The Dogs Also Have Shorter Lifespans
However, their shorter lifespans don’t seem to have as much to do with the radiation as with the brutally cold winters of Ukraine. Many mammals, like bears, have adaptations to the cold, such as going into hibernation. However, dogs, who have been bred to live alongside humans, don’t have these adaptations.
With sub-zero temperatures and heavy snowfall, the cold winters present a much greater threat to the dogs than the radiation. If they remain outdoors in an unheated environment for too long in those harsh conditions, they won’t survive. In fact, most of the dogs at Chernobyl are under four years old because the cold kills them.