Any goldendoodle dog owner knows these fluffy, friendly canines have tons of energy. When the weather is nice, they can spend hours going on walks, playing games of fetch and just running around in the yard. Of course, it’s not as easy to take dogs out once winter rolls around.
Those cold winter months are difficult for dogs and dog owners alike. Wondering how to properly care for your goldendoodle puppy during this trying time? Here’s a closer look at how to successfully mix goldendoodles and cold weather.
Do Goldendoodles Like Snow And How Is Their Cold Tolerance?
It’s hard to pinpoint an exact temperature range that goldendoodles can handle. In general, most dogs start to become uncomfortable when the weather drops beneath 32º. However, thanks to their fluffy coats, goldendoodles are able to withstand cold temperatures better than other breeds. The following factors also play a role.
Just like people, every goldendoodle has its own opinion when it comes to cold weather. Some goldendoodles won’t hesitate to jump into a pile of snow, while others might prefer to stay cuddled under a blanket. It’s important to follow your goldendoodle’s lead and see what it’s comfortable with.
It’s no secret that your upbringing influences your tolerance for certain weather conditions. For instance, if you were raised in sunny Florida, you might struggle with the cold more than someone from Alaska. The same logic can be applied to goldendoodles. If you live in an area that’s chilly year-round, your doodle may be better suited for frosty weather.
Color of Dog’s Fur
Anyone familiar with goldendoodles is aware that they come in all sorts of colors, from creamy white to inky black. Your dog’s coat may actually influence their cold tolerance. Since darker colors absorb heat, having a dark coat can help keep your dog warm.
Age and Size
Before you start a snowball fight with your goldendoodle, consider its age and size. Young puppies and senior dogs feel cold temperatures more intensely than adult dogs, so you’ll want to be more careful with them. Larger goldendoodles also fare better in the cold than smaller ones.
How Do I Take Care of My Goldendoodle During the Winter?
While most goldendoodles enjoy running around the snow, they’re not a cold-weather breed. This means that, unlike dogs designed for the cold (like Huskies), goldendoodles should not spend a significant amount of time outside during winter.
If left out in the cold too long, goldendoodles can develop problems like frostbite and hypothermia. When winter rolls around, it’s important to take the following special steps to keep your goldendoodle warm.
Protect Your Dog’s Paws
During the summer, dogs have no problem strolling across grass and warm sidewalks. However, during the winter, the ground often becomes coated with ice and snow. These cold elements can infiltrate a dog’s paw, causing discomfort and leading to issues like frostbite. Usually, you can identify paw problems through the following symptoms:
- Avoiding using one paw
- Chewing feet
To protect your goldendoodle’s paws from those nefarious winter temperatures, consider investing in snow boots. These cute boots, which are available in a wide range of sizes and colors, keep your dog feeling comfortable and looking good.
Another item you can try is paw wax. This product is essentially a conditioner for your dog’s paws and provides a barrier against the ground frost.
Get a Winter Coat
When it’s cold out, dogs are more vulnerable to hypothermia, a medical emergency that causes a severe drop in body temperature. Symptoms include:
- Increased heartbeat
The threat of hypothermia doesn’t mean you have to keep your dog inside at all times. However, you can minimize the time they spend outside. Try not to let your goldendoodle play in the snow for more than 15 to 20 minutes at a time.
You can also keep your dog warm by investing in some dog clothing. While goldendoodles have a natural double coat, it doesn’t hurt to supplement this with a sweater or jacket. Most dog coats come with two parts: a top layer that repels water and dirt and a lower layer that provides insulation.
Moisturize Your Dog
When it starts to get cold, most of us crank up the heat inside our homes. While a warm house is comfortable, it can also be harmful. The drastic contrast in temperature between the indoors and the outdoors may dry out your dog’s skin, leading to discomfort and itchiness.
Don’t be alarmed — you don’t need to turn off the heat to keep your dog’s skin healthy. Instead, try the following tips:
- Limit baths to once a month.
- Use a moisturizing shampoo.
- Buy a humidifier for your home.
Baths can dry out your dog’s skin, so try to avoid them as much as possible. If you think your dog needs cleaning, use a wet towel and moisturizing products. You might also want to buy a humidifier to increase the moisture levels inside your home.
Keep Your Goldendoodle Fed Well
During winter, dogs require more calories to generate body heat and keep their energy levels up. However, some dog owners mistakenly believe this means they should overfeed their goldendoodles. Overweight dogs are more susceptible to a variety of health problems, including cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
To keep your goldendoodle strong in the winter, you don’t have to increase the amount of dog food it eats. However, you should keep an extra-careful watch on your pet and make sure it remains in a healthy weight range. You can also use its diet to help warm it up. Some delicious foods that naturally raise body heat include:
- Chicken soup
Always feed your dog new treats in small quantities, and consult your veterinarian if you have any nutritional questions.
Frolic in the Frost
Winter doesn’t mean you can no longer play outside with your dog. You can still have lots of fun watching your precious goldendoodle roll around in the snow, jump into piles or chase falling snowflakes — as long as you look out for their safety. By keeping your goldendoodle warm, protected and hydrated, you can enjoy plenty of wonderful winter moments together!
If you want to learn more about the unique habits and interests of goldendoodles, visit our breed overview page or contact us today. At Pride & Prejudoodles, we’re passionate about doodles and happy to answer any questions you may have about these delightful dogs.