Is your dog too cold?

health parenting

Us humans have different tolerances for temperature. There are folks who love to take a jog in the cold, but some others want to bundle up and stay indoors as we simply cannot bear the cold winds. Similarly, not all dogs respond the same way to cooler temperatures.  Genetic breed predispositions aside, the dog's health, its age, the coat thickness all matter in how it responds to dropping temperatures. As a pet parent, we must all be aware of the signs our dogs show when they feel extremely cold. 

Signs that can indicate your dog is too cold (courtesy: Ontario SPCA)

  • Shaking or shivering
  • Hunched posture with a tucked tail
  • Whining or barking
  • Change in behaviour, like seeming anxious or uncomfortable
  • Reluctance to keep walking or tries to turn around
  • Seeks places for shelter
  • Lifts paw off the ground

Signs of hypothermia

If you suspect your dog is displaying signs of hypothermia, wrap your dog in a blanket or coat, seek a warm shelter, and contact your vet immediately. Signs to watch for include the following:

  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Slow, shallow breathing
  • Lack of mental alertness
  • Fixed and dilated pupils
  • Stupor-like state
  • Loss of consciousness

Remember to never leave your dog unattended inside a cold car, and if you’re playing outside with your dog, make sure to take frequent indoor breaks for your dog to warm up and hydrate. If you think it’s too cold for you, then it’s too cold for your dog.

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