Yorkie tolerance of cold or hot weather & temperature

Yorkie too cold

What temperature is too cold for a Yorkie

When the temperature is 45 degrees Farenheight (around 7 degrees Celcius) a Yorkshire Terrier will find it difficult to regulate their body temperature. As Yorkies have a small body mass and a finer coat than most breeds. They also don’t have the undercoat of breeds that were bred for cold climates.

How cold is too cold for a Yorkie to be outside

As stated, when the temperature is below 45 degrees Farenheight a Yorkie will have difficulty keeping themselves warm.

It is important to not only take in to account the temperature. The wind chill factor can really affect your Yorkies comfort level. Even more, cold rain, sleet, and wet snow will quickly be absorbed by their coat. Their coat will retain the water which when combined with the cold, can quickly increase the risk of hypothermia.

The temperature of the surface they are walking on outside can also be even colder than the air temperature. It is crucial to take safety precautions to protect and keep your Yorkie safe and healthy when it is cold.

Winter and cold weather tips for Yorkies

When your Yorkie is inside the cold is not such a major concern for them. They probably have a nice warm bed and a fire, heater or heat pump to keep them warm.

These tips will help keep your Yorkie safe and warm when outside in the elements.

Wrap up warm

Put a warm waterproof coat on your Yorkie. Ideally, a jacket with a hood is best. A lot of body heat can be lost through the head and ears. You may even want to put a couple of layers on them such as a jumper under their jacket.

View the range of winter clothes for dogs on Amazon

Put boots on your Yorkie

A lot of heat is lost through the pads of the paws. In addition, the ground can be extremely cold and cause frostbite to your Yorkies’ paws.

View dog boots on Amazon.

Keep them active indoors

Your Yorkie will still need exercise and mental stimulation even when the weather outside is just too cold. For ideas on how to entertain a dog indoors see here.

Adjust how much you feed them

As your Yorkie may be less active in the winter months, consider reducing their daily food intake to suit. Alternatively, increase their calorie intake to add weight if they are off a slight build.

Make them visible

During the winter months, visibility and light outside can make it difficult to see your Yorkie when they are off-leash. Even when walking on a leash it will make them more visible to other people and cars.

Don’t leave your Yorkie in the car alone

It is well known that you never leave a dog alone in a car in hot weather. This is just as true for the colder months also. The temperature can drop quickly in cold weather.

Go outside when the sun shines

Avoid early morning and late-night walks. Instead, go for walks when the sun is at its warmest. This is usually late morning or early afternoon.

Remember safety around heaters

Dogs will often seek heat during cold winter weather by snuggling too close to heating sources. This can include heaters and the fireplace. Make sure you have a pet-proof system to keep your  Yorkie out of harm’s way.

What temperature is too hot for a Yorkie

Yorkie are vulnerable to excessive heat. Dogs don’t have sweat glands like humans to help cool them off. Their cooling system is in their nose, tongue and paw pads.

They only have a small tongue, little paws, and nose that makes it more difficult to cool themselves. There are many safety concerns for a Yorkie in hot weather. The most obvious risk is heat sickness in the form of heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

Other risk issues include sunburn to the body and also the nose. Burning their paws on hot surfaces is also something to be very aware of.

Heatstroke and Heat Exhaustion

The dangers of heatstroke and heat exhaustion are very real and the potential for your Yorkie to suffer from this is very high. Especially if they are not conditioned to the hot and humid weather. Heatstroke can take several hours before it becomes deadly. Some extreme cases can cause death if the dog doesn’t receive medical care immediately.

Signs that your Yorkie may be overheated include

excessive whining and fidgeting,

panting with the tongue right out of their mouth and being scooped at the end,

weariness, confusion, sluggish movement

red gums and tongue.

Other signs to look out for are foaming at the mouth, thickening of the saliva and breathing difficulties.

Dehydration can set in fast. During dehydration, the dog’s mouth and gums will become dry and the skin will lose it elasticity. If you grab the skin on the back of the neck and stretch it will return slowly back into its natural position.

This is a sign that they are highly dehydrated and may go into shock. They will need IV fluids to be injected by your vet. Any signs of heat exhaustion or dehydration are a cue to stop the exercise and allow them to cool off.

Get into the shade or indoors if possible and give them small amounts of cool water. Don’t let them drink large amounts at once. Use a wet cloth to cool their paws, groin, and armpits. Cooling a dog down too quickly can cause them to go in to shock.

Heatstroke, if not treated can be fatal. If they exhibit any vomiting, weakness, or seizures get them to the vet as soon as possible.

Humidity is also a factor. Dogs cool themselves by panting, and humidity makes their cooling system less effective. Every dog as their limitations when it comes to handling the heat.

Tips to avoid heatstroke, sunburn or paw damage.

burnt dog paw

 Always check the temperature of the ground before going for a walk. Also, check when going on to a different surface such as going from the grass to footpath. This photo shows the damage hot ground can do to a dog’s paw. If the ground temperature is too hot to put your hand on, it is probably an indication that it is too hot outside for your dog anyway.

Avoid vigorous exercise and play outside on hot days. Plan to exercise them early in the morning or later in the evening when the temperature is cooler. This will also prevent sunburn. Alternatively, exercise them indoors preferably in air conditioning.

Heat-related issues are very common in the early days of the hot weather. Your dog has not had the opportunity to become acclimated to the higher temperatures. Take extra care during this period. Expose your dog hot weather over a period of days so they can adjust.

Hydration is of crucial importance. Ensure you have water with you at all times when you are on your walks.

Be aware that a dog can suffer from heatstroke even if they are not involved in vigorous activity or it is not that hot. In fact, dogs can suffer from heatstroke even while swimming.

Obviously, never leave your Yorkie in a car or any area where they cannot stay cool.

dog exercise in hot weather1

Tips to cool your Yorkie down

These are some helpful tips to help keep your Yorkie cooler and more comfortable in the hot weather.

Give your Yorkie ice cubes or toys such as a Kong filled with water and frozen.

Get a cooling mat for your dog. These are very effective and your dog will love to lay on one when they feel hot.

Use a cooling vest for your dog. Cools through the science of water evaporation – simply wet the vest, wring it out and place on your dog

Groom your Yorkie. Depending on the style of groom you want your Yorkie to have, you can have them clipped shorter. Avoid shaving them too short. This can diminish their ability to stay cooler and can make them more susceptible to sunburn. A dog’s fur acts to insulate them from the cold, but also from the heat.

Put a white T-shirt on your Yorkie. This stops there dark coloring attracting so much of the heat of the sun and gives protection from sunburn.

Provide an electric fan to help circulate the air in the house. You can even put a container full of ice cubes in front of the fan to create cool air.

If you live in a two storey house keep your dog downstairs. As warm air rises the lower level of the house will be cooler

Keep curtains and window shades closed during the hottest part of the day. One of the best ways to keep the house cool is by keeping the hot sun out of the house to begin with.

More Yorkshire Terrier related posts

How to exercise a Yorkie

The best type of toys for Yorkies

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