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It is possible for dogs that are left outside in the cold to get a condition called hypothermia, which is a potentially fatal condition that occurs when a dog's core body temperature drops too low. The average temperature for a dog is approximately 102 degrees Fahrenheit. When a dog's temperature drops below 99 degrees Fahrenheit, they start to show signs of mild hypothermia.

Frostbite is another potential risk associated with extremely low temperatures. It is possible for a dog to suffer heart and respiratory failure, brain damage, unconsciousness, and even death if they are left outside for an extended period of time and hypothermia sets in.

Mild Hypothermia: Body temperature between 90 and 99 degrees Fahrenheit

Moderate hypothermia: A body temperature between 82 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit

Severe hypothermia: Any temperature that is lower than 82 degrees Fahrenheit

Signs of hypothermia in dogs include the following

Early symptoms include shivering and snuggling up for warmth. Other symptoms, some of which may be more serious, include the following:

Rapidly increasing heart rate followed by a gradual decrease in heart rate.

A short period of rapid breathing is then followed by a gradual slowing down and shallowing of the breath.

sluggishness as well as reflexes that are delayed


Pupils that are dilated

In a state of having lost awareness

Which breeds of dogs are most likely to be affected?

Dogs that are left outside in temperatures that are extremely low, particularly:


Newborn puppies

Small dogs

Dogs with short hair

Virtually any other kind of dog.

What should you do if you suspect that your dog is experiencing hypothermia?

Bring your dog into a warmer environment and observe its behavior to determine whether or not the situation requires more serious action.

Talk to your veterinarian about it if you think it might influence your choice.

Take the temperature of your dog as soon as you possibly can.

Insulation goods and blankets are often effective treatments for mild hypothermia.

In order to treat moderate hypothermia, active external heat sources, such as radiant heat, in conjunction with a protective layer, such as a sweater, are required.

In order to treat severe hypothermia, intrusive core warming techniques, such as warm IV fluids, are required.

The Avoidance of Hypothermia

A warm dog sweater or jacket and dog booties can help reduce the severity of this issue. However, the clothing that your dogs wear should never get wet or remain wet, and you should never leave your dogs alone while they are wearing clothing.

Keep dogs inside in a place with a consistent temperature, allowing them to go outside only for brief periods of time.

Before going for a walk with the dog, make sure they are completely dry. They would suffer from frostbite as a result.

Walks should be kept as brief as possible throughout the winter for both people and their dogs.

When in doubt, call your trusted veterinarian.

KK9 Dog Training is not a veterinary practice; rather, we are a dog training business. Only some general advice is provided for all of the pet parents.

Call us at (970) 294-7706 if you have any questions; we will be happy to answer them.


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