How Cold Is Too Cold For German Shepherd Dogs?

How cold is too cold for German Shepherd dogs? This is a question that many people ask, and it is a valid one. German Shepherds are a breed of dog that is known for being able to tolerate colder temperatures than other breeds, but there is still a limit to how cold they can handle. Let us find out just how cold is too cold for German Shepherds below.

How Cold Is Too Cold For German Shepherd Dogs?

While German Shepherds are good at tolerating colder temperatures, there is still a limit to how cold they can handle. Once the temperature drops below 20ºF, it becomes too cold for German Shepherds. At this temperature, their bodies are not able to generate enough heat to keep them warm and they can start to experience hypothermia. If you must take your German Shepherd outside in cold weather, make sure that you are monitoring them closely and bring them back inside if they seem to be getting too cold.

The ideal temperature range for German Shepherds is around 40-70ºF. This is the temperature range where they will be the most comfortable and able to tolerate being outside for longer periods of time.

how cold is too cold for german shepherd dogs - dog standing on the snow field

How Is It Possible For German Shepherds To Tolerate Cold Weather?

German Shepherds are able to tolerate cold weather better than some other dog breeds because they have a thicker coat of fur. This coat of fur helps to insulate their body and keep them warm in colder temperatures. They also have a layer of fat under their skin that provides additional insulation.

German Shepherds are well-known for having two layers of fur: a dense outer coat and a softer, shorter undercoat. The outer coat is made up of guard hairs that are coarse and protect the dog from bad weather, while the undercoat is made up of softer fur that helps to insulate the body.

When the temperature starts to drop, you may notice that your German Shepherd’s fur starts to get thicker. This is because their body is preparing for the colder weather ahead.

However, despite their thick fur coats, German Shepherds are not immune to the cold. If the temperature drops too low, they can suffer from hypothermia or frostbite.

What Are The Signs That My German Shepherd Is Too Cold?

If you notice any of the following signs, it means that your German Shepherd is too cold and you should bring them inside or provide them with additional warmth:

  • Shivering
  • Whining
  • Looking for a warm place to hide
  • Holding up a paw
  • Appearing lethargic

What Should I Do If My German Shepherd Is Too Cold?

If you notice that your German Shepherd is too cold, there are a few things you can do to help them feel warmer:

Cover them with a blanket

One of the first things you must do is to bring them inside if they are outdoors. If this is not possible, then cover them with a blanket or towel to help trap in their body heat. A fuzzy or thick blanket will work best for this.

Give them a warm drink

Another way to help your German Shepherd feel warmer is to give them a warm drink. This could be anything from chicken soup to plain hot water. You can also try adding honey to their drink as it has natural warming properties.

Place a heating pad on their bed

If you live in a place with very cold winters, then you may want to invest in a heating pad for your German Shepherd’s bed. This will help them stay warm and comfortable during the night.

Take them to the vet

If you are concerned that your German Shepherd is too cold, then it is always best to take them to the vet. They will be able to give you further advice and help you to keep your dog healthy and happy.

What Are The Risks Associated With Your German Shepherd Being Exposed To Severely Cold Temperatures?

There are a few risks associated with your German Shepherd being exposed to severely cold temperatures. These include:


Hypothermia is a condition that occurs when the body temperature drops below a certain level. This can be extremely dangerous and even fatal if not treated immediately.


Frostbite is another risk associated with exposure to cold temperatures. This is when the skin and tissue freeze and can cause serious damage.


Yes, extremely cold temperatures can also lead to dehydration. This is because the body uses more water to stay warm and this can lead to dehydration if not enough water is consumed.

Gastrointestinal issues

Another issue that can be caused by exposure to cold temperatures is gastrointestinal issues. This can include vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation.

If you notice that your German Shepherd is showing any of these signs, it is important to take them to the vet immediately. Exposure to cold temperatures can be very dangerous for German Shepherds and can even lead to death if not treated properly.

What Should I Bring With Me If I’m Going To Take My German Shepherd Outdoors When The Weather Is Too Cold?

At best, you must avoid taking your German Shepherd outdoors when the weather is too cold. But if you must, make sure to bring plenty of water and a bowl for them to drink from. Below are other important things you must bring:

A first-aid kit

It’s also a good idea to bring a first-aid kit with you in case your German Shepherd gets injured while outdoors. After all, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

A coat or sweater

If you’re going to be outdoors in the cold weather, make sure to dress your German Shepherd accordingly. A coat or sweater will help keep them warm and comfortable.


You should also consider getting your German Shepherd a pair of boots to protect its paws from the cold weather. Snow and ice can be harsh on their delicate paws, so it’s important to take this extra precaution.

With these items in tow, you and your German Shepherd will be prepared for anything the cold weather may throw your way.

how cold is too cold for german shepherd dogs - dog at the snow field


What temperature is too cold for German Shepherds to be outside?

When the temperature drops below 20ºF, it’s time to start thinking about bringing your German Shepherd indoors. They may enjoy being outdoors in the cold weather, but they’re susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite at these low temperatures.

How long can German Shepherds be in the cold?

At best, German Shepherds should only be outside in the cold for short periods of time. If you must leave them outdoors for longer periods, make sure they have a warm, dry place to shelter from the elements.

Is 40 degrees too cold for a German Shepherd?

Yes, 40 degrees is the temperature at which most German Shepherds will start to feel uncomfortable. At this temperature, they may start to shiver and their body will work harder to maintain its core temperature. If the temperature drops any lower, it’s time to bring them inside.

Do German Shepherds get cold at night?

German Shepherds are more susceptible to the cold at night because their body temperature drops when they sleep. This is why it’s important to make sure they have a warm bed to sleep in and not leave them outside for too long.

Can I keep my German Shepherd outside in winter?

No, you must not keep your German Shepherd outside in winter. If the temperature drops below freezing, their body will not be able to generate enough heat to keep them warm and they will eventually die from exposure.

Do German Shepherds need blankets?

Yes, if the temperature is cold enough, German Shepherds will need a blanket to help them stay warm. You can also get them a coat or sweater to wear that will help keep their body heat in.

Does a German Shepherd need a jacket?

Yes, a German Shepherd will need a jacket in the cold weather to help keep them warm. Make sure that the jacket is waterproof and has a good fit so that they are comfortable in it.

Can I leave my German Shepherd outside at night?

No, you must not leave your German Shepherd outside at night. Even if the weather is not too cold, it can still be dangerous for them. It’s always best to err on the side of caution and bring them inside at night where it’s warm and cozy.

Final Thoughts

So, how cold is too cold for German Shepherd dogs? It’s too cold for German Shepherds if the temperature drops below 20ºF. If the temperature does drop below 20ºF, you must take measures to keep your German Shepherd warm, such as giving them a jacket to wear and bringing them inside at night. Remember, it’s always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to your furry friend’s safety!

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by Nicole Barnett

Nicole has been a freelance writer for over 10 years. She has three dogs, two of which she rescued from the streets. When not furiously typing away at her computer, you’d either find her chasing after her adorable dogs and kids, or volunteering at a local shelter.

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