There are so many ways to have fun with your dog in the cold weather, but the cold can be very dangerous for dogs with even the furriest coats. Fur can only give so much protection in near-freezing temperatures, and there are many other hazards besides the temperature. It’s important to take extra precautions to keep your pets safe during the cold weather months. If you suspect your dog’s health is suffering due to the cold weather, reach out to us at Eastshore Vet, the best veterinary clinic in Madison, and we’ll help you get your dog’s health back in order.
Here’s how to keep your pet safe during the cold months of the year:
Pay close attention to your dog’s behavior. Dogs will exhibit physical symptoms when they’re feeling too cold. Just like humans, dogs will shiver and shake to generate heat for themselves. Sometimes, your dog will appear just fine, running and playing in the snow, but if they suddenly stop and stand still, this is a sign that they are probably too cold to be outside. Your dog may also whine or bark to indicate that they’re too cold.
It’s important to keep your pets from getting too cold because they can get hypothermia. If you see your pet looking pale, shivering excessively, or collapsing, they may be in early phases of hypothermia. Get them under a blanket and next to a heating pad as soon as possible. Get them to a vet as soon as you can to help prevent any further complications. Muscle stiffness, lethargy, weakness, and slowed breathing are all signs of life-threatening hypothermia. If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms in the cold, seek veterinary attention from your local Madison vet provider immediately.
Older dogs may experience joint pain during the cold months. Make sure they’re receiving plenty of omega fatty acids and have a comfy place to lie down to help ease the pain.
Just like humans, your dogs can suffer from frostbite. Easily affected areas include the toes, ears, and tip of the tail, because these areas are not covered by as much fur as other parts of the body. If your dog’s skin looks pale or gray, they may be suffering from frostbite. Wrap your dog’s body in warm towels and avoid massaging the pet in the affected area to treat, then take them to the vet as soon as possible.
Here are a few ways to prevent any of these problems from occurring:
Finally, make sure to prevent your dog from drinking antifreeze. Antifreeze ingestion can be deadly. Signs that your dog has consumed antifreeze include lethargy, weakness, and lack of coordination. If this problem goes untreated for too long, your dog may begin to vomit, have diarrhea, or be unable to urinate. Antifreeze ingestion must be treated swiftly. Make sure your dog’s water bowl is always filled with clean water so they don’t go looking for something else to quench their thirst.
A good rule to follow is that if it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for your pet. Consult with the veterinary experts at Eastshore Vet, the best veterinary clinic in Madison, if you have any questions about keeping your pets safe during the cold weather.