Cold Weather Tips for Your Scottish Terrier

It’s That Time of Year Where Your Scottish Terrier and the Cold Weather Get to Meet!

Brrrrrr! The weather outside is getting chillier, but our Scottish Terrier pups at Southern Scotties don’t seem to mind. Maybe it’s the dog’s Scotland origins that give this breed an advantage in the cold. Or maybe it’s just the thickness of their coat that keeps them warm. Either way, Scottish Terriers are a breed of dogs that do well in cold weather.

However, like any other dog breed, Scottish Terriers have their limits when it comes to cold weather. To keep your furry companion happy and healthy this winter, here are some tips to care for your Scottie during the coldest time of the year.

A Scottish Terrier warm inside The Colder the Weather, the Less Time Your Dog Should Spend Outdoors

A dog’s tolerance to cold weather depends on its health, coat thickness, fat storage, and activity level. Scotties have a thick, sometimes even coarse, coat and undercoat that keeps them warm. And when you buy one of our pups from Southern Scotties, you know that your new best friend is in good health both physically and genetically. On the other hand, your short-legged pup is not exactly a sled dog.

Although Scotties are better than many small dog breeds to bring along for a walk in the wintertime, the further below freezing the temperature goes, the less time your Scottish Terrier should spend outside. So, if it’s 15 degrees outside and the icy winds seem relentless, take this time to stay inside, wrap up in the warmest blanket, and snuggle up with your little Scottish Terrier.

Recognize the Signs of Frostbite and Hypothermia

Yes, just like people, dogs can suffer from frostbite and hypothermia as well. Your Scottie’s thick coat may keep its body warm, but being out in frigid weather or harsh conditions can cause your pup to freeze. That is why we must emphasize to not leave any dog outside for prolonged periods of time. If you notice the following symptoms in your Scottie, be sure to bring him or her inside right away.

Early signs of hypothermia in dogs include:

  • Whimpering/ whining
  • Shivering
  • Anxiousness
  • Lethargy (moving slowly)
  • Burrowing or looking for places to burrow

Frostbite is a little harder to detect in the early stages than hypothermia. It most commonly forms around the tips of a dog’s tail, nose, ears, and toes. The subtle signs include:

  • Pale skin
  • The area is hard, cold, and possibly painful to touch
  • Ice starts forming around the area

Don’t Be Afraid to Play Dress Up with Your Scottie

As silly as it may seem, dressing your dog up to keep it warm can actually help. Many people give their furry companions winter coats and booties to stay warm and protect them from the winter elements. Winter outfits are also very beneficial to use for your Scotties while they go on walks or play outside. In fact, putting shoes or booties on your pup will help prevent your Scottish Terrier from stepping into antifreeze or other chemicals that might be on the sidewalks.

A Scottish Terrier waiting for his paws to be wiped in the cold Be Sure to Wipe Down Your Dog’s Paws, Feet, and Belly

If wearing booties or shoes isn’t exactly your dog’s style, be sure that you are checking your Scottie’s paws and wiping them off after each visit outside. The cold weather can cause cracks or cuts on your dog’s paw pads, as well as redness between the toes. If you do find cracks on your dog’s paws, gently rub petroleum jelly around the area to relieve dryness and irritation.

Because Scotties are lower to the ground, it is also important to wipe off your Scottie’s legs and belly in addition to their paws. Wiping them down helps remove the salt and chemicals that might be on the ground as it is poisonous to ingest if your Terrier licks its fur or paws.

Have Questions About Keeping Your Scottie Safe in the Cold Weather? Feel Free to Reach Out to Us!

Our world-class breeders are the experts on the Scottish Terrier breed and are a registered Scottish Terrier kennel by the Continental Kennel Club (CKC). If you have any questions about providing the best care for your Scottie in the winter months, feel free to email us at or call at 985-981-1161,

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