Can Great Danes
Tolerate Hot or Cold Weather?

The Great Dane is popular for its ruggedness and toughness, but it can also be a friendly and gentle companion to humans. Knowing the type of environment and weather a dog survives is crucial when you are thinking of getting one. You want your furry friend to be healthy, safe, and happy, but can they tolerate hot or cold weather?

Can Great Danes tolerate hot or cold weather? They cannot, as they do not have a layer of fat under their skin, something that could protect them from extreme hot or cold weather. Their thin single layer coat doesn't protect them in cold weather. 

Don't make the mistake of thinking that your Great Dane can survive in the cold due to their size and fur. Read on to learn the type of environment a Great Dane thrives in. Also, some of the ways to keep your pet outside even with extreme cold. Read More Below...

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Great Dane in snow

Can Great Danes Live In Hot Weather?

Great Danes are playful and love to be outside when the sun is up. Although this dog can tolerate hot weather, you need to take precautions as Great Danes have a challenging time regulating their body temperature. 

Exposing them to too much heat could lead to dehydration, sunburn, and in extreme cases, heatstroke. Remember, a Great Dane doesn't have any protective fur to keep them covered from heat. You need to make sure your dog isn't exposed to extremely hot weather.

Can Great Danes Live In Cold Weather?

Great Danes cannot tolerate cold weather as they lack the insulating layer of fat that makes other dogs breeds cold tolerant. Breeds like Alaskan Malamute have more fat and double-coat, which means they can easily tolerate the cold temperatures. Their coarse, outer coat provides added protection in cold weather. 

However, Great Danes have a single coat, which becomes a disadvantage in a cold climate. The low humidity weakens their skin and fur. 

While they may seem invincible, keeping your Great Dane outdoors during the cold season is not a good option. Exposing your dog to cold weather could put them at risk of weakened fur, chapped paws, frostbite, irritated skin, or hypothermia. 

What's more, antifreeze or salt is poured onto roads and sidewalks during the winter months. Although this may be beneficial for humans, it can be risky for your Great Dane. The dog can rub the antifreeze on their paws and ingest it accidentally. You can reduce your dog's risk of consuming harmful chemicals by keeping him indoors or wiping off his stomach and paws after a walk outside.

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Ways You Can Help Your Great Dane When It's Cold

Below are a few tips on how you can help your Great Dane tolerate the cold weather:

Reduce the Dog's Outdoor Time

Exposing your dog to extreme cold weather could lead to frostbite and hypothermia because they have thin fur and little fat on their body. If you'd like to take your Great Dane for a walk to exercise, ensure you continue using a leash for winter walks. 

You'll realize that this dog breed gets excited while out in the snow. They may want to run into the road or across the street. Also, limit the walk time to at least 15 minutes to prevent the dog from catching a chill.

Get Your Dog a Warm Place to Sleep

You need to ensure that your Great Dane has a warm place to sleep. An ideal place should be off the floor if you have tiles or wooden floors. Having your pet sleep on this type of floor could lead to frostbite. 

Add a blanket to an insulated dog kennel and a comfortable bed to ensure your Great Dane has a warm place to stay.

Dress Your Dog Up for Outdoors

If you're planning to take your dog for a walk, you can protect him by putting some warm clothes on. While dressing up a dog may seem controversial, it will guarantee to keep your dog warm. Some booties and windbreakers can keep your dog cozy when taking those walks during winter.

Additional Tips...

  • It's also vital to not leave your Great Dane in a turned off car. That's because your dog could get cold quickly, and some have frozen to death. 
  • Put your dog away from ice patches and snow if he goes to the bathroom outdoors. 
  • Avoid taking the dog outdoors if you spot any infections or irritation. 
  • Provide water and food indoors if you are in a place with extreme cold. 
  • Check the paw pads and nose for any signs of frostbite and chaffing. Consult a veterinarian or rush your dog to the hospital when your dog shows signs of frostbite.

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Ways You Can Help Your Great Dane During Hot Weather

Here are a few tips you can help your dog survive during the hot season:

Have the Dog Play in a Shaded Area

Dogs, like humans, are prone to sunburns after a day in extremely hot weather. You'll notice the burns in areas with little fur, which can be on the belly, nose, or ears. Also, dogs that have lighter hair are at risk of getting sunburns. 

If you take your Great Dane outdoors during summer to play and run around, you need to limit direct sun exposure by keeping him in a shaded area. In case you notice sunburns, talk to your veterinarian for treatment options.

Give Little Amounts of Water Over Time

Dehydration happens when your Great Dane is exposed to extreme heat while playing outdoors, during walks, and left in a hot environment. Fortunately, you can quickly identify dehydration before it's severe.

Some of the common dehydration symptoms include a disinterest in playing, depression, and lethargy. Your dog's eyes may also look sunken, and the nose may seem drier than normal. 

It's essential to give small amounts of water over time and not at once. Put the water in a container in a way that the Great Dane won't knock it over. 

Avoid Leaving the Dog Outside

Avoid leaving the dog outside for a long period of time unattended. If the weather feels too hot outside, it could have the same effect on your Great Dane; ensure there is plenty of clean water and shade when they are outside.

Do Not Skip Regular Exercise

It's essential to take your dog for outdoor exercises before it gets too hot or after the sun has gone down. That will ensure your pet doesn't have direct contact with sunlight and can prevent him from exerting lots of effort in the heat. 

Exercise is vital to your Great Dane's skeletal and muscular growth, which is why you shouldn't skip regular exercise. However, you need to take caution by having your dog exercise where there is shade. When taking walks, avoid the hot roads or sidewalks as they could cause serious burns. Choose grassy and shaded areas when going for a walk.

Take the Dog for a Quick Dip

Your Great Dane will appreciate swimming on a hot summer day. Make sure your pet is attended to while taking a quick dip as he can become overexerted in the heat. Going for a swim will help your furry friend cool off in the summer heat.

For further reading here's some great hot weather safety tips for your dog from the ASPCA


Great Danes cannot tolerate extreme hot or cold weather. They need a balance of both for them to thrive. The breed can tolerate hot weather, but it's the ability to tolerate cold weather greatly reduces with time. The above tips will help you understand how to protect your Great Dane during the cold and hot weather.

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