Do Pit Bulls Need Coats In The Winter? The Cold Hard Facts

pit bull in winter coat

Pit Bulls have the general perception of being a strong, tough, courageous and versatile dog. When people think of dog coats and booties in the winter they think about Frenchies or Chihuahuas. Not the big tough Pit Bull. I’ve lived in several cities, with different winter climates with my Pit Bull. I can answer the question of do Pit Bulls need coats in the winter?

As a general rule Pit Bulls need coats in the winter. The short, singular layer coat of the Pit Bull, along with their lean body mass requires a coat in cold winter temperatures. The Pit Bull is a particularly susceptible breed to cold winter climates. Giving them protection is very important.

Whether we are describing the American Pit Bull Terrier, or the Pit Bull type of dogs like American Staffordshire Terriers, American Bullies, or Staffordshire Bull Terriers, they all need coats in the winter. There are important factors to consider in the winter with your Pit Bull. Having a warm coat or sweater is just the tip of the iceberg. 

Keeping your Pit Bull safe, warm, and comfortable in the winter is your responsibility as the owner. Below we’ll dive into how you can protect your dog from the winter months, signs to look out for, and some great prevention tips.

Can Pit Bulls Handle Cold Weather?

Pit Bulls can handle most things in life, but one thing they are ill equipped to handle is cold weather. The range of what a specific Pit Bull type dog can handle in terms of temperatures can vary. These are a few factors that can affect your Pit Bull:

  • Age
  • Health
  • Weight
  • Size
  • Color of Coat

A young healthy black Pit Bull of a good size and weight, for example, could handle cold weather better than a white, unhealthy, skinny senior Pit Bull. A nice sunny day will keep that black dog warmer. That extra youth and body fat can generate a bit more heat as well.

All that being said Pit Bulls have a very thin single layer coat that does not protect them well from cold weather. My rule of thumb is generally that if I am going to be very cold outside in a shirt and shorts, then my Pit Bull will mostly likely be very cold as well.

Temperatures To Watch For With Pit Bulls

Typically your Pit Bull should be fine with cold weather up until about 45° F/7°C. Once the weather begins to drop below that you might notice your Pit Bull getting a little uncomfortable. When the temperature hits below 32°F/0°C small, skinnier, and older Pit Bulls will need some protection. By 20°F/-7°C it’s time for all dogs to get bundled up.

Monitor your Pit Bulls behaviors in cold weather. Not all climates are the same and temperature doesn’t always determine how cold it actually is for your dog. Some climates can be very damp, and though it only says 32°F/0°C on the weather app, it may feel much colder.

Alternatively if your Pit Bull is very active and running around in the cold weather, they may generate enough body heat to feel just fine. There are many such variables at play here. It is very important to keep an eye on your Pit Bull and look for signs they are not handling the cold well.

Extreme cold weather can very quickly lead to hypothermia and frostbite with your Pit Bull. Things like their ears, paws, and tails can get very cold, very quick. Frostbite is not something you want to risk on your pup. 

If your Pit Bull is shivering, becoming lethargic, and/or is getting pale skin get them inside and warmed up immediately. These are the first signs of hypothermia.

pit bull in winter coat

What Temperature Is Too Cold For A Pit Bull?

Temperatures in the 45° F/7°C and below are beginning to get uncomfortable for your Pit Bull. It would be my suggestion that a coat is needed at this point. When temperatures hit 32° F/0°C and below this will definitely be too cold for a Pit Bull without a coat.

As a general rule of thumb when it comes to my Pit Bull I know it is too cold for her to go without a coat, when it’s too cold for me to go without a coat. I live in a cold winter climate and regardless if she is going for a quick pee or a short walk, she wears a coat once it hits the 32° F/0°C temperature.

Once the extremely cold days come when it can get to -0° F/-17°C for several weeks here, we are outside for potty breaks only. These temperatures are too cold for a Pit Bull. This is where risk of hypothermia and frostbite become a real hazard regardless if your Pit Bull is wearing a coat or not. 

Keep your dog inside as much as you can. If you live in a place with these kinds of cold winter weather temperatures. Potty breaks is about all you can safely do with your Pit Bull in this kind of weather. 

Can Pit Bulls Play In The Snow?

Can Pit Bulls play in the snow? Try and stop a Pit Bull from playing in the snow. Every Pit Bull I have met, especially my own, LOVES the snow. Rolling around in it, sticking their face in big piles, and generally going crazy for snow.

So long as your Pit Bull has a coat or sweater on and the temperature is not extreme, you Pit Bull can play in the snow and be just fine. Watch for signs of cold paws, and shivering however. When your Pit Bull begins to lift their feet off the ground, or show signs of being tired, it’s time to go warm up.

Exercise caution when allowing your Pit Bull to play in the snow. If you live in a city like mine the snow melts, then freezes, then melts, then freezes again, and this can lead to rough textures and ice chunks. Tripping or running too quick in this can lead to injuries. Stick to the fluffy snow, and avoid areas with ponds and water with thin ice.

How Do I Keep My Pit Bull Warm In The Winter?

Keeping your Pit Bull warm in the winter is as simple as keeping yourself warm in the winter. Wearing a good coat, sweater, and boots when venturing outdoors is a simple way to protect your Pit Bull from the cold. Any coat or sweater you get for your Pit Bull should cover them from neck to base of the tail, and cover their bellies comfortably.

american pit bull terrier under covers

Blankets. Pit Bulls love blankets. There is nothing more my Pit Bull loves than to curl up on and under a nice warm blanket. If you have just come inside from a particularly cold walk, throw your dog’s blanket in the dryer for a few minutes to heat it up and make yourself a Pitty Burrito afterwards.

A nice comfortable dog bed that is well insulated from the floor is another fantastic way to keep your Pit Bull warm in the winter. Keeping a nice cozy bed that they can curl up on and keep warm is something every Pit Bull needs. Bonus points if you have a fireplace they can safely pull their bed close to.

Resources & ReviewsThe Best Dog Beds & Dog Blankets

Pit Bulls Need Coats, Sweaters, And Boots In The Winter

Getting your Pit Bull the proper winter gear is essential for their health and well-being. Hypothermia, frostbite, and paw injuries can happen very quickly in the winter, so you need to be prepared. Things like a pair of dog boots in the winter can help protect your Pit Bulls pads from the cold as well as the road and sidewalk salts that are very harsh on their feet.

These are some of my top recommendations for Coats, Sweaters, and Boots for your Pit Bull to keep them safe, warm, dry, and looking pretty amazing too.

Canada Pooch True North Insulated Dog Parka

Canada Pooch Pit Bull Coat

Crafted with a soft fleece lining and faux-down insulation for ultimate warmth in all kinds of weather. The durable water-resistant shell will help keep your doggie dude dry while the dual hook and loop closure keeps this puppy parka in place. Complete with a slit for a leash attachment, you’ll have no problem getting your buddy all bundled up. Available on Amazon

Pet Life Fashion Parka Dog Coat

pet life dog parka

Lined with 3M Thinsulate Thermal Heat Retention Technology, this jacket is perfect for those chilly days to make your pooch warm and comfortable. The inner fleece protects him from getting cold, and the removable faux fur hood can be zipped on and off to give him a new look every time he leaves home. Available on Amazon

Kurgo Loft Jacket

Kurgo pit bull coat

reversible dog vest is perfect to keep your dog cozy during the chilly fall months, and cold winter months when out on walks, hikes, and runs; dog jacket has reflective piping to easily spot your dog when it gets dark early; adjustable hook and loop closure for a custom fit. Available on Amazon

Chilly Dog Boyfriend Dog Sweater

chilly dog Boyfriend dog sweater

Chilly Dog keeps up with the latest trends to keep dogs fashionable as well as warm. Their sizing can fit a tea cup dog to a great dane.  These are the warmest and best quality sweaters you will find out there! Don’t let your dog be left out in the cold! Available on Amazon

Canada Pooch | Northern Knit 2.0

canada pooch coat for Pit Bull

High quality, fashionable-yet-functional outerwear to keep your dog comfortable & dry. This sleek and stylish fleece-lined knitted dog sweater features a zippered neck closure.  Equipped with functional zip-up pockets for treat & bag storage, a leash/harness slit, adjustable button closures, plus ribbing on the neck & sleeves for a snug fit. Available on Amazon

Kool Tail Plaid Dog Hoodie

kool tails dog hoodie

Keep warm in cold weather, thicker than most of the hoodies. 65% polyester, 35% cotton, soft and comfortable, machine washable. Back has a hole, leash can through it, convenient for going out to walking. Available on Amazon

Ultra Paws Durable Dog Boots

ultra paws boots

Protect your parading pooch’s sensitive paws with Ultra Paws Durable Dog Boots. Made from water-resistant nylon, this patented design is the perfect all-purpose boot to keep your furry friend’s feet safe in wet or dry, hot or cold conditions. Available on

QUMY Dog Boots

qumy boots for dogs

The dog boots have a rugged sole and high quality fabrics that are then sewn together to ensure they are ready for your adventure. Dog boots have cute pet paw embroidery, paws side is the outside, soft and hand washable. Available on Amazon

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