What is “cold” to a dog? I have just let all mine out, except Alice, the Vizsla. It is clear sky, frost and about minus five out there and they are all happy to be in the garden sniffing around, looking out for dangerous postmen coming past and barking at the odd cyclist. I did give them all a little jumper on, but I am really unsure if they need it. If they were cold, they would surely go into one of the three kennels and curl up on any one of their many dog beds to keep warm, but they don’t.
Regarding Alice, she always opts to stay inside, but that would be also the case in +20 Celsius. She just likes her Tuffies Nest that sits in the bathroom cupboard. Alice is very strange indeed. Such a wimp at the age of 12, yet I had her out shooting and when a pheasant fell in an icy pond, she never hesitated to swim out to get it. There was ice forming on the surface!!! I mean you and I would not be able to swim in that.
On this frosty morning things are fine and everyone is happy in the frost. So what is it we need to look out for to keep our dogs healthy and warm enough? I guess it is about their sleeping areas where they really have to lie on insulating, dry dog beds for several hours. When they lie still and allow a sneaking cold coming through the floor (on a inferior cover and soggy stuffing), they get cold to the bone without knowing.
In the kennels, therefore, we always have lovely dry dog beds with extra fleece covers on to keep everyone warm. It is a bit surprising how dry these covers still are in there despite the dogs running in and out from the garden.
So in summary, I think dogs are happy to run around in the cold, but it is important that they have a very dry and draft free place to lie when they hit the hay and sleep for hours. Most annoyingly one of my dogs decided that she was bored last year and peeled all the lovely insulation from the inside of the kennels. They are still draft free, but they are not insulated and any heat generated in there simply disperses in minutes.