How Long Can A Lost Dog Survive In The Cold?

How Long Can A Lost Dog Survive In The Cold? For dog owners, their dogs are more than just animals, they are part of the family. Thus, It is a nightmare for them to lose their precious pets. The owner’s major thought associated with losing a pet is how long can a lost dog survive in wintertime when the temperatures drop down to very low numbers or even below zero degrees Celsius.

There is no consensus on the amount of time a canine can survive in the cold. The general answer to this question depends on many factors. But on average, it is believed that the dog can survive in the cold for around 48 hours.

Many people often question How Long Can A Lost Dog Survive In The Cold, if you too want to know the answer to this question then read on.

What I Will Learn?

1. What To Do If You Lose Your Dog In The Cold?

If you live in an area with cold winters, it’s important to be prepared in case your dog gets lost. Here are some tips on what to do if your dog goes missing in the cold:

  1. Immediately start searching for your dog. Check all of your usual hiding spots and places where they like to play.
  2. Put up missing dog posters in your neighborhood and nearby areas.
  3. Contact your local animal shelters and rescue organizations to let them know your dog is missing.
  4. Check social media sites and online classifieds for any sightings of your dog.
  5. If the weather is very cold, consider using a heat-sensing camera to search for your dog.
  6. If you have a tracking device on your dog, use it to help find its location.

2. How Long Can A Lost Dog Survive In The Cold?

Dogs do feel cold, but they do not feel as cold as we humans do. They have a thicker fur coat. Fur is an insulator. It prevents heat loss from their body to the surroundings. The low winter temperatures do not affect them as much as it affects humans, because of this reason they can survive for longer periods in the cold than humans.

An average adult Dog is capable of surviving in the cold for around 48 hours. However, several factors contribute to the length of time canines can stay alive in the cold.

3. What Factors Influence The Length Of Time A Dog Can Survive In Cold?

The factors that impact the length of survival of a dog in cold are as follows:


The breed of the dog is an important factor to consider. Hybrid dogs are more tolerant to cold weather compared with purebred dogs. Mixed breed dogs have a thicker undercoat and some other characteristics that protect their skin from snow and ice burn.


A canine with a thick coat has more chances of survival compared to a canine that is not properly groomed.


Adult dogs have higher chances of survival compared to younger canines. Puppies are very young and they lack experience in how to react to cold weather. They are less tolerant when it comes to defending themselves against cold weather. Puppies can die from hypothermia when the temperature reaches 10 degrees Celsius with a wind speed of 25 kilometers per hour.


A healthy canine is more likely to survive in cold weather compared to a sick dog. Dogs with chronic diseases have a lesser chance of surviving in cold weather compared with healthy canines.


The weight of the canine is another important factor that determines the time a dog can survive in cold weather. Heavy canines are less tolerant compared with lighter ones. Also, obese dogs lack the agility to move around and thus they do not have much chance for survival during wintertime or any other time when there is snowfall.

5. How Can I Track My Lost Dog?

The best way to keep track of your lost dog is through the use of dog tracking devices. They are inexpensive and easy to use. The device emits a signal sent by GPS, which can be tracked on any map that is downloaded on your phone or computer. You will then be able to easily identify the location of the canine based on its coordinates.

6. How Long Can A Lost Dog Survive Without Food?

The next question many people ask when they lose their dogs is how long can a lost dog survive without food? On average, a dog can survive for around 10 days without food. Once again, this is an average figure and it can vary depending on factors such as the breed of the canine, its health status, etc.

7. How Cold Is Too Cold For Dogs?

Temperature below 10 Celsius is too cold for dogs. If the temperature falls below this point, the dog has to seek shelter or he will die of hypothermia. Also, dogs can get frostbite which is very dangerous if not treated immediately. It has also been noted that dogs are likely to become dehydrated in cold weather leading to kidney failure and eventually death.

8. What To Do If You Find A Lost Dog In The Cold?

If you find a lost dog in the cold, here are some things you can do to help:

  1. Bring the dog inside and warm them up gradually with a heating pad or blanket.
  2. Do not give the dog food or water until they have warmed up, as this can cause them to vomit or have diarrhea.
  3. Contact the owner if you know who they are, or take the dog to a local animal shelter.
  4. Monitor the dog for signs of hypothermia or frostbite, and seek veterinary care if necessary.


Reading this we hope you now have enough knowledge regarding how long can a lost dog survive in the cold. On average, a dog can survive in cold for around 48 hours. However, several factors affect this length of time. Puppies have less cold tolerance as compared to adult dogs, so owners need to be extra careful of their puppies in winters.


How Do Stray Dogs Survive The Cold?

Stray dogs are very used to cold climates because they have been exposed to them so much. They, to survive the cold, seek shelter in abandoned houses and old buildings to provide them warmth throughout the night

How Long Can A Runaway Dog Survive?

A runaway dog can survive for 10 days. This is the average figure for how long a dog can survive without food or water. However, this also depends on the breed of the dog, health status, and age.

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