Do Pugs Get Cold and Why Are They Vulnerable To The Elements

Maybe you’ve noticed your Pug shivering in the early morning hours when you take them outside to pee. This may have you wondering “do Pugs get cold?” Well, the truth is that all dogs can get cold outside. This breed does not tolerate heat or cold as well as some other breeds.

Do Pugs Get Cold?

Unlike other dogs, Pugs have a rather thin coat. Their hair is fine and doesn’t do a good job from protecting them from the heat or cold.

Before you take your Pug outside in the cold, you may want to consider protecting them with a dog coat, sweater, and maybe some booties for their feet.

do pugs get cold

When they come back inside, you can have their comfy bed waiting with their favorite blanket. That will help them warm up quickly after being cold outside.

Now let’s take a closer look at why this breed is vulnerable to elements and what temperatures they thrive in.

Why Do Pugs Get Cold Easily?

As I mentioned this breed will do better in temperatures that don’t get too hot or cold. Now let’s take a closer look at the different variables that affect why Pugs respond badly to the cold.

Coat Type: Even though Pugs have double-layered coats, their fur is short and fine-textured. Unlike other dogs like Siberian Huskies, or Newfoundlands, Pugs were not acclimated to be in extremely cold temperatures.

Coat Color: You’ll notice that a black Pug will be able to stay warmer longer outside than a fawn-colored dog. This is because dark-colored dogs can absorb more heat from the sunlight compared to the light-colored dogs.

Size: Pugs are classified as a small dog or toy dog, therefore their bodies are closer to the ground, which causes them to lose heat faster.

Weight: Body fat keeps us, humans, warm and it does the same with dogs. Thin dogs tend to get colder quicker than dogs that have more body fat. If your Pug is carrying around excess weight, they may not get as cold as a Pug that is thinner. That being said, you don’t want to fatten up your dogs in the winter months to protect them from the cold.

Conditioning: Your pooches body acclimates to the temperature after being exposed to the same weather several days or months. Sixty degrees in November is chilly, but after a long bitter winter, a 60℉ day can make us open our windows and let the cool air indoors.

Age and Health: Puppies and older dogs will not be able to regulate their body temperatures as well as a healthy Pug in their prime. Don’t be surprised if your senior dog can’t handle cold breezes or cold temperatures as well as they used to when they were younger.

Pets that suffer from diabetes, kidney diseases, or other health issues may have a harder time in the cold than healthy canines. If your pooch is shivering all the time outside even if you don’t think it’s cold, you may want to contact your veterinarian.

How Cold Is Too Cold For A Pug?

Okay, so now you’re wondering how cold is too cold? Do they only get cold when they go outside in the winter when there is snow on the ground? Can get they get cold on a dreary rainy day?

It’s totally true that some Pugs will be able to tolerate colder temperatures than others. Just like not all breeds will get cold in 55-degree weather.

There is no universal answer on how cold it can be before your pooch starts shivering. There are several different factors that come into play.

So it’s best to take this response lightly and you’ll be able to protect your pooch from the cold if you watch for the signs. Be sure that you’re aware of the potentially cold associated health problems like frostbite and hypothermia.

For owners of small breeds, senior dogs, thin-haired breeds, or puppies, you will want to consider pulling out the sweaters and coats once it the temperature drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mindy my black Pug used to get cold in temperatures below 45℉. It all really depends on what your pooch is used to. Our neighbors long-haired Maltese could handle the cold much better than Mindy.

For instance, if you lived in Florida for much of your pups life. Then you and your family moved to Minnesota, one of the coldest states in the United States. (source) Your Pug will most likely freeze before it gets below 20 degrees because she’s been acclimated to Florida’s temperature.

Outside Elements That Cause Your Pug to Shiver

Okay, now that we know what temperature is too cold for your Pug. Let’s take a look at all the different elements that can cause your pooch to get cold. After all, your dog can start feeling the effects of the cold, even if there isn’t snow on the ground.

Wind Chills: A brisk cold breeze can quickly cut through your dog’s coat sending chills down their body. Your Pugs short coat won’t be able to protect and insulate them against these types of cold temperatures.

Dampness: Wet snow, heavy fog, rain, wet dog (after a bath or going swimming) or any form of dampness can cause your pooch to chill even if it’s not that cold outside.

Cloudiness: We all know that those sunny days can warm up the temperatures quickly. If it’s overcast and cloudy, it can make your pooch cold.

Activity Level: If your Pug is just in the backyard lying around not being active, they are not generating enough body heat to stay warm.

Basically, if you’re cold there’s a good chance that your Pug is cold too!


Most Pugs love going outside, especially, if you spend a lot of time outdoors. It’s definitely okay to let your Pug out in the cold weather, just make sure that you keep an eye on them.

I used to have my Pug wear a jacket if the temperatures were too cold. There are literally all kinds of dog clothes you can use to help insulate your Pug and keep them warm in the winter or on those cold dreary days.

References and Further Reading

PetMD – Frostbite On Dogs

AVMA – Cold Weather Pet Safety


Black Pug Site