When Old Man Winter arrives for a stay in your neighborhood, does your Goldendoodle greet him with open paws, or would your furry friend rather spend the winter inside snuggled underneath some blankets?
Most Goldendoodles enjoy a romp in the snow, but cold temperatures and other seasonal elements pose an increased risk of injury and illness. Fortunately, with proper precautions, you and your pup can have fun while staying safe.
So, do Goldendoodles like snow? Here’s everything you need to know:
How Goldendoodles React to Cold Weather
Do Goldendoodles enjoy the cold? Generally, Goldendoodles enjoy spending time in cold and snowy weather. Their fluffy coats allow them to stay comfortable in conditions roughly similar to what a person can tolerate when wearing a coat.
However, it’s important to note Goldendoodles aren’t a cold-weather breed. That distinction belongs to other doodle breeds such as Saint Berdoodles, Huskydoodles, and Newfypoos. So, while Goldendoodles might enjoy outdoor playtime in the snow, they likely won’t want to spend significant time sitting outside in cold temps (unlike, for example, a Huskie).
Of course, your dog is one-of-a-kind, with a personality all their own. For instance, my dog loves the cold weather and won’t hesitate to jump into giant snowdrifts. However, I’ve known other Goldendoodles who will tolerate the snow when they need to use the bathroom but then rush back into the warm house as soon as they’re done.
What Temperatures are Best for Goldendoodles?
Follow these general guidelines:
- 45° F is comfortable for almost all dogs
- Between 45° and 32°, some cold-sensitive dogs can become uncomfortable
- Below 32°, cold-sensitive dogs should probably be inside
- Below 20°, only dogs that tolerate cold should be out, and only with human supervision
Keep in mind these are only guidelines, not firm rules. Your pup’s preferences will depend on a few factors:
Goldendoodles are most often medium to large-sized dogs. They range in height from about 14 to 21 inches and in weight from around 25 to 51 pounds. There are smaller Teacup and Mini Goldendoodles.
At these sizes, they have a low surface area to volume ratio, which means they don’t lose heat as quickly as smaller dogs. The larger your Goldendoodle, the warmer they tend to stay in cold temperatures.
The color of your dog’s coat also affects your dog’s comfort with cold. Darker colors absorb heat from sunlight, which helps keep the dog warmer when they’re outside.
Goldendoodles usually have apricot, black, chocolate, cream, dark brown, or red coats. (Complete Goldendoodle coat color guide). The cream, red, and apricot coloring tends to come from the Golden Retriever heritage, while the Poodle lineage often determines the presence of any black, dark brown, and gray. Generally, black and dark brown Goldendoodles stay warmer than ones with cream and apricot-colored coats.
It does not really matter what generation of Goldendoodle you have though – a F1 Goldendoodle will feel the chill just as much as a F2 Goldendoodle. Both have a fairly thick coat but it will come down to duration and wind chill. These are not AKC purebred dogs – so there will be variance.
Like any small dog, Teacup and Mini Goldendoodle dogs will be more likely to got cold quickly than the medium or standard sizes.
Dogs are like people in that they adapt to the weather where they live.
For example, a Goldendoodle dog who grew up in the Rocky Mountains will probably feel comfortable when the temperature outside is in the 30s, 40s, and 50s. However, to a dog from a more tropical environment, those types of temps could seem downright chilly.
Age and Health
Adult dogs in good health typically have the most enthusiasm for the cold. Puppies and senior dogs feel the low temperatures more severely. Like people, an older dog can also experience joint pain when the temperature drops.
Health conditions can also interfere with internal temperature regulation. If your dog has anything from a temporary injury to a chronic illness, they’re less likely to feel comfortable around the cold.
For many Goldendoodles, aging causes their coat to lighten. As discussed above, a lighter coat absorbs less heat than a darker one.
Protecting Your Dog from Cold Weather
Do Goldendoodles like snow when it’s time to play with their owners outside? Almost always! Of course, safety always comes first. Here’s how to protect them from ice, salt, low temperatures, and other cold-weather hazards.
Avoid Chemical Spills
Antifreeze is one of the biggest winter-related threats to dogs, but also one of the least known. It leaks onto the ground from cars. Dogs then lap it up because they love the smell. Unfortunately, it’s lethal even in small quantities. When working on and winterizing your car, clean up any spills right away.
Protect Their Paws
Let’s start with some good news many dog owners don’t know.
While salt and chemical deicers can irritate your dog’s paws, brief exposure is unlikely to cause any serious damage. Even if your dog licks a small amount off their feet, an upset stomach is typically the worst that occurs.
Instead, the more worrisome issue is when ice and snow become packed between the dog’s toes, which can lead to discomfort and even frostbite. Signs include restlessness, hopping from one foot to the other, biting at the dog’s feet, and shifting weight.
You have two options:
- Snow boots (dog booties!)
- Paw wax
Dog snowshoes offer a physical layer of protection. You’ll find a wide variety of styles and features. At a minimum, you want a non-slip outer sole, secure fasteners, and a reflective strip or coloring. Lots of Goldendoodle lovers go mad for snow shoes.
- Size 2: 2.4"x1.7"(L*W) for 18-27 lbs; size 3: 2.5"x1.9"(L*W) for 23-33 lbs; size 4: 2.6"x2.1"(L*W) for 31-40 lbs; size 5: 2.7"x2.2"(L*W) for 40-55 lbs; size 6: 2.9"x2.5"(L*W) for 52-65 lbs; size 7: 3.1"x2.7"(L*W) for 63-75 lbs; size 8: 3.3"x2.9"(L*W) for 74-88 lbs). The number of boot soles stands for the size of the shoe, is not used to distinguish the left foot or the right foot, such as "7" stands for the size 7, instead of representing the left feet.
- SECURE and ADJUSTABLE: Easy to put on / off. These dog shoes expands with a wide split seam opening and two adjustable and reflective straps to ensure a tight fit, also make your dog safe at night.
- RUGGED: Tough anti-slip sole of dog boots provides stability and traction, protection from sharp thorns and hot pavement.
- QUALITY: The dog boots have a rugged sole and high quality fabrics that are then sewn together to ensure they are ready for your adventure.
- FASHIONABLE: QUMY dog boots are with cute pet paw embroidery, paws side is the outside, soft and hand washable.
When my dog was a puppy, he wore boots without issue during the (brief and few) times he was outside in cold weather. But now that he’s an adult, he absolutely refuses to wear them. It’s a fairly common issue with Goldendoodles, but paw wax is often an effective alternative.
Musher's Secret Paw Wax is perhaps the most well-known option, although other quality brands exist as well. Simply apply the vitamin and beeswax blend directly to the dog’s paw both before they go outside and as a conditioner for clean feet. You can also put it on the snout, elbows, and other dry areas.
Cleaning Your Dog’s Paws
Whenever your dog returns home from an outside adventure, you want to clean their paws, both to protect their health and your carpet!
You can wipe the paws clean with a wet towel, but for best results, try using a paw washer, such as the popular MudBuster. You fill it with soapy and water, dunk the dog’s paw in, and the special design removes mud and gunk, even from in-between toes.
Additionally, keep your dog’s nails trim, either by cutting them yourself or making regular pedicure appointments with the groomer. Short nails help prevent snow and ice from becoming stuck between toes.
A Sweater Helps Prevent Hypothermia
Dogs exposed to prolonged or excessive cold temperatures can develop hypothermia. It’s a condition where the dog’s core body temperature can drop down dangerously low. Mild hypothermia starts at a body temperature of 99 degrees or below, while severe hypothermia begins at 82 degrees.
At the first symptom of hypothermia, take your dog inside and wrap them in blankets. Early warning signs include:
- Attempting to curl up for warmth
- Fast or slow heart rate
- Slow movements
- Slow breaths
To help prevent hypothermia, and generally keep your dog warm on a cold day, try a dog jacket or winter coat. For best results, the top of the jacket should extend from the dog’s neck all the way to the base of their tail. Jackets and coats tend to fit best, and are more necessary, for Goldendoodles with shorter coats than those with longer ones.
Keep Your Dog’s Skin Moisturized
Cold winter weather and heated homes are a double-whammy for a Goldendoodle. The temperature fluctuations can dry out your dog’s fur and skin. You’ll need to take steps to keep your dog comfortable and itch-free.
First, you want to limit bath time. Only give your dog a bath when they’re dirty. Don’t bathe them as a way to moisturize their skin. Generally, unless the dog is visibly dirty, try to limit baths to once a month during fall and winter.
When you do bathe your dog, use a moisturizing shampoo. For a Goldendoodle, you’ll often get the best results with oatmeal dog shampoo. It’s soothing on the skin and usually doesn’t cause an allergic reaction. Homemade or cheap paw balm can also ease any dryness or chafing of the paw pad.
- Tips for a Goldendoodle that is always licking its paws
- The best shampoos for a Goldendoodle coat (moisture)
Prepare for Harsh Winter Weather
When putting together an emergency kit, don’t forget about your dog’s needs. You want enough necessary supplies to last for several days in the event you lose power or are trapped inside your house due to a blizzard. Gather dog food, any medications, blankets, water, and a few toys.
Many people find that it’s helpful to put all emergency dog supplies in a bag or container, which makes it easy to grab in the event you and your dog have to leave home quickly.
The #1 Safety Tip
Never leave your Goldendoodle puppy or dog unsupervised in cold weather. Always stay close to watch them for signs of any potential problem. Additionally, don’t allow them to run off-leash, as the snow increases their chances of falling through ice, getting hit by a car, or otherwise becoming injured.
Having Fun with Your Goldendoodle in the Snow
Barring severe weather, stick to a regular exercise schedule as much as possible. Cold weather can encourage a dog owner and pup to sit around, but even a short daily walk can have tremendous health benefits for you both.
Do Goldendoodles like snow? Pretty much every doodle dog does – so you and your furry friend can safely enjoy all sorts of wintertime fun together!