Is My Dog Cold?
It’s that time of the year when we break out our heavy coats, gloves and scarves. But what should we do for our dogs?
Breaking out the winter gear signals it time for our dog gear to be broken out as well. Still not sure?
If your dog has short to medium length of hair, your dog should wear a sweater or coat. If you have a small dog, such as a yorkie, they too need to be wearing a sweater or coat. It does not matter what length of hair, small dogs should be wearing a coat or sweater. The reason for this is because of their physical size; the smaller the body mass is around the heart, the more they are affected by temperatures.
So let’s see, I don’t have a small dog. I still don’t know if my dog is cold. “Okay, but I don’t have a small dog, can my medium large breed still get cold?”
Yes! Here are some physical signs your dog is cold:
1.) Shaking- shaking for no apparent reason other than it is cold outside
2.) Shivering – dogs shiver to generate body heat, just like people!
3.) Shallow breathing, slow heart rate, and pale gums – when the body temperature drops below normal, the heart slows down blood flow.
4.) When their tail and rear is tucked, they are trying stay warm.
5.) If their face and ears are grimacing like it is too cold to be out here. Kind of that same face people make when it is too cold! “Know that look?”
6.) The dog is curled up in a tight ball with their head tucked and tail over their nose, they are in this position to stay warm. If they are not wanting to get up, they want to conserve their body heat, because they are getting really cold. “Ever curled up in a blanket when you were getting cold?”
In order to prevent your dog from becoming cold, here are some things you can do as a responsible dog owner:
1.) Limit the time your dog is outdoors, even though your dog loves playing out in the snow.
2.) Dry off any precipitation from your dog’s coat.
3.) Stay in motion on walks.
4.) Never leave a dog inside of a parked car! When the motor stops running, the car becomes cold very quickly. If you leave the motor running, you have the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
5.) If your floors are tile or a non-carpeted surface, your dog can become chilled from the surface; have a bed or blanket for your dog to lie on.
6.) Make sure your dog’s hair is clean and brushed: clean hair provides better protection from the cold and elements.
By now I am sure noticed the similarities between people and their dogs( besides they look alike). In the winter we are more susceptible to illness in the winter as are our best friends. The dogs also share the same physical cues as people do, therefore you need to respond in the same you do when you are cold. So when you put your coat on, don’t forget to put your dog’s coat on too!