Think about your Australian Shepherd’s well-being as winter approaches. Do Australian Shepherds do well during cold weather, despite their thick double coats? In the winter, is it possible to sleep or live outside?
Aussies and cold weather are well-covered in this guide.
In spite of the fact that Australian Shepherds are not native to cold climates, they are able to cope with extremely low temperatures. Despite the frigid weather, their thick double coats keep them toasty warm.
But, it’s important to keep an eye out for any negative signs such as shaking, trouble in walking, or chilly ears and paws. They could be signs of hypothermia or frostbite in your dog.
This guide considers whether Australian Shepherds can sleep or live outside. And also what the coldest temperatures are that they can tolerate in more detail.
Australian Shepherds: Can They Survive Cold Weather?
Originally, Aussies were bred on ranches in the Western United States where temperatures rarely fell below 5°Celsius (40F).
It’s safe to say that Australian Shepherds haven’t had a lot of experience with temperatures below zero degrees Fahrenheit over the course of their history.
So, what temperature is too cold for an Australian Shepherd? Australian Shepherds are surprisingly hardy and can survive temperatures up to 50 degrees Fahrenheit below their normal range.
A growing number of Aussies are being imported into countries such as Alaska and Canada, where the winters are particularly harsh.
What matters isn’t just how high the mercury is. No snow, rain, or wind at 0 degrees Celsius (about 30 degrees Fahrenheit) creates an entirely different environment than any of those conditions when they are present.
When it comes to temperature, there’s no such thing as an absolute safe level to follow.
It’s impossible to predict how Australian Shepherds will react to cold weather. Aussies aren’t a northern breed, so they don’t all have the same temperature tolerance for cold weather.
There are many variables to consider in this situation, including how many times a dog has been exposed to temperatures that are low.
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What Makes Most Aussies Survive in Winter Conditions
Many owners are baffled as to why their pets are able to withstand temperatures as low as -40 degrees Celsius.
Is there a simple answer to this question? Take a look at their lustrous double coats. Double-coated Aussies have two layers of hair, making them more prone to shedding.
The insulating properties of the undercoat are attributed to its soft and fluffy fur that lies near to its skin.
You can’t go wrong with this fur when it comes to keeping your dog warm. Yes, the undercoat is the one that sheds the most, making it your worst enemy when it comes to keeping your floor free of dog hair.
Fur that is longer and coarser to the touch makes up the topcoat, also known as “guard hairs.” They protect your Australian Shepherd from all kinds of weather conditions like rain, cold, and the sun with a thick layer of fur.
Due to their lack of northern heritage, it is likely that the Australian Shepherd’s thick double coat serves as their sole means of protection from the cold.
Some snow breeds, like Siberian Huskies, have improved and adapted their paw pads’ blood circulation systems so that their paws don’t freeze. Australian Shepherds do not appear to have this trait.
Can Aussies Survive the Winter in the Outdoors?
A lot of people have an opinion on this, and it’s a hot topic right now. There are a few things to keep in mind as you search for your answer.
Can Australian Shepherds live outside during winter?
The majority of dog owners believe that their pets should be allowed to live in the same place as them. It is true that dogs are social animals that need human and dog interaction to be happy.
For many people, having an Aussie as a pet is a necessity because they are very loving and want attention.
Majority of other dog owners believe that Aussies should be allowed to sleep in homes with children. Irrespective of the season.
Is it possible for Aussies to survive the winter outside?
Your Aussie could do it, provided that you have given him a very well-built, totally weather-proof dog house. A dog house built to these exacting standards is as warm and dry as your actual residence.
Dog houses in particularly cold climates need to be windproof, waterproof, insulated and have an elevated floor to prevent droughts; in some instances, an external heater may be required.
In the end, your dog will have a comfortable place to spend while there is a winter.
Leaving Your Aussie Unsupervised:
Aside from the fact that they need human and other dog interactions, Australian Shepherds don’t fare very well when left alone. Without the company of other Australian Shepherds, it would be difficult for an individual Australian Shepherd to survive and sleep outside by themselves.
Separation issues and depression can happen to breeds like the Australian Shepherd. They are known to have an intense need for human attention.
Winter Jackets for Australian Shepherds
Australian Shepherds need plenty of exercise, and cold climate has no effect on this. Whether or not he wears a winter coat while exercising is up to you. Let’s find out what’s going on.
Your Aussie does not require a winter coat in the majority of cases. Your Aussie’s body temperature will remain at a healthy level thanks to his thick double coat and regular exercise.
To that end, a winter jacket is a must if it’s extremely cold, icy, or even raining. Hypothermia can be quickly brought on by being wet or cold, even with thick double coats, which are only partially waterproof.
If you’d like to test out a new winter coat, you can do so online.
Many Australian Shepherd owners would rather forgo the winter jacket. And instead try to give their pet exercise from the comfort of their own home once the weather is inclement. It is the ideal course of action, and I’m on board with it.
Warning Signs that your Aussie is Suffering from Hypothermia
There are universal indications and behavior patterns you should keep an eye out for to prevent your Australian Shepherd from suffering from hypothermia or simply overheating. You should head back inside if your Australian Shepherd does the following:
• His steps are becoming more sluggish, and he might even stop trying to go any further.
• Raising one’s paw above the ground.
• Shivering or shaking one’s body
• Between the legs, the tail is tucked in.
• A hunched over posture
• Behavior that is out of the ordinary
While it may appear as if your Australian Shepherd is having a great time playing in the snow, things can quickly change for the worse.
In many ways, it’s just like dealing with a small child. It’s all cool until the temperature drops and you’re forced to return to the comforts of your own home. As long as you treat your Aussie like a child, you’ll be fine.
Q&A on the Winter Season for Australian Shepherds
• How cold is too cold for an Australian Shepherd?
Your own Aussie’s cold tolerance will differ from that of another dog of the same breed.
Tolerance for cold weather will be determined by one’s exposure to it. Whether it’s raining, windy, or just cold and dry will also have an effect. When the wind is chill, it can make a temperature of zero feel like -15 degrees.
• Do Aussies like the cold?
Snow is a favorite pastime for the majority of Australians. Snow is an intriguing thing for dogs because they are so active and eager to play.
If you want to walk your Australian Shepherd in snow, make sure to keep an eye on him. When it relates to hot and cold surfaces, the paws are particularly vulnerable.
• Is it okay to work out with my Australian Shepherd outside if it’s below zero and raining?
No. When it’s raining, it’s especially important to exercise caution when driving in the cold. If it’s raining and it’s cold outside, your dog will get cold quite quickly. The only time your Aussie should go outside is for a short potty break in the yard.
• Do Australian Shepherds like snow?
Your Australian Shepherd can learn to enjoy the cold weather whenever he pleases, and he can’t be coaxed into it.
To help your Aussie adjust to a new climate, you can provide him with a variety of great experiences and gradually expose him to the weather.
• How does an Australian Shepherd feel during hot weather?
An Australian shepherd’s ability to adapt to hot weather is aided by their owner’s assistance.
There are many ways for Australians to survive in hot weather. But the most important is to have a place to rest, plenty of drinking water on hand, and avoid the hottest part of the day.
Safety Reminders for your Australian Shepherds During Winter
The following safety tips should be kept in mind during the holiday and winter seasons:
We hope these dog safety tips will help you keep your Australian Shepherd safe this holiday and winter season.
In extremely cold temperatures, your Aussie shouldn’t be left outside for longer than 20 minutes at a time. In the same way that we are, they are vulnerable to sudden changes in temperature. Shelter your dog from the weather by building a doghouse.
It’s important that your dog has enough shelter if she’s going to be spending more time outside. An elevated, dry, and draft-free doghouse is ideal. Straw should be replaced when it becomes wet to prevent mold and mildew.
There are too many dogs in the care of veterinarians who have terrible skin rashes and breathing issues. This is because they were made to sleep on damp, moldy straw.
Even in the early stages of winter, your Australian can experience hypothermia and frostbite. Most dogs get frostbite on their paws. The first signs of frostbite might not show up for a few days after the exposure has occurred.
Keep an eye out for paws that are swollen and agitation. Frostbite can occur even after just a few minutes of exposure to temperatures below zero. Frost bitten skin can be gray, red, or white, and it can even peel off in large flakes if it’s not treated quickly enough.
Frozen skin can be painful and even fatal if it is not removed as soon as possible. Keep your dog safe by removing the hair between their toepads to prevent snow from accumulating between their toes.
If you think your dog might have frostbite, bring her to a warm location and apply warm (not hot, as fast rewarming is extremely painful) damp towels to the affected regions. They should be changed frequently.
Continue flushing the affected areas until they are completely dry. When trying to restore blood flow, avoid rubbing the affected area. This can lead to further damage and infection of the skin as well as underlying tissue.
Bring your dog to the vet as soon as possible if this occurs. A water bottle that is warm, not hot can be applied to the affected region while you are on the road to help keep your pet comfortable.
You should remember that if going outside is too cold for you, it’s also too cold for your Australian Shepherd. Remember to keep your pet’s safety in mind when it gets colder outside!
Despite the fact that antifreeze is a highly toxic poison, dogs enjoy the taste. In the long run, this is dangerous for dogs.
Look out for anti-freeze puddles in your driveway or parking lot. Ingestion of antifreeze by your pet can result in renal failure after 48 hours. Thus you must seek immediate veterinary attention if you suspect this has happened to him.
The poison’s most likely source is a leaking radiator or a location in a parking lot or garage where a radiator has recently been filled or drained.
Unintentional poisonings of animals often involve the alcohol-like compound ethylene glycol, found in deicers and antifreeze. It’s deadly, too.
Enzymes known as alcohol dehydrogenates, break down ethylene glycol in the stomach. Thus resulting in kidney-damaging toxins.
In general, the breed does well in colder weather. They are well-protected from the cold thanks to their thick double coat.
It’s important to remember that every Australian is different when it comes to dealing with cold weather, and some are better at it than others.
It’s important not to obsess over the temperature, but instead to focus on the weather. With no wind and no rain, 0° Celsius is far more tolerable than 0° Celsius at the same temperature. Things like temperature and humidity must be taken into consideration.
Watch your Aussie for signs that he’s becoming overheated, and don’t ignore them.