Veterinarians have to deal with various canine ailments and pathologies. Owners contact not only with obvious signs of a dog’s illness, but also with all sorts of questions that cause anxiety or difficulty. The veterinarian can tell you what and how to feed the dog, whether you need to dress him, what body temperature should be, and also answer why the dog has cold paws, what to do in this situation. A drop in temperature in the extremities is not the most common condition that occurs in pets, but sometimes it does make the owners jittery.
The dog’s paws are normal
It is worth noting that for some representatives of the canine world, the paw pads constantly remain cold, and even from puppyhood. Often this feature does not go beyond the norm and is not a cause for concern.
The structure of the skin on the paws is the same for all dogs, but, depending on size and load, it differs in roughness. For example, dogs of large or giant breeds have tenacious pads covered with rough, embossed skin, and miniature decorative dogs have soft, delicate, sensitive heels.
Normally, dogs’ paws have a lower temperature than the rest of the body, but it should be higher than the ambient temperature. If the dog is at rest, the temperature of the limbs remains stable. It is important to take into account that sleep is a state of deep rest, in which the functioning of the immune system and the intensity of metabolic processes are enhanced, which can lead to an increase in baseline body temperature.
Experts recommend that owners who are worried about too cold paws of a pet measure the base temperature of the animal. If the indicator is within the normal range, then you should not worry.
Reasons not causing concern
The body of any warm-blooded animal is designed in such a way that its adaptation to the external environment occurs through thermoregulation. If there is a need to raise the temperature, it speeds up metabolic processes, and when it needs to be lowered, it slows down.
That is, the body temperature of the animal, including its paws, depends on the conditions in which the dog is currently living. When a dog is outside in cool or even frosty weather, while he is sitting or lying, his limbs may be cold. This is completely normal. At this point, the body does not expend energy and the metabolism slows down. For wild animals, this property of the body helps to survive in harsh conditions, because they do not always manage to get food and get enough of it, and the body’s reserves help out.
The best control over metabolic processes is carried out by representatives of northern sled breeds. Four-legged ones have to move for 10 (or even more) hours on a snow crust. They manage to rest without stopping movement, while breathing with their mouth open.
Increased air temperature and increased activity of the dog can also cause cooling of the paws. The body of the animal is cooled by breathing with an open mouth and secretion of secretory fluid from the glands located between the fingers.
During the heat, the dog’s nose should be contrastingly cold, and during the heat, this also applies to the pads of the paws. In addition, the pet itself will look for a place where you can hide from the scorching rays – it can sprawl in the shade, make a dig of soft earth and settle in a depression. By cooling the paw pads, the dog’s baseline temperature is reduced.
In a sleeping animal, the limbs should be warm and even hot, especially if the room temperature is high. But in this matter, there should be a measure – overdried, warm air is harmful not only to pets, but also to their owners.
We warm the paws of the pet
An attentive owner will definitely notice a change, especially when it comes to tiny, miniature dogs. And with competent actions, he may well correct the situation, supporting the body of the four-legged friend in norm.
Usually, in representatives of pocket breeds, in winter and in damp weather, their paws are very cold. In this case, the owner should take care of the following:
- buy insulated boots for the dog – comfortable to put on and wear, with a lightweight, non-slip sole. Shoes are protection not only from the cold, but also from reagents that are sprinkled on the road and paving slabs;
- socks with “brakes” are suitable for home – they help out in the off-season and if the house has problems with heating;
- it is advisable to insulate the pet’s bed – this can be done using cardboard, foam or thermal insulating material, which is enough to be placed under the pet’s mattress or bed;
- some little dogs get cold while sleeping – if the dog belongs to the category of “frozen”, then you can try to cover it with a blanket. The dog is not indignant and does not try to get out, so this is what you need.
It should be noted that during sleep, the animal gives off heat intensively, and if it is in the cold, a natural decrease in body temperature is possible.
When cold paws are a sign of ill health
If a person’s cold extremities are often a sign of various diseases – vascular dystonia, thyroid pathologies, anemia, then in dogs this condition can also signal the presence of some kind of ailment. Often, cold feet indicate pathology before more obvious symptoms appear:
- Intoxication – among the first manifestations of poisoning, vomiting and a sharp drop in body temperature can be noted.
- Anemia – A decrease in the level of erythrocytes in the blood provokes oxygen starvation of cells. As the disease progresses, blood volume decreases and the body directs it to supply vital organs. The limbs are not in this category, so the paws get cold quickly.
- Paralysis – pathology can be either complete or partial, it leads to loss of sensitivity in the limbs. Paralysis occurs against the background of neurological disorders – infringement of nerve endings, or is a consequence of trauma. When the spine is injured, when the nerves or the spinal canal are damaged, it is often observed that the hind limbs feel colder to the touch than the front.
- Vascular atherosclerosis – a similar disease, which many elderly people suffer, is often diagnosed in our younger brothers. The disease develops due to changes in the vascular walls, they lose their elasticity, which significantly impairs the blood flow in the limbs.
- Heart disease and vegetative dystonia – a disease in which blood flow is also impaired. Usually, the body of a sick animal begins to function intensively, but the heart cannot cope with the load, it is not able to fully provide all organs and systems. This leads to hypoxia and a decrease in temperature.
- Venous thrombosis – Blockage of veins and blood vessels also stops blood flow, and the dog’s limbs begin to grow cold.
Such diseases can be very dangerous, it requires the consultation of an experienced veterinarian and long-term treatment.
Cold paws in a dog do not always indicate the presence of a disease, but this possibility cannot be ruled out. The owner should carefully monitor the pet and, if there are warning signs, seek professional help.