Do Dachshunds Get Cold Easily?

Do Dachshunds Get Cold Easily?

Are you wondering whether your Dachshund can go outside in the cold or snow? Do you want to know if Dachshunds get cold easily? Here’s everything you need to know about whether Dachshunds feel the cold! 

Do Dachshunds Get Cold Easily? Yes, Dachshunds are small dogs that get cold very easily. They have thin fur that isn’t very insulating, long bodies that cause body heat to escape quickly, and short legs that mean their bellies are close to the ground. If they get too cold, they can get hypothermia.

Read on to find out why Dachshunds get so cold, how to tell if your Dachshund is too cold, and how to protect your Dachshund in freezing cold temperatures.

This article is based on research and personal experience as a Dachshund owner of 10+ years. I’m not a Vet, qualified dog trainer or dog behaviourist.


Why Do Dachshunds Get Cold So Easily? 

Most Dachshunds hide under a blanket at the thought of going out in cold or wet weather. Given the choice, they’d much rather sleep beside a radiator and pee on the floor! But why do Dachshunds hate the cold so much?

This Is Why Dachshunds Get Cold So Easily: 

Dachshunds get cold easily because they are a small dog breed

Dachshunds are small dogs that have less body fat than other larger breeds have.

Body fat is an insulator that keeps the heat in. If your Dachshund doesn’t have that extra layer of protection, then the cold is going to get to him much quicker.

Dachshunds get cold easily because they have thin coats

Dachshunds were originally bred as hunting dogs and their coat’s main purpose wasn’t to keep them warm.

It was actually to keep them cool when chasing prey, and to protect them from getting caught up on brambles when scurrying through the undergrowth.

In fact, a Dachshund’s fur is actually quite thin compared with other dog breeds, and doesn’t trap heat that well at all.

That means body heat will escape quickly, leaving your Dachshund feeling really cold.

Dachshunds get cold easily because they have long bodies

Your Dachshund’s long, round body means he’ll have a larger exposed surface area than other small dog breeds have.

This large surface area will make your Dachshund lose body heat really quickly, causing him to feel the cold in minutes.

Dachshunds get cold easily because they have short legs

Your Dachshund’s characteristic short legs put him in close proximity to the ground.

This makes him more susceptible to the cold, as he’s exposed to coldness from the ground as well as in the air.

Being so close to the ground also means that your Dachshund’s belly will get damp or wet if it’s been raining or snowing.

On dewy mornings or evenings and after any bad weather, your Dachshund’s coat will pick up the water from the ground.

Just like humans, getting wet on a cold day will make your Dachshund feel the cold really quickly!

Do Smooth Haired Dachshunds Get Cold Easily?

Yes, out of the three coat varieties of Dachshund, Smooth Haired Dachshunds are likely to get the coldest.

That’s because Smooth Haired Dachshunds have the shortest fur. They aren’t able to retain as much body heat as Long Haired and Wire-haired Dachshunds can.

However, the short coat on Smooth Haired Dachshunds would have been helpful in their original role as hunting dogs.

Firstly, shorter fur would have kept a Dachshund cool when they chased after their prey.

Secondly, a short coat meant that if a Dachshund was fighting a ferocious badger, it would have been harder for the badger to grab hold of the Dachshund’s fur!

Do Long Haired Dachshunds Get Cold Easily?

Long Haired Dachshunds have a longer coat with a softer underside and a longer top layer of fur.

The longer coat traps more heat than it would for Smooth Haired Dachshunds. 

However, Long Haired Dachshunds still get cold really easily. Their coats might be longer and fluffier, but the fur isn’t thick and it wasn’t designed for warmth.

Long Haired Dachshunds also have long bodies and short legs, making it much more difficult for them to stay warm, especially when the ground is damp.

Do Wire-haired Dachshunds Get Cold Easily? 

Wire-haired Dachshunds have coarser fur with a fluffy under layer.

However, the fur is still finely textured and was designed to protect hunting Dachshunds from brambles, not the cold.

Therefore, Wire-haired Dachshunds also get cold easily due to their short stature, long body and close proximity to the ground.

Dachshund looking cold in the snow
Dachshund looking cold in the snow

How Do I Know If My Dachshund Is Too Cold? 

Dachshunds can get cold really easily so you need to look out for the signs to know when it’s time to go back inside.

The signs that a Dachshund is too cold are:

Shivering and shaking

If your Dachshund is cold, one of the earliest warning signs is shivering or shaking. He might start shaking and trembling in the cold.

Like all dogs, Dachshunds shiver in cold temperatures to try and keep their body temperature up.

Stiffness

If it’s cold outside and your Dachshund looks like he’s having difficulty moving or seems very rigid and stiff, then he might be too cold.

Refusing to move

Some Dachshunds will slow down or stop moving altogether when they’re feeling too cold. 

This often happens on walks when they’d much rather get back to the car and go back home.

Whining  

If your Dachshund is cold, he might try to let you know by whining or whimpering in distress.

So if your Dachshund just sits down and cries, you’ll know it’s time to head back home.

Lifting paws 

Some Dachshunds try to lift their paws up off the ground to let you know when they’re too cold.

If you notice your Dachshund performing this balancing act, it might be that the ground is simply too cold for his feet! 

What Temperature Is Too Cold For A Dachshund? 

It’s too cold for most Dachshunds to be outside for any length of time when the temperature drops below around 5-7 degrees Celsius, or 42-45 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is the minimum temperature level that you should walk your Dachshund outside in. Unless it’s for a quick potty break where you go out and come straight back inside.

Of course, if it’s wet outside, your Dachshund might feel even colder, even when the temperature is slightly warmer than this.

So use your own judgement and come back inside if your Dachshund shows any signs of being too cold.

As a note of caution, very young puppies, older Dachshunds and those that have health problems are much more susceptible to colder temperatures. So check with your vet if you’re unsure.

Dachshund in the snow with speech bubble that says 'I get really cold'
Cold Dachshund in the snow

Can My Dachshund Go Out In The Snow? 

Most Dachshunds should not go out in the snow for more than about 10-15 minutes. Dachshunds are small dogs with thin coats that don’t retain body heat well.

They have long bodies that allow heat to escape quickly and short legs that mean their bellies are close to the ground.

Being out in the snow for too long puts them at risk of hypothermia and frostbite.

Their elongated body shape makes them more susceptible to getting damp and being cold than larger or long-legged dog breeds.

As a note of caution, very young puppies, older Dachshunds and those that have health problems should not go outside in the snow without speaking to a vet first.

Conditions like Hypothyroidism or Diabetes can affect a Dachshund’s ability to regulate their own body temperature.

If you do take your Dachshund outside in the snow, protect him from the elements with a coat or fleece and dry him off throughly when you come back inside.

What Happens If My Dachshund Gets Too Cold? 

Being freezing cold can be dangerous for your Dachshund, which is why it’s so important to look out for the signs that he’s getting too cold.

The potential risks of your Dachshund getting too cold are: 

Cold or Flu 

Being outside in the dry and cold air puts Dachshunds more at risk of catching a cold or flu, in the same way us humans do.

If your Dachshund is freezing cold for any length of time, this’ll make him tired and could weaken his immune system, making him less able to fight off any sickness bugs.

The symptoms of a cold in Dachshunds could include a runny nose, congestion, difficulty breathing, sneezing, runny eyes, tiredness and low energy.

If your Dachshund catches the flu, he may have similar symptoms to those of a cold, but could also have a cough, fever, and may be off his food.

However, flu is serious and can lead to pneumonia, so you must always get any symptoms checked by your vet.

Frostbite

Frostbite is a condition that can happen if your Dachshund is exposed to extremely cold temperatures for any length of time.

It’s when the cold causes blood flow to be restricted, leaving long lasting tissue damage in different parts of your Dachshund’s body.

The most common body parts affected by frostbite are your Dachshund’s ears, tail, legs and paws.

The symptoms of frostbite in Dachshunds could include skin turning pale or bluish, swelling, blisters, ulcers, cold and brittle skin, and pain when touching the affected area.

Hypothermia

Hypothermia is a condition that can happen if your Dachshund is exposed to cold temperatures for too long and his body temperature drops too low.

It’s basically when your Dachshund loses too much body heat and can’t warm up fast enough.

It’s a real risk for Dachshunds that stay outside in the cold too long, especially those that are older or really young puppies.

Symptoms of Hypothermia could include shivering, pale gums, lethargy, tiredness, weakness, stiffness, shallow breathing and unconsciousness.

Hypothermia can leave Dachshunds seriously ill and can even cause death in extreme cases.

If you notice any symptoms of cold, flu, frostbite or hypothermia, or are concerned about your Dachshund’s health, contact your vet immediately for advice.

How To Protect Your Dachshund From the Cold

Dachshunds get cold really easily, so it’s best go take some precautions to protect them on a cold day.

Wrap your Dachshund up in dog clothing

When the weather turns cold outside, it’s a good idea for your Dachshund to wear a dog fleece or dog coat to keep his body insulated and warmer for longer.

This’ll give him an extra layer of protection from the wet, cold, and snow outside.

For really cold days, pop a doggy hat or snood on your Dachshund’s head to keep the cold air off his big ears.

A lot of heat is lost through his head, so a warm knitted hat will add a woolly layer or protection for your Dachshund’s head and neck.

If you live in a really cold climate, it may be a good idea to protect your Dachshund’s paws with some doggy booties!

Doggy booties are also good if you walk your Dachshund on a road, pavement, or sidewalk that has recently been salted or gritted.

Salt and grit are used to stop people and cars from slipping on the ice and snow. However, it’s also corroding in nature and can harm your Dachshund’s skin and paws.

If your Dachshund refuses to wear booties, you’ll need to wash his feet when you come back home, as salt and grit can also be toxic if licked.

Only go outside for short amounts of time

Don’t stay outside in cold weather for too long, and never stay outside in freezing weather for more than 10-15 minutes at most.

Dachshunds are small dogs that are sensitive to colder temperatures. Their bellies are close to the ground so they feel the cold within minutes.

A quick potty break outside should be fine for most Dachshunds, but prolonged exposure to cold temperatures could cause hypothermia or frostbite.

Just remember that your Dachshund will always feel colder than you. So, if you’re feeling the cold, then your Dachshund will be absolutely freezing!

Cold Dachshund with snow on their face and speech bubble that says 'I have ice balls on my paws'
Dachshund with ice balls on their paws

Use paw balm

If the weather is really cold and there’s snow outside, your Dachshund may get ice balls stuck to his tummy, legs and paws.

This happens when the snow attaches to your Dachshund’s fur, his body heat melts it, and that moisture forms lots of little ice balls that start to grow in size.

As much as it’s cute and funny to look at, there is a more serious side!

Ice balls can get stuck between your Dachshund’s paw pads and cause them to crack or bleed. And that’s why you need to remove the ice right away!

The quickest way to do this is with some lukewarm water to melt off the ice. Just be sure that the temperature isn’t too hot or cold.

However, prevention is always better than cure! Paw balm will put a barrier between your Dachshund’s fur and the snow on the ground.

Paw balm stops the ice balls from forming between the pads on your Dachshund’s feet.

Ice balls aren’t as much of an issue for Smooth Haired Dachshunds. But Long Haired Dachshunds and Wire-haired Dachshunds can get covered in them!

Dry your Dachshund off thoroughly

The longer your Dachshund stays damp or wet, the colder he’s going to get. So dry him off thoroughly with a towel, paying close attention to his belly and legs.

A quick hack is to tumble dry the towel for a couple of minutes to warm it up before drying your Dachshund off with it!

Cover your Dachshund in a warm blanket

Dachshunds love feeling warm and cosy, and they love being underneath blankets too!

So cover your Dachshund up in a cosy blanket until he’s completely warmed up and dry.

You could even leave his blanket on the radiator (if it’s safe to do so!) so it’s nice and warm when you get back home.

To find out why Dachshunds love burrowing under blankets, click here!


So, there you have it! Dachshunds do get cold easily whether they’re smooth-haired, long-haired, or wire-haired. They have long bodies and thin coats that don’t trap much body heat, and their short legs leave their bellies exposed to the cold ground. Watch out for the signs your Dachshund is getting too cold, and limit the amount of time you spend outdoors in freezing cold weather.

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'Do Dachshunds get cold easily?' heading with a photo of Dachshund in the snow with a speech bubble that says 'I get really cold'.
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