Do Pitbulls Get Cold At Night? A Guide to Keep Your Pitbull Warm

Many Pitbull owners prefer going on walks with their dog at night, thinking that their dog’s thick muscular builds would cause them to be unaffected by the weather. 

However, nighttime can be harsh even on tough dogs like Pitbulls, especially when it’s cold.

So, do Pitbulls get cold at night? Pitbulls get cold at night as their bodies cannot tolerate the low temperatures. They have short coats that don’t offer enough protection, short legs that cause the underside of their body to come in contact with cold surfaces, and short muzzles that make it difficult to warm up the air they breathe.

Keep reading as I explain (simply) why Pitbulls get cold easily, the factors that determine how much they can tolerate cold weather, the risks of getting too cold, and how to keep them warm.

Why Do Pitbulls Get Cold Easily?

pitbull resting head on blanket to show why do pitbulls get cold at night

Despite their stature and tough appearance, Pitbulls can get cold easily, especially at night when the temperature is much lower.

Their bodies are not built to tolerate cold temperatures for multiple reasons:

  • Pitbulls have one-layered coats with short hair, which doesn’t provide enough protection against low temperatures.
  • They have short legs, which cause the underside of their body to come more in contact with cold surfaces as they’re laying down or walking.
  • They have flat faces with short muzzles, making it difficult for them to warm up any cold air they inhale.

However, how much a Pitbull can tolerate cold temperatures can vary from one dog to another depending on several factors such as the dog’s age and health, its weight and size, and its coat.

Factors That Determine How Much Pitbulls Can Tolerate Cold Temperatures

Here are some of the main factors that determine how much Pitbulls can tolerate the cold weather: 

  • The dog’s age and health –Older Dogs will be prone to various health problems, which causes them to tolerate cold temperatures less.
  • The dog’s weight and size – Dogs with small builds and less fat tend to tolerate cold temperatures much worse than dogs with large bodies and more fat.
  • The dog’s coat color – Dogs with lighter colored coats will absorb less heat than dogs with darker coats, so they tend to tolerate cold temperatures less.

How Cold is too Cold for Pitbulls?

A temperature of 7°C (45° F) or below is often considered too cold for Pitbulls. Your Pitbull’s body will not be able to tolerate it, and prolonged exposure without taking some precautions will put them at a high risk of developing various health issues.

Meanwhile, the ideal temperature for Pitbulls ranges from 10 to 20 °C (50 to 70 °F).

How to Tell If Your Pitbull Is Getting too Cold?

It’s crucial to be able to tell if your Pitbull is getting too cold, so here are some common signs that you should be on the lookout for:

  • Your dog will be excessively shivering and trembling.
  • Your dog will be barking or whining for no apparent reason.
  • Your dog will suffer from a severe lack of energy.
  • Your dog will choose to stick to the warmest areas of the house.
  • Your dog will much prefer to stay indoors and will not want to go outside even for a short time.
  • Your dog will constantly be lifting its paws off the ground when it’s outside.

How to Keep Your Pitbull Warm?

You should take certain measures to keep your Pitbull warm both indoors and outdoors when the temperature gets cold. 

Let’s break them down in more detail:

Keeping Your Pitbull Warm Inside

Make Sure Your Dog’s Bed Is Warm

Make sure that your dog’s bed is warm by placing it away from any windows or drafts and raising it slightly to minimize its contact with the cold floor.

You can also add multiple layers of bedding, thermal blankets, and heated pads to the dog’s bed to make it even warmer.

Ensure Your Pitbull Is Eating and Drinking Enough

You need to make sure that your dog is eating all the calories and nutrients its body needs to help it maintain its energy and keep warm. 

However, try not to overfeed your dog as it will not be exercising as much during the winter, leading it to put on weight a lot more easily.

You also need to make sure your dog is drinking enough water to prevent it from becoming dehydrated, as this could cause your dog to experience issues like dry skin and paws and some difficulties with peeing.

You should place Your Pitbull’s food and water bowls in an area that the dog can easily access. 

They should also be placed away from extreme heat or cold to keep the food and water at a suitable temperature.

Keeping Your Pitbull Warm Outside

Avoid Staying Outside for A Long Time

You need to avoid staying outside for a long time when the temperature is cold. 

RememberPitbulls are not outside dogs, so their time outside should always be temporary. Pitbulls belong inside the house, not out. 

If you’re used to playing outside with your dog or taking daily walks, you can try to find alternative activities inside, such as letting it climb the stairs or playing indoor games.

Dress Your Dog in Winter Gear (Coats, Sweaters, and Boots)

If you must take your dog for a walk outside for some time when the temperature is cold, make sure to dress it in a winter coat and boots to help keep it as warm as possible.

There are various requirements you need to keep in mind when choosing winter clothes for your dog, including:

  • The material should be durable, water-proof, and wind-proof
  • They should have multiple layers to provide sufficient insulation and prevent moisture from soaking through the dog’s skin.
  • They should cover the underside of the dog’s body as well as its neck and ears to minimize exposure to cold temperatures.
  • They should fit your dog comfortably without restricting its movement.
  • They should be secure and easy to wear as well as take off.

You can learn more about why Pitbulls need sweaters and coats in winter here, where I also recommend my favorite winter gear for Pitbulls that me – well, my dogs actually – like the best. 

Provide Your Dog with A Warm Shelter or Dog House

If you need to leave your dog outside for some time, make sure to provide your dog with a warm shelter or a dog house to stay in.

It should be big enough to fit the dog comfortably with sufficient insulation to protect it from extremely low temperatures. 

You can also add multiple layers of bedding, thermal blankets, and heated pads to make it even warmer. 

Make Sure to Provide Your Dog with Enough Food and Water

Your Pitbull needs to have access to enough food and water while it’s outside, and this is especially true if you’re going to leave it alone to help it maintain its energy and keep warm. 

You can learn the other things you need to do if you are going to leave your Pitbull alone here. 

You should place the dog’s food and water bowls should be placed in a location that your dog can easily access. They should also be placed away from extreme heat or cold to keep the food and water at a suitable temperature.

Other Safety Tips to Protect Your Pitbull During Winter

  • Never leave your dog unsupervised for too long during winter, especially when outside, as it might get into an accident because of the snow.
  • Keep your dog on a leash when taking walks in the snow to prevent your dog from getting lost or getting into an accident.
  • Make sure to put your dog in a coat with reflective stripes to make it easier to see when taking it on walks in the snow, especially if you’re walking at night.
  • Ensure that your dog doesn’t get wet when the weather is cold, as this will put it at risk of getting sick with cold or hypothermia in more severe cases.
  • Make sure to wipe the dog’s body and paws down after being outside to ensure that it’s completely dry before getting back inside. 
  • Avoid taking your dog out if it’s raining or snowing heavily, and try not to let them sleep outside during winter.
  • Regularly trim your dog’s nails during winter to prevent it from losing its balance and falling over when walking on icy ground.
  • Make sure to keep an eye on your dog’s body language during winter to determine if it’s getting too cold so you can take immediate action to warm it up.

What Are the Potential Health Risks of Cold Temperatures for Pitbulls?

Prolonged exposure to cold temperatures will put your Pitbull at risk of developing some dangerous health problems.

So, let’s take a closer look at these potential health risks:

Paw Damage

Exposure to cold temperatures can cause the dog’s paws to dry and crack, leading them to feel a lot of discomfort and pain.

So, you need to inspect your dog’s paws for damage regularly. 

It’s also recommended to apply paw wax, Vaseline, or coconut oil on each of the dog’s paws to soothe the dog’s paws and minimize the severity of the damage.

Cold or Flu

Similar to humans, it’s very common for dogs to get sick with cold or flu when the temperature gets cold. 

While it’s not always a dangerous health problem, it can still be tough for the dog to go through.

The symptoms will start mildly with frequent shivering and trembling, sniffling and sneezing, runny nose, warm ears, watery eyes, and a lack of appetite as well as energy. 

If the dog doesn’t get treatment, the symptoms will become more severe with more breathing difficulties, harsh coughing, and a fever.

To treat the symptoms, you need to let your dog rest and give it a lot of warm fluids. 

If the symptoms persist or become more severe, you need to take your dog to a vet for a more effective treatment.

Frostbites

When certain areas of the dog’s body get exposed to freezing temperatures, the blood vessels in these areas will start to narrow to preserve the body’s core temperature.

This condition is known as frostbite, and it can cause discoloration in the affected areas and swelling and painful blisters.

If you notice that your dog has frostbite, you need to warm up the affected area as much as possible by applying heated pads. Then you need to take your dog to a vet to get the necessary treatment.

Hypothermia

Hypothermia is when the dog’s body loses heat much faster than it can produce. 

Hypothermia mainly occurs due to prolonged exposure to extreme cold temperatures after getting wet.

The symptoms include severe shivering and trembling, difficulties with breathing, dilated pupils, cold skin, pale blue gums and inner eyelids, slowed heart rate, low blood pressure, stiffened muscles, and a severe lack of energy that leads to a coma-like state.

It’s one of the most dangerous health conditions, and it can be fatal if it’s not treated on time. So, if you notice any of the symptoms of hypothermia, you need to warm up your dog as much as possible and take it to a vet immediately.

Related Questions

Can Pitbulls Live Outside in Winter?

Pitbulls cannot live outside in winter as their bodies will not be able to tolerate the cold temperature for a long time, and they will be at risk of developing various health issues. However, they might be able to stay outside for a short period if they were dressed warmly.

Do Pitbulls Get Overheated?

Pitbulls do get overheated if they’re exposed to scorching temperatures for extended periods. If you don’t cool them down, they will suffer from various health problems which cause them to display symptoms like excessive drooling or panting, irregular heart rate, fever, disorientation, and severe lack of energy.

Can Pitbulls Eat Snow When They’re Outside?

Pitbulls can’t eat snow when they’re outside, as outdoor snow usually contains dirt, toxic chemicals, and salts that can be extremely dangerous to ingest. Prolonged exposure to snow will also put them at risk of developing other serious health problems such as hypothermia and frostbites.

Do You Need to Trim Your Pitbull’s Nails in Winter?

You do need to regularly trim your Pitbull’s nail in winter, especially before going outside. That is because having long nails will cause your dog to lose its balance when walking on the ground covered in snow, which will lead it to slip or fall over and cause some serious injuries.

Helpful Resources 

How cold is too cold for your dog?

How to keep a dog warm in cold weather

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