Can Pit Bulls Handle Cold Weather?

Pit bulls are amongst the most popular dogs in America.

They have a reputation for being extremely loving, great with families, and loyal companions. Their robust build and can-do attitude make them a firm favorite for anyone that loves the great outdoors and lead an active lifestyle.

But many pet parents wonder whether or not these lovely dogs are suited to cold weather. 

After all, they have short coats and very little natural body fat to help with insulation. So how well do they cope with freezing temperatures, and how can you protect your pup from those long, cold winter nights?

Let’s have a closer look at the Pit bull’s tolerance to cold weather, and as an added bonus, we’ll include some helpful links to winter-warming products you can purchase.

The Pit Bulls Coat 

a friendly pitbull

Pit bull is an umbrella term used to describe a whole variety of dogs, from the Staffordshire Terrier to the American bully.

While there are some physical traits that differentiate these dogs, they all have a few things in common. One is that they are all short-haired dogs.

And while these single coats make them easier maintenance (they require less grooming than a dog with a double coat), they do get colder much quicker.

Their short hair simply offers less insulation and protection from the natural elements. So if you live in an area that is known for extreme cold, please think twice before getting one of these dogs.

If, however, you’re adamant about adopting a pit bull, you can also be proactive and help them keep warm when the temperature falls.

Keeping your Pit Bull Warm in Cold Temperatures

There are a few things you can do to help your dog stay nice and warm when cold winter temperatures set in.

For example, although these dogs are great outdoors dogs, able to keep themselves busy for hours running around in the backyard, you might want to consider keeping them indoors during the winter months.

Pit bulls are relatively easy to train and do well with other animals if they are socialized from very young. So they shouldn’t cause havoc to your family life if they’re forced to stay inside. 

Crate train them - again, from a young, and then a warm dog blanket will suffice.

There are also a few awesome products on the market for pet owners that want to take it to the next level. You might be one of those people, so consider dressing your pooch up in one of the following:

Dog Hoodies

Hoodies are pretty cool.

a pitbull and its owner wearing matching hoodies

Sparkpaws Hoodies

They make a statement, they draw attention and admiration from other dog owners and they certainly keep your dog warm during cold winter months.

Sparkpaws offers awesome quality at a very competitive price. Best of all, owners and their four-legged companions can now match up. Just an added perk that adds an extra layer of motivation to get your hands on one of these hoodies as soon as possible.

How do I measure my dog for a hoodie?

To select the ideal hoodie or sweater for your furry companion, take measurements of your pup's neck girth, chest girth, and back length.

Gently wrap a tape measure around your dog's neck in the area where a collar would normally rest, leaving sufficient room for two fingers to fit comfortably.

 Apply the same technique for the chest measurement, maintaining the two-finger allowance. For the back length, measure from the base of the neck to the starting point of the tail.

In case you have a short-haired breed like a Pit Bull, French Bulldog, or any larger dog or puppy, and they fall in between two sizes, it's recommended to opt for the larger size to ensure a snug and cozy fit. 

Remember, the attire should strike a balance between not being overly tight and not hanging too loosely.

Dog Pajamas

Admittedly, the thought of seeing your dog wear pj’s might make you chuckle at first. 

two pitbulls on a bed wearing pajamas

Sparkpaws Dog Pajama Onesies

What dogs wear pajamas? Turns out - many do.

Dog pajamas have become more popular in recent years and they’re a great way to keep your pup nice and toasty during colder temperatures.

The best quality onesies are made from dog-friendly fleece material that makes your dog feel hugged and loved.

As you can imagine, a onesie has the potential to get in the way when it’s time for a potty break. But Sparkpaws has made sure to design their pj’s with a deep v-cut at the rear end - no accidents with these pajamas!

What are the ideal pajamas for dogs during the winter season? 

When considering the best pajamas, whether for French Bulldogs, big dogs, or puppies, there are a few key aspects to look for. Firstly, a snug and comfortable fit is crucial, particularly around the hind legs, to ensure your dog's freedom of movement. 

Opt for pajamas crafted from soft and flexible fabric that doesn't hinder their natural mobility.

Furthermore, it's a good idea to choose pajamas that are easy to wash and capable of retaining their color and quality even after multiple washes. 

By selecting pajamas with these features, you'll be providing your four-legged companion with both a stylish and comfortable option for bedtime or when lounging around indoors during the colder months. 

Dog Shoes

a dog running wearing dog shoesSparkpaws Dog Shoes

If you have a dog that’s very active and loves to play in the snow, you’ll know that one of the biggest challenges with keeping a pit bull warm in cold temperatures is preventing its paws from freezing.

And when pit bulls play in snow or icy conditions, they will often try to endure the pain of frozen paws, considering the enjoyment of play time to be of greater importance.

The danger here is that they might develop frostbite and cause permanent damage to their paw padding.

To protect your dog’s paws, consider getting them a pair of winter boots.

Your dog could potentially get a cold shock when he runs out into the snow. A more common way of expressing this shock is simply severe hypothermia.

During this time, the dog might stop shivering because its muscles don't have enough energy. Once the shivering stops, the dog's body temperature can start to drop quickly. 

This is not good because the chemical reactions that help the dog's body work properly slow down or even stop. The dog's heart rate becomes slower and irregular, and it breathes slower too. 

Avoiding cold shock should be one of your main concerns when the temperature is too cold for your pitbull. Get your pup a pair of these awesome winter shoes to help avoid this.

Dog Coat 

a pitbull wearing a red coatSparkpaws Dog Jackets

Another awesome option to keep your pit bull warm in cold temperatures is a classic dog coat. Like hoodies and onesies, these coats are a great alternative to the more conventional dog blanket.

Because your dog wears it on his person, they will stay warm as they move about freely, rather than benefiting only when they’re in one place - on the couch, under the blanket.

How To Tell If Your Pit Bull Is Cold

To tell if your Pit Bull is cold, observe signs such as shivering or seeking body heat by curling up or finding shelter. 

Check for a tucked tail, hunched posture, and cold paws when touching their ears and feet. If you notice any of these signs, provide a warm blanket and consider using doggy sweaters, especially for short-haired breeds like Pit Bulls, as they may be more susceptible to the cold. 

Ensuring they stay cozy and retain body heat is essential for their well-being in cold weather. 

Caution With Senior Dogs

If it’s cold outside, you might want to consider keeping your pup indoors overnight. This is especially true of puppies and older dogs as they have a harder time producing natural body heat.

The older your pit bull gets, the more susceptible it will be to getting a cold or flu. And no matter how healthy they are, they seem to take much longer to recover from these illnesses in their golden years.

So make sure your Pit bull always has a clean, warm, and dry place to sleep at night.

Breeds That Cope Better With The Freeze

Although Pit Bulls can manage cold temperatures (especially with a little help from their humans), there are other dogs that tolerate cold weather much better than they do.

Consider a few of these breeds:

Siberian Husky

a siberian husky in the snow

Huskies are medium-sized dogs known for their striking appearance. They have beautiful double coats that keep them warm, even in the coldest of climates.

Originally bred by the Chukchi people to pull sleds through the snow, these dogs live a very healthy lifestyle. They’re super active and this helps with an increased blood flow, meaning their paws and ears don’t freeze as easily.

German Shepherd

A German Shepherd is a versatile and popular dog breed known for its intelligence, loyalty, and working abilities. 

Originally developed in Germany for herding and guarding livestock, German Shepherds have become widely utilized in various roles, including police and military work, search and rescue, and as service dogs.

Saint Bernard

The Saint Bernard is a large dog breed originating from the Swiss Alps, known for its search and rescue capabilities. 

They tolerate the cold well due to their thick double coat that provides insulation and protection against the elements. Their muscular build helps retain body heat, and their history of living in alpine climates has led to natural adaptation. 

Seeking warmth and their rescue instincts keep them active in cold weather. Large, well-padded paws act as snowshoes, preventing their feet from getting too cold.


a pitbull wearing a dog jacket in the snowSparkpaws Jacket Catalog

Pit bulls are wonderful family dogs, but like other short-haired breeds, they struggle with extremely cold temperatures.

They get cold easily and this often means that they get sick in winter months. So if you live in an area with low temperatures during winter, make sure that your dog has suitable clothes to help them keep warm.

As we’ve discussed, there is a wide different variety of dog clothes to help your dog cope, from hoodies and winter coats to stylish pajama onesies and adorable boots.

These clothes are not only fashionable - they’re functional. Investing in dog clothes that will help your pitbull keep warm in the winter is the kind AND responsible thing to do!

So pour yourself a glass of dry red, light a fire and snuggle up with your four-legged companion next winter.