With their thick and curly coats, Labradoodles seem like a winter dog breed, but make no mistake, they are no huskies, and can not tolerate the cold in the way you probably think.
Labradoodles’ can have different coats depending on their parents, but in general, they are not insulated from the cold in the way that cold-weather breeds are, and you will still need to know the limitations of your dogs in the cold and what you need to do to keep them warm in winter.
So, do Labradoodles get cold? Labradoodles do get cold especially if their coat is too thin to insulate their bodies against extremely cold temperatures. You need to keep your dog as warm as possible because if it gets too cold, it will be at risk of developing various health problems such as the flu, frostbite, and hypothermia.
Keep reading to learn more about why Labradoodles get cold, how much insulation their coats can offer against the cold, the potential health risks of getting too cold, and how to keep them warm in winter.
Why Do Labradoodles Get Cold?
Labradoodles get cold because certain areas of their bodies, such as their ears, nose, and paw pads, are highly sensitive. Their coats might also not be too thin to provide enough insulation to keep them warm and protect them against extreme temperatures.
Their ability to withstand cold temperatures can vary from one dog to another depending on various factors including:
- Age – Older dogs will be more susceptible to various health issues that cause their bodies to become frail and their coats to thin out which will lead to them getting cold more easily.
- Size – Smaller dogs tend to have less fat and muscle mass so which causes them to get cold more easily.
- Coat Kind and Color – Dogs with thinner and lighter coats will absorb less heat on warm days than those with thicker and darker coats which causes them to get cold more easily.
What Are the Kinds of Coats That Labradoodles Can Have?
Labradoodle can have 3 different kinds of coats – hair coats, fleece coats, and wool coats.
These coats are different when it comes to their texture and thickness which means they will offer varying degrees of insulation against cold temperatures.
Now, let’s break down the main characteristics of all kinds of Labradoodle coats and how much insulation they can offer against cold temperatures:
- It’s also known as the straight coat or the flat coat.
- It’s the closest in appearance to purebred Golden Retrievers.
- It is the least common among Labradoodles.
- It’s completely straight and moderately thick which doesn’t provide sufficient insulation against cold temperatures. It also causes the most discomfort if it gets wet.
- It shed the most but doesn’t demand a lot of time or effort when it comes to grooming.
- It’s also known as the wavy coat.
- It’s the most common among Labradoodles.
- It’s soft, loose, and moderately thick which doesn’t provide sufficient insulation against cold temperatures, especially when the wind picks up, or if there is rain and snow.
- It sheds less than the hair coat but it’s slightly prone to tangling and matting, so it demands more time and effort to groom.
- It’s also known as the curly coat or the teddy bear coat.
- It’s the closest in appearance to purebred Poodles, so it tends to be the most sought after by Labradoodle owners
- It’s coarse, dense, and extremely thick which provides the most insulation against cold temperatures. It can also keep the wind or water from reaching the dog’s skin.
- It’s shed the least, but it’s highly prone to tangling and matting so it demands a lot of time and effort to groom.
How to Tell What Kind of Coat Your Labradoodle Will Have?
The kind of coat any Labradoodle will have depends on its genetics and which of its parents it takes after most.
So, in order to tell what kind of coat your labradoodle will have, you need to do a DNA test on the dog’s parents to determine if they’re carrying more of the Labrador’s straight coat genes or the Poodle curly coat genes.
If you cannot perform a DNA test on the dog’s parents, you might still be able to tell the kind of coat your Labradoodle will have by inspecting the hair in the area around its muzzle.
If the dog has a large amount of hair in the area around its muzzle making it look like it has a shaggy mustache and beard, then it’s likely to have a fleece coat or a wool coat.
Meanwhile, if the dog has a small amount of hair in the area around its muzzle that appears to be short and neat, then it’s likely to have a hair coat.
Keep in mind that this method is not always accurate in telling what kind of coat the Labradoodle will have and a DNA test will always be more accurate. I have a full guide on how to tell what kind of coat your Labradoodle will have here, so make sure to check it out to learn more and be able to accurately tell what kind of coat your puppy will end up with.
What Temperature Is Considered Too Cold for Labradoodles?
According to experts, a temperature of 50° F (10°C) or below is often considered too cold for Labradoodles and prolonged exposure to this temperature will put them at high risk of developing various health problems.
Keep in mind that the ideal body temperature for any healthy adult Labradoodle ranges from 101 to 102.5° F (38 to 39°C).
How to Tell When Your Labradoodle Is Getting Too Cold?
As a responsible owner, you need to be able to tell when your Labradoodle is getting too cold so you can warm it up immediately and prevent it from developing any health problems.
In order to tell when your Labradoodle is getting cold, you need to observe it closely and look out for certain signs.
Now, let’s take a look at the most common signs your Labradoodle is getting too cold:
- Your dog will be shivering and trembling excessively
- Your dog will start barking or whining loudly for no apparent reason
- Your dog will prefer to stay indoors and refuse to go outside even for a short time
- Your dog will spend most of its time in its bed or in the warmest areas of the house
- Your dog will keep pacing and lifting its paws off the ground if it was taken outside
- Your dog will exhibit a severe lack of energy and an increased appetite
If you see any of these signs, it’s time to bring them inside and get them warm. Turn on the heater if you have one, cover your dog in blankets, and stay with them until they show signs of improvement.
What Are the Risks of Getting Too Cold for Labradoodles?
As mentioned before, prolonged exposure to extremely cold temperatures, of 50° F (10°C) or below, will put your Labradoodle at high risk of developing various health problems.
So, let’s take a closer look at some of the health problems Labradoodle will be at risk of developing if they get too cold:
Labradoodle paws are extremely sensitive and prolonged exposure to cold temperatures will cause them to become dry and crack which will result in a lot of discomfort when walking and severe pain.
To protect your dog’s paws, you need to minimize their contact with cold surfaces and regularly inspect them for any kind of damage.
If the dog’s paws do get damaged, it’s recommended to apply paw wax, Vaseline, or coconut oil on each paw to soothe them and elevate the severity of the damage.
It’s very common for dogs to get sick with the flu when exposed to cold temperatures.
The symptoms of the flu tend to start mildly and if the dog doesn’t get treated properly, its condition will start to become more severe.
Common symptoms of the flu include: excessive shivering and trembling, sniffling, sneezing, harsh cough, runny nose, warm ears, watery eyes, fever, lack of appetite, lack of energy.
To treat these symptoms, you mostly need to let your dog rest as much as possible and have it drink a lot of warm fluids.
If the symptoms don’t go away or start to become more severe, you need to take your dog to the veterinarian for a more effective treatment.
Frostbite is a medical condition where certain areas of the dog’s body are exposed to extremely cold temperatures for a long time.
This will cause the blood vessels in these areas to narrow in an effort to preserve the dog’s body temperature which leads to discoloration accompanied by swelling and painful blisters
To treat your dog from frostbite, you need to warm up the affected areas as much as possible by wrapping the dog in multiple blankets and applying heat pads, then you need to apply some Vaseline or coconut oil on the affected areas to soothe the blisters.
It’s also recommended to take your dog to the veterinarian to ensure there’s no permanent damage done to the affected areas and get more treatment if necessary.
Hypothermia is a medical condition where the dog’s body loses heat a lot faster than it can produce which mostly occurs due to prolonged exposure to extreme cold temperatures after getting wet.
Common symptoms of hypothermia include severe shivering and trembling, breathing difficulty, extremely cold skin, pale gums, and inner eyelids, dilated pupils, slow heartbeat, low blood pressure, stiff muscles, and a severe lack of energy that eventually results in a comatose-like state.
It’s a highly dangerous health problem as it cannot be treated at home and it can be fatal if it’s not treated on time. So, if you notice any symptoms of hypothermia in your dog, you need to warm it up as much as possible and take it to the veterinarian immediately.
How to Keep Your Labradoodle Warm in Cold Weather?
To protect your Labradoodle and minimize the risk of it developing any health problems, you need to take some measures to keep it warm when the weather gets too cold.
This applies whether they are spending time indoors or outdoors. Homes with poor insulation and no/broken/poor heating can still be too cold for your dog that is not wearing the layers of clothes you may be wearing.
As a general rule of thumb, I like to think that If I’m cold with one or two layers of clothes, my dog is probably going to be cold as well.
So, let’s take a closer look at these measures:
Prepare a Warm Place for Your Dog to Sleep or Rest
Your dog needs to have a warm place where it can sleep or rest, especially at night since it tends to be much colder.
You can place the dog’s crate or bed in a warm area in the house away from any windows or air drafts.
To make it even warmer, it’s recommended to keep the crate or the bed raised off the floor to minimize contact with the cold surface. It’s also recommended to add several layers of bedding, thermal blankets, and heated pads inside.
Improve Your Dog’s Diet to Include Enough Calories and Nutrients
Your dog’s appetite will increase significantly when the weather is cold as it will be trying to maintain its energy levels and keep warm. So, you need to improve its diet to contain enough calories and nutrients to satisfy its needs.
However, try not to overfeed your dog as it will be prone to putting on weight more easily due to its lack of energy and low exercise.
Help Your Dog Stay Hydrated by Helping It Drink Enough Water
Your dog will be more prone to getting severely hydrated when the weather gets too cold which could lead to some health problems including dried skin, cracked paws, infections, and difficulties with urination.
So, you need to make sure that your dog is drinking enough water by placing its water bowl in a location that it can easily access at home. You also need to make sure that the water is clean and that its temperature is suitable for drinking.
Minimize Time Spent Outside When the Weather Gets Cold
Your dog might be used to playing outside or taking long walks. However, it’s highly recommended to minimize the time spent outside with your dog when the weather gets cold.
You can try to find alternative activities to do with your dog inside the house so it wouldn’t feel bored such as building it an indoor obstacle course or playing games like fetch or hide and seek.
Dress Your Dog in Warm Clothes Before Going Outside
If it’s absolutely necessary to take your dog outside when the weather is cold, then you need to dress in warm clothes, such as coats, sweaters, and boots, to protect it and insulate it against the cold temperature as much as possible.
To ensure that your dog’s winter clothes will provide enough protection, there are a few things you need to consider:
- The clothes should be made of durable, water-proof, and wind-proof materials
- The clothes should be made of multiple layers to provide enough insulation and prevent any rain or wind from getting through to the dog’s skin.
- The clothes should cover the underside of the dog’s body, as well as its neck and ears, as these areas are the most sensitive to cold temperatures.
- The clothes should be secure but comfortably fitting so they wouldn’t restrict your dog’s movement.
Other Tips to Protect Your Labradoodle During Winter
Here are some other tips you should follow to protect your Labradoodle during winter:
- Make sure to never leave your Labradoodle alone and without supervision for too long during winter, especially if the dog is outside.
- Make sure to keep your dog on a leash if you take it outside in the winter especially if it’s raining or snowing so that it wouldn’t get lost or get into an accident.
- Make sure to keep your dog from getting wet as much as possible when the weather is cold so it wouldn’t be at risk of getting sick with the flu or, in more severe cases, hypothermia.
- Make sure to dry your dog thoroughly by wiping down its coat and paws if it gets wet or after it spends some time outside.
- Make sure to trim your dog’s nails regularly during winter as long nails will make it lose its balance when walking on icy ground which could lead to a serious injury.
- Make sure to watch your dog closely during winter to determine if it’s getting too cold or if it’s developing any health problems so you can immediately warm it up or take it to a veterinarian.
Should You Trim Your Labradoodle’s Coat in Winter?
You shouldn’t trim your Labradoodle’s coat in winter as the dog needs to have a thick coat to provide sufficient insulation against cold temperature and help it stay warm. However, thick and curly coats are prone to tangling so you will need to brush the dog’s coat at least once a week to prevent that.
Can Labradoodles Live Outside in Winter?
Labradoodles cannot live outside in winter as their coat might not provide enough insulation against the cold which will put them at risk of developing some health problems. However, they might be able to stay outside for a short time if you take some protective measures such as providing shelter and dressing warmly.
Living with a Retriever: Recommendations and Sources
- Want the best diet for your dog? Check out the best and healthiest foods for golden retrievers at every age here – Dry, Wet, Homemade Recipes, and Treats!
- Looking for new toys? These toys will prove to be fun, engaging, and will stand their heavy chewing.
- Make them look GLAMOROUS with the best shampoos and conditioners and the best brushes here.
- Taking a walk? These are the best leashes, collars, and harnesses for the buck that you can find.
- Find my list of recommendations here.
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