Home Huskies ​​Do Alaskan Huskies Like The Cold Winter Weather?

​​Do Alaskan Huskies Like The Cold Winter Weather?

do huskies like the cold
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Huskies are a very popular breed descended from ancient sled dogs. Since they’re used to the frigid temperatures of the Arctic region, you shouldn’t be surprised if your Husky seems to prefer going outside on cold days instead of staying inside your heated house.

In this article, we’ll find out if huskies like the cold weather and everything else you need to know about this topic.

Do Huskies like the cold weather?

white and grey husky out in the snow
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Generally speaking, Huskies like the cold weather. As mentioned above, they are direct descendants of sled dogs, which lived outdoors in barns or in insulated dog houses. They can easily withstand temperatures as cold as -60 degrees F (-51 degrees C.)

Modern-day Huskies have already evolved to adapt to modern conditions, but they still retain many of their ancestors’ traits, including the preference for cold weather.

That said, despite being bred to thrive in freezing temperatures, it’s still important to give your Husky equal amounts of time indoors and outdoors.

Can Husky puppies get cold?

husky puppy sitting on the grass
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Just like human babies, Husky puppies haven’t exactly reached their full development and therefore they cannot tolerate cold weather as much as Husky adults do.

The coat of a Husky puppy cannot provide the level of protection needed to withstand cold temperatures. That is why extra care and protection should be given to puppies during winter, at least until their coats develop enough to provide them the protection they need.

This means that even if you have a separate dog house for your Huskies, it might still be best to keep the puppies indoors with you at night to protect them from extreme temperatures.

How Cold can Huskies tolerate?

husky pulling a sled in the snow
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Huskies can adapt to live just about anywhere, be it in cold weather or hot weather. As mentioned above, Huskies can tolerate negative temperatures, just like their ancestors.

However, safety precautions should still be taken especially when you’re planning to leave them outside for a prolonged period of time. This is especially true if the weather is rainy or snowy.

How do Huskies survive the cold?

So, what exactly makes Huskies stand the cold better than other dog breeds?

Their coats and fat act as insulation

While it’s not alright to have an overweight Husky, they should still have a healthy amount of fat. Along with their double-coated fur that tends to shed during winter, a healthy layer of fat on their bodies gives them extra protection by allowing better heat retention.

Their coat serves two purposes. The long, outer layer prevents snow from seeping into the undercoat due to its water-resistant characteristic. On the other hand, the shorter undercoat forms a dense layer of insulation to keep their body warmer.

Their ears are protected with hair

Inside every Husky’s sensitive ears are fine hairs that can help protect them from the cold. Since these hairs are pretty thick, they act as natural earmuffs that can help retain heat and prevent frostbite.

Their tails are fluffy enough to keep them warm

Huskies love sleeping all curled up with their tail covering their nose. This actually serves a purpose, since their fluffy tails can help keep them warmer in the winter months. Their tails also help them keep their nose moist while still allowing them to breathe warm air.

Their paws heat up when they run

Your dog’s paw pads do more than just protect them from the hard ground. As they walk and run around, the blood circulates from their pads through their legs, which helps warm them up. In short, the more your Husky is active, the more they feel warmer. And since Huskies love being active, this means they hardly feel the cold when they’re outside.

Can Huskies Be Kept Outside In The Cold?

husky walking on snow ground
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Huskies are very active dogs who love to run and play outside. If you want to let your Husky sleep outside, make sure that they have a comfortable dog house that’s properly insulated. It should also be large enough to accommodate them and give them ample space to move and play.

Also, bedding is very important, as it helps make your Husky more comfortable. Avoid using blankets or fabrics as they may eventually freeze when dogs track snow into the doghouse. Hay or straw are your best bets as they’re absorbent and warm. Their water bowl should be the heated variety as well to prevent their water from turning into a big chunk of ice during the winter night.

That said, keep in mind that they do have their limits, as well. If you see that they’re not doing too well outside, regardless of the temperature, it’s a better option to bring them inside the house. This should be the case in warmer temperatures, as Huskies can’t handle the heat as well as they handle the cold.

How To Know When Your Husky Is Too Cold

husky being petted by a human
Photo by Hoang-Mai Nguyen from Unsplash

While it’s true that Huskies like cold weather, it’s important to look out for signs that may suggest that they’re getting too cold:

  • Holding a paw up off the ground
  • Shivering or shaking excessively
  • Refusing to continue walking
  • Gradually becoming slower with their movements
  • Looking anxious or uncomfortable
  • Displaying a hunched back with a tucked tail
  • Whining or crying

Seek a warmer place as soon as you notice any of the aforementioned signs. Letting your Husky stay cold for a long time may lead to hypothermia and frostbite–two serious conditions that can still happen to huskies, despite their extreme resilience.

Final Thoughts on Huskies and Cold Weather

As you can see, Huskies not only handle cold weather, they also like it, at least to some degree. That said, there are some precautions to take before leaving your Husky in the cold.

In this article, we learned that:

  • Huskies are specifically bred to withstand cold temperatures, but they still have a limit.
  • Extra precautions should be taken when leaving your Husky outside in the cold, including providing them with a well-built and insulated dog house.
  • Some signs to look out for are excessive shivering, gradual slowing, and refusal to walk.

Are you interested in learning more about Huskies? Don’t forget to check out our blog at Husky Habits!