Taking care of your Miniature Schnauzer during the winter comes with some challenges for dog owners who want to keep their pups warm and safe.
I do fondly remember our second mini schnauzer Winston having a grand old time playing in the west Texas snow for the first time when he was only about 4 months old, but he wasn’t out there for very long. This made me wonder if miniature schnauzers get cold easily, so I did some research to find out!
So, do Miniature Schnauzers get cold? Yes, though they can handle temperatures of as low as 32 degrees Fahrenheit and as low as 20 degrees Fo for short periods, they cannot tolerate extremely cold temperatures. Mini Schnauzers can tolerate lower temperatures due to their genetics, and their double coat. They were bred to work on cold German farms as guard dogs, where they developed a tolerance for lower temperatures.
However, this does not mean that they do not need more protection from winter conditions such as hypothermia and frostbite that their fur and breeding provides.
How Miniature Schnauzers Breeding Affects Their Cold Tolerance
Miniature Schnauzers can tolerate cold temperatures due to their breeding, genetics, and double coat, the last of which was also mentioned in my article on schnauzers swimming.
They were then used as fearless barnyard ratters and guard dogs on German farms where they spent most of the time outdoors during the cold weather. As a result, they are now able to handle fairly low temperatures.
Miniature Schnauzers’ Double Coat: Groom It, Do Not Shave It
Apart from their breeding, Miniature Schnauzers have a double coat, which is the double-layered fur on their body. The double coat acts as insulation from low and extreme temperatures.
The first coat on their body is the outer layer, which is rough and strong and provides maximum protection. The second coat is the inner layer, which is soft, just like cotton, and enhances the protection from cold.
If you are a dog owner, you should not shave or clip the Miniature Schnauzer’s coat short in the winter, particularly in colder climates. This is because the double coating does not grow back like other dogs; hence your pup will not have protection from cold.
If you have already clipped your Miniature Schnauzers coat, your dog will still get protection from the undercoat, which is dense and soft, but the Miniature Schnauzers will not have double protection.
It is essential to take care of your Miniature Schnauzer’s double coat to prevent knotting. Whenever you take your pup out in the snow, make sure you trim the hair around the pads so that the snow does not clump on their paws.
How Cold Is Too Cold For A Mini Schnauzer?
As mentioned earlier, Miniature Schnauzers are able to tolerate temperatures as low as 32 degrees Fahrenheit, but they cannot handle extremely low temperatures for long periods.
For short periods, Mini Schnauzers can handle low temperatures of down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
Whenever you take your Miniature Schnauzer out to places where the temperatures are below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, you should always keep an eye on him or her to see if they’re safe and comfortable.
Though Miniature Schnauzers are outdoor dogs and can handle cold very well for a small dog, they can be vulnerable to some dangers that come with cold weather, such as hypothermia and frostbite.
Therefore, monitoring your dog and observing any changes while in the cold will help protect them from these dangers and keep them safe.
Additionally, whenever the temperatures become extreme for your Miniature Schnauzers, they will start acting in a manner that suggests that they are uncomfortable.
7 Signs That Indicate Your Mini Schnauzer Is Cold
Making sure that your Schnauzer is safe during the winter is vital. One of the most important ways to ensure your pup is safe is by observing your dog when you are outdoors in the cold.
This is because the Miniature Schnauzers usually show some signs that indicate they are colder than they are comfortable with.
The seven signs they’re cold include:
- Shivering or trembling
- Looking anxious
- Whining or barking
- Walking slowly
- Curling up into a ball
- Unusual lethargy
Do Miniature Schnauzers Need to Wear Coats In Cold Weather?
Yes, to keep your Miniature Schnauzers warm and safe in winter, they need to wear winter coats. These coats are specially designed for dogs to keep them well insulated during extreme weather conditions.
Some dogs will do better in cold weather than others, and the Miniature Schnauzer is a breed that enjoys spending time in the snow. However, this does not mean that they don’t need additional insulation from their double coat when going outside in the cold.
Even though your Miniature Schnauzer does not seem to be bothered by snow or cold, or it does not show any signs of discomfort, you should keep him protected. The best way to protect the pup is to ensure he wears the winter coat.
Note: Miniature Schnauzers that have already been shaved or clipped are particularly vulnerable in the snow as their undercoat does not insulate them very well.
Also, their long hair can get wet while in the snow, and your dog will start shivering. Once the hair gets wet, it becomes hard to get dry unless he has a coat.
Miniature Schnauzers need coats to protect against the risks of hypothermia and frostbite, among other conditions resulting from cold.
Choosing a well-insulated and waterproof coat for your Miniature Schnauzers will help keep the pup warm and healthy during the winter. I recommend this one on Amazon, that way your pup can stay warm and also look like a British professor.
Have your Schnauzer be like cute little Roxy in this video, wear a coat!
3 Important Safety Tips for Miniature Schnauzers in Cold Weather
When taking your Miniature Schnauzer outdoors in cold weather, it is important to understand some safety tips. This is to protect your Schnauzers from health problems, especially for mini Schnauzers.
- Firstly, Miniature Schnauzers should not be left out in the cold. Make sure they are well sheltered inside a house during the winter.
- Additionally, after staying outdoors for long, do not leave your Miniature Schnauzer to sleep in the doghouse at night.
- After being outdoors, wipe his paws with a warm cloth and dry them well. You should also use a hair dryer on his fur and cover him with a dog blanket.
Although Miniature Schnauzers are bred to withstand low temperatures, nowadays, they spend most of their lives indoors.
Therefore, you need to ensure they are not exposed to extreme cold temperatures to avoid the risks of frostbite and hypothermia.
If you do suspect that your dog is suffering from one of those two serious ailments, check out this article by The Schnauzer Collective for some helpful tips to immediately address hypothermia and/or frostbite.
Four Considerations When Going Out In The Cold With Your Miniature Schnauzer
When going out in the cold with your Miniature Schnauzers, make sure you consider these tips:
- Make sure your Miniature Schnauzer has the correct doggy coat.
- Protect their paws using booties. Or at least some petroleum jelly or a balm to put a protective barrier between the cold snow and their paws.
- Keep your Schnauzers on a leash if you’re outside your own backyard. Schnauzers lose their sense of smell in the snow and can get disoriented, so they need you to guide them back where they need to be sometimes.
- Avoid going for long walks to protect your Schnauzer from exposure to too much cold. Heck, you’ll probably want to be indoors before they do!