Did you know dogs experience the effect of cold weather regardless of the thick fur they have? It is our responsibility as dog owners to protect our dogs from the cold weather.
Otherwise, the dog will become sick due to its sensitive nature towards the cold environment. To protect your dog from cold you should dress it with warm pieces of clothing.
Provide a warm shelter and cover the dog’s paws with boots. Old and small dogs are at a higher risk of getting sick due to the cold weather. They are likely to have thin or less fur.
The following are ways to tell if your dog is cold;
If your dog is shivering
When dogs are in a cold environment the body takes control to bring the temperatures back to normal. The normal temperature levels for dogs range between 101 and 102 degrees Fahrenheit.
The shivering in dogs causes contraction and relaxation of body muscles which results in a higher rate of cellular metabolism. The body produces more energy which focuses on warming the body.
So, anytime your dog is shivering, you should know the body is undergoing a temperature control process meaning it is cold.
Check the weather outside
It is the best way to tell whether your dog is cold or not. Our bodies as people are not far from the dogs’ bodies. The only difference is the fur. But, when we wear sweaters, coats, or heavy cotton tops they act as our fur.
So, wear one of the above pieces of clothes and go outside to test how cold it is. If it is cold for you while wearing it, then your dog may be cold. So every time you feel the weather is getting cold for you so is it to your dog. Act on it, keep your dog safe from diseases.
If the dog’s ears, paws, nose, and body feels cold
Obviously, if you want to know whether your dog is getting cold you should touch its body. Due to exposure to the cold surrounding, the dog’s fur and skin will feel cold when you touch it. The dog’s ears also get very cold when the surrounding gets cold.
It is as a result of a higher concentration of blood flow into the other parts of the dog’s body such as the trunk area. So, less blood flows into the ears leaving them cold. Just touch the edges of your dog’s ears if they are cold the dog is cold.
When your dog moves slowly with its tail close to the body
If a dog has gotten cold, it will start moving slowly. The dog becomes slow because the body’s chemical reactions tend to slow when temperatures go down. Also, it might have its tail so close to the body.
If you are walking with your dog, you might see it trying to find objects such as tree trunks and big stones to lie behind. It means the dog is looking for a warm shelter to hide under.
When in the house the dog would move close to the sofas and radiator. All movements tend to be slow.
If your dog curls up when lying
Usually, a dog sleeps with its parts of the body spreading and relaxing over the surface it is lying on. When the environment is cold, you will see your dog sleeping with all its body parts curling up. It appears smaller and round while sleeping.
In addition to which, it usually tucks in its tail. The dog curls up for the body parts to warm each other and obtain more heat. When you see your dog curl up while sleeping, do something about it. The dog is cold.
If your dog keeps whining
When the weather is cold, the dog gets uncomfortable. It will, therefore, try communicating with you to tell you it is cold in its language. The dog may start whimpering, whining, and barking.
When you see your dog whining you should consider checking the surroundings to see whether the dog might be experiencing cold exposure. Also, the dog may appear anxious and upset.
When you observe such unusual reactions, and dress your dog heavily and put it in a warm shelter. Your dog needs to be taken care of which is your responsibility.
If the dog starts limping
Your dog’s paws are quite sensitive; you should, therefore, make sure the paws are always having a cover on. When the dog gets cold with its paws open, then the dog will start limping. It is because the floor or the ground is cold. You should get boots for your dog’s paws.
If your dog appears sleepy
One of the most serious signs of your dog exhibiting a cold is sleepiness. Dogs will tend to be extremely sleepy or lethargic when they are cold. Extreme sleepiness does not only mean your dog is suffering from cold. It might also be is a sign of hypothermia.
A dog suffering from hypothermia might appear clumsy as well. Cold seasons are very hard for dogs which call for the owners to pay keen attention to their dogs.
In case you realize your dog has been sleepy all day long consider it is a sign of hypothermia.
If your dog seems to have stiff muscles
When a dog gets cold, most of its muscles become stiff. The dog will not want to take place in activities like running and playing around due to the pain in its muscles.
Also, the dog will try stretching from time to time. Stretching helps in relaxing stiff muscles. It is your responsibility to check if your dog has odd signs especially when the weather is cold. If your dog appears to be having stiff muscles, you should try making it lie close to the radiator or a fireplace.
If your dog has difficulty in breathing
A cold environment affects the dog’s breathing system. The exposure to a cold environment leads to blockage of the nasal passages which causes breathing difficulties.
Dogs having difficulties breathing will also produce a whizzing sound while breathing. If your dog seems to be having breathing difficulties, keep it in a warm place.