Bloodhounds are a breed bred for tracking and so are fairly well suited to spending a lot of time on moors and woodlands. However, while they prefer colder weather to hot weather, they are not good in extremely cold weather.
How Cold Is Too Cold For A Bloodhound?
Generally, Bloodhounds healthy adult Bloodhounds can tolerate cold climates down to freezing without any issues.
The cold tolerance of Bloodhounds depends on a number of factors, including the dog’s age, coat thickness, and health.
Their short coat does not provide the insulation that other cold-weather breeds such as Huskies and Newfoundlands, have, so it is best to keep them inside when temperatures drop to around freezing or lower.
Young puppies and very old dogs may be more sensitive to the cold and should not be exposed to freezing temperatures.
Bloodhounds in Below Freezing Temperatures
Bloodhounds typically don’t like really cold weather and it can seriously affect their health and lead to behavioral problems, such as barking and digging.
If you cannot provide a safe, warm place for your dog to stay, it is best to keep them inside.
How do I know if my dog is Cold?
Some common signs that your dog is cold include:
- Disorientation and issues with alertness
- Huddling under blankets or in a corner
- Panting heavily
- Whining or crying
- Slow Heartbeat
What are the main health concerns with Bloodhounds in cold weather?
Since dogs are unable to tell you they are feeling uncomfortable or worse, there are several things you need to keep an eye open for, starting with the most serious, hypothermia
One of the most serious concerns in freezing weather is hypothermia. This occurs when a dog’s core body temperature falls below normal. It usually only needs to be about 2 degrees celsius below to cause hypothermia to kick in.
Symptoms of hypothermia include shivering, lethargy, and vomiting. If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, take him to the vet immediately.
Another health concern that you should be aware of is frostbite. Frostbite occurs when the skin and tissues in a dog’s paws, ears, or tail become frozen. Symptoms of frostbite include swelling, blisters, and blackened skin.
While a dog’s paws are tough enough to walk over most surfaces, not all breeds have been bred to tolerate walking on frozen ground for extended periods. So if you are taking them out in sub-zero temperatures, look at getting boots
If you think your dog may have frostbite, take him to the vet immediately.
Ice Balls and Cracked Feet
No, this is not quite what you think (possibly!) it is another issue with dogs’ feet. Just like our lips do in the cold weather, sogs’ feet can become dry and cracked too as outdoor temperatures drop.
In extreme cases, they may also develop ice balls between their toes. So if your dog’s feet seem to be bothering him, give them a good rubdown with some olive oil or petroleum jelly.
Dogs’ paws are more sensitive to cold temperatures than the rest of their body. In general, dogs can tolerate temperatures as low as freezing before their paws start to hurt.
If it is colder than that, you should consider booties for your dog’s feet. Booties will help keep them warm and also help protect your dog’s paws from the salt and other chemicals that are used to melt ice on pavements and roads.
How can I help my Bloodhound stay warm outside in cold weather?
If you are going to be taking your Bloodhound out regularly in freezing conditions, try to provide him with some extra warmth and comfort.
Keep Your Bloodhound Groomed
The first thing is to make sure you keep your Bloodhound’s coat clean and well-groomed. Their dense coats can easily become matted, which compresses the hairs and reduces their ability to trap warm air near the body and insulate your dog. A well-groomed coat of fur helps insulate your Bloodhound against the cold.
However, they may need some additional help if the weather turns colder.
Get your Bloodhound Winter Clothing
As mentioned above, boots are definitely recommended if your bloodhound will be walking across cold fields regularly.
On top of this, do consider getting a warm winter coat or jacket for them. This will help them maintain their core temperature and reduce the risk of hypothermia
Finally keeping them moving around, not hanging around will help. If you have to stay still for a while. put a blanket over them, and give them a warm drink of water.
Does exercise help Bloodhounds with their tolerance to cold weather?
Bloodhounds are known for having boundless energy, and exercise helps generate them generate body heat, which is great for cold weather conditions. So yes, exercise can help Bloodhounds tolerate cold weather better.
Bloodhounds are active dogs, so even if the weather is cold, it is essential to ensure that your Bloodhound gets plenty of exercise during the winter months, especially if they spend a lot of time inside.
Why I Shouldn’t Keep My Bloodhound Outside?
There are quite a few reasons to keep them inside at night, the first is down to their most famous ability, their sense of smell.
Bloodhounds have a very sharp sense of smell and they have a very strong tracking instinct and can follow a scent trail for more than 130 miles!
So if you leave your Bloodhound outside and they catch a scent, it will do whatever it takes to follow that scent trail and if they get out, that trail could lead them miles.
Bloodhounds are also able to dig. So if they get a really good scent, they might not be able to jump the fence, they can get under it!
Howling and Baying
Bloodhounds were bred to be vocal to tell their owners where they, and their target, are. If left unsupervised, outside, they can bark, howl, and bay, which will not make you entirely popular if your neighbours are within earshot!
They Miss You
The reason for much of the noise can be that Bloodhounds are very affectionate and social dogs. They like spending time with their humans. They are also very stubborn and bred to be noisy, so you are unlikely to get them to stop!
Why So Some People Prefer Keeping Bloodhounds Outside?
Some people may decide to keep their Bloodhounds outside because their nose gets everywhere, which means they can bring some “interesting” smells back with them.
Besides the bad smell, Bloodhounds have a tendency to snore and drool a lot.
Bloodhounds are not couch potatoes. They have a high level of energy, especially younger ones, and if they are not properly stimulated, mentally and physically, they can become destructive. They are also very stubborn
So while people think that a Bloodhound will do better outside, having a lot of space for running and playing than inside. Although this is true, Bloodhounds can spend most of the day outside but should stay inside during the night.
Get Them a Kennel and Plenty of Water
If you must leave your Bloodhound outside in cold weather, There are a number of things you can do to help your Bloodhound stay warm in winter weather.
- Make sure they have a warm, draft-free shelter to sleep in and access to water that will not freeze. Fresh water is great, but only if they can drink it!
- Invest in kennels with insulation, and lots of bedding to keep them warm while they sleep during the cold winter months.
This will help keep your dog warm and comfortable, and can also be used as a place for them to escape the weather if needed.
Yes, this may be slightly more expensive, but this is nothing compared to the price of a pedigree Bloodhound, so a sensible investment if you cannot keep them inside.
In conclusion, bloodhounds are a hearty breed that can handle some cold weather. However, it’s important to remember that they were not bred to cope well in extreme weather, especially when out and about on long walks in colder temperatures.
Despite their thick fur coats, they can still become too cold if left outdoors for extended periods of time. So while you can take them out in cool to mild weather, always keep a close eye on your beloved hound if there’s a chill in the air!
Sam is an award-winning canine photographer and runs Farlap Bloodhound breeders and Kennels in Devon and is the secretary of the Bloodhound Club.
Sam Clark has a passion for bloodhounds and their amazing ability to track a scent, and was one of the first in the UK to train her dogs to either track humans or other dogs for canine rescue.
- 1 How Cold Is Too Cold For A Bloodhound?
- 2 What are the main health concerns with Bloodhounds in cold weather?
- 3 How can I help my Bloodhound stay warm outside in cold weather?
- 4 Why I Shouldn’t Keep My Bloodhound Outside?
- 5 Why So Some People Prefer Keeping Bloodhounds Outside?
- 6 Summary