Can Akitas live in cold weather? The full guide

Akita is one of the royal dogs that will be always amazing to deal with. Akita is a mixture of aggression & fun, beautifulness & hardness, childish & strong character. As we talked about Akitas deeply in this article, we can now continue with our series about Akitas and determine if Akita can live in cold weather or not.

Akitas Originated From a Cold Place

Can Akitas live in cold weather? Yes, they can. As we said in our previous article that the Japanese Akita originated from the mountainous regions of northern Japan. It’s widely known that the mountainous region in any country is really cold and clumsy. The weather is really bad that it goes up to -30 degrees. That being said, we can now understand that Akitas are originated from a cold place like Golden Retrievers which gives us the shortest answer to our question.

However, we can continue and provide proof and pieces of evidence that they can live in cold weather and we will also discuss some exceptions of which Akitas won’t be able to live in cold weather.

Physical Proofs Akita Can Live in Cold Weather

Akitas are known for their double-coat hair. And as we mentioned in our article, they are known to have medium length hair.

That drives us to the point that they are nearly similar to Huskies or Golden Retrievers (with the exception of the hair length). Any dog who has a double coat means that this dog can live in very cold weather. However, you may be wondering why? Let me explain.

What Does Double Coat Mean?

Have you ever thought about the “Double coat” of dogs? or you just hear it and say, “Okay, I understand that they have two layers of hair”. but, do you really understand what does that means?

Double coat basically means that the dog has two layers just as you guessed, however, it means that he has a dense undercoat of short hairs. These short hairs are usually very woolly.

These woolly hairs protect the dog from sunny weather and very cold weather like in the mountains. However, if the weather is too hot, that means your dog may suffer from heatstroke and that’s because this woolly layer doesn’t reflect the sunlight, instead, it absorbs it and doesn’t let the dog feel the sun. However, if the dog absorbed too much heat, it may lead to his death.

Now the top layer is really like a guard layer that protects the woolly one. It just keeps the dirt out of the underlying layer and contributes to protecting the dog from the cold or hotness. Now, we understand from that, that double coat dogs are really good in cold or warm (not hot) weather.

Mental Proofs Akita can Live in Cold Weather

If you are not sure, whether your Akita can sustain cold weather or not. You will probably look at his behavior in both situations: cold and hot weather.

For example, my Golden Retriever becomes very lethargic during summer and a rocket-like in winter. That means that her body loves cold weather but not the sunny one.

Generally, Akitas will adore cold weather and they will love to play outside in the snow because that is their origin as we mentioned above. However, later in this post, we will find some exceptions.

Some Exceptions When Akitas can not Live in Cold Weather

Well, it’s true that 99% of Akitas worldwide can live in cold weather. However, there are some exceptions for Akitas that should be taken into consideration. However, before we continue, let’s think about this question.

How Cold is Too Cold for Akitas?

This question is really relative to each dog on its own.

We have said above that Akitas originated from Mountains can live in cold weather that can reach up to -30 degrees! However, have you ever brought an Akita from a mountain?

Above I maid proofs that Akitas can live in cold weather and that’s true but we have to think how cold is too cold?

First, we have to mention the fact that “DOGS ADAPT THEMSELVES TO THE CIRCUMSTANCES“. You probably know it but you don’t always put it into your consideration. That being said, we have to think about where we live and where was our Akita bred.

I live in a hot country and I do have Golden Retriever (despite the fact they live in very cold weather) and that’s because if your dog was bred in a hot country, that means that he will tolerate hot weather more than colder ones. He will have a double coat and everything, however, he won’t be used to cold weather.

That’s why I am saying that this is relative to each dog on its own. So, if you live in Alaska and you had your Akita bred there, he will adapt himself to the weather of Alaska and if you moved together to Africa, he might die of hotness! This is mind-blowing, isn’t it?

What Should We Do?

Yes, we should consider the circumstances. If you live in a very cold area, don’t import your Akita from “Africa” for example as it’s very hot there and your dog will probably suffer from many diseases due to your cold area and vice versa.

So, Akitas can live in cold areas only if they were bred in cold areas, other than that they might suffer many problems (of course not all of them)

So returning to our question, how cold is too cold? I will leave that for you to answer it YOURSELF. Now, what other exceptions that we might find in Akitas.

Akitas Coat-related Diseases

Sometimes our dogs suffer from coat-related diseases that will prohibit him from playing or going outside in cold or hot weather as it causes hair losses. We can give a short note about each of them in the following table.

DiseaseCauseTreatment
AllergiesDogs may be allergic to many thingsSending the dog to the vet for knowing the reason for allergy.
Cushing’s Disease overproduction of the hormone cortisol. Medication or surgery.
Genetic-relatedThe ancestors may be single coatedN/A
Ringworm Fungus, pests like mange mites, and
bacteria
topical or oral medications
Pressure Sorescontact with hard surfaces for a long
time.
providing your pooch with cushioned bedding.kllllllllll
Rashes/Hives Insect bites and stings, medications, plants,
chemicals, even shampoos
Talk to your vet

These are the most common ones that will cause loss of your dog’s hair and that will prohibit him from staying in hot or cold weather.

Akitas Staying in Warm Weather.

As we said a double coat allows Akitas to stay in warm or cold weather, if your dog was bred in a hot area, then you are lucky. Chances are very low to suffer from heatstroke.

However, if your dog was unfortunate and suffered from heatstroke, you should go immediately to your vet and these are the common symptoms of heatstrokes:

  • Lethargicness / Laziness
  • Vomiting.
  • Excessive Breathing.
  • Excessive Drinking.
  • Increased heart rates.
  • Refusing to eat.
  • Trying to stay in warm places only.

Generally, the best thing to do immediately is to check the temperature of your dog to identify whether it was heatstroke or another disease. Anyway, once you determined the disease, there are several things you could do!

First Aid For Akitas’ Heatstrokes

Have you ever heard this phrase, “My dog had a heatstroke and dyed in the car on our way to the vet?”

Well, that’s true. In fact, once your Akita gets infected with heatstroke, you should think about what you should do instead of just running to the vet. That’s because the dog needs you.

As dogs die when they hit 42-43 degrees, you must make sure to move fast but without panicking!

So, what you can do is the following:

  • NEVER EVER PUT COLD WATER ON YOUR DOG: I can’t emphasize the importance of this sentence enough. Most people think that cold water is the best treatment for any heatstroke which is NEVER TRUE. Coldwater causes the blood vessels to close more and more which will lead to slowing the movement of the blood in the vessels and the dog will get Heatstrokes and eventually die. I am not saying to throw hot water on your dog either. This is what you can do:
  1. Keep your dog under the shower for one hour: This is very important, just put your dog in the shower room and open normal water (not very cold nor hot) and stay with him for a complete hour. This will help to cool your dog’s temperature a bit.
  2. Put cold ice on your Akita’s feet or between his legs: We all know that Akitas are double-coated right? Yes, that’s true. But there’re two places where they do have skins which are the: the base of their feet and between their legs. These are the only two places where they have similar skin to that of the human. Therefore, it is always advisable to put ice on those two places only to help cool down your dog’s temperature.
  3. Keep cold water beside him: You will notice that he will keep drinking the whole day.
  4. Avoid making him do any exercises or get exposed to the sun.
  5. After the temperature has cooled down a bit, it’s okay to go to the vet now.

The vet will probably continue your work and give him some medications. Anyway, if you live near to your vet (5 minutes from your home) it’s okay to go to him immediately. Other than that, it is better not to move him from home!

Conclusion:

Akitas are double-coated dogs which have a great ability to stay in very cold weather depending on the origin of their ancestors and the place of their breeding. You have to make sure that they are adapted to the weather in your place before bringing your Akita home so that he won’t suffer any issues from your place.

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Have a nice day 😉

Author: Soheir Maher

Hi, I am Soheir. I have always been passionate about dogs. My first dog was Leo who was a wonderful Golden Retriever after that I got Kira another Golden Retriever who is wonderful too. My passion for dogs made me read a lot about them. Training them personally made me become an expert in everything related to them, that's why my writing is always a mix of experience and science. My writing about dogs isn't for the sake of earning a living but instead, for the sake of benefiting people around the world.