Winter weather presents two unique risks to your dog: frostbite and hypothermia. Here is a basic rundown of how these two conditions affect your dog and what you can to do protect your dog from these risks.
Risk #1: Frostbite
The first risk that your dog faces when they are outside in the cold is frostbite. Frostbite happens when it is extremely cold outside and your dog is outside for an extended period of time. Frostbite can happen really quickly if your area is experiencing sub-zero temperatures.
What happens is that, when it is really cold outside, the blood inside of your dog's body leaves their feet and goes to their core, where all your dog's internal organs can be found, in order to protect them from the cold. This help ensure that your dog doesn't freeze when out in the cold. However, this survival mechanism has a negative effect on your dog. As their blood goes to their core instead of their extremities, their skin will start to turn pale and may adopt a grey tint. Over time, their skin can also get hard. If left untreated, the frostbitten skin will eventually turn black and come off your dog's body, which is a really painful process.
You can prevent this by making sure that your dog doesn't spend too much time outside when it is really cold. When it is really cold outside, you may want to put dog booties on your dog's feet so that their feet don't get frostbitten. If you ever notice your dog's feet getting pale, get them inside right away and work to warm up their skin; this can be painful for your dog but will help save their skin.
Risk #2: Hypothermia
The second big risk to your dog in the winter time is hypothermia. Hypothermia generally occurs when your dog is outside for too long or gets wet when they are outside in freezing temperatures. It is also a risk for dogs that are not in good health and that have poor circulation.
With hypothermia, you have to really watch your dog's behavior when they are outside. Mild hypothermia is evident when your dog starts to shiver when they are outside and gets cold feet and ears. As the hypothermia gets more serious, your dog will start to move really slowly like they are lethargic or may seem to lose their strength. As the hypothermia advances, it will affect their heart and breathing. Finally, hypothermia can actually kill your dog if not treated.
To prevent hypothermia, keep a close eye on how cold your dog's ears and feet are and pay attention to their energy levels. Bring your dog inside after a while when they are outside for too long. If you know that your dog is going to be outside for a while, put a dog sweater or booties on them to keep them warm.
For more tips, contact a company like Bodily Veterinary Clinic.Share
22 December 2016
Do you know the types of diseases that are most likely to cause death in dogs? My name is Anne, and I have owned several dogs in the my lifetime. I enjoy training, playing with, and caring for dogs of all sizes and breeds. Throughout my time as a dog owner, I have discovered that there are several illnesses that are common causes of death in dogs and that some breeds are more likely to get these diseases than other breeds. This blog will explain various common deadly diseases in dogs and give advice about how to prevent and treat these illnesses.