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

Many Pitbull owners prefer going on walks with their dogs 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. But why 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 insulation, 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 Pit Bulls get cold easily, the factors that determine how much they can tolerate cold weather, and how to keep them warm when they’re inside or outside.

Why Do Pit Bulls Get Cold Easily?

Despite their tough appearance, Pit Bulls can get cold easily, especially at night when the temperature is much lower.

There are many reasons why Pit Bulls are more prone to cold than other dogs, and understanding those reasons will help you find the best ways to protect your dog.

So, let’s take a look at the main reasons why Pit Bulls get cold easily:

  • Pit Bulls have single-layered coats with short hair, which doesn’t provide enough protection against low temperatures.
  • Compared to many dogs, Pit Bulls are considered small in size. Their small bodies produce less heat than larger dogs, and the heat tends to escape the body quickly during winter, leaving them more prone to cold.
  • Pit Bulls are muscular dogs with low body fat. Even though this makes them very athletic, having more body fat generally helps dogs stay warm in cold weather.
  • They have short legs, which cause the underside of their body to come more in contact with cold surfaces as they’re lying down or walking.
  • They have flat faces with short muzzles, making it difficult for them to warm up any cold air they inhale.
  • Large dog ears act like radiators. During the summer, a Pit Bull’s large ears will help cool them off and keep them refreshed, but during the winter, it’s a disadvantage that makes it harder for them to stay warm. 

However, how much a Pit Bull can tolerate cold temperatures varies 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 Pit Bulls Can Tolerate Cold Temperatures

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

  • Age and Health – Senior Pit Bulls are prone to many health issues, and their bodies are generally weaker than younger Pit Bulls, so they are less likely to be able to tolerate cold weather. This also applies to puppies and injured dogs.
  • Size – Even though Pit Bulls are muscular and strong, they have very small bodies compared to other dogs. Their small bodies are more prone to cold temperatures, and their close proximity to surfaces makes it easier for them to catch colds and other winter diseases.
  • Coat Color – The density of a Pit Bull’s hair coat isn’t the only thing that affects its ability to stay warm. Darker-colored coats have a better ability to absorb heat and warm a Pit Bull’s body than lighter-colored coats. 

How Cold Is Too Cold for Pit Bulls?

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

Meanwhile, the ideal temperature for Pit Bulls ranges from 50°F to 70°F

Can Pit Bulls Sleep In The Cold?

Pit Bulls cannot tolerate prolonged exposure to cold weather; therefore, they cannot sleep in the cold.

They are more vulnerable to heat loss, so they require a heated space or at least a warm blanket to be able to sleep in cold weather. Moreover, you definitely should never let your Pit Bull sleep outside during the winter.

Can Pit Bulls Play In The Snow?

Pit Bulls can play in the snow as long as you take the necessary precautions to keep them warm, such as putting them in a warm coat and winter boots. It’s also a good idea to keep them moving as their high energy will help keep their bodies warm as they play in the snow.

Just don’t keep them out for too long, and make sure you keep an eye on them in case they show any sign of Hypothermia.

One thing you must also keep in mind is that you need to clean them, especially their paws, thoroughly after you come from outside. That’s because the chemicals used by cities to melt the ice on roads can damage the dog’s paws.

You can simply wash their paws in the bath, although it’s not recommended as they will get snow everywhere, or you can use a paw cleaner.

A portable cleaner like the Dexas MudBuster Portable Dog Paw Cleaner is affordable, very easy to use, and gets the job done.

How to Tell If Your Pit Bull Is Getting Cold?

It’s crucial to be able to tell if your Pit Bull 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 Pit Bull Warm?

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

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 Pit Bull 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.

I also have a guide on the best beds for Pit Bulls that’s worth checking out.

Wrap Your Dog in a Blanket

Just like you, dogs love blankets. Pit Bulls are very cuddly dogs, and a soft, warm blanket will become their favorite object during winter.

You can add a soft blanket on their bed to make it toastier and another one to drape over them when they sleep or when they cuddle with you on the couch.

Provide Your dog with Enough Food and Water

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 Pit Bull’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. 

RememberPit Bulls are not outside dogs, so their time outside should always be temporary.

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 Pit Bulls need coats in winter here or check out my recommendations for the best winter coats for Pit Bulls here.

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. 

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 Pit Bull 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 Pit Bull 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. 
  • Make sure your Pitbull doesn’t eat snow when it’s outside, as outdoor snow usually contains dirt, toxic chemicals, and salts that can be extremely dangerous to ingest.
  • 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.

The Potential Health Risks of Cold Temperatures for Pit Bulls

Prolonged exposure to cold temperatures will put your Pit Bull 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 a cold or flu when the temperature gets cold, and 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.


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 is when the dog’s body loses heat much faster than it can produce. It mainly occurs due to prolonged exposure to extreme cold temperatures after getting wet.

Here is a simple table to detect the severity of Hypothermia:

Mild Hypothermia90°F – 99°F
Moderate Hypothermia82°F – 90°F
Severe HypothermiaLess than 82°F

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.

What To Do If Your Dog Gets Hypothermia?

If your dog shows signs of Hypothermia, the first thing you need to do is check its temperature. If their temperature is still higher than 82°F, you can treat them at home.

  1. Bring your dog inside a warm room
  2. Wrap your dog in a heavy blanket 
  3. Heat a bottle of water, wrap it in a blanket and place it near your dog’s abdomen.
  4. Monitor their temperature every 10 minutes to make sure they’re getting better

If your dog’s temperature doesn’t get lower, or you catch Hypothermia after the dog’s temperature drops below 82°F, you need to immediately contact a veterinarian.

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