Baby, It’s Dangerously Cold Outside!
Here in Kansas City, the temperature has dipped to dangerously low levels, hovering below 20 degrees Fahrenheit the last few days. With temperatures this low, it’s important to take precautions to keep your dog from suffering frostbite.
If your dog goes out via a doggie door, be sure he doesn’t stay out for more than a few minutes. Most dogs cannot tolerate temperatures of 10 degrees Fahrenheit or below, so if he’s out more than a few minutes frostbite can set in quickly.
Although it’s recommended dogs stay inside during extreme weather periods, if your dog stays outside, be sure he has well-insulated, dry bedding. To combat the low temperatures, outdoor dogs should have a 25% calorie increase to generate the body heat necessary to keep body temperature at the right level.
If you believe your dog has been frostbitten, get him to a vet as quickly as possible. Wrap the dog in a dry towel or blanket that has been warmed in a clothes dryer on low setting. Do not use a heating pad or hot water bottle to boost your dog’s body temperature because they may damage nerves and blood vessels.
Keep the dog wrapped in the towel or blanket but do not rub the affected area because as the tissue warms, it can turn painful. Yes, baby, it’s cold outside, so if possible, stay warm indoors with your canine buddy!
Dog Fancy magazine, December 2010 issue was used as a reference for this article