Depending on their body, some dogs thrive in the winter while others would rather bask under the sun. But that doesn’t mean you need a dog for every season.
You just need to know what dog breeds can tolerate the specific temperatures where you live and how to help them during seasonal changes.
But what are the best breeds for both hot and cold weather? How do you help your dog adjust to a new climate?
We have a list of the best dog breeds for hot and cold weather!
We also talk about what makes them tolerant to the heat or cold and how changes in weather affect your dog.
Best Dog Breed for Hot and Cold Weather
While some dogs are only suitable for the tropical and others for the cold weather, there are a few dog breeds that thrive in any season.
Here are the best dog breeds for hot and cold weather.
The Jack Russell is a small terrier originally bred for hunting in England. Even though they are short, this dog breed has quite a thick layer of hair.
Other Jack Russell Terriers also have a rough coat of fur. Basically, there are a lot of variations of Jack Russell, from the hairy to the short-haired.
But all Jack Russells are sturdy enough to withstand any kind of temperature, as long as it’s not extreme heat or cold. That is why they were bred to be hunters in the first place!
You can also consider the Chinook as a dog breed that is suitable for any weather. This canine athlete was bred by humans for sledding jobs.
They weigh around 50 to 90 pound and stand approximately 22 to 26 inches, just enough to keep them productive and healthy for the heat and cold.
While they thrive better in the snow, the Chinook also makes a good hiking partner even when the sun is scorching! Just make sure they stay hydrated.
This dog breed has a thick, double coat that sheds heavily for three weeks twice a year.
The Labrador Retriever is a popular dog breed you can have at home, whether you’re at a very snowy or sunny location.
Even though they don’t have a thick layer of hair, they still shed often. This shedding occurs about twice a year.
The Labrador Retriever is mostly found in the tropical areas, but they can also survive in the snow because of their webbed toes.
Webbed toes are like ducks’ feet that help dogs stop the snow from accumulating between their paws.
The Sussex Spaniel is an outdoor hunting dog with an abundant coat that is flat and wavy. They have a short frame that allows them to enjoy working while being protected by their coat.
While they have an abundant coat, the Sussex Spaniel is also perfect for the hot weather. They can tolerate warmth but can’t stay long in the yard.
This dog breed is sociable, easy to please, and behaves at their best when they are with their family.
If you want a large dog breed that copes well with the heat and cold, choose the Weimaraner.
Their thin layer of short hair is almost invisible, but that won’t stop them from playing in the snow.
Make sure not to keep them cold too long because their metabolism might be messed up.
This energetic dog breed was originally bred to hunt, so they do well in any outdoor situation.
The Weimaraner is also a people-oriented dog breed that is clingy, loyal, and friendly. Train them well to avoid separation anxiety.
What Makes a Dog Tolerant to Heat or Cold?
Dogs do not sweat. They are naturally well adapted to the heat, although their tolerance still varies depending on their breed.
Generally, it is safe to walk or play with your dog outdoors when it’s 68°F (19°C) but keep an eye on large and flat-faced breeds.
When the temperature reaches 70°F (20°C), it’s already too hot for dogs.
Many owners keep walking their dogs when it’s 80 degrees outside, not knowing they may be at risk of heatstroke.
Here are some of the physical attributes that help most dogs regulate their temperature in hot weather:
- short coat to let their skin stay cool
- light-colored hair so they don’t absorb heat from the sunlight
- proportionately large ears to dissipate heat from the body
- broad chest to run long distances
- long nose to cool the air they inhale
- small or lean build so they don’t hold in body heat
- thin, elongated paws for traction on sand.
Meanwhile, some dog breeds are well-suited for the cold weather because of the following:
- northern breeds bred to work in icy conditions
- extra body fat to give insulation and extra fuel
- thick coats with a warm undercoat to withstand the cold
- small ears to reduce heat loss
- stout, fur-covered paws for protection from snow.
As with heat, your dog can handle cold weather depending on their size and breed. But 20°F or -6°C can be dangerous for dogs. Let them inside to avoid frostbite or hypothermia.
Best Dog Breeds for Hot Weather
Some dog breeds have body structures that are best suited for high temperatures.
Here are five of the best dogs for the tropical weather!
The Golden Retriever is one of the best family dogs because of their sweet, fun, obedient, and light-hearted attitude.
Aside from you, water is also one of the things that these dogs love. They like swimming and getting dirty in the mud, which makes them the best companion on a hot summer day.
Golden Retrievers may have thick coats, but they do not enjoy the cold. They would rather play under the sun all day than touch snow!
Still, Golden Retrievers cannot tolerate extremely high temperatures, so make sure they do not get dog heatstroke from playing too much.
The Border Collie is an extremely friendly and energetic dog that loves to play in the park even if it’s scorching hot outside.
They want to absorb as much sunlight as they can by playing Frisbee, hide and seek, and tug-of-war outdoors.
They are very clever and obedient if you train them at a young age. Otherwise, they might assert themselves as the leader of the pack.
Border Collies have very strong stamina and working drive, but they are also affectionate and good with kids.
The greyhound is one of the best large breed dogs for warm weather. They are sprinters with very thin and short coats. They also have lean body mass!
These features allow the greyhound to regulate their temperature in hot weather compared to cold weather.
They also like high-speed activities like running during the day. They also participate in other sports like conformation, obedience, and agility.
Like the Golden Retriever, the Greyhound is sensitive to extreme heat and cold. Even if they love summer, you shouldn’t let them suffer from heat exhaustion.
If you want a smaller Fido in your warm place, go for the Yorkshire Terrier. Their thin texture means they are better left under the sun than in the cold.
The Yorkie’s single coat does not trap heat so they can stay cooler as the temperature rises. In fact, most small dog breeds experience the same.
They do better in the warm weather than the larger ones!
The Yorkshire Terrier is brave, feisty, and sophisticated, giving them that big-town vibe that everybody loves.
Australian Cattle Dog
If you want a summer-friendly dog with high energy levels, go for the Australian Cattle Dog. These protective dog breeds are sweet and good with kids.
Even though they mean well, they can still cause harm to these kids because of their huge movements.
Because they were originally bred to work in New South Wales, Australia, they are very tolerant of heat.
In fact, the Australian Cattle Dog can handle hot temperatures better than any other dog breed. They thrive on having a job and on being part of different family activities.
Best Dog Breeds for Cold Weather
If you live in a location where it’s always cold, here are some ideal breeds to choose from when planning to get a dog.
Huskies are one of the oldest dog breeds that originated in the Chukchi tribe of Siberia, where the temperatures are always freezing.
The Siberian Husky is probably the most popular winter dog because they look like wolves who are used to the cold outdoors.
This dog breed has a double coat that allows them to withstand low temperatures, such as the ones in Alaska.
The Alaskan Malamute is often mistaken as Siberian Husky. These arctic dogs are the largest in the area with heavier coats suitable for lower temperatures.
The double-coated dog breed has built-in insulation for playing and working during the winter.
After all, their ancestors used to help haul the Malemiut Inupiaq people carrying loads in the snow. They can pull your sleds and excel in different types of winter sports.
If you want a Siberian Husky but smaller, the Pomsky is a great choice for the cold climate. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a hybrid cross between a Siberian Husky and a Pomeranian.
Aside from their size, the Pomsky is known for being cute because of their light eyes and high energy. Plus, they are super clingy!
This house dog can withstand cold temperatures because of their soft and long coat. They can survive winter in the coldest places, although we recommend keeping them indoors.
They are a strong dog breed because their Pomeranian and Husky ancestors are both from the Arctic
Saint Bernards are named after pilgrim rescuers who go to Rome through the St. Bernard Pass.
This road is located between Italy and Switzerland, a cold place where the dogs live.
The Saint Bernard has a warm coat that makes them excellent for outdoor adventures!
These gentle giants are patient, calm, and obedient as they were trained to help injured and lost pilgrims. If domesticated, they need a large yard to roam freely.
This compact dog breed is originally from the Scottish Highlands.
They have a wiry topcoat and soft undercoat which is usually black, yellow, or brindle-striped. This coat is what insulates them from the cold.
The actual origin of Scotties is undocumented, but they have always been known for being highly adaptable to different types of environments.
Whether you want an apartment dog or a furry friend in the snow, the Scottish Terrier is a perfect choice.
Changes in Weather Affect Your Dog
Changes in seasons and weather can affect your dog’s health and activities. The same is true with moving to a new place with a different climate.
How Heat Affects Dogs
When the temperature goes up, some dogs, like the Golden Retriever, enjoy it while others try to sleep it off.
All dogs are vulnerable to summer threats like:
- suffocation inside hot cars
- paw discomfort.
They are also prone to attitude changes.
Some dogs want more space and less petting. Studies show that dog bite cases in the emergency room are more common when temperatures are high!
However, certain breeds are less tolerant to heat, including Brachycephalic breeds like Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, and Boston Terriers.
The above-mentioned dog breeds for cold weather are also less tolerant to hear because of their physical features.
How Cold Weather Affects Dogs
No dog can withstand a long time outside when it’s super cold. Even Arctic sled dogs need to stay warm inside the house because they are prone to frostbite and hypothermia.
While Saint Bernards, Siberian Huskies, and Scottish Terriers enjoy the cooler weather, they can still feel cold.
Some signs that your dog feels cold include:
- sleeping more than usual
- cold ears or body
- hiding or seeking shelter
- keeping their paws up
- curling up
- dry skin
The risks of the cold weather to dogs include:
- sneezing too much
- trouble breathing
- leaking red eyes and nose.
How to Help Your Dog Adjust to New Climate
Moving to a new place is difficult for every dog. Aside from the loneliness and anxiety they may experience, they also have to adjust to the climate.
Keep these three tips in mind to help them get acclimated to the new location and weather.
Keep Your Walks Short
Whether it’s too hot or too cold outside, your dog must have shorter walks during the first few weeks of experiencing a new climate.
Aside from the temperature, also consider their age and health when measuring how much time they need for exercising.
If the temperature is extreme, you can always play indoor games and exercises to keep them active and mentally stimulated without having to go out.
Let Them Stay Inside
Your dog might feel too hot or cold, especially during the night, if you let them stay outside after you just moved to a new place.
They can also be stressed out because they are not yet familiar with the place and you’re not around when it’s bedtime.
Give them a warm and cozy space inside your new place and then proceed to a gradual transition to an outside dog after a few months.
However, we do not recommend letting your dog stay outside if they are not naturally tolerant to the new temperature.
Keep Your Dog Dry
If your dog got caught in the rain or snow, dry them off immediately. Wet conditions should be always avoided even if your dog is used to it.
Get them inside and dry them off with a towel. You can also give them a dog sweater once they’re all dried up.
We recommend Gooby Store’s Fleece Dog Vest. It comes in different sizes to keep all kinds of dogs warm.
It’s made of 90% polyester and 5% polyurethane to help keep the moisture out.
FAQ Dogs and Climate
How Cold is too Cold for a Dog?
This depends on their breed, age, and health.
But as a general guideline, dogs get cold when the temperature falls to 45°F. Then they can catch frostbite or hypothermia when it drops lower than 20°F.
As mentioned, some dog breeds are more tolerant to the heat or cold than others because of their physical attributes.
If your dog easily catches sickness, then it’s easier for them to feel cold right away.
Find out more about how cold is too cold for puppies as well.
How do I Keep My Outside Dog Warm During Cold Winter Nights?
If you have an outside dog and it’s winter, it’s always best to let them stay inside to avoid freezing to death, especially if you have a senior dog.
If they can’t or don’t want to, make sure they have a well-insulated doghouse with heated beds. It shouldn’t be too big or too small so they can regulate their temperature better.
You should also provide them with a thermal water bowl dispenser to stay warm and hydrated.
Ensure that your outside dog is always warm during cold winter nights to avoid frostbite or hypothermia.
How Do I Keep My Dog Cool in Summer?
The most essential way to keep your furry friend cool is by giving them plenty of water. Make sure they have a constant supply of fresh and clean water even when you’re not at home.
Some signs of overheating in dogs include excessive panting, drooling, dry nose, and increased heart rate.
Keep your dog cool and happy to avoid heatstroke and other health issues.
Help Your Dog Adjust and Adapt
If you’re still planning on which dog breed to get, always take your climate into consideration.
However, if you already have one and they don’t do well in your climate, help them adjust and adapt by giving them their needs like water, sweatshirt, paw soother, and proper grooming.
As much as possible, you also want to let your dog stay inside so they can regulate their body temperatures much better.
Summer is already coming. If your dog thrives during this season, we have a lot of fun outdoor activity ideas to do with your dog during this summer!