Rottweilers are hard-working, independent dogs who love to be outdoors, whether going for long walks or being in the yard, protecting their home and family. Given a choice, they’re always more likely to prefer being outside than inside!
Rottweilers’ coats do a great job of keeping them warm against colder temperatures, but you should always bring them indoors when it gets too cold. Once the outside temperature gets below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius), a Rottweiler should not be expected to stay outside.
Their Coats Were Designed for Cooler Temperatures
When we think of a loyal, attentive guard dog, the image of a Rottweiler is often the first in our minds. These dogs are known to be capable protectors of homes and families and do very well outside the house.
They would much rather be cool than warm, and on a hot, sunny day, they’ll always search for shade rather than bask in the heat. The Rottweiler originates from Germany, where even in summer, the needle doesn’t rise much higher than 70 degrees.
The Rottweiler’s coat is double-layered, with a longer, lighter coat on top and a shorter, coarser coat underneath. This coat does most of the insulating in the winter, which gives the Rottweiler the ability to withstand cooler temperatures.
Their second coat is also what makes them somewhat of a shedding nightmare! Once the season slips from winter to spring, the Rottweiler sheds the thick winter coat that kept them warm over the previous months.
Then, in the fall, the Rottweiler will shed a second time, and this is how they prepare to grow the undercoat once more as the cold weather approaches.
Can a Rottweiler Stay Outside All Year Round?
As long as the area where you live doesn’t see temperatures drop below 40 degrees, then there’s every chance that your Rottweiler will be pretty happy to live outside.
There are several things to be aware of, which will help you decide whether to keep your Rottweiler outside or bring them indoors. Factors to consider include:
- The age of your Rottweiler
- Weather conditions, including snow and rain
- Whether there’s adequate shelter outside
- Access to fresh food and water
- Presence of rock salt and antifreeze
Let’s look at each of these and how they can affect your decision regarding keeping a Rottweiler outside.
The Age of Your Rottweiler
Dogs, like humans, are vulnerable in the early stages of their life and then in their later years. While your Rottweiler pup is still young, it shouldn’t be outside. Younger dogs can’t yet regulate their temperatures and get cold very quickly.
Similarly, as dog ages, their tolerance for cold weather reduces. Rottweilers are especially prone to arthritis or joint pain and swelling. Cold weather is terrible for arthritis and can cause them great discomfort, so as they get older, your Rottweiler shouldn’t be getting cold.
Whether young or old, your Rottweiler will still love to exercise outside, especially playing in the snow! There’s nothing wrong with allowing them to enjoy winter walks outdoors. Even if your dog lives outside, exercise is necessary, so they should still get daily walks.
A great rule of thumb for older Rottweilers is to check your body temperature. However, they mustn’t stay out too long when it’s too cold. If you’re too cold and you’re ready to head back indoors, then chances your old friend should be inside, too.
What’s the Weather Like?
It’s one thing for your Rottweiler to enjoy being outside when it’s dry, even when it’s a little chilly for humans, but it’s another thing for them to be outside in the cold and rain. If it’s raining or snow or ice in the air or on the ground, your Rottweiler will feel the cold much more quickly.
Their insulating coat protects them against cold temperatures, but it doesn’t work as effectively if wet. It’s the difference between wearing a dry blanket around your shoulders or wearing one that’s been dropped in a puddle.
This brings us to a vital aspect of keeping any dog outside.
There Must be Adequate Shelter
If your Rottweiler has a warm, dry place to shelter in when the weather’s particularly terrible, then they’ll be more than happy to be outside all day.
Rottweilers love to be outside, even in the cool night air, but this is only because they know that when it gets too cold, there’s a warm place to disappear to that will protect them from the elements.
The shelter must be weatherproof, have warm blankets and water, and be free of leaks and drafts.
Be Sure to Keep their Water and Food Topped Up
One of the reasons a Rottweiler is so good at staying warm in the winter is that they use hydration. They convert liquids into energy to keep them warm. Therefore, they must always have access to fresh water. You can even feed them warm soup!
In the wintertime, your Rottweiler should be fed a high-protein diet with increased fats so that their bodies have the insulation needed to protect them from the cold.
It’s always important to get advice from a vet concerning the best diet for a Rottweiler, especially if they live outside. This is because it can be tricky to get the balance between a winter diet that will keep your Rottweiler healthy and warm and one that will make them put on too much weight.
Be Aware of Rock Salt and Antifreeze
In the wintertime, there’s a high presence of rock salt on the ground, and people use antifreeze to protect their pipes, windshields, and locks from freezing over. If you use any of these products, keep them away from your dog.
Dogs often lick or eat rock salt, but even the slightest amount in their systems can poison them. Be aware that if you don’t use the products, your neighbors might, and your Rottweiler should, not have access to these toxic chemicals.
Keep an Eye on Your Rottweiler’s Health and Behavior
Even if you feel you’ve done everything right to keep your Rottweiler warm and healthy, they could still be too cold outdoors. Keep an eye on their behavior, and they’ll soon tell you they’re unhappy.
Rethink your Rottweiler’s living conditions if they display any of the following behaviors:
- Urinating more than normal
- Breathing rapidly
- Moving from one paw to the other or lifting paws
These are all signs that your Rottweiler’s too cold and at risk of hypothermia, where their body temperature drops dangerously low.
Protect One Another
Your Rottweiler will make it their life’s aim to keep you and the family safe. They love to watch over their owners and protect them at all costs.
But this means that owners must keep their Rottweilers safe in return! And keeping an eye on their outdoor living conditions, giving them plenty of shelters, and bringing them indoors when it’s too cold are the best ways to ensure your Rottweiler’s healthy and happy for years to come.