Is Your Dog Bred for Warmer or Colder Climates, and How Can You Keep Your Dog Safe From Extreme Temperatures
When bringing a new dog or puppy into your home, it is important to research all aspects of the breed to ensure that it is suited to your lifestyle. Not only are you making sure that the dog is right for you, but that you are right for the dog. This includes taking a look at the climate in which you live and how well suited a particular dog is for your location. In this post we help you learn about the best dogs for warm weather, the best dogs for cold weather, as well as the best temperature for dogs to exercise and live. We examine how the different breeds developed and why some dog breeds are suited for cold climates, others are suited for warm climates, and which breeds can be happy in areas where the seasons change throughout the year.
Purpose Bred Dogs
Although it is believed that humans and wolves began to hang out around the campfire 10,000 years ago, it is only within the last several hundred years that humans started to develop the popular breeds that we live with today. Many dog lovers use the term purebred to describe a specific breed, but the truth is that the phrase “purpose bred” is more accurate, since most modern dog breeds were bred for a specific purpose.
This purpose is usually evident in the Breed Standard, or the guidelines that describe the ideal characteristics of a breed. The breed standard includes everything from the dog’s appearance, to the way they move when performing certain jobs, to their temperament. All these qualities are important so that the dog can use the least amount of energy when doing the task for which he/she was bred.
When you look at the dog’s ancestor, the wolf, you see a canine with a heavy double coat. According to Sciencing, “Gray wolves sport dense coats – thicker in winter, lighter in summer – composed of two layers of fur: a wool-like undercoat for insulation and longer, coarser outer guard hair that sheds water.” As humans developed dog breeds for specific purposes, the wolf-like coat was not practical for every lifestyle or part of the world. They began to breed dogs with different coats and physical features to make them more comfortable and functional for the climate in which they lived. Over hundreds of years, the modern breeds have been fine-tuned.
Dogs Bred for Warm Weather
Dogs who originate in warm weather climates typically have a single coat with short fur. They typically have long snouts, a lean build, and a large chest. These physical traits allow the dogs to distribute air throughout their bodies and cool off quickly. These breeds are also often light in color since dark coats absorb the heat of the sun more easily. Examples of dogs bred to function in warm climates include the Australian Cattle Dog, whose job is to herd cattle in Australia, and the Ibizan Hound, which was bred in Spain to hunt rabbits.
When choosing whether a specific breed is a good fit for your lifestyle, it is helpful to research where a dog breed originated. Chihuahuas, the American Hairless Terrier, the Italian Greyhound, and the Whippet are all good examples of dogs who were originally developed in warm climates.
Here are some popular dog breeds that are well suited for warm climates:
- Italian Greyhound
- Yorkshire Terrier
- Australian Cattle Dog
- Afghan Hound
- American Hairless Terrier
- Ibizan Hound
- Great Dane
Even dogs bred for warm weather can get hot. They are at risk of suffering from heat exhaustion and heat stroke like other breeds. Because of this, it is important that you always have plenty of cool, fresh water available, especially on the hottest days of the year. These breeds should also stay out of the sun and have shelter with shade and a breeze when not in an air-conditioned home. If you are traveling with your dog, we suggest using the Waggle Pet Monitor, now $60 OFF code RVBLOG, to ensure that your dog does not suffer from heatstroke.
Dogs Bred for Cold Weather
Dogs bred for cold weather activities usually have a double coat and are of a larger, sturdier stature. The undercoat of these breeds is typically for the purpose of warmth, while the outer coat is rough and frequently water resistant. Breeds like the Newfoundland, the Labrador Retriever, and the Chesapeake Bay Retriever also have webbed feet to help swim in rough seas, and strong, thick tails that help them steer in the water.
Other dogs that love cold weather are the ones who were bred for activities like pulling sleds, like the Siberian Husky or the Alaskan Malamute. These breeds also have a double coat, with a warm undercoat and a rough outer coat that is designed to keep them safe from rough brush and snow. They also have compact paws that are designed to easily navigate deep snow.
Here are some popular dog breeds that were bred to work in cold weather:
- Siberian Husky
- Alaskan Malamute
- St. Bernard
- Bernese Mountain Dog
- Great Pyrenees
- Norwegian Elkhound
- Tibetan Terrier
- Chow Chow
Keeping Dogs Comfortable in Any Condition
Of course, in modern society, the job of the average dog is to be a beloved pet and family member. Even though owners may not be teaching the dog to perform a specific task or function, the dogs retain the physical traits of their breed and extra care should be given to certain breeds in extreme climates.
This does not mean that you cannot have a safe, happy Newfoundland if you live in Miami, or that a Chihuahua cannot live his or her best life in Chicago. It just means that depending on where they live and the type of dog that they have, some owners will need to take special precautions to ensure that the dog is comfortable and safe in the climate in which they live. Just like humans, maintaining good health and physical fitness helps a dog tolerate extreme temperatures.
Dogs can also become acclimated to different climates over time. For example, a Labrador who has lived its whole life in Atlanta will have an easier time on a walk on an 80 degree day than a Labrador who has been raised in Maine.
Most dogs are able to tolerate changing seasons, whether you live somewhere in a moderate climate, or in a place in which the temperature fluctuates dramatically. Breeds like the Labrador Retriever, German Shorthaired Pointer, Golden Retriever, and most sporting breeds make excellent all-weather companions.
Keeping Dogs Cool in Hot Climates
Dogs who live in warm climates are susceptible to heat related illnesses like heat exhaustion, heat stroke, burnt paw pads, yeast dermatitis, and sunburn. Signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke in dogs include excessive panting, laying down and acting unresponsive, confusion, vomiting, diarrhea, red gums, and a body temperature greater than 104. Dogs in warm climates are also exposed to more insects, plants, and poisonous animals like snakes or scorpions than dogs who live in cold climates.
The easiest way to keep your pet cool in a warm climate is to keep your pet in a climate-controlled space in your home. Dogs should have access to plenty of fresh, cool water, as they need to replace the moisture that evaporates when they pant to cool themselves.
Dogs also need access to a cool place to rest, like a tile floor or a special cooling mat. Dogs instinctively seek cool surfaces so that they can stretch out and let the process of conduction occur. According to The Washington Post, “Conduction transfers excess internal heat when animals contact objects cooler than themselves.” Positioning a fan near your dog will also help with this cooling process.
When traveling, always utilize a temperature monitor like the Waggle Pet Monitor to ensure that the conditions are safe and comfortable to prevent your dog from developing heatstroke. We’re offering $60 OFF off our RV Pet Monitor with Code RVBLOG this week only. This is important whether you are traveling by car or in a recreational vehicle or camper. Cars heat up extremely quickly in the sun even in moderate temperatures. A car in the sun at 70 degrees will heat to 89 in the sun in just ten minutes. A car in the sun at 90 degrees will become a deadly 109 degrees in just ten minutes.
Walks and playtime outside should be limited to early morning or evening hours when the sun is less powerful. Swimming pools and indoor dog parks are a great option to ensure that your dog gets plenty of exercise even when it is hot outside. Protective booties can be used to prevent paws from burning on hot pavement. You can also find sunscreen made specifically for dogs; human sunscreen is not safe to use on pets.
Keeping Dogs Warm in Cold Climates
Dogs who live in cold climates are at risk of frostbite and hypothermia. There is also an increased risk of exposure to toxic chemicals like antifreeze and ice-melting products. Signs of frostbite in dogs include gray/bluish skin, stiffness in the joints or a clumsy gait, pain, tenderness, or swelling, and blistering of the skin. Signs of hypothermia include pale or gray gums, shivering, stiff muscles or collapse, and lethargy.
Just as in cold climates, the safest place for a dog is in a climate-controlled place in your home, with access to fresh water. Dog beds and blankets will provide a place for your dog to stay warm. There are a variety of heating pads and dog beds on the market for use when a human is home with the dog. Some breeds, like the Chihuahua and Greyhound, require sweatshirts, sweaters, and pajamas to stay warm even when inside the house. You can find heavy jackets for outdoor walks and potty breaks. Boots offer protection from the cold and from ice-melting products.
How the RV Pet Monitor Keeps Dogs Just Right?
The RV Pet Monitor offers peace of mind when you are not with your dog. Because you can choose custom settings, you can ensure that you receive notifications if the temperature goes below 32 degrees Fahrenheit or above 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Between 32 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit is widely regarded as the best dog exercise weather for the average dog.
Of course, a Labrador Retriever will be more comfortable in 32-degree weather than a Whippet, just as a Chihuahua will enjoy a 70-degree day in the sunshine more than a St. Bernard. You can use your own judgement and knowledge of your specific dog and the traits of their breed to set your monitor to a temperature that is comfortable for your own dog.
How Does the RV Pet Monitor Work?
As a pet parent myself, I know how important it is to want to keep your dog safe. I was skeptical at first about an RV Pet Monitor. Could they really help my dog? I thought, “how much can the temperature really change?” But after a friend of mine told me she used one for her RV, and $60 OFF with Code RVBLOG, I figured I’d try it out.
The RV Pet Monitor was simple to set up. I unboxed it and it came with clear instructions on how to sync with my phone.
Step 1: Connect to App – (IMAGE OF CONNECTING TO APP)
First I downloaded the (Waggle?) Pet App to my phone through the App Store.
Step 2: Fill Out Your Info– (IMAGE OF FILLING IN INFO)
The app asks you to fill in basic information about your pets. This helps determine what temperatures are most comfortable for them. A dog with a heavier coat will obviously want a cooler room than a smaller dog that’s bred for hot weather, and so forth.
Step 3: Set Up Temperature Monitor – (IMAGE OF TEMP MONITOR BEING ATTACHED TO THE WALL)
Add the temperature monitor to your RV, somewhere that you can see it that also will receive a neutral temperature gauge. Somewhere too close to the AC or heat vent or will make your monitor more sensitive than necessary.
Step 4: Add Monitor to Your App – (IMAGE OF APP CONNECTION WITH MONITOR)
Last, sync the temperature monitor to your app and start monitoring the temperature, humidity, and more.
Related Blog: Dog Monitors 101: A Definitive Guide for Pet Parents
I hike often and will sometimes leave my dog in my RV. I always thought they were okay… but then I left this last weekend for a hike and was surprised to find out my dog was SWELTERING!
I had no idea how quickly the temperature could change in the RV. From the time I left to get an increase in temperature alert on my phone had only been 30 minutes.
I rushed back to the RV to give my dog some air. Thankfully it never got too hot, but I thought about all the other times I left the dog in the RV and felt terrible. Since, I’ve adjusted the temperature and can now see how comfortable my pup is at all times.
It makes me feel better knowing my pup is comfortable and happy while I’m gone.
Related Blog: Winter Worries for Pet Parents
A SPECIAL OFFER
For this week only, Waggle is offering $60 OFF their RV Pet Monitor with Code RVBLOG. Don’t wait, this can be the difference between a healthy and unhealthy pet.