How cold is too cold?
The answer to this question is somewhat complicated, however using outdoor temperatures as a guide, as well as taking wind-chill into account, is the best way to estimate it. How it actually feels is important, which is why wind-chill should be included.
At around 12 – 15 degrees most pets will probably be quite safe. At 10 degrees, you need to keep an eye on them as it can be potentially unsafe depending on their age, general health, and breed. Seven degrees indicates that there is certainly potential danger, and at four degrees the temperature is potentially life-threatening. Animals shouldn’t have prolonged periods outdoors when temperatures are as low as this. Adelaide is currently experiencing overnight lows of 4 -5 degrees and pets shouldn’t be outdoors for long during these conditions.
There are some caveats however, and acclimation to cold is a relevant factor. Working dogs that are used to being in the cold are likely to have better resistance than indoors dogs. Larger dogs with thicker coats may also have more resistance to cold. Wet weather can influence the impact of cold, however it can go either way and make cold temperatures either more or less dangerous.
Common sense and going with your gut is always the best approach, and if you think that your pet will feel the cold regardless of the temperature, then keep them indoors. Any animal will suffer if left outside in extremely low temperatures, but shorthaired dog breeds such as Labradors, greyhounds, and beagles will be more susceptible. You are your pet’s best advocate, therefore when in doubt, don’t risk exposing them to the cold.