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Hypothermia in the dog

When the temperature is below zero, most dogs are well protected by their fur. However, this does not apply to all dogs: Depending on the breed, age and state of health, a dog is more susceptible to colds. If healthy dogs fall into icy water, they too can cool down quickly.

Which dogs are affected?

Especially puppies, old or sick dogs can catch colds quickly. Naked dogs or dog breeds with little undercoat and short fur, such as the Dalmatian, are also at risk. This also applies to particularly small dogs such as the Chihuahua – due to their small body size, cold and wet conditions make these dogs more difficult.

Important: Dogs that freeze quickly should wear a suitable dog coat. Note that the dog clothes also meet certain requirements.

Dogs that freeze quickly need appropriate protection. © stock.adobe.com/photomic

Symptoms of a cold

Hypothermic dogs shiver, breathe shallowly, and have a slow, weak pulse (felt on the inside of the thigh). Consciousness can already be clouded.

You can measure the dog’s temperature with a dog fever thermometer that has been previously smeared with petroleum jelly. A rectal measurement is the most reliable way to detect hypothermia. The normal body temperature of a dog is between 38 ° C and 39 ° C.

If the body temperature drops, action must be taken. © stock.adobe.com/135pixels

How to act properly when you have a cold

In the case of severe hypothermia, warm baths (but not above 40 ° C) gently bring the body back to normal temperature, then the dog must be dried thoroughly and possibly irradiated with a heat lamp. If the body temperature is below 36 ° C, the veterinarian should intervene, who can also give warm infusions.

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The same applies to frostbite. Puppies that are raised without a mother definitely need a heat lamp, which must not be too close because of the risk of burns.

A warming bath is good. © stock.adobe.com/jenngarcia

Preventing colds in dogs

So that the dog does not catch a cold, you should not stay outside too long in ice and snow. Avoid brittle ice surfaces and the edges of water – if the dog falls into the ice-cold water, it can quickly cool down and catch a cold.

Your dog shouldn’t eat too much snow, or at least not too much. The cold irritates the throat and can also result in a cold. Dogs that freeze quickly should wear a special dog coat in cold and wet conditions. With these tips you can protect your dog from hypothermia and thus from a cold.