The arrival of winter is a challenge for pet owners. We must take greater precautions since prolonged exposure to low temperatures can cause serious problems for our animals. The prolonged stay in extremely cold places can break the thermal regulation mechanisms of healthy dogs and cats. In puppies and older dogs, a greater sensitivity to low temperatures due to deficiencies in thermal regulation is observed.
It is usually thought that animals do not go cold and that their fur protects them from low temperatures and intense cold conditions, but sometimes it is not enough. According to race and size
HOW TO KNOW IF YOUR DOG OR CAT IS COLD
Just as we must watch our companion animals during the strong temperature rises during the summer to avoid heat shocks, during the winter the same thing happens. The most frequent symptoms when an animal feels cold are small spasms or tremors, lack of energy in movements or drowsiness.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR PET FROM THE COLD
A good way to protect our pets from the cold is to strengthen their diet. A balanced diet is necessary to receive the proper calories and nutrients, so animals that live outdoors will produce more energy to withstand low temperatures. This is achieved by giving the right food, without the need to provide any additional supplement, unless a veterinarian indicates it. It is also very important that you always have fresh and clean water.
According to the place where your pet lives
For pets that live in the yards of houses it is ideal to have an insulator with an adequate height and without leaks. Undoubtedly, their fur protects them from low temperatures, but it is essential to have a blanket inside the doghouse. It is very important for pets that live in apartments, especially dogs, that should continue with their routine walks and outdoor games despite the cold.
Dogs or cats with osteoarthritis
The cases of osteoarthritis appear with age and the cold is a bad companion for this disease. Having a blanket and even a coat available for your dog or cat will help
Wrap it up for a walk
It is becoming more common in winter to find ourselves on the street with dogs dressed in windbreaks or wool sweaters, especially in small dogs. Elderly or shorter-haired dogs may also need a coat to go for a walk.
HOW TO ACT IN THE FACE OF HYPOTHERMIA
If these precautions are not followed to combat the cold, hypothermia can occur at the moment when the body temperature drops considerably, being the normal temperature of a dog between 38.5 + -0.5 ºC. The temperature is measured through the rectal route. The clinical signs of hypothermia in animals are generalized cooling, decreased respiratory rate, weak or absent pulse and arrhythmias which can lead to cardiac arrest.
- Take the animal to a warm and dry place
- Provide an external heat source such as a bag or bottle with hot water, thermal blanket, immersion baths (water at 35ºC), etc.
- Manage the heat on the trunk, (not on the extremities) and protect the skin with a towel or blanket so that no burns occur.
- If you are conscious you can give warm water with glucose or honey
- Take it to the veterinarian as soon as possible