Dogs are known for their adaptability, but it is essential to consider a dog’s ability to thrive in cold weather when choosing a breed to welcome into your home, if your home is in Canada! However, the adaptability to cold is not the only element to consider when choosing a dog, some health issues proper to some breeds are more prone to develop in our climate too.
Dog breeds that may not be the best fit for frigid temperatures
1. Short-haired breeds. Breeds with short, thin coats are more susceptible to the cold. Dogs like Chihuahuas, greyhounds, Dobermanns and boxers have minimal insulation against the cold, making them less suitable for Canada’s harsh winters. These breeds can quickly become uncomfortable and at risk of hypothermia when exposed to extreme cold.
2. Toy breeds. Tiny toy breeds, such as the toy poodle or the Yorkshire terrier, have a smaller body mass and less body fat to insulate them from the cold. They may struggle to regulate their body temperature in chilly Canadian weather.
3. Sighthounds. Breeds like the Afghan hound, borzoi and Saluki fall under the category of sighthounds. They have lean bodies and thin coats designed for speed, not insulation. These dogs can easily become chilled in cold winters and may require extra protection.
4. Non-cold weather breeds. Breeds originally from warmer climates, such as the basenji or the Rhodesian ridgeback, may struggle to adapt to cold temperatures. These dogs may need extra attention during the winter months.
Finally, dogs with short legs, including dachshunds and basset hounds, walk closer to the ground and can come into contact with ice and snow, making them more vulnerable to frostbite.
Breeds prone to health issues
It’s also essential to consider breeds that are prone to health issues. Breeds like bulldogs, pugs and French bulldogs have brachycephalic features (short noses) that can lead to breathing problems in extreme cold or hot weather. Additionally, breeds with heavy wrinkles, such as shar-peis, can experience skin issues in cold, dry climates.
Pet vaccines and microchips in Scarborough
At Bellamy-Lawrence Animal Hospital, we offer spaying and neutering, microchipping and pet vaccines in the Scarborough area. Contact us today to book an appointment with one of our caring and experienced veterinarians.