Can German Shepherds Stay Outside In The Cold?

German Shepherds are considered as one of those dog breeds that come with double-coating. It implies dual layers of fur grow over their skin. Generally, the outer coating of a German Shepherd is long enough to keep him protected against the ice and snow.

They have a thick undercoat which helps in insulating them against heat in the summers and cold in the winters. German Shepherds tend to shed a lot that makes them a suitable dog breed for cold weather.

The coating of a German Shepherd tends to grow thicker and longer during the winter season. It provides them protection to play, run and walk around in open air during the cold temperatures of winter season without any need of wearing a cloth or a dog sweater. Ideally, a German Shepherd can stay outside in the cold for up to eight hours in temperature not less than 200F.

Although German Shepherds might be able to tolerate and survive off cold weather better than the other dog breeds, there are certain factors that one needs to keep in mind. The above-mentioned are few resourceful tips that you need to consider before leaving your furry pal outside in the cold.


There exist variations in the fur of a German Shepherd ranging from short medium, and long outer coats along with furry undercoats. Few of them even have long outer coats with no presence of undercoat.

However, a German Shepherd with a long or medium outer coat along with a basecoat would be able to tolerate winters better than those with short outer coats.


It is very important to keep your furry companion well-brushed and groomed during the winter season. It helps in lessening the intensity of the amount of shedding. It assists in keeping their coats healthy and provides them with better protection and insulation against the cold.


When you bathe your pet in the winter season, make sure that you do it in a garage or a sheltered place that is completely secured from cold.

Dry off your furry pal completely and properly before taking him outside in the cold. It prevents their coat from freezing and reduces the health risk of such as hypothermia and frostbite.

Protection against Wind

A wind-chill can make cold temperatures intolerable, bitter, and miserable. If your German Shepherd stays outdoor in the cold, make sure that there is a house or a sheltered structure along with a windbreak and wall to give relief to your furry pal in the cold. You can even go for a heated dog house if your German Shepherd’s safe and secure outside stay.

Salt and Chemicals

During the winters, chemical such as antifreeze can get loose and malted that is dangerous for dogs. The salt that is used on the sidewalks and roads can potentially hurt the paws of your German Shepherd. Therefore, it is preferable to keep your pet in the area where there is no risk of getting hurt by such chemicals.

Keep the Leash on

If your German Shepherd is roaming outside in the cold around the fence, there is no need to worry. But in the absence of an enclosed place, if you are taking your pet out for a walk, do not forget to put a leash on him.

The fragrance of ice and snow can make your pet lose your scent and as a result, your furry pal might get lost, specifically during a snowstorm. To prevent such catastrophic conditions, it is advisable to keep your pet closed and sheltered in the cold.

Fresh Water

If your German Shepherd stays outside in the cold for longer period, then do not forget to keep a bowl full of fresh water in adequate quantity for him to drink from. When the temperature outside is below the freezing point, the left out water in the bowl without an insulator could get freeze and get converted into undrinkable.

Therefore, to prevent this, you should put the bowl of water inside a dog house or a confined place where it would not get freeze. It would enable your German Shepherd to drink plenty of fresh water to stay refreshed and hydrated during his open-air activities.

Ample of Protein

If your German Shepherd tends to stay outside in the cold and is habitual of indulging himself in intense outdoor activity sessions, then you might need to increase his food intake, specifically with the meat. It would provide your pet with more calories and would help in increasing his energy level.

It would also help your furry pal to stay warm during winters. Besides this, increasing the intake of protein would be beneficial for your German Shepherd if he loves to run in the open air as it helps him to warm-up.

Age Factor

The pups and elderly pets might not be able to tolerate the cold. Also, the German Shepherd belonging to tender ages could face difficulties in withstanding the cold. In such cases, you need to let your furry companion outside for less time duration and keep a close eye on them to know whether your pet can handle the weather or not.

Watch out for the Signs

Although German Shepherds can tolerate cold much effective as compared to the other dog breeds at the same time, they can still get cold and fall sick. There are certain indications for this such as shivering, slowing down, whining, and displaying anxiousness. If you notice these signs in your German Shepherd, then take him inside a cozy and confined place to warm up.

Wrap Up

The ability and resistance for withstanding cold differ in each German Shepherd as all of them have different body build-ups and stamina. Some might be better acclimated towards the cold and stay out for a longer time duration.

Moreover, it is better to regulate and keep a check on your German Shepherd’s usual activities and behavior to see whether he is comfortable with the cold weather or not.

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