We wrap up warm when we step out into the cold. We wear raincoats and carry umbrellas when it rains. What about our pets? If you have to bundle up, then you must realise that your dog could potentially be in danger.
The cold can also be dangerous to your dog. Like us humans, if a dog who gets too cold it could end up with hypothermia. This results when your dog’s body temperature falls below normal. If your pet's temperature continues to fall, the muscles stiffen, the breathing and heart rates slow, and your dog could die. It’s important to know your dog’s ability to tolerate cold.
Yes. Dogs can get frostbite. It's not as common but it's still a reality. Ears, tail, and paws are the most susceptible to frostbite damage.
A cold, drenching rain just above freezing, sleet and ice, or a wet heavy snow can all create dangerous conditions.
What Breeds are more susceptible?
Dogs not used to frigid winter weather may suffer in it even if they have a heavy coat. An Alaskan Malamute from Florida, for example, may be uncomfortable in cold weather because the dog is not used to it. Like us, the dog must adjust. We can put on coats but our pets rely on us to know their needs.
Generally, dogs with a short coat (and no undercoat) will not cope well with cold weather. Short-legged or toy breeds dogs who have to wade or jump through deep snow will get chilled and tired quickly. Puppies, elderly dogs, and dogs with health conditions will also feel the cold more intensely and more quickly.
To make matters more confusing, some dogs simply feel the cold more than others. Both of my dogs are from Mediterranean countries - Spain and Sicily. When we first moved to the U.K., they felt the cold. My boy Robbie, rescued in Spain is now 13 and wears a jacket indoors all the time as he shivers constantly. I notice he does not shiver when sitting in front of the heater?
Diggity Dawg sells two types of waterproof jackets. The Dee jacket keeps in some warmth and protects against the rain and wind. Our Puffy Harness Jacket keeps the dog warm and dry and protects against the wind.
What about their paws?
If you and your dog go for walks in cold or rainy weather, think about teaching it to wear boots and a jacket. If your dog licks its paws, then it's very important to keep them clean from salt, horse poo, chemicals, Alabama Rot and other nasties.
Diggity Dawg sells protective boots and socks that will protect your dog's pads and paws from frostbite, salt, glass, etc. The boots, as well as our socks are useful for pets that require their paws protected due to any kind of medical issue.
Read how to get your dog used to wearing boots and socks.
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