Shepherds Have A Thick Double
Most German Shepherds have a medium-length outer layer of guard hairs with a thick fleecy undercoat.
Their outer coat is dense and the stiff hairs usually lie flat. Orvis News points out this coarseness also means the coat has a water-repellant quality.
Your Shepherds undercoat should be similar to thick down. Its purpose is insulation, and it serves GSDs in both hot and cold weather. In the frigid cold, the undercoat is further insurance that body heat does not escape.
You should note that German Shepherds can have three varieties of coat lengths in addition to the standard plush.
- Short outer coat with a normal thick undercoat.
- Long-haired with an undercoat These dogs also have feathering which consists of tufts on the ears and pants on the hind legs. Their hair will be much thicker in appearance than other feathered breeds like the Golden Retriever.
- Long-haired dog with no undercoat
The Indoorsy Guide To Keeping Your German Shepherd Warm And Comfortable
If your German shepherd is kept outside then the logical solution will be to keep your dog in a dedicated dog house. There are many dog houses available for GSDs, but one of the best options is the insulated dog house.
This dog house is made of durable materials and has a shingle roof. It should be insulated and have a waterproof floor. You can even make the makeshift entrance to the house to keep your dog safe from strong winds.
Ways To Keep Your Dog Warm In Winter
Whether your GermanShepherd has a low cold tolerance, is young, old, sick, or underweight, it isimportant to keep them warm. A few things you can do to help with this include:
- Provide them a warm place to sleep. A comfy bed,like this Furhaven Pet Dog Bed,and some blankets will work nicely.
- Provide water. Hydration is important. Petsupplements with electrolytes may help improve muscle function when it gets cold.This DoggieWatervitamin and supplement is a perfect choice.
- Provide a healthy diet.
- Groom your dog often. Try to avoid the temptationto trim the hair when it is cold.
- Provide a dog Coat. An option like this SCPET Fog Winter Coatcan add an extra layer of protection when your dog needs to be in thecold.
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Five Dog Breeds Born For The Snow
Just like the German Shepherd, these five dog breeds were also made for the snow! If youre looking for a four-legged friend to accompany you when trekking the snowy mountains, these dogs will surely be a good pick:
How Do You Know When Your German Shepherd Is Too Cold
Its paramount that youre able to spot when your german shepherd is too cold. If you dont, then they could fall gravely sick. Youll already know the main signs, but heres everything you should be wary of.
The most obvious sign that theyre cold is shivering. If you notice that your german shepherd is shivering you need to make sure that they warm up right away.
However, remember that shivering and shaking can also happen when a dog is excited. So if the weathers warm out, it could be excitement.
Howling & Barking
Its all too common for people to leave their dogs outside in all sorts of weather. However, the truth is, a dog should never be left alone for more than 5-6 hours.
Not only is leaving them in the cold potentially life-threatening, but they also need social time with their family.
A Hunched Back And Tucked In Tail
If you notice that your german shepherd has hunched their back and tucked their tail in, theyre too cold! You should get them to warmth as soon as possible.
When this happens, theyre doing everything they can to try and keep their body heat in. By keeping their tail tucked in, theyre reducing their surface area and the amount of body heat theyre losing.
Muscle Stiffness And A Lack Of Energy
Other symptoms of hypothermia in dogs include weakness, drowsiness, and shallow breathing.
Trying To Keep Their Paws Off The Ground
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Can German Shepherds Swim In Swimming Pools
One of the benefits of a swimming pool is it allows you complete supervision over your dog. However, there is a downside as well. If your pool is chlorinated, it can strip your dogs coat of its natural oils and lead to dry, irritated skin.
But there are ways to pool-proof your dogs coat so they can enjoy a relaxing swim. Which a German shepherd would certainly appreciate in the summer.
Tips to pool-proof your German shepherd include:
- Spray their coat with a canine conditioner before they swim. This can lock in some moisture.
- Rinse off afterward. If you get the chlorinated water out of their coat it can minimize its effects.
- Comb out any tangles and provide a thorough brushing once a week to remove any residual chlorine.
- Dry out those ears. Keeping your German shepherds ears dry is important no matter where they have been swimming.
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How To Keep Your German Shepherd Warm
So you find your German Shepherd exhibiting some of the aforementioned signs, what should you do then?
Well it is highly situational, depending on whether your dog stays indoors or outdoors. But there are general guidelines you can follow to keep your dog warm. They are as follows:
Provide shelter. Now, this would be easy if your dog stays indoors. But if your dogs an outside dog, do consider a doghouse, especially a heated one. The doghouse will protect your dog from the rain, snow, act as a windbreaker, and will ultimately provide extra insulation to keep your dog warm.
Provide extra bedding. Following the same principle as shelter, extra bedding will provide your dog with extra insulation. So, if possible, provide your dog with extra blankets
Raise the bedding off the floor. Depending on insulation, the floor can easily become very cold. So, try and raise your dogs bedding off the floor to keep it warm. Also, if possible, you could consider an elevated bed.
Consider A Heating Pad. If the elevated bed or extra beddings arent enough, you might want to consider a heating pad to keep your dog warm.
Exercise. One way to keep to your German Shepherd warm is to get it moving. Of course, if possible, do it indoors. But if not, be sure to limit outside time as much as possible.
Keep Your Dog Dry. As previously mentioned, any dampness that will soak through your German Shepherds fur will amplify the feeling of coldness. So, one way to keep your dog warm is to keep it dry.
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How Come German Shepherds Dont Mind The Cold As Much As Other Dogs
You may have noticed that your german shepherd can handle the cold much more than other dogs. And its all thanks to their double coat.
A double coat consists of two different types of fur. In fact, its the reason that you can get your dog wet, but the water always seems to take forever to sink in.
The outer coat is there to protect your dog from the elements such as the wind and water. In fact, water is much more likely to glide off it, rather than be absorbed.
The inner coat is plush and warm. Its like insulation, and as long as it doesnt get wet, its going to help keep your german shepherd nice and warm.
It is important to note, that while in most cases german shepherds have a double coat, there are some that dont.
Keep Your Dog On A Leash
During heavy snowfall, it is wise to keep your dog on a leash when you take him for a walk this goes double for young dogs and puppies. Snowdrifts can not only be much deeper than they appear, they can also hide dangerous obstructions. In the city, this could include trash and discarded food, whereas in the countryside snow may cover hunting traps and snares, fallen branches, natural pits, and thinly frozen ponds and gulches.
For well trained dogs with a reliable recall, especially those that normally walk off leash, use your best judgement. Stick to well-trafficked paths and keep an eye on your dog if he runs off ahead. At the very least, make a wide berth around ponds, creeks, and other hazards you would normally come across during fair weather.
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Keep An Eye On His Behavior
A sick or an uneasy German shepherd dog always behaves abnormally. You can easily tell when something is wrong with him. Likewise, when you notice that he is not comfortable, is unable to walk, anxious, or is shivering take him to a warmer place as soon as possible.
Some German shepherd dogs also whine when they are unable to bear with the cold seasons.
Providing Ample Exercise But In The Morning
Some cases show that dogs can get heatstroke in just 15 minutes, and this time decreases if the dog is not active and has a lot of fat on him.
Your dog needs to get ample exercise every day to reduce the chances of diseases and heatstroke.
As much as the exercise is essential, you do not want your dog to be exhausted and dehydrated in the middle of the day, and so it is vital to make him exercise in the morning.
This routine will make for a healthy lifestyle for you and your dog.
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Which Dogs Can Stay Outside
Top 10 Dog Breeds To Keep As Outdoor Dogs Siberian Husky. The Siberian Husky is one puptastic breed which relishes life outdoors. American Foxhound. The American Foxhound is a puptastic breed which is gentle and loving, but appreciates having their own space. Irish Wolfhound. Norwegian Elkhound. Mastiff. Swiss Mountain Dog. Rottweiler. Beagle.
Things That Affect Your Dogs Ability To Handle The Cold
Each German shepherd dog is unique and treats the cold differently depending on a number of factors like their furr coats.
- Coat length. The jacket should hold on when you step out the door when the temperatures drop but dont forget that your dog has a built-in coat. The coat of a short-haired GSD, provides some automatic protection from mild cold weather.Then there are some long-haired cold-weather German shepherds, such as the double coated german shepherds, which are naturally adapted to deep winters.
- Body weight. Whales, polar bears, walruses and other cold-weather mammals increase cold-tolerance with body fat. While you may not want to pack your dog on pounds for this purpose, it is still true that a heavy dog is more comfortable in the cold than the same dog that weighs less.
- Color. Dark colors generally absorb light and heat, while light colors reflect it. So dogs with a black or brown coat are a little warmer than dogs with a white or grey coat.
- Age. Older dogs may be less able to control their body temperature and may not tolerate cold weather. And dont forget to protect your puppies too!
- Size. Puppies find it very difficult to create and capture their body heat, so they can cool down more quickly than large dogs.
- Height. Small species are close to snow and cool very quickly.
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How Do You Know Your Shepherd Cannot Handle The Cold
No matter how adaptable your German Shepherd is, always stay attuned to what his body language is telling you. You may see several signs your dog is having a hard time with cold weather.
- Shivering Shivering is a survival mechanism and generally indicates your dogs core boy temperature is falling.
- Burrowing Nesting and burrowing into the bedding to get comfortable is normal. If your dog persists, he may be letting you know it is time to come inside.
- Anxiety and whining Do not ignore your dog if she seems in any kind of distress.
- Unusual and sudden lethargy or sluggishness This is a serious indicator of hypothermia.
All dogs have limits where cold weather is concerned. Shepherds who have not acclimated to cold temperatures should not be left outside.
The following videos have been included to show contrasting body language.
This Shepherd is clearly excited and happy to be outside. Notice how the coat keeps the snow away from the dogs body and repels moisture.
The snow does not melt because the fur keeps it away from the body. This GSD is active, further warming him. Watch the first video.
This German Shepherd is not as exuberant as the former but is not showing any distress with the cold weather.
She may need to come in soon, however, based on the snow accumulating on her fur, her immobility, and her low tail set. She is also showing piloerection along the neck. Watch the second video.
A German Shepherd Has A Low Surface Area
Bergmanns Rule, according to Britannica, is the phenomenon whereby a large animal has a low surface-area-to-volume ratio relative to a small one.
Animals living in colder climates often have a larger body mass than those who do not.
Have you ever wondered why a Chihuahua struggles to stay warm at 45 degrees Fahrenheit while a Labrador seems in Paradise? It is not solely because of their coat. Large-breed dogs have less surface area over which heat can escape.
Per the AKC, the breed standard for the German Shepherd calls for a height of 22 to 26 inches at the top of the shoulders and a weight of 50 to 90 pounds.
As you probably know, many Shepherds are much larger than the breed standard.
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Shorten The Time He Stays Outside
Even though your buddy looks comfortable and jubilant, its advisable to avoid spending too much time in the snow.
Dont let him freeze because frostbite can put his life at risk. In most cases, youll notice some frostbite on the tail tips and ear flaps.
Its best to rush him inside and try keeping him warm.
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Can German Shepherds Live In Hot Weather 9 Tips For Summer
German shepherds are among one of the most famous and loved breed out there.
Even if you dont know much about dogs, you still would have heard about the German Shepherd.
And now you are looking to adopt this dog for yourself. However, not everyone lives in the same environment, and you are worried about if this lovely creature can live in your environment.
If you are here in search of the answer, can German shepherds live in hot weather? Then yes, they can live in hot weather, but there are certain conditions to meet.
You should keep reading.
We should care for our German Shepherds as they are loving creatures, filled with joy, energy, and love to play.
These loyal fur babies put the life of their owner before their own.
If you plan to adopt or have already adopted a loving animal such as this, some concerns must be troubling you.
I assure you that you are right to have these concerns, especially if you adopt a puppy.
German Shepherds control their body temperature by sweating through their paw pads and panting, which does not make up for their large size.
This breeds puppies are small and do not have as much temperature tolerance as young ones do.
In this article I will tell you everything there is to know about German Shepherds and their heat tolerance.
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Can German Shepherds Handle Cold + How Much Can They Tolerate
German Shepherds are large breed dogs that manage wonderfully in cold weather.
Their thick and dense double coat makes them stay warm from within, even when it is freezing cold outside.
And because they originated from Germany, where the temperature during winter drops to 0 degrees Celsius shepherds are naturally built to handle and survive cold.
Heres everything you may need to know about German Shepherds and their ability to survive in snowy weather.
How Long Can A German Shepherd Play In The Snow
Your dog shouldnt play in the snow for more than about half-an-hour, but be sure to watch him closely while he plays for signs of hypothermia such as weakness, shivering, or shallow breathing. Dogs get distracted, and theyre not likely to cut their own playtime short unless theyre really, really ill.
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