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Q&A: Is My Dog Cold At Night?

| Filed under: Q&ADogDr. Patrick Mahaney

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Sometimes, it's hard to tell if your dog is uncomfortable. They rarely speak up!

So it's best to just ask a professional!

A TeddyHilton.com reader wrote to Dr. Patrick Mahaney and said:

Hello!

I looked this question up on google and did not really find a good answer… At what temperature will dogs get cold? I have a Shepherd/pitbull mix and she has the fur more like a pitbull. She has a nice comfy bed in our room but when she sleeps she looks like she is really curled up and it makes me think she is cold.

We keep the temp at 65 when we sleep, but it may be a little cooler because our bedroom is upstairs.. Is this just the way she sleeps or should we put a blanket on her?

Dr. Patrick responded:

The temperature at which dogs get cold varies from dog to dog and is affected by a variety of health and environmental factors.

Tolerance of heat, cold, and humidity correlates with how well the body is able to function regarding blood and lymph circulation, digestion, and skin and coat condition.

Your dog's tendency to curl up while sleeping may be due to her quest to conserve heat while she sleeps, as the body temperature drops during sleeping hours. Alternatively, she may find this curved position to be more comfortable or to seek a sense of safety.

Instead of putting a blanket on her, provide her with a comfortable and sizable fabric that can be used for multiple purposes. She may bunch up the blanket as a means of constructing a desirable nest, which could include covering herself up (at least in part).

If she avoids the blanket, then provide her with a different fabric as a trial and error based means of finding what best suits her needs for warmth or cooling.

Thank you for your question. Feel free to correspond with me via Twitter (@PatrickMahaney) or www.PatrickMahaney.com

Have any pet questions? Tweet them to Dr. Patrick HERE!! OR Check him out on facebook!

[Image via Dr. Patrick Mahaney/Russel Baer.]

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