Find the best way to keep dog warm in winter and protect her from hypothermia. Learn to take care of your dogs paw in cold weather while walking outdoor.
In the cold season, our pets need increased attention and care. Unlike their wild and stray relatives, domestic dogs are much more sensitive to cold. Our pets spend most of their life in rooms with room temperature, so they are less immune and resistant to frost. Most of all suffer from low temperatures in winter dogs of decorative breeds, as well as short-haired (bull terrier, boxer, dachshund, etc.). To a lesser degree exposed to frost rocks with thick long wool, such as Alaskan Malamute, Siberian husky, chow-chow. However, prolonged exposure to dogs in the winter in any case is undesirable, regardless of the breed of your pet.
Keep dog warm in winter
- Temper the four-legged friend from childhood, it is known that even short-haired dogs, from an early age accustomed to walking at a moderately low temperature and receiving sufficient physical exertion, freeze in winter less than their pampered brethren in the breed.
- The body of the dog needs additional energy to protect against frost, respectively, the daily diet should be more caloric than in summer and spring.
- Snow is not a substitute for water, make sure that the dog always has a bowl filled with fresh water.
- The dog’s walk in the winter must be necessarily active, with running and games, but at the same time shorter in time than in the warm season.
- You cannot leave the dog in the car in winter, when the engine is not running, it is fraught with hypothermia, with the engine running, the dog can be poisoned by carbon monoxide.
- Buy a warm winter jumpsuit or a pommel that will protect the body parts that are most sensitive to cold (it is especially important to prevent colds of the kidneys and genito-urinary organs).
- For different breeds the concept of “cold season” differs, if for the Siberian Husky -5 degree is a fine warm weather, for the German shepherd is only a slight coolness, then for short-haired dogs there is a perceptible cold, well, for decorative dwarf rocks and frost. Consult with the breeder what care your pet needs in winter depending on the temperature of the air.
- If the dog freezes its paws in winter purchase special shoes for dogs to either, to prevent frostbite, in severe frosts, lubricate the pads of the dog’s paws with a special cream or goose / lard.
- Too with increased sensitivity to cold should be accustomed to walking in the frost gradually, starting with short walks on 10-15 min gradually increasing the time spent on the street.
- Do not allow the dog to sit for a long time or lie on snow, ground and asphalt.
- Dogs, old and sick dogs, pregnant and lactating bitches suffer from cold more than adults healthy animals aged 2-4 years.
- If the dog lives in the winter on the street in an aviary or a booth in advance, before the onset of cold weather, take care of the warming of her home.
- The place where the dog lies at home should be at least 8-10 cm above the floor. Do not allow a pet to lie at home on a tile, concrete, stone or under a draft.
IMPORTANT! Warming the apartment in winter, isolate the heating devices from the dog and do not allow the dog to be in the immediate vicinity of an open fire (fireplace, electric hob, etc.)
First aid for hypothermia and frostbite in a dog
If the dog in the winter on a walk begins to tremble and pinches the paws, these are the first signs of hypothermia. In this case, do not try to “warm up” her running and active games, it’s better to return to heat as soon as possible. If a little dog freezes, it is advisable to take it in your hand straight on the street on the way home and hide it in your bosom. Other symptoms of the dog being hypothermia, the temperature drops below 37.5 degree, mucous mouths turn pale, the dog strives to hide in a warm place, curl up into a tangle, and the hair is rumpled. Dogs that suffered from cold should be placed in a warm place, wrapped in a blanket or covered with warm water (38 – 40 degree), give warm water, and be sure to measure the temperature in order to track the dynamics of the condition. The dog, which failed in the winter in the water, on returning home should be placed in a warm bath, after which it should be dried with a hairdryer and act as in the case of ordinary hypothermia.
Severe hypothermia in a dog is characterized by a decrease in temperature below 36 degree, a general inhibition of the animal until a loss of consciousness. In this state, the trembling already disappears, but the pulse weakens or is not probed at all, the heart rate slows down, the breathing is rare and shallow. Further lowering of temperature, as a rule, leads to severe disturbances in the body and ends with the death of the animal. If the condition of the dog is critical, it should be wrapped in a warm blanket, covered with warmers and delivered to the doctor as soon as possible for emergency resuscitation. The danger of hypothermia is that even after a successful resuscitation (and it lasts for several hours), the brain and internal organs get irreversible damage that will subsequently affect the health and life span of the dog.
Frostbite is another danger that lies in wait for our pets in the winter. Most often, the dogs suffer from his fingers on the paws, ears, mammary glands in the bitches, the scrotum in the males. The first sign of frostbite is the pallor of the skin in damaged areas. After the blood circulation is restored, the skin turns red and begins to peel off. Frozen places are similar to burn marks dark and sometimes black, they stand out clearly next to the healthy skin of the dog. Usually frostbitten areas are restored within 14-20 days, however they will be ill longer.
When frostbitten dogs begin treatment with the same manipulations as during hypothermia, but there are some nuances:
- Affected by frostbite body parts of the dog cannot be ground: such manipulations contribute to the appearance of microcracks, where the infection can get.
- Instead of grinding, it is better to use warming dressings, consisting of a thick layer of cotton wool.
- From frostbite in the dog, which appears with the restoration of blood circulation. In case there is no cog, it can be replaced with a 20-30% solution of alcohol (1 tablespoon of vodka for 1 tablespoon of 40% glucose, or sugar syrup, the mixture is given in the same dosage depending on the size of the animal). Also, wine and alcohol solution can be replaced with baralgin in tablets. Dosage: small dogs 1/4 tablets, 1/2 tablets to medium-sized dogs, and whole tablets to representatives of large breeds.
- On frost-bitten areas it is possible to apply bandages with ointment Vishnevsky.
Important! After providing the dog with first aid during hypothermia and frostbite, always show the pet to the veterinarian for the timely detection and treatment of possible complications.
Care for the dog’s paws in winter
The greatest danger to the dog’s paws in winter is a reagent with salt, which is sprinkled with sidewalks. It corrodes the pads, resulting in irritation, cracks, and in particularly sensitive rocks and allergic reactions of all kinds. The dog, on the feet of which the reagent has got, as a rule, feels a burning sensation in the pads and starts to lick them. The reagent entering the stomach also leads to the most unpleasant consequences. To reduce these troubles to a minimum it is possible as follows:
- Carefully wash the dog’s paws after each walk and, if necessary, lubricate them with a special protective cream.
- Wear special dog shoes to protect the paws of the pet from dirt and reagents.
- Possibly avoid walking on sidewalks and roads treated with reagents.
- Without walking, carefully rinse the dog’s paws with water at room temperature(using hot water can cause cracks).
Increased attention in extreme cold is require for dog and the claws of the dog. Unlike the warm season, in winter they do not grind on the asphalt, so they grow faster, accordingly, they need to be cut more often.