Is it too hot or too cold for a puppy to sleep?

What’s the Best Room Temperature for Puppies?

If your dog recently had a litter of puppies or you’ve adopted a puppy that’s several weeks or months old, you might be wondering what the best room temperature is for them to be in. Of course, extreme temperatures aren’t good for a young puppy, but what temperature is ideal? Puppies, like human babies, are both durable and delicate at the same time, but they do require a stable environment.

Even though they’re growing fast and constantly learning, it’s important that you help your puppy or litter of puppies maintain a healthy body temperature that isn’t too hot or cold. You don’t want to expose them to temperatures that change too drastically, either. Luckily, if you know the basics and follow a few simple tips you can easily keep your puppy (or puppies) comfortable and happy.

What is the ideal room temperature for newborn puppies?

According to Ernest Ward, DMV, “As long as the puppies stay close to their mother, the room temperature is not too critical. However, if the mother leaves her puppies alone, they need to be provided with an external source of warmth.” Ward’s suggestions for ideal temperature in this scenario go like this:

  • From days 1 - 4 room temperature should be about 85 -90°F (29.5-32°C)
  • Gradually decrease temperature to approximately 80°F (26.7°C) by days 7 - 10
  • After the end of the fourth week, maintain a temperature of around 72°F (22.2°C)

He goes on to explain that, “The puppies' behavior and condition gives an indication whether they are comfortable and healthy. If they are warm and content they will be quiet and gaining weight, otherwise they will be restless and crying.” Since puppies share their heat when huddling together, puppies from small litters or single puppies without their mother are the ones you need to keep the closest eye on.

Just so you’re aware, you don’t need to heat a whole room to these temperatures, just the whelping area that the puppies are in. Since they don’t move around too much in the first weeks of life, keeping their main living space warm will do the trick.

Making sure you’re achieving the right temperatures to keep your puppies warm and healthy can be as simple as using a warming pad or heating lamp and room thermometer.

Best Temperature for Puppies 2-3 Months Old

Puppies who are given a good start in life are resilient. Except in extreme conditions, room temperature shouldn’t have to be monitored too closely for puppies who are a couple months and older. Chances are if you are comfortable, so is your dog. Just remember to use common sense and don’t leave your dog in a house without heat in the winter or in a small apartment with no windows open during the summer.

Tips for Maintaining an Ideal Room Temperature for Puppies

There are many things that you can do as an owner to make sure your puppies are comfortable in your home. One big thing is maintaining a stable room temperature that’s not too hot or cold.  Here are some tips for maintaining an ideal room temperature for puppies, depending on your situation and the puppies’ needs:

  1. Create a comfortable and warm whelping area where mom can take care of her puppies.
  2. Don’t keep young puppies (in the first week or two after birth) in a cold or drafty room.
  3. If you’ve bought or adopted a puppy, have a comfortable bed or crate ready and consider blankets or a heating pad for additional warmth if needed.
  4. Use a heat lamp if more warmth is needed (for example, if you have rescued a litter or young puppy who doesn’t have its mother or siblings for warmth).
  5. During the first four weeks of life, keep a thermometer in the puppies’ living area to ensure a safe and stable room temperature.

If you understand your puppy or litter’s needs, keeping the room temperature at a good spot shouldn’t be a problem. If you’re worried that your puppy or puppies are unable to keep their body temperatures within the safe zone, there are a few simple solutions that can help. You also shouldn’t hesitate to consult your vet if you have any questions or concerns about a puppy’s health and well-being.

Final Takeaway

Maintaining an ideal room temperature for puppies who are just born is very important. Young puppies who are too cold or too hot can become uncomfortable and even sick and start to lose weight if the issue isn’t resolved quickly. The good news is you don’t have to necessarily heat the whole room and puppies tend to keep themselves warm by huddling together with their mother and siblings.  After the puppy or puppies are a few months old, temperature isn’t too much of an issue anymore. It’s still important that your puppy doesn’t overheat and isn’t kept in a badly ventilated home on a very hot day or anything. They also shouldn’t be too cold for long periods of time, but aside from that once puppies are able to regulate their own body temperature you won’t need to worry about it too much. 

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