Here’s the Details that How Long Can You Safely Walk Your Dog In Winter!

Walking your dog in winter requires considering several factors, including the dog’s breed, size, age, coat type, overall health, and the outside temperature, including wind chill and moisture. The specific temperature at which it becomes too cold for a walk varies. For smaller breeds or those with short hair, cold can become uncomfortable under 45 degrees Fahrenheit, and extreme caution is advised below 20 degrees Fahrenheit​​​​.

Key Factors in Determining Walking Duration:

  1. Dog’s Characteristics: Smaller breeds, puppies, senior dogs, and dogs with thin coats are more susceptible to the cold. Larger breeds, especially those accustomed to cold climates, may tolerate colder temperatures better.
  2. Weather Conditions: Aside from the temperature, consider wind chill and moisture, as these can make it feel colder. Wind can significantly drop the perceived temperature, and dampness can intensify cold sensations.
  3. Dog’s Behavior: Watch for signs your dog is too cold, like shivering, slowing pace, or reluctance to keep walking. If your dog exhibits any discomfort, it’s time to head back inside.
  4. Protective Gear: Using dog coats, sweaters, and boots can help keep your pet warm and protect their paws from cold surfaces and harmful substances like salt and antifreeze.
  5. Increased Caloric Intake: Dogs may require more calories in the colder months to compensate for the energy spent on keeping warm. Consult your vet for appropriate feeding adjustments for your dog’s size and activity level​​.

Walking Duration Guidelines:

  • General Guideline: A common guideline is that temperatures below 20°F (-6°C) pose a risk, especially for smaller breeds and puppies.
  • Length of Walks: In colder temperatures, aim for shorter, more frequent walks instead of long ones. The exact duration will depend on your dog’s tolerance.
  • Monitor Closely: Always keep a close eye on your dog’s behavior during walks. Any sign of discomfort, like lifting paws, shivering, or reluctance to move, indicates it’s time to go back inside.

Additional Precautions:

  • Paw Care: Check your dog’s paws after walks for ice, snow, and salt. Rinse and dry their feet to remove any residue from ice melt products which can be harmful if ingested​​.
  • Indoor Alternatives: If temperatures are extremely low, consider indoor activities for exercise. This can be particularly important for breeds that are less tolerant of cold weather.


There’s no one-size-fits-all answer for how long you can safely walk your dog in winter. It’s crucial to consider the individual needs of your pet and the specific weather conditions. Always err on the side of caution to prevent risks like hypothermia or frostbite. If in doubt, consult with your veterinarian for personalized advice regarding your dog’s winter walking needs.