Bitter cold, numbing wetness, and biting winds can cause discomfort for your special someone – your pet! Paying attention to your pet’s wellbeing will surely keep you both ready to enjoy the season! If you have any questions regarding the cold winter season and your pet, please contact us!

Two dangerous winter ailments to watch out for:

Frostbite

If you take your dog out in the cold the body will try to pull blood to the center and stay warm. The dog’s paws, ears, and tail may get so cold that ice crystals may start forming in the tissue and cause damage to the dog. The worst thing about frostbite is that it is not easy to notice. Remember to watch out for pale or gray skin, hard and cold.

Another important step to remember is that when frostbitten areas get warm, they can cause extreme pain. Severe frostbite may turn black and slough off.

Hypothermia

This is another serious health concern to be alert for if your dog spends too much time out in the cold, or gets wet in cold temperatures. Dogs with poor health circulation may get hypothermia if exposed to cold temperatures. Mild cases of hypothermia will cause a shiver, while the dog’s feet and ears get colder and colder.

Hypothermia may also cause your dog to show signs of weakness, depression, and lethargy. If the condition gets worse, muscles will stiffen, heart and breathing rates slow, or your dog may also start not responding to stimuli.

It is important to learn the signs of these two conditions – to keep your dog healthy on winter times!

Thankfully, Hometown Veterinary Clinic has some simple ways to help prevent your dog from any possible harm during winter time!

Checking Temperature

Although your dog has a thick fur, you may need to get him a sweater for long winter walks that would cover the belly and neck. It will still not prevent frostbite, as your dog’s ears, tail, and feet will be exposed, but it will prevent the cold from getting to your dog fast!

Try to Catch the Sunshine

Try to walk your dog during late mornings or early afternoons. Try to spend your playing time while exposed to the sun. Avoid sticks when outside, instead keep your dog’s toys on your backpack!

Your dog will be happy indoors, better believe it

Our dogs need to be with us, indoors. They are the happiest if you make it possible for them to live inside with you while taking him out for frequent walks and exercise! It is not at all recommended to leave your dog outdoors when the temperatures get on the cold-side. Plus, there are many great ways to keep your dog entertained and play indoors!

Cozy Beds

In addition to limiting your dog’s time outdoors, take care of where your dog sleeps during winter time. Do not let your dog sleep on a cold floor! The right bedding will make sure your dog is warm! Make sure you also choose the right bed:

  • A warm blanket may create a snug environment for your dog.
  • Raised beds keep the dog off cold floor tiles.
  • Heated beds keep the stiffness away from aging joints.

 

And one of the most important tip: Winter cuddles with your canine friend! This is the best way to keep everybody warm! If you feel your pet has been affected by frostbite or hypothermia, please contact us immediately.