We can usually tell how our dogs are feeling about certain situations. Were they alerted by the mailman? They'll be sure to bark and growl to let you know they've heard something going on out front. Are they wishing for a bite of that cheeseburger you're eating? It's guaranteed they'll be conspicuously sitting in front of you with puppy dog eyes and laser eye contact. Do you think they're happy to see you when you come home from work? It's pretty clear from the jumping, frequent licking and yelps of joy. Although some things are easily determined, whether our dogs are cold may not be so obvious. Every dog's temperature sensitivity is different based on breed, size, weight, acclimation, and other factors, but there are a few signs to look out for.
Feel their ears
Just like humans, ear temperature is a good indication of body temperature. Feel your dog's ears around the edges. If they are cold to the touch, it is time to bring them inside or bundle them up.
If a dog is curling up it may be attempting to warm itself with it's own body heat. Combining this sign with others on this list will help to determine if your dog is uncomfortable.
A more obvious sign of discomfort is shivering. Although some dogs shiver for a variety of reasons, such as pain, fear, or nervousness, a shivering dog in a cold environment is a sign that its time to grab their favorite sweater.
Dogs are great at reading and sending body language cues. If your dog looks like they are not enjoying being outside, they probably aren't. Walking slowly or gingerly, a hunched back, low head, tucked tail, or folded ears is likely a signal from your dog that they wish to come inside.
Are you cold?
Our favorite way to determine if your dog is cold is to simply relate to them. After being in the same environment with a light jacket on, are you cold? If you are, there is a good chance that they are too.
Many dogs freeze to death each year and many more are forced to suffer through chilly, uncomfortable winters. Although they tend to have higher body temperatures than humans, dogs are warm-blooded mammals like us and are subject to discomfort. It is better to keep your dog a bit on the toasty side rather than uncomfortably cold.
Have something to add to the list or want to share your thoughts on the topic? Add to the discussion in the comments below!