With their short single-layered coats, owners often wonder how well their boxer will handle winter and cold weather in general. This article covers absolutely everything owners should know to keep their boxers safe and warm when the temperature drops. Let’s get into it.
Boxer dogs get cold easily due to their short single-layered coat. Most boxers will handle temperatures as low as 5°C (40°F) on sunny and wind-free days. However if the conditions are windy or wet, it’s better to stay indoors.
Everything will be explained in full detail below.
Do Boxers Get Cold Easily?
When compared to other breeds, yes, boxers do get cold easily. Although they have plenty of muscle mass which helps to keep them warm, their large surface area and lack of double coat works against them.
However, this doesn’t mean all boxers will freeze the moment they go outside. We also have to consider their age, general health, the actual temperature and conditions, as well as their movement.
An otherwise healthy adult boxer that’s constantly running around and moving will remain warm for quite some time, even in particularly cold conditions.
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What Temperature Is Too Cold For Boxer Dogs
Healthy adult boxers will generally be fine in temperatures of 0-5°C (32-40°F) assuming the conditions are favorable: (sunny, dry, no wind). If it’s windy and wet it’s better to keep your Boxer indoors if the temperature is below 8-10°C (45-50°F).
The main message I want to hit home here is that it’s the conditions that have much more of an impact than the actual temperature. In bright sunshine with zero wind, even sub-zero temperatures can actually be very tolerable for boxers… So when considering whether to go out or not, always focus more on the weather conditions than the actual temperature.
Puppies & Senior Boxers
Many people want to know about puppies and seniors specifically. While we do need to be more careful with pups (under 1) and seniors (over 8), as long as they are healthy and the temperature and conditions are reasonable, they should be just fine.
However, if the conditions are bad (wet and windy) and its lower than 8-10°C (45-50°F) then it may be best to remain indoors with a puppy or senior.
Do Boxers Need Coats/Jackets In Winter?
Boxers can benefit greatly by wearing winter jackets. Not only will they ensure your boxer remains warm, but they will also allow you to go out in slightly colder conditions than you would have been able to.
When choosing a jacket it’s best to opt for one that has some level of water resistance as well as reflective material. Remaining dry is key to staying warm and the high-vis will help you see you boxer more easily should the weather take a turn for the worse. (our favorite jacket)
Granted, these coats will not give your boxer superpowers, but they will definitely help to some extent and are recommended.
Do Boxers Like The Snow?
Boxers generally love playing the snow, most dogs do! It’s such a unique and different experience for them and they usually love it.
As we all know, however, we can suddenly get very cold, very quickly, and the fun side of things wears off fast. The same happens with our dogs too.
Only go out in snow if it’s freshly laid (not icy or half melted) and ensure the weather conditions are favorable (dry, sunny, no wind). Keep a close eye on your boxer and try not to spend more than 15-20 mintues in the snow with them.
Signs That Indicate Your Boxer Is Cold
Knowing the following signs could help you prevent a serious issue or emergency situation like hypothermia. If you witness any of these signs then it means your boxer is cold and needs to be warmed up as soon as possible.
- Hunched back with tucked tail (if not docked!)
- Moving slowly or limiting movement altogether
- Holding up a paw from the ground
- Any other adnormal behavior
If you notice any of these signs then its important to head back inside as soon as possible.
Remember that each situation can change very quickly too. Your boxer might be fine one moment, then suddenly too cold the next. Always keep an eye on your boxer’s movement and body language when outside during winter.
5 Tips To Keep Your Boxer Safe In Winter
Let’s run through various tips that will help keep your boxer safe and comfortable throughout cold weather.
1. Nose balm & paw wax
It might be worth investing in some dog nose balm and paw wax. Both the nose and paws are extra vulernable throughout winter. Often drying out and cracking leaving a painful sore. Additionally, the paws are also exposed to harsh ice-melt chemicals and grit salt used on the pavements.
By using a little nose balm and paw wax you’ll be doing a lot to keep your Boxer safe and comfortable on every walk. Granted this all depends on your area, where you walk, and how cold it gets. Not all situations will require this.
2. Winter jacket
If temperatures get down to 5C or lower then its recommended to get a winter jacket for your boxer. This will help your boxer retain some body and remain mostly dry should it be misty.
Ensure the winter jacket is water resistance with high visibility material incase the weather changes unexpectedly.
3. Lukewarm drinking water
Remaining hydrated will allow your boxer to efficiently regulate their body temperature, unfortunately, our dogs often don’t drink as much. If your cold tap runs extremely cold (like mine!) then it’s actually better to provide room temperature water for your boxer.
In most cases, dogs prefer water that is room temperature compared to cold water.
4. Be ready to exercise indoors
If the weather conditios are too bad to go outside, be ready to maintain some level of exercise inside the home. Whether it’s games of fetch, tug of war, hide and seek, or using a flirt pole (see here), it’s crucial to keep on top of your boxer’s exercise.
Remember to keep on top of command training as this will keep your boxers mind stimulated and satisfied, especially if he can’t go out for his usual runs.
5. Increase calories (a little)
If you experience very cold winters, it could benefit your boxer to eat just a little more calories (5-10% increase). Adding a extra calories will add a little extra mass and help your boxer to remain warm.
Of course, I am not advising to make your boxer fat or overweight, but many breeds do in fact benefit from eating more in the winter. As winter fades out reduce the calories back down to normal levels and his weight will come back down with it in no time.
Below will be a summary of the most important questions and answers provided above.
Do boxer dogs get cold easily?
In general, yes, boxers do get cold easily. This is thanks to their short single-layered coat and large body surface area.
What temperature is too cold for a boxer dog?
If the weather conditions are good: sunny, dry, no wind, then 0-5°C (32-40°F) is okay for most healthy adult boxers. If the weather conditions are wet and windy, then 8-10°C may already be too cold for many boxers.
Do boxers need winter coats / jackets
While they do not strictly need to wear a winter jacket, they will benefit greatly if they do. Winter coats will keep them warmer and drier for longer and allow you to exercise your boxer dog outside in colder temperatures.
How do I know if my boxer is cold?
If your boxer is cold he will display through body language and actions. Look for tail tucking, back hunching, slow movements, holding a paw up from the ground, shivering, whining, or anything else unusual.
Can boxer dogs go out in the snow?
Boxer dogs love playing in snow, and for a short while, will be completely fine to do so. However, it’s best not to allow your boxer to remain in snow for too long as it will eventually make them too cold. Always watch for signs that indicate your boxer is getting cold.
Can my boxer puppy go outside in cold weather?
If your boxer is under 1 year old then you do need to be a little bit more cautious, but in general, they can still be exercised outside if the conditions are favorable and the temperature is around 5°C (40F)
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