How To Protect Your Dog From Hypothermia
written by: ambjrm2014
Keeping dogs warm and safe during winter’s harsh elements is at utmost importance to ensure a healthy, long life. When conditions become too cold for us, they are also too cold for our animals. Fur is a good insulator for our dogs, but it is not enough to keep all of them safe in the cold.
Some dogs are able to withstand the colder conditions, but most dogs need our help to keep warm. An example breed is Huskies, which are better suited to face the elements than your average dog.
Place Heaters Carefully If possible the best remedy to this is to bring your pets inside and arrange your house so they can maneuver safely. This includes moving heaters so they are not in the way of the playful, active puppy or dog. Also, do not let your dogs lay in front of heaters.
Place your heaters high if possible as some animals have been burnt from simply sleeping directly in front of a heater. Ensure that heaters are off the ground and cords are placed where animals cannot chew on them. When you use central heat, the air is dryer than your dog is used to.
Be sure to have fresh, cool water in your pets access at all times to help compensate for the loss of humidity in the air.
Limit Time Outdoors When your dog goes outside limit the time he spends outside and how much skin is exposed, including his foot pads. Hypothermia can set in sub-zero temperatures and the moisture in exposed skin is sure to chill quick.
Letting your dog stay outside for prolonged times can be extremely dangerous in severe temperatures. Also, make sure that the water supply outside is not frozen, so your dog will always have fresh water when he is outdoors too.
Older Pets or Chronic Illnesses If your pet is older, keep a close eye out for upcoming illnesses caused by extreme cold conditions. Cold weather can make arthritis worse for our older dogs.
Stock up on any medicine your dog may need from the vet before the weather gets back in the event that roads are not safe enough for travel. Also, pets who already have a chronic illness can have an increased chance of developing further problems when exposed to potential hypothermia situations. If you notice any new problems with your animal, contact your vet immediately.
The Best Defense One of the absolute best ways to ensure your pet is safe is to take these preventative steps ahead of the cold weather. If you know of a storm coming in and your have an outdoor dog, consider bringing him inside until the weather breaks. In some cases where this is not an option ensure he has a shelter outside, and try to put some insulation of some sort (hay, blankets, dog bed) inside for him. For dogs who are prone to chewing, do not allow them cloth for insulation. Heating mats can be purchased and placed in, or under, a dog house to help keep your pet warm.