Our pet’s fur provides wonderful protection during chilly weather, but when the temperature drops, they too can feel the cold. Some dogs are more susceptible to inclement conditions than others either due to their age, health, breed, weight or type of fur.
If your dog is older, is a small or short haired breed or is recovering from an illness or surgery, they may be more at risk. Even a healthy, thick-furred dog could feel uncomfortable in certain conditions. Exposure to extremely cold weather can result in your pet falling ill or suffering from the dangerous condition known as hypothermia.
Signs your dog is cold:
They are cold to the to touch
Just like the human body, in harsh and cold conditions essential organs get protected first. That means that the warmth and blood of the dog’s body go to where it is needed most to survive and the outer extremities such as skin, limbs, ears and nose will feel cold.
They are shivering and trembling
Now it has been said that many small breeds do this out of anxiety and excitement, but you will notice less perky aspect to the cold shivering and trembling.
As mentioned in the first point, all the warm blood is trying to protect the essential organs so your dog may move slower and hunch over with their tail tucked as if curling around their belly – a place of warmth. In a lying down position their nose may be close to their tail.
They don’t want to move
Your dog may not want to leave a heated area – one that either the surroundings or their own body heat has created. The cold can also make your pet’s joints stiff and that would cause a reluctance to move as well.
Whining, whimpering or barking
While dogs may not speak our language, they always seem to find a way to communicate with us. If your beloved starts to act abnormally that is usually a sign of agitation or anxiety with their environment.
While a doggy jacket may be your number one choice, there are other ways to help keep your fur baby comfortable.
- Provide a warm, cosy blanket for them to sleep on
- Provide adequate shelter that is off the floor and protects the dog from the conditions
- Use straw or hay for insulation
- Keep your pet inside, even if it is in a small area like the garage
- Walk your dog in the middle of the day, if possible, to reduce exposure to the cold
- While dog boots can be uncomfortable, they can be handy if your dog has to go out, and the weather is extreme
- If your pup’s paws are cracking, consult the vet for a dog-safe moisturiser