What Is Too Cold for a Jack Russell Terrier?

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Weather can be a major issue for dog owners, especially for those who have short-haired dogs, like the Jack Russell Terrier. If you own this breed, you may be wondering, “What is too cold for a Jack Russell Terrier?”, and how to correctly protect them.

What Is Too Cold for a Jack Russell Terrier?

Jack Rusell Terriers cannot tolerate temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature in your location is below this, you must take steps to keep them warm. This is due to the fact that they are small dogs that cannot handle cold temperatures.

Graphic image of a white and brown Jack Russell Terrier that explains that the coldest temperature for Jack Russell Terriers is below 45 degrees Fahrenheit

Putting a winter coat on your Jack Russell is one of the greatest ways to keep them warm. This will keep them healthy and prevent cold-related illnesses or injuries. Also, remember that if it is too cold outside, it is safest for your dog to stay inside at home.

However, while these precautions will work for the majority of Jack Russel Terriers, there are other factors that may influence your dog. For example, if your dog is elderly or has pre-existing medical concerns, you should take extra steps and keep them as warm as possible.

Signs That a Jack Russell Terrier Is Too Cold

Shivering is one of the most obvious indications that your dog is not comfortable with the current temperature. However, there are other signals that will allow you to see if your pet is truly comfortable or not. Here you can see the principal signs that your dog is cold.

  • They might be exhausted or weak on energy. If the weather is too cool for them, they will become lethargic and fatigued. This is because, in those conditions, moving will be quite uncomfortable as the cold would touch their skin even more.
  • They might get a bit stiff and hard to move. This happens because cold temperatures tend to make their muscles contract, causing tightness and difficulty to move.
  • Their skin will be quite cold to the touch. Since this breed is frequently short-haired, if you touch them and feel cold, it is probably too much for them.
  • They may begin to breathe deeply. This occurs because low temperatures can irritate their airways, causing them to narrow and make breathing harder.
  • They would not react as expected. If this breed is bothered by the weather, they may not respond to the typical words or commands you have taught them. Especially if they have been exposed to the cold for an extended amount of time.
A close-up image of Jack Russell terrier wearing warm clothes

Situations Jack Russells Can and Cannot Handle

Although there are factors that can limit your dog’s cold tolerance, there are specific scenarios in which they can walk outside in cold temperatures. A good example of this is when your Jack Russell needs to go potty.

This can take less than ten minutes, so you can quickly put a jacket on them, take them for a walk, wait for them to go potty, and come back inside. On the other hand, there are some situations they may struggle with, such as spending more than 2 hours outside in cold weather.

This would be highly uncomfortable for them, and it could lead to cold-related illnesses or, worse, a case of dog hypothermia. As a result, you should never leave your dog outside in cold weather.

Factors That Influence Jack Russell’s Cold Tolerance

As I mentioned before, there are elements that can affect this breed’s tolerance to the cold. For example, as they grow old, they might get more affected by cold than before. This means that you always need to be aware of your dog’s tolerance throughout the years.

A young dog may be able to tolerate a fifteen-minute potty walk in cold weather; however, an older dog may not be able to do so due to stress and cold. As a result, you must take appropriate precautions to make them feel at ease.

Jack Russell terrier playing on ice

One more element that can influence your dog, is a pre-existing health condition. For instance, if your dog has arthritis, cold temperatures might make their joints less flexible, which would be highly uncomfortable for them.

Related Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about Jack Russell Terriers.

Are There Winter Coats Specifically Made for Jack Russells?

Yes, there are winter coats that can comfortably fit this breed. Since Jack Russells lack cold-weather protection, many brands and organizations have developed breed-specific winter clothing for them.

Can Jack Russells Sleep Outside?

No, this breed should not be allowed to sleep outside in either cold or hot weather. This is due to their high level of energy and desire for social contact and love.

If the weather is warm, you may take them out for a couple of hours to play, exercise, teach them tricks, and participate in activities with them. However, keep in mind that extremely high temperatures can also be harmful to them.


When it comes to weather. it is better to keep your dog as protected and safe as possible. After all, this will prevent them from getting sick, and developing other cold-related illnesses.