Short-haired dogs and small breeds are especially sensitive to cold. Puppies, older dogs and dogs with health problems may feel cold faster than other dogs.
The normal body temperature of dogs is higher than that of humans, so they should be at a temperature between 101° and 102° F.
Temperature tolerance varies from animal to animal, so it is important to know the signs that a dog shows when it is getting cold. Pay attention!
Signs that your dog is cold
How to tell if your dog is cold? Here are a few things that can give you clues:
- Shivering or trembling. Dogs react to cold just like we do - shivering and trembling are ways the body reacts to try to stay warm!
- Cold ears or body. Feeling your dog's ears is a good way to know his temperature. If the ears are cold, particularly at the edges. You can also touch his body. If it is cold instead of warm, your dog is probably too cold.
- Curl up. Is your dog curled up in a ball or is he hunched over with his tail tucked between his legs and shivering? He is probably doing this in an attempt to warm himself with body heat.
- Whining. If your dog is uncomfortable, he may try to let you know by whining, whimpering or barking - one reason is that he's cold!
How to keep your dog warm during the coldest days?
Remember to keep a close eye on your dog during extreme temperatures. If your dog shows any of the above signs, take precautions to keep him warm.
- If you have a dog that is more sensitive to cold, buy him a dog sweater or a good dog blanket.
- Keep his paws warm when you take him out in extreme cold and wet conditions. You can protect your dog's paws with boots.
- If your dog needs to be outdoors for extended periods of time, find him a good doghouse to better protect him from the weather conditions. And of course install a fluffy bed with a blanket inside!
Most importantly, don't hesitate to take him to the vet if he shows any signs of chilling.