What You Need to Know About Dogs, Fur and Winter

February 4, 2020 4:20 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Domestic dogs rely on their human friends to keep them safe and healthy. They need proper care, which is why you should want to learn everything you can. Winter is one of the most dangerous seasons of the year. Because outside temperatures can drop low and snow may fall, it’s important to note that not every breed of dog is up for the challenges brought on by such harsh weather conditions. As such, it’s crucial for you to understand that a thick fur coat does not always equal built-in cold tolerance.

The reality is that dogs—even those with thick fur coats—that spend long periods of time outside during winter without proper shelter and food can get cold. Here’s what you need to know about dogs, cold winter weather and fur coats in Henderson, NV.

Dogs’ cold tolerance varies

Dogs are living, breathing creatures, so just like people, their tolerance for the cold can vary from dog to dog, depending on their fur coat density, food intake, body fat, activity level, health and age. Every animal lover has seen videos of thick-furred dogs playing in the snow enjoying themselves. Many of these snow-loving dogs are Northern and mountain breeds, including Alaskan malamutes, Siberian huskies, Great Pyrenees, Newfoundlands and others. However, even these fluffy breeds need a break from the cold weather, and they too are at risk during freezing temperatures.

According to some veterinarians, cold temperatures don’t become a problem for most dogs until temperatures drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. But naturally, short-haired dogs like chihuahuas and dachshunds will get colder more quickly than dogs with thick coats. Put a sweater on your pup if they need it, and watch your dog closely for cold weather-related problems when they go outside.

Cool weather heath threats

More fur doesn’t mean solid insulation. When it’s bitter cold out, even thick- and double-coated dogs are vulnerable to a host of cold weather-related health threats, such as hypothermia and frostbite. The majority of frostbite dangers occur when outdoor temperatures or the wind chill fall near or below 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Exposure can lead to severe tissue damage in a dog’s tail, paws, ear tips and other extremities. Hypothermia presents when body temperature falls below normal. For a dog, the normal range is 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Shelter and food

Keep your dog inside the house during cold weather. If this is not possible 24/7, they need another type of insulated space to stay warm and dry. A weatherproof dog house is a decent option. Get one large enough so your dog can stand, turn around and lie down comfortably. The floor should be off the ground and covered in warm, dry bedding. Also, you should feed your dog more during winter. The extra calories can help them create more body heat to keep them warm.

Whether they have a long coat or a short coat, bring your dog to The Soggy Dog for the best self-wash and fur grooming in Henderson, NV. Come see us today!

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