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Do Dogs Hibernate in the Winter?

↯ Key takeaway points

  • Dogs do not hibernate in winter; they become sluggish, lazy, and sleepy due to the changes in weather.
  • While dogs don't hibernate, they may need extra help to stay warm during winter weather.
  • Dogs' hormones in winter cause them to produce melatonin, which promotes sleep in their bodies; they feel more lethargic, sleepy, and may sleep longer.
  • To keep your dog active and healthy during winter, play games with them, take them for walks or runs, train and bond with them, and enroll them in classes.
A pet lover passionate about educating readers about animal health and care. Love reading studies and recent research.
Gold medalist veterinary student from UVAS Lahore writes captivating articles and is passionate about animal care.
Published on
Saturday 3 October 2020
Last updated on
Thursday 11 May 2023
do dogs hibernate in the winter
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If you are a dog owner, aren’t you curious if your pets do the same? Do dogs hibernate? These are just a few questions that will be answered in this article. To learn more, read on.

In winter, you can’t help but ask if dog hibernation in winter is also possible. Remember that several animals hibernate to adapt to changing temperatures, which allow them to conserve energy until the spring comes. These changes might also show in some of your pets at home as they become more sluggish and moody.

Do Dogs Hibernate in the Winter

If hibernation comes to mind, you will first think about bears or bats, not your pet dogs. It is because dogs never need to hibernate. Although there are signs of them being sluggish, it only happens if the weather changes. Like humans, a dog’s behavior changes when they feel hot or cold. They are usually moody if it’s too hot and a bit inactive if it’s too cold. It can change their mood or their energy and sometimes both at the same time.

Dogs’ behavior in winter depends on many things; one of them is the type of dog or breed. Usually, dogs with more fur or coats can better handle the cold weather than dogs with shorter hair. Likewise, dogs with shorter fur can withstand humid or hot weather than dogs with thicker skins.

So regarding the question, “do dogs hibernate in winter?” The answer is no. They do not hibernate, but they will be lazy or sleepy in winter. You will see some differences in their attitude when winter comes. Dog’s might also get seasonal depression in winter or enjoy some snuggle time with their favorite blanket.

Hibernation vs Sleeping More in Winter for Dogs

Now that you know that dogs do not hibernate in winter and instead are lethargic and just sleep a lot. Let’s now check the difference between them.


It is a way that animals conserve the energy they have for them to live through winter. Animals that hibernate usually stuff their body with fat, which will be used as their energy source in winter when they sleep. When they are in a state of hibernation, they will have low body temperature, slow metabolism, slow heart rate, and quiet breathing.

Sleeping More in Winter for Dogs

Although dogs do not hibernate during winter, they can become more sleepy, and inactivity in winter is a regular occurrence. However, it still depends on the dog you currently have and also other factors. Some dogs excel more in cold weather than hot or humid weather like Siberian Husky and Alaskan Malamute. In comparison, dogs that don’t like cold weather will likely stay indoors and sleep in the bed.

Fun Activities to Keep Your Dog Active

If you don’t want your dog to stay indoor without doing anything this winter, then why not do fun activities to keep them healthy and happy at the same time. Here are things to do with your dog this winter.

Play Games

Don’t just let the dogs go out without doing anything outside during winter. If you want to keep your dog healthy and happy, one of the things you can do is play with them. The usual playtime you have with them helps to keep your dog active this wintertime. You can entertain them by playing fetching using throw balls or a frisbee, and many more. If you don’t know what to do with dogs in the winter, there are many games or activities you can find online.

Since dogs do not hibernate in winter, you want them to get out and move around. You can let them run around the house or even use the stairs. It will surely give them some fun time while keeping them healthy.

Walk or Run Outside

Although it’ is winter, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t walk your dog outside your home. Actually, at this time, you should let them go outside to feel the breeze of winter. There are also lots of different things to do with your dog during this time. Please make sure you regularly walk them out so they can exercise their body. This way, you can be assured that they will stay healthy even in winter. Aside from that, they will be much happier if you let them run or walk outside.

Keep in mind that dogs with shorter fur can’t handle the cold than dogs with thicker coats. That is why you need to cover them up nicely with dog jackets so they will be warm throughout the day. They will surely be happy, walking and running, which will decrease their moodiness. However, don’t also forget not to force your dogs to go outside if they don’t want to.


What can you do with dogs in the winter? There are tons of things you can do with your dog in winter. At this time, you can easily teach them obedience, which is crucial for them to learn. If you are not a fan of going outside, you can easily teach them some commands in the comfort of your own home. You can ask them to touch their nose and your hand or other things so they can learn a lot of stuff.

Make some time to bond with your dog and do activities. If you are a new dog owner and don’t know what to teach them, you can search it online. Watch some videos so you can learn how to train them properly. Once you know what things you can show them, you can now practice it with your dog. In this way, you can let your dog learn at the same time bond with your dog

More Activities

Although dogs do not hibernate in winter, it is still vital to let your dog go outside and do other activities as well. It is also essential to exercise and learn new things. It is a necessary activity for them to socialize with other dogs and experience other stuff. You can sign them up to classes that can teach them a lot of things. It will quickly give them a chance to meet other dogs while learning new stuff, which will boost their mental ability.

You can also let them come with you if you want to go shopping or if you want to buy things. It will allow them to get familiar with places and people and not get scared quickly. If you don’t want to go to malls, you can also help them go to an indoor dog park. They can meet other dogs there and socialize with them. If you are not sure if you there is an indoor dog park, then go online and put “Indoor dog park near me” and you will surely get the information you need

dog winter hibernation
Let your dog play outside during winter.

About Canine Hibernation in the Winter

Questions about hibernation are frequently asked since dogs do love to sleep more in winter compared to other seasons. The reason is because of the dog’s hormones. Like humans, the dog’s body produces melatonin. It is a hormone that can help promote sleep in the body. If you still want to know more about dogs’ hibernation in winter, here are questions that might also be bugging your mind during wintertime. Read on.

Do dogs sleep more in the winter?

Dogs do sleep more and are more lethargic in winter. Since there are few hours in the daytime during the winter, the dog’s body produces a neurotransmitter called serotonin. This serotonin can control the mood of the dog. Less serotonin means that your dog will feel sluggish and tired, which will make the dog sleep a lot. Due to this, it may seem like your dogs hibernate during winter.

What do you do with your dog in the winter?

There are other activities you can still do with your dog this winter, like playing with and teaching them new tricks or commands. You can also go on vacation with your dog. Alternatively, you can do some relaxation time or stay indoors and snuggle in bed or stay in front of the fireplace. 

Do dogs stay warm during winter?

Dogs may love or hate the winter season, but it doesn’t mean they don’t get cold. Although they have fur, they may need extra aid to stay warm. These can included blankets or thermal coats. They can also feel the coldness seeping in their body. However, they can handle it better, especially those with thicker fur and the northern breeds.

Although dogs do not hibernate, it is still necessary to ensure that they are having a good time during the cold season. There are many factors to consider and understand more about dog hibernation in winter and how you can also get the most out of it.

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