The weather out side is frightful now that the snow and ice have arrived. Does your dog love the winter or preferred to be cuddled up on the couch with you or under a cozy blanket? Making sure your dog is cared for during the cold season is important, so you keep them safe.
Just because a dog has their own fur coat doesn’t mean they can tolerate the frigid temperatures. Pets are used to living indoors and they adjust to the temperatures you live in and if the heat is cranked up, they will feel the cold air when they go out. Some breeds are built for cold weather but if they have lived indoors you have to be aware.
Two cold weather conditions to be aware of are frostbite and hypothermia. Frostbite starts when the dog’s body gets cold, too cold. Their body automatically pulls blood from their extremities when temperatures drop. Their ears, paws, and tails can be affected and actually freeze. I rescued a great Dane years ago that had experienced frostbite and was missing part of his ear. What to watch for is pale or grey skin plus the skin can turn hard and cold. When the skin is severely frostbitten it will eventually turn black and that is when it can actually fall off.
The other winter weather concern is hypothermia. This can happen when the dog spends too much time outdoors. Also, a dog can experience this after eating excessive amounts of snow as their stomach is not prepared for it. In mild cases, a dog will shiver, and their ears and paws may grow cold. As it progresses a dog may show signs of lethargy and be weak. If the condition gets worse, their muscle will get stiff, their heart and breathing rates slow down and they could stop responding to stimuli. Hypothermia can be life-threatening.
Please protect your furry family and beware of how they get impacted by the cold temperatures.