As the cold weather approaches, it’s crucial to remember how this will affect your corgi.
In this article, I’ll explain how well corgis tolerate the cold, safe and unsafe temperatures, ways to keep them warm, and more.
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Why Corgis Get Cold Easily
Corgis get cold easily despite having thick double-coats. Your corgi may enjoy playing in cold and snowy weather, but caution still needs to be taken as they can’t retain body heat very well.
Corgis have a relatively thick double-coat comprising of an insulating undercoat and a protective top-coat often referred to as “guard hairs”.
The undercoat does a good job of retaining body heat, and the topcoat is slightly waterproof meaning it will be able to withstand light rain and snow.
🎯 However, corgis are very close to the ground, thanks to their incredibly short and adorable legs. Being close to the ground is perhaps the biggest disadvantage to this breed as the cold surfaces draw out body heat better than your corgi can retain it. This means it’s never long before they get cold.
🎯 You also have to keep in mind wet weather. Once your corgi becomes wet, it will be virtually impossible for her to remain warm, instantly feeling the cold. This is the same for all breeds, even the classic northern breeds like huskies (who are known for resisting cold weather).
Important read: How long can corgis be left home alone?
What Temperature Is Too Cold For a Corgi?
In general, when the temperature drops below 8°C (45°F) you will need to keep a close eye on your corgi. This is already fairly cold for a small breed and walks should be limited to around 30 minutes. Especially if the weather conditions are not in your favor.
Please keep in mind that weather conditions have more of an impact on how cold it feels than the actual temperature does.
This is because 8-10°C (45-50°F) will be perfectly fine for corgis if it’s sunny, dry, and without wind…
In those conditions, your corgi would be okay for a long time.
But if you take the same temperature on a windy, wet, and cloudy day, it’s going to feel significantly colder, and your corgi would be better off indoors.
So as the colder weather approaches, always consider the weather conditions alongside the temperature.
How To Protect Your Corgi In Cold Weather
Fortunately, there are multiple ways you can protect your corgi throughout winter and cold weather periods.
This will allow you to continue with your walks, daily exercise, and fun throughout most conditions and temperatures.
1. Winter Jackets
Winter jackets are becoming more popular and are an awesome way to keep your corgi warm and dry when out on walks.
When looking for a winter jacket it’s important to choose one that’s water-resistant, as keeping dry is one of the most important factors in remaining warm.
Extra benefits include reflective material for visibility, and some are even reversible for multiple uses.
A good winter jacket could be the difference between being able to take your corgi outside, and staying inside.
2. Paw Wax
Paw wax or “paw balm” is an alternative to winter boots, which I will speak about below.
Paw wax acts as an invisible boot and forms a protective layer between the bottom of the paw and the ground.
The natural oiliness of the lotion helps to repel water, ice, and snow and will do an amazing job at keeping your corgi warmer for longer.
The paw pads are one of the main ways that dogs lose their body heat, and as they are directly in contact with the ground are even susceptible to freezing altogether.
The lotion also helps to keep your corgi’s pads moisturized which is another problem many dogs face throughout the cold winter months. Cracked pads can be extremely painful and usually require veterinary assistance.
3. Winter Boots
If you prefer, you can invest in some real winter boots to avoid the use of paw balm.
One big benefit of winter boots over paw wax is protection against hard rock salt and chemical ice melt solutions.
Hard rock salt can seriously damage and even cut the paw pads of your corgi. This can impact her ability to walk and will usually require a trip to the vets.
Not only that, but chemical ice-melt solutions can also pose significant risks. Some paw wax may be able to withstand these chemicals, but it’s better to be safe than sorry and use proper winter boots, in my opinion.
Here is a range of quality winter boots you can check out on Amazon.
Do Corgis Like The Snow?
Yes, corgis love the snow. Corgis are naturally playful and are very energetic. Regardless of weather conditions, this breed will always be ready to play. Caution still needs to be taken as corgis can get cold quickly.
Watching your corgi enjoy their first snow day is an awesome feeling and she’ll have the time of her life! It’s even better if she has another playmate to experience it with.
When taking your corgi out in the snow, the time should be kept to a minimum, and it’s not advised to go for long walks. Once her coat starts getting wetter from the melting snow, she’ll become extremely susceptible to the cold, and the risk of becomes greater.
Always ensure she’s wearing a winter jacket in snowy conditions, this will give her a better chance at remaining dry. If you have winter boots or paw wax, it’s certainly a good idea to use them.
5 Signs Your Corgi Is Getting Too Cold
It helps to know the signs that indicate your corgi is getting too cold. This will allow you to act in time before something worse happens like frostbite or hypothermia.
● Slowing down. Movements often slow down and she may even refuse to continue walking when she’s too cold. If this happens it suggests she is in fact already very cold. Your best bet is to pick her up and carry her back home or to the car.
● Holding up a paw. One of the first signs your corgi is starting to feel the cold will be when she tries holding any of her paws off the ground. The paws are the first point of contact and can potentially freeze if too cold.
● Shaking and shivering. Much like us, your corgi will shake when she’s feeling the cold. If you spot this, head back inside as soon as possible.
● Hunch back. Although this is harder to see with smaller breeds, it still happens. Like when we get too cold we raise our shoulders up to our ears. Well, dogs kind of hunch their back over, and it means the same thing, they’re getting cold.
● Any other unusual behavior. Finally, any other unusual behavior like whining, barking, or acting strange could indicate she’s getting too cold.
If you spot any of these signs then you should seek a warmer place as soon as you can.
7 Tips For Corgis In Cold Weather
1. Exercise indoors when the weather is bad
If you are worried about the weather conditions and you don’t have a winter jacket or winter boots for your corgi, exercising at home will be a great alternative.
Fun games like tug of war, fetch, hide-and-seek and chase will provide your corgi (and you!) with sufficient enough exercise allowing you to remain indoors.
The bonus here is that corgis are a small breed and even if you have limited space, you can still manage to exercise her at home.
2. Avoid bodies of water, rivers, lakes and frozen ponds
Frozen ponds are incredibly dangerous and if your local dog park has a pond as many do stay well away from it if you continue taking your corgi there.
Frozen or unfrozen, you could find yourself in a potentially life-threatening situation if your corgi was to fall in.
Frozen ponds are never safe and there will always be thin patches among thick patches.
3. Never go too far from home
If you continue taking your corgi outside throughout winter, be sure to stay close to home, or at least close to your car if you drive to the park.
You never know when your corgi may suddenly get too cold and need to warm up. By remaining close to your home or the car you are in a much better position to act quickly and efficiently if you need to.
4. Don’t spend too long outside
Another important one is to limit your walk time. I know, your corgi still needs exercise, but when the temperatures drop and conditions get worse, your time outside needs to be limited.
If it’s less than 10°C (50F) and conditions are not optimal, I wouldn’t spend more than 30 minutes outside.
5. Wear an extra layer when you go out
Wear an extra jumper or sweater under your jacket when you go out on walks.
As mentioned earlier, you never know when your corgi may suddenly become too cold. If this happens, you can simply take off your extra layer, pick her up, wrap her, and carry her back to the car or home.
You would be surprised. One of the first responses from dogs who get too cold is to slow right down and even refuse to walk. At least you can wrap her up and start the warming process while you are still outside.
6. Keep her on the leash
When the weather is bad I tend not to let my dogs off the leash.
I use an extendable leash so they do have a little freedom to roam around, but when I need them to turn around or it’s time to leave, they are already on the leash ready to go.
Unless your corgi sticks by your side and has PERFECT recall, I would always use a leash in bad weather situations.
7. Provide lukewarm drinking water
If you’ve just come home from a particularly cold walk, you can help your corgi regain some warmth by giving her lukewarm drinking water. Of course, it goes without saying that hot water is a complete no-no. Lukewarm is sufficient enough to take the edge off.
This will quickly warm her up and hydrate her at the same time. Plus, depending on your home, water left in the bowl may become super cold. I know it does in my house!
Corgis do get cold, and although they have a double coat, they are not as resilient as other breeds with a double coat. The fact that corgis are small and close to the ground doesn’t work in their favor.
When it comes to the temperature outside, focus more on the weather conditions first. Whether it’s sunny, dry, wet, windy, or cloudy will all impact the temperature dramatically.
A good rule of thumb to remember is that if you’re feeling chilly, it’s probably already too cold for your corgi.
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