by Andrew Garcia
Feb 07, 2023
2 minute read
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- What Are The Signs Of A Cold Dog?
- Can Winter Colds Lead To Sickness In Dogs Or Pets?
- How Do You Detect Hypothermia In Dogs?
- What Should You Do When Your Dog Is Cold?
- Monitor Your Dog’s Paws
- To Round Up
Dogs are not immune to the cold. Despite their natural adaptation to withstand sharp drops and rises in temperature, they get pretty uncomfortable when the temperature gets very low. The effect level differs across breeds, with the smaller breeds feeling it more due to their thin fur coat and the larger breeds regulating temperature more efficiently.
What Are The Signs Of A Cold Dog?
You should pay close attention to your dog to know when they are cold. Here are some signs to look out for:
The fur on the skin of dogs keeps their body warm naturally. However, if their ears start getting cold, it may signal a bout of cold. This is because the ear of a cold dog is likely to lose heat faster. If you detect this, bring your dog indoors and keep them warm to prevent frostbite.
If you see your dog shivering, chances are she is very cold. Shivering in dogs is due to a rapid relaxation and contraction of muscles. The more the contraction and relaxation, the more blood flow to these muscles, accompanied by a rise in temperature.
Can Winter Colds Lead To Sickness In Dogs Or Pets?
Frostbite and hypothermia resulting from prolonged exposure to freezing temperatures often occur in pets. The chances are lower in breeds with longer hair but more prevalent among dogs with short hair or legs. The latter group does not have enough coverage to handle extremely low temperatures.
Dogs that are exposed to cold conditions will most likely exhibit frostbite in their paws. Another common symptom is hypothermia. Therefore, it is best to keep track of your dog’s health, especially the symptoms exhibited after exposure to severe cold conditions.
Frostbite is not always visible in the early days. It only becomes apparent when there is tissue damage, alongside discoloration of the affected skin area and severe pains when these areas are touched. Hypothermia exhibits symptoms like shivering, weakness, and complete stiffness or shutdown of the pet affected.
How Do You Detect Hypothermia In Dogs?
As a pet parent, you must keep your dog safe from hypothermia at all costs. However, if and when prevention fails, the next best thing is swift treatment. Here are some of the symptoms of hypothermia:
- Shivering, which signals that your body temperature is dropping
- Fumbling, uncoordinated hands
- Exhaustion, fatigue, and drowsiness
- Memory loss
- Slurred speech
What Should You Do When Your Dog Is Cold?
The simplest and easiest thing you can do to help a cold dog is to wear clothing articles for them. Small dogs and dogs with thin fur coats can benefit a lot from wearing coats, especially in low ambient temperatures.
You should also keep your dogs indoors for as long as possible, especially if the ambient temperature is lower than 32°F. Your dog is at risk of hypothermia and frostbite once the temperature goes below 20°F.
So, combine special clothing like booties, coats, and sweaters with a proper cozy place indoors to help your dog stay warm and healthy during colds.
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Double-sided 3D Pet Bed
Monitor Your Dog’s Paws
Experts recommend taking a closer look at your pup’s paws during the cold weather. These parts of the body are at the highest risk of frostbite. It is also the point of contact for dangerous objects to get into the body through the snow on the ground.
If your dog goes outside, inspect their feet on return. Watch out for abrasions or cuts, and wipe away snow and frost. If your dog is a long-haired breed, trim the excess hair between their toes or wear booties for them where possible.
In cases where the pads on your dog’s feet are drying and cracking, you should speak to your vet about the possibility of using an appropriate dog-safe moisturizer. Using moisturizers made for humans on your pets is not recommended, as it could harm their paws.
To Round Up
Dogs can get pretty uncomfortable in cold weather. Recognizing when a dog is cold is important for pet owners to ensure their dog’s comfort and health. To prevent hypothermia and frostbite, it is recommended to provide special clothing, a comfortable indoor place, and regularly monitor the dog’s paws during cold weather.
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