The third thing you notice about Corgis – after their short legs and large fox like ears – is the thick and fluffy nature of their coat. Corgis have a ‘double coat’ which means they have a fluffy outer coat and a dense inner coat which keeps them well insulated in colder weather – this double coat helps them stay comfortable in both warm and cold temperatures, but like most dog breeds, extremes in cold or long exposure to the cold will cause them discomfort.
So can Corgis stay outdoors in the colder weather? Corgis fare quite well in colder temperatures, mainly because they were bred in southern Wales which experiences its fair share of seasonal cold periods, allowing the two main breeds – the Pembroke Welsh and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi – to adapt well to long walks in the winter no major issues. However, keeping them outside for long periods i.e. in a kennel/cage in the yard is not recommended as this can bring on a fever and other health complications, especially if they were to be left overnight.
Your Corgi’s natural sociable nature also won’t allow you to keep them outdoors for very long, since they much prefer to be at home surrounded by their owners and family members to keep them amused! Thanks to their double coat, Corgis can withstand the cold and will always benefit from long winter strolls with you, but it’s still wise to take extra care during the colder months to make sure they are comfortable.
Corgis in the Cold
Corgis generally love cooler weather as it’s easier on their thick double coat (which they can’t take off other than when they shed their undercoat twice a year!).
They are therefore largely happy dogs in the cold – in fact, you can often see Corgis rolling in snow and playfully sticking their snouts into it, as long as the snow isn’t too deep for their stunted legs. If the snow levels are higher than their bellies, Corgis will still enjoy playing out in it, but they will tend to tire out quicker since they’ll be hopping and bounding about in the snow.
Because of their dense double coat, it means that rain and melted snow takes longer to penetrate their skin, so they can remain comfortable during most walks and outdoor play without risking illness.
While your Corgi can withstand colder temperatures, an over exposure to the cold will take its toll on their bodies, their coat and their overall health, so it’s important to take care when you take your Corgi out for winter walks and watch out for the warning signs when the cold has become too much for them (these signs are listed further down if you want to check them out).
As Corgis have been bred in all-weather climates, they have developed a fairly good tolerance to colder weather. In fact, they tolerate colder climates far better than hot ones, since their thick double coat was designed to keep them insulated against harsh weather elements of rain, wind or snow.
It’s worth remembering that a Corgi’s body temperature is only a few degrees higher than the average human’s body temperature, so they are essentially comfortable with the kinds of temperatures we can withstand. Similarly, they need to find shelter when it’s too hot and can benefit from wearing a doggie jacket before they head out in very cold weather.
Is My Corgi Weatherproof?
Yes, Corgis double coats are essentially weatherproof, since their inner coat is water-resistant and their outer coat helps to repel dirt so they can withstand many weather conditions.
How Cold is Too Cold for Your Corgi?
Your Corgi will be comfortable with temperatures as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit, so if temperatures dip below 50, it’s a good idea to get them a dog jacket to keep them a little more insulated.
Watch Out for Cold Warning Signs
If your Corgi finds the cold hard to bear, he will let you know in the following ways:
- Shivering or shaking
- Lifts paws off the ground
- Seeming anxious/uncomfortable
- Whining or barking
- Seeking shelter
- A hunched posture with a tucked in tail
- A reluctance to keep walking
Dressing your Corgi in extra measures like a winter jacket or dog boots (more on these below) can help stave off the cold, but not in every case, so be sure to take back to a warm sheltered area if you see them displaying any of these signs.If these signs are left unnoticed, your dog could be at risk of hypothermia (more on this below)
How to Help Your Corgi When it’s Cold
As well as limiting their exposure to the cold by cutting their daily walks down to one instead of 2 let’s say, you can do all you can to make sure your Corgi keeps warm in the following ways:
- Turn your home thermostat up
- Put a warm, fleecy rug/mat near their feeding bowls
- Get them a thicker bed blanket
- Dab rainwater and mud off their paw pads to prevent cracks/irritation
- Get their blood pumping with indoor play/exercise
The colder months should also be the time to up your grooming game – treat them to a little extra TLC by brushing their coat more frequently when it’s cold.
Not only does this improve blood circulation and make them feel a little toastier, but preventing their coat from matting and becoming tangled will protect them against getting skin infections and discomfort as a result of a wild winter coat.
What are Other Dangers from the Cold?
Extreme cold temperatures can sometimes cause your dog to break out in a fever in the same way extreme hot temperatures can. When their body temperature drops dramatically, this can also result in Hypothermia. If your Corgi experiences a fever or hypothermia as a result of prolonged exposure to the cold, he will show signs such as:
- Red eyes
- Warm ears
- A warm dry nose
- Slow breathing
- Fixed and dilated pupils
If this happens, keep your dog well insulated in a blanket and contact your vet immediately. Hypothermia and fever may eventually cause loss of consciousness, so the sooner you spot the signs of extreme cold in your dog the better.
Exercise During the Winter
You should still be encouraged to take your Corgi out for daily walks in the winter months, but to be on the safe side, their outdoor walks should also be supplemented with plenty of indoor exercise and play to keep them fit.
You could play fetch with them in the hall (once you’ve removed all your valuables from the area of course!) or consider getting an interactive feeder so that even meal times keep them on their toes.
As well as keeping them active with fun games, the colder months are the perfect time to train your Corgi to perform that one trick you’ve been meaning to teach them, or use the time indoors to improve their obedience training with a bit of daily fetch and carry to get them moving
Caring for Corgis in the Cold
As well as ensuring their immune systems are in top shape with a nutritious balanced diet and regular exercise, you can care for your Corgi in other little ways during the cold snaps.
When you do venture outside, you can keep them extra comfortable with a fleecy dog jacket and specially made dog boots to keep them better insulated – as well as ensuring their paws stay dry and protected from all the rain, snow and mud, your floors will thank you once they come back inside!
As well as treating them to some protective outerwear, it’s a good idea to check in on your Corgi’s internal health too by keeping a dog thermometer handy. Checking your Corgi’s body temperature regularly – especially during those especially bitterly cold days – will help you assess whether to let them outside and for how long.
The average body temperature in a healthy Corgi should read around 101.5 degrees – it can read a degree or two lower than this, but anything lower is a sign to turn up the thermostat and get out the thick dog blanket for their bed.