Can Dogs Get Hypothermia?
It’s a common misconception that, since they’re animals, dogs can withstand extreme temperatures better than humans can. The truth is that they can succumb to the same cold weather ailments we can – one of which is hypothermia.
Signs of Hypothermia
A dog’s normal body temperature is between 101 and 102.5 degrees, classifying anything less than 100 degrees as hypothermic. The first signs of hypothermia are shivering and paleness of skin, typically followed by listlessness and lethargy; if untreated, coma and heart failure can occur. Complications can be fatal and veterinary attention should be sought as soon as possible in the event of a body temperature decrease.
The good news is that hypothermia is completely preventable. The most common causes are prolonged exposure to cold temperatures, wet fur and skin, extended submersion in cold water, and shock due to circulation decrease – so keeping pets warm and dry in the winter months oughta do the trick. When outside, consider a weatherproof jacket and/or booties to keep most of their fur dry and insulated and be sure to take frequent breaks to warm up when needed.
If you see your pet exhibiting signs of a body temperature decrease, do your best to warm them up as fast as possible. If you can, warm a blanket in the dryer and wrap them in it. Get a heating pad on low or warm water bottle wrapped in a towel, and place in on their abdomen, being sure not to burn their skin. Check their temperature every ten minutes; if it drops to or below 98 degrees, seek immediate veterinary attention.
Do you live where it snows a lot? How do you keep pets warm and dry? Tell us more on our social pages! @HamiltonPet