Winter-Health-Risks-Dogs-and-Solutions

In one of our articles, we talked about how to keep dogs warm during the winter. It contained some effective tips for keeping dogs warm during the winter. But in this blog, we are going to discuss the health risks that dogs are prone to during the winter season. We will also discuss the solutions so stay tuned!

It is a fact that dogs are more active and playful during the winter season. Dogs naturally possess thick coats. But this does not mean that they are capable of handling cold weather better than human beings.

Just like human beings, dogs are also warm-blooded animals. They are not able to moderate their body temperature according to the weather. They feel hot during hot weather and cold during cold weather. In simple words, dogs have a constant body temperature.

Just like us, they also try to find a warm place in order to keep their bodies warm. In addition, there are various health risks and dangers for dogs during the winter. In case dogs are not able to find a warm place or have to suffer from extremely cold conditions, they might develop some health risks and dangers. Come, let’s discuss some of them.

Winter Health Risks To Dogs & Solutions

1. Frostbite

Dogs are filled with energy. They require a lot of exercise to burn off this excess energy. Regular walks are a great way for dogs to exercise.

You might be taking your dog on regular walks. But during the winter season, you need to be a little extra preventive. Your dog may suffer from extreme cold. It is possible that snow may stick in between its paws and that’s how frostbite occurs.

During the winter, a dog’s body automatically pulls blood to the center of the body in order to keep it warm. In this process, parts like paws and ears get frostbitten. This means that the ears and paws have to deal with extreme cold. There are huge chances of tissues getting extremely damaged.

Moreover, when these frostbitten areas start getting warm, the dog has to suffer from immense pain. In some cases, the frostbitten areas even get hard, black, and severely damaged.

A solution to this problem

  • Do not let your dog stay out in the cold for a long period of time.
  • Reschedule your walks to late mornings and early afternoons.
  • Use sweaters for protecting the coat.
  • Use shoes for protecting the paws from getting cold.
  • Spread a layer of petroleum Jelly on your dog’s paws.

2. Hypothermia

Hypothermia is basically a condition in which a dog’s body temperature falls below its normal temperature. It indicated excess heat loss in a dog’s body. This could be a result of

  1. A dog being exposed to an extremely cold and windy environment
  2. Having a wet coat or prolonged submersion in cold water.
  3. Shock due to a traumatic experience(as it can also lead to heat loss).

Hypothermia is quite evident in dogs. Low temperatures and heat loss also lead to a decrease in the oxygen level. This makes the dog feel very tired and inactive. You can easily get to know that your dog has hypothermia looking out for the following signs.

  1. Variation in heart rate. Continuous increase and decrease in heart rate.
  2. Paleness.
  3. Depression.
  4. Dilated pupils.
  5. Delayed reflexes.
  6. Rapid breathing.
  7. Loss of consciousness.
  8. Sluggishness.

A solution to this problem

  • Do not let your dog stay wet.
  • Make use of blow dryers to dry your pet’s coat.
  • Provide a warm blanket for your dog.
  • Make use of external heat sources.
  • Try to promote core warming( you can make use of warm IV fluids).

3. Arthritis

Arthritis is recently becoming very common in dogs. It is generally seen in senior dogs. The condition of inflammation of the joints is known as arthritis. It is a very painful situation for a dog. Arthritis causes immense pain, discomfort, and stiffness in a dog’s body.

The problem of arthritis gets worse during the winter season. Dogs face more difficulty in standing and walking as their bodies get stiffer.

A solution to this problem

  1. Keep your dog warm.
  2. Keep your dog moving.
  3. Manage your dog’s weight.
  4. Provide your dog with appropriate and energy-giving food.
  5. Make sure your dog gets proper rest.
  6. Keep your dog comforted in every way possible.

4. Excessive weight gain in winter

Dogs tend to gain a lot of weight during the winter. This is because they are not involved in many physical activities. All they do is eat, sleep, and repeat.

Moreover, dog parents should never get confused between an additional layer of fat and an additional layer of coat. This is because a layer of the coat (Not a layer of fat) provides warmth.

Less Exercise During Winter Season = Excessive Energy + Weight Gain

A solution to this problem

  1. Reducing the food portions to prevent weight gain.
  2. Scheduling short and warm walks.
  3. Planning various indoor activities.
  4. Providing healthy and light food.

Conclusion

During the winter season, our furry friends may develop various health risks and diseases. Moreover, it is our responsibility to take proper care of them. We can always consult a vet for any of the problems listed above. Also, we should keep our dogs warm during the winter season. It is the only solution to various problems.

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