How cold is too cold for your dog?

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How cold is too cold for your dog?
Image: pixabay

When temperatures drop we humans wrap up in coats and scarves, but what about our dogs? How cold is too cold?

As the lowest temperatures of the year arrive, we wrap up in extra layers of warm clothing to protect ourselves. But what happens to our dogs? We have to keep taking them out for walks, even if temperatures are dropping outside.

According to the portal Urgencies Veterinaries, the average body temperature of a dog is between 38-39ºC. Anything lower than this range could indicate hypothermia.

Hypothermia is dangerous because it means that the dog is losing more heat than it is able to generate. Smaller dogs are at greater risk. Anything below 34ºC may cause symptoms such as cramps and shaking.

If the body temperature continues to drop, the animal may show signs such as apathy, anxiousness, and a weak pulse and respiration.

If the body temperature falls below 31ºC and we do not act quickly with the help of a vet, death is inevitable.

In order to walk our dogs in very low temperatures, we can use specially designed clothing.

Last year, the Spanish Directorate-General for Animal Rights made an infographic about the different temperatures that may put dogs at risk, based on their size. However, there are other factors to consider, such as the breed or the amount of fur.

For small and medium-sized dogs, an outside temperature of -4ºC can be dangerous, whereas, for large dogs, the danger is at around -6ºC.

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