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November 22, 2018

How cold is too cold for your dog?

It depends on the breed, but generally, if it's too cold for you, it may well be too cold for your furry four-legged companion. Chances are your pup will find a way to let you know if they are uncomfortable, but assume that anything below 45 degrees Fahrenheit is a cause for concern. If your dog is exposed to cold, wet or windy weather, they, in turn, are also exposed to heat loss. Smaller dogs are even more susceptible to low body temperature than bigger ones, especially puppies. Even at room temperature, puppies and senior dogs can feel extremely cold.

How to know if your dog is cold?

 

What Are Early Warning Signs?

The most evident symptom that your dog is cold is that they are shivering. They also could begin to display signs of anxiety and start acting needy, or they may hold up one paw in the air as if to say, “hey, I’m not ok with this!” A refusal to move can also be your friend telling you that they are not comfortable. Smaller dogs may display a desire to be picked up and held. Feeling the temperature of their ears is one of the best ways to gauge if they are too cold for comfort and could be a sign of poor blood circulation. You can also take your dog’s temperature with a specialized thermometer to get an exact idea of how cold they are. You will get a reading in under a minute. Being too cold could also bring about canine influenza. Watch for coughing, sneezing, lethargy and difficulty breathing. If you notice these symptoms while your pet is looking for a warm place to recover, engulf them in a thick blanket and take them to the vet. 

 

Medical Treatments For Cold Dogs

Treating a dog that has gotten sick from being cold is similar to how you would treat a human. Lots of hydration and rest is necessary, and in the case of the flu, antibiotics will aid a quick recovery. Shock can arise if your pet is reheated too quickly due to a fast drop in blood pressure. Two to ten hours is how long it should take to bring their body temperature back to normal depending on how low they got, and it's essential to monitor them for at least a full day once they have been brought back to homeostasis. You may not even be able to see the damage done for up to a week after the ordeal.


Preventing Hypothermia

The sooner you can prepare your dog for winter weather the better. A good measure to take is to brush out as much old fur as possible to make way for a warmer, fuller coat to take its place. Combine that with a cozy winter wardrobe, and your pet is ready for the season. Whether you think it’s cute or not to put clothes on your dog, doing so in cold conditions can save you and your pup from a bad episode. The idea is that some dogs need to retain as much body heat as possible, and clothing them is the best way to do it. They likely will be fine if you’re just letting them out for a quick potty break, but long walks in lower temperatures mean taking precautions. Since dogs don’t have a natural proclivity to wear clothes, you may have to train them to get used to it. It's worth the time to do this to prevent your dog from developing a dangerous condition. However, even if you get all the right gear and train them to wear it, it is still advised that you keep the time they spend outside in the cold to a minimum and still be on the lookout for symptoms of hypothermia (difficulty breathing, walking or irregular heartbeat).



Finding The Right Jacket

Purchasing warm outfits for your pet should be done while the weather is still warm so that you guys are prepared when it’s necessary to have them. The most common garment to have is a sweater or jacket. Booties may also be required depending on where you live. Getting the right gear means knowing your dog’s dimensions. Measure the circumference of their neck and around the biggest part of their chest, as well as from neck to waist. You’re looking for a snug fit that still encourages the full range of motion. Jackets with adjustable features work best. The material of the coat or jacket should also be taken into consideration. The textile industry has come up with some advanced performance tech fabrics that are superior to the traditional wool and cotton. These advantages include water and wind proof, reflective for night walks up to 800 feet, breathable material for maximum comfort and lightweight so as not to be too cumbersome. Here are some shopping options that have everything you and your dog will need.

 

Finding The Right Dog Shoes

Even if your dog has the warmest clothes, protecting their paws from the elements cannot be ignored. For this, rubber or plastic booties are ideal. There is a multitude of hazards that cold conditions expose dogs to. If you live in the snow, then these are a must for going outside. The snow and even ice can gather in between the toes. Cities also disperse road salt and deicers onto the ground which is toxic to dogs, so it’s important that you make sure your dog isn’t paw-licking on walks during the cold season. Take care to wash their paws when you return home for this reason. Of course, putting footwear on a dog may be easier said than done. If they are resisting it too much, be sure to trim their paw hairs. This is because when hair gets wet in snowy weather, it freezes. Their paws will also stay cold when you return home and can encourage getting sick.

 

How to Spoil your Dog Back Home

Walking into a warm house after being outside in the cold is a welcome homecoming for people and dogs. Having a comfortable abode to recover from the elements is crucial. When you return, give your pet some extra treats too while you make yourself a cup of hot cocoa. Dogs burn more calories to stay warm, so they'll deserve a few more of their favorite snacks than usual. Take their coat and booties off first though, but not before snapping a picture of how cute and fashionable they look in their sweet new threads!

 

 


HOW TO MEASURE YOUR DOG

For the best fit, match the below dimensions to your pet's measurements as closely as possible. If your pet falls somewhere between two sizes, we advise ordering the larger of the two. 

E-mail us with your sizing questions at hello@albie.com

 DOG JACKET SIZE CHART

NOTE: Back length is measured from the base of the neck (where the collar sits) to the base of the tail. Chest girth is taken from the widest part usually behind the front legs. Please note that the dimensions provided are product specifications.

 

 DOG HOODIE SIZE CHART

NOTE: Back length is measured from the base of the neck (where the collar sits) to the base of the tail. Chest girth is taken from the widest part usually behind the front legs. Please note that the dimensions provided are product specifications.

E-mail us with your sizing questions at hello@albie.com