At first, Samoyeds were bred for herding livestock and hauling sleds. The Samoyede tribe of Northwestern Siberia originally raised them. Over time, the remarkable intelligence levels of the Samoyede enhanced with its enthusiastic and lively nature has made this dog an excellent family companion.
The Samoyed is furnished with two layers of coat. This gives the Samoyed an incredible amount of resilience to cold. Your Samoyed can survive extreme winter conditions fairly well, withstanding temperatures from 30 to -60 degrees Fahrenheit. This doesn’t mean that your Samoyed should be abandoned in frigid conditions for too long. It could yet shiver if the weather gets really frosty, especially with the temperature dropping below -60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Given the uncommon ability of the Samoyed to survive freezing temperatures, you may be curious when the cold gets too cold for them. You may also want to know the dangers of your Samoyed staying too long out in the cold. Also, are there ways you can help your Samoyed in extreme winter conditions? Lastly, how do you exercise your Samoyed in the winter? Let us look into all these interesting pieces of information.
Samoyeds and Cold Weather
It is commonplace to see dogs struggling with coping with extremely cold temperatures. The good news is that the Samoyed has a spectacular resilience in the face of intense cold.
How is this possible?
Arctic breeds – among which the Samoyed is notable – are excellent in managing temperature variations. A lot of this ability can be attributed to the double coat of the Samoyed.
This coat is an efficient insulator, ensuring that your Samoyed loses minimal heat via contact with the cold air the Artic is notorious for. The lower layer of the Samoyed’s coat is dense, thoroughly equipped with fur. Such dense undercoat significantly improves its heat retention capacity.
When winter comes, it is typical for us to clothe ourselves with winter coats. Similarly, for the Samoyed, it grows its unique winter coat.
When winter approaches and the ambient temperature steadily drops, your Samoyed would begin growing thick fur, enhancing the insulation of this dog. When summer comes, it will shed this dense coat only to grow it the next winter.
The cold tolerance of the Samoyed exceeds just its double coat mechanism. The Samoyed has a piece of unique equipment for surviving extreme frigid conditions. Its smile!
The Samoyed is commonly seen as a perpetually smiling, cute dog. You may be amazed to know such a smile is an adaptation to survive high cold levels.
Do you care to know how this works?
The lip of the Samoyed is always curved into a seeming smile. This lip curvature is critical in preventing the leaking of drool, which would be deposited on the body and face of the Samoyed.
You understand that in Artic or cold conditions (given that liquids freeze up at 32 degrees), such drool would freeze rapidly on the body and face of your Samoyed.
This could get the cold to penetrate the dog faster. That is why you notice that drooling dogs struggle outside in extreme winter conditions.
Now you see, with a smiling double-coated Samoyed, you have a dog that can survive staying outdoor in icy conditions much longer than other dogs.
How Cold is Too Cold for Your Samoyed?
While the Samoyed is very tolerant of cold, this doesn’t mean it is totally infallible to cold. Your Samoyed would have few problems when temperatures drop below -30 degrees. Even by now, such temperatures are already becoming inhabitable to humans.
However, when you have temperatures dropping further to the region of -60 degrees, your Samoyed could start struggling with the enormous cold.
We don’t even recommend living your Samoyed outside for too long when temperatures drop to -30 degrees. Scientifically, it is unhealthy for animals to stay out with temperatures going frigid, and falling below -30 degrees.
It could lead to a host of health hazards like bone ache and even the universally feared frostbite.
How Does the Cold Affect a Samoyed?
When the temperature gets freezing, as we explained, your Samoyed may struggle to stay outside for too long.
At such temperatures, there is so little its double coat as its insulation capacities are largely nullified. With these increasingly frigid conditions, the Samoyed will struggle to keep itself warm on its own.
Typically, when temperatures go to such extremes, blood could be shut off from those body parts in direct contact with the snow.
However, this is not prevalent in sledge dogs like Samoyed which have arteries transporting oxygenated blood (which is relatively warm) running adjacent the veins that transport off deoxygenated blood from its limbs.
Nonetheless, just like any other dog, prolonged exposure to extreme cold can put your Samoyed at the risk of hypothermia. When hypothermia sets in, you would notice your Samoyed getting unusually weak, intense shivering, and in severe cases, difficulty in breathing and inaudible heartbeats.
Watch Out for Cold Warning Signs
When the insulation capacity of your Samoyed starts to wane, and the cold starts getting to your dog, there are some signals you could notice. By the time your Samoyed starts exhibiting these cold warning signs, it is urgent to take your Samoyed indoors at once and warm it possibly.
Commonly, a Samoyed suffering from cold experiences disruptions to its typical demeanor. You may notice a previously calm Samoyed whining excessively, barking, and displaying pronounced agitation.
The dog is only trying to transmit a message of discomfort to you.
In other cases, you could see that the energy levels of your Samoyed wanes. It could suddenly go sluggish, displaying notably suppressed playfulness and enthusiasm.
One prominent sign of a cold Samoyed is frequent curling. It could have its tail tucked in (in a hunched poise) or curled into a ball when outdoors. This is an attempt to preserve its body heat. Preventing heat loss to the cold surrounding means they have more to warm themselves with.
In other scenarios, you could notice increased burrowing from your Samoyed as it desperately searches for warmth.
Is My Samoyed Weatherproof?
Samoyeds have guard hairs that are incredibly efficient in repelling water and trapping debris and dirt.
What are Other Dangers from the Cold?
Aside from the risk of hyperthermia, prolonged exposure to cold can also cause other health hazards to your Samoyed.
You have to know that winter isn’t only devastating for its coldness. Winter also comes with a whole lot of toxic chemicals which sadly can get amassed in your surroundings.
This means that your Samoyed is at risk of getting in contact with these chemicals – primarily via its paws. Antifreeze can be hazardous to your Samoyed.
Wiping the paws of your Samoyed after spending time in the cold helps a lot to reduce the risk of this.
The most fearful danger that your Samoyed faces from staying extended periods in the extreme cold is frostbite. In this condition, there is a lethal redirection of blood from vital organs of your Samoyed.
This can wreck severe damages to the legs, ears, paws, and nose of your Samoyed. Once you notice that some body parts of your Samoyed are getting acutely black or bright red, frostbite may already be doing damage to your Samoyed. Take it inside immediately and warm it up.
How to Help Your Samoyed in the Cold
There are ways you can reduce the devastating impact of the cold on your Samoyed.
The first step to helping your Samoyed is limiting the amount of time it spends outdoors. If you must walk it out, ensure the workouts are preferably when the cold is milder. Reduce the direct exposure of their body to cold.
If possible, you can wear your Samoyed an additional coat or sweater. This would make your Samoyed more comfortable in the cold outdoors.
Don’t worry, you can leave out the head of your Samoyed. If the severity of the cold necessitates covering its head, then you shouldn’t be outdoors with your Samoyed in the first place.
The health of the coat of your Samoyed is crucial as the winter ramps up. Ensure a healthy dose of proteins and fats in its diet.
Given that spending time outdoors in the ice and snow can cause abrasion to their paws – leading to injuries and cracks – you should regularly check the paws of your Samoyed after time spent outside.
A wiser idea would be kitting up your Samoyed with booties to protect its feet and delicate pads.
Exercise During the Winter
Even in winter, your Samoyed needs good exercise. Don’t forget that the Samoyed is an energetic dog with high activity levels. How do you exercise your Samoyed during the winter?
You can walk your Samoyed
This is the most prevalent form of exercise for your Samoyed. If you can’t walk it inside your yard, you can take it outdoors. However, ensure you are not spending too long out in the cold.
Also, make sure to avoid walking your Samoyed in the coldest periods of the day.
Play fetch races with your Samoyed
Samoyeds love fetch games. They are both physically and mentally stimulating for them. If you have space indoors, you can play it inside. More excitingly, your Samoyed will love you racing it to get the toy you threw.
You can use dog stairs
Your stairway is another innovative way to exercise your Samoyed in the winter. It is all simple.
Put your Samoyed in a leash and walk it up and down your staircase. To prop up the exertion, you can jump two steps at once or jog up and down as opposed to a simple walk.
Pet treadmills are great ideas to exercise your Samoyed
With the chilling winter outside, you can leverage dedicated pet treadmills to exercise your Samoyed. If you don’t have pet-specialized treadmills, no problem. You can also get your Samoyed running on the standard treadmill for humans. Just ensure the speed is optimal for it.