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“Cool” test: How to tell if your dog is too cold

dog, dog in winter, dog in snow, snow, pet, winter, pet safety, dog is too cold
Photo by Izabella Zamojska, Stary Gierałtów.

No matter what the weather, your dog probably enjoys having a romp outside – and that includes during the winter! But as a pet owner, it’s important you know when your dog is too cold, and needs to get back inside.

Here are some indicators from our oldie blog, Is Your Dog Too Cold?

Remember to never leave your dog unattended inside a car, at any time of year, but especially in the heat of summer and cold of winter. If you’re playing outside with your dog, make sure to take frequent indoor breaks for your dog to warm up and hydrate.

Signs that can indicate your dog is too cold

  • 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

Though it’s important to pay attention to these things, you shouldn’t wait to see the first signs of discomfort to call your walk quits. If you think it’s too cold for you, then it’s too cold for your dog.

While maintaining your dog’s exercise requirements during the winter is important, when conditions are especially cold, it’s a good idea to cut your walk short and supplement your pet’s exercise with some indoor activities for dogs.

For more on keeping your pet safe in the winter, check out these blogs:

Jan 13, 2016
by Emily Cook
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