoors. It is one of many traits in the breed that makes them so versatile.
If your dog will spend the most nights outside and you live in an area where the temperatures can drop to freezing, then you have a greater responsibility to make sure your furry friends’ safety is guaranteed. You can’t just assume that your Doodle will be fine without considering just how cold it can get.
And besides that, your main concern shouldn’t be: Can my Labradoodle survive the temperatures?
There are several conditions that you yourself would be able to survive, but that doesn’t mean you would want to experience it on your own body.
Rather, the primary question should be: Is my Labradoodle comfortable during the night?
Besides the Mud River Kennel Cover I mentioned earlier, another great product I’ve used with a lot of success to make my dog more comfortable and protect him against the cold is a pretty basic kennel mat. Check out this one from Mud River on Amazon. It’s typically priced around $20-$25 and is great for keeping a dogs’ feet insulated and protected from the concrete in your garage or wherever you typically keep your dog.
Like us humans, a dog can also suffer from frostbite and hypothermia if they are left outside in freezing temperatures for longer periods of time.
The Perfect Dog Kennel To Keep Your Labradoodle Comfortable
There are many different ways you can make sure your dog stays comfortable and warm during the night, and by far the most important piece of gear you can purchase for a Labradoodle that lives outside is an insulated doghouse or kennel.
An insulated and well-built kennel is actually important even if you don’t exactly live in areas where the temperatures drop to freezing levels. The perfect kennel will also help keep your Doodle cool for the summer as well as warm when it’s the winter.
You should make sure that your kennel of choice comes with a heavy-duty flap to keep any wind out. You should also make sure that there is a comfortable surface where your dog is able to lie down, and this will also insulate the floor. Seeing as 75% of body heat is lost through the ground, this is a very important point.
The kennel should also be big enough for your Labradoodle to be able to stand up in, turn around, lie down and stretch out in.
If the kennel is too small, your Doodle will feel uncomfortable.
If the kennel is too big, the body heat from your dog won’t be able to warm up the inside.
To optimize the insulation value of the kennel, you should make sure to put it in a protected area of your backyard. The more you’re able to protect it from the wind and other elements, the easier it will be for your furry friend to keep it warm and dry.
Food and Water
A full stomach is one of the best things to get ready for a good nap, especially when it’s cold. Did you know that shivering actually burns more calories than just sitting idle? So seeing as being cold burns more calories than being warm, let’s remember to add some extra food to the dog bowl on a cold night.
Another thing you might overlook is the risk of dehydration. You should ensure that your dog has access to sufficient amounts of fresh, unfrozen water. If it is cold enough outside that you are searching for this post, then your Doodles’ water supply is probably frozen as you’re reading this. So perhaps you should go outside and check that your dog has fresh, and not frozen, water to drink.
Ensuring that your Labradoodle is properly fed and watered is important every single night, but it’s even more important if it might get a bit extra chilly during the night.
When is it Too Cold For A Labradoodle?
Most veterinarians will recommend that you bring your Labradoodle inside when the temperatures drop below 20°F (-6.7°C). It is pretty much a guaranteed fact that Labradoodles get cold during the night when temperatures drop that low, no matter what other factors are present.
Your dog is at risk of developing cold-related problems like frostbite and hypothermia in these temperatures.
But remember that you shouldn’t wait for a thermometer to tell you to bring your furry friend inside. Instead, pay attention to them and see what they are saying with their body language.
Part of being a great dog owner is to be able to tell the key signs your Labradoodle gives you, and if you notice that your Doodle is shivering or acting anxious or just looking dull, it’s time to bring them inside for the night.
Cold Weather Can Worsen Some Health Issues
It’s also extremely important to remember that any cold weather can exacerbate some Labradoodle health issues such as arthritis or hip dysplasia.
If you’re aware that your dog suffers from such a condition that might be worsened by a drop on the thermometer, get him/her inside immediately.
In such a situation, on cold days like that, the outside time for your dog should be limited to basic walks to loosen up their legs and an occasional potty-break.
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