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It’s always the winter when many dogs are most likely to suffer from hypothermia which is an abnormal change in the body temperature. Many people believe that those dogs have a body full of fur so they don’t feel warm because the fur is enough to protect them from winter by keeping them warm inside. But the truth is it’s completely wrong. Dogs do have a limitation of tolerance, but if the level of cold is too high then fur is not enough at all. Even the toughest dogs have a limitation of enduring cold weather & sometimes suffer from hypothermia and frostbite.
Can dogs get hypothermia?
It’s the serious drop in the temperature in the body, normally it affects the dog only when the winter arrives, usually through the prolonged exposure to cold temperature. It affects the usual functionality of the central nerve system & blood circulation procedure which results difficulty in breathing. Hyperthermia can also affect the brain & sometimes many dogs are seen to die suffering from hypothermia. The good news is if you take proper care before it’s too late then you can easily stop this happening to your dog.
How to find out hypothermia in dogs
You should always be aware of your dog’s body temperature, however if you notice the temperature has gone below 98°F (36.7°C) then you must take the dog to the vet without delay.
What are the Signs of hypothermia in a dog?
- You will notice paleness in your dog.
- Dogs who suffer from hypothermia show a strong shivering
- Some body parts like tail, foot pads, tips of the ears and scrotum will freeze
- Loss of consciousness and heart failure
What is a dog’s normal temperature?
The temperature between 101 to 102.5 degree Fahrenheit (38.3 to 39.2 degree celcius) is considered to be normal for dogs.
Dog hypothermia symptoms
Dogs who suffer from hypothermia are most likely to show weakness, unconsciousness, shivering, slow breathing, and low blood pressure.
- Dog shaking head: If the hypothermia affects a dog then he may shake his head for 5 to 10 minutes continuously.
- Dog shivering cold: Dogs who suffer from hypothermia are seen to shiver during winter. If your dog is shivering then it’s not a good sign & it’s a good idea to consult with your vet.
- Difficulty in breathing: Dogs are most likely to have difficulty in breathing if the hypothermia affects them. In such situations, dogs will act abnormally.
- Sneezing: Hypothermia can cause a dog in sneezing from the beginning.
Limit the time for outside.
The first & one of the best thing you can easily do is to stop the dog from spending too much time outside during the winter season because overexposure to cold is dangerous. Also, keep in mind that you should only allow the dog to stay outside for one to two hours. Never allow the dog to stay outside overnight because that’s the time when it’s too cold.
Now there is a common problem every dog owners face which is, dogs are naturally tend to stay outside so in winter it’s difficult for them to live inside. To prevent this issue you can take his outside playpen in the home, because the dog is used to become comfortable in his house, so he finds his place inside he won’t be that interested to stay outside. Also, you may create a surface area in the garage in which they can play.
What you should be aware of
Ice and frozen water are the first things which cause hypothermia so you need to be very careful about that. During winter many dogs are seen in walking & running over the thin ice and some of them end up by drowning which causes serious problem in the body, because if immediately affects the body temperature. So always keep your dog away from that type of surface no matter what.
Dogs who suffering from arthritis are most likely to have some problems when the winter arrives. So always keep the dog in the warm environments. You can also heat up his bed where the dog can rest for a long period of time.
Always provide warm water for dogs to drink. You can also wrap your dog in the warm blanket.
When the winter arrives many owners become concerned because the temperature in the body decreases, so there is nothing to worry about because it’s completely normal. Always keep your dog in the warm area & everything should be alright.
Robert William was born in Auckland, New Zealand who is a former author of Pets Health Blog.
He has a great experience in blogging for more than three years. Robert is a regular author & member of this Blog who is studying Veterinary Science at Massey University