How to Prevent Dog Frostbite in Peoria, IL
Did you know that dogs can get frostbite just the same as humans can? Frostbite in dogs can be very serious, and you may not even know right away that they have it. It’s essential in the winter months to take care that your dog doesn’t get frostbite. There are a few ways to make sure this never happens so that your dog can stay happy and healthy in the cold times.
When Are Dogs in Danger of Getting Frostbite?
When temperatures reach below freezing, your dog is at risk of getting frostbite when they go outside. It usually won’t happen quickly, but the longer a dog is out in freezing temperatures, the more likely it is that they will get frostbite. When frostbite occurs, the blood vessels in the extremities, such as dog paws, will constrict and redirect blood flow to the internal organs. This causes the tissue in the paws to lose all its blood as time goes on, which allows the tissue in the paws to begin to die.
If you take your dog out or let them out in freezing temperatures without any protection for their paws, they may get frostbite which can have severe consequences. Dog frostbite in Peoria causes damage and death to the tissue it affects. At best, this can cause your dog pain in their paws for the rest of their life. A more concerning result would be your dog is crippled for the rest of their life. The worst-case scenario is that your dog’s foot or leg may need to be amputated. Unfortunately, frostbite almost always causes permanent damage in one way or another, so it’s important to stop it from happening in the first place.
Which Dogs are the Most Susceptible to Frostbite?
Some dogs can get frostbite much easier than others. Certain dog breeds such as the Siberian Husky have been bred to live in colder temperatures and are more unlikely to get frostbite from being out in freezing weather. Siberian Huskies are built to regulate their temperature in colder climates and have a much thicker coat and pads that have evolved to have their own heat transfer system that keeps them warmer than the paws of dogs bred in warmer weather. On the other hand, the Italian Greyhound has been bred to manage their body temperature to deal with hotter weather. These dogs are lean and have a very fine coat, so they don’t overheat quickly, but this allows them very little protection from cold weather.
Dogs with short coats, fine fur, or no fur are very likely to succumb to frostbite more easily. Thin or underweight dogs also can get frostbite easier due to their lack of body temperature retention. Puppies and elder dogs do not have the best control over their body temperature either, making it easy for them to get frostbite. Dogs with health conditions such as metabolic or heart conditions may be more affected by the cold and frostbite as well. These types of dogs should be kept out of the cold as much as possible and given protection when going outside in low temperatures.
Ways to Keep Your Dog Safe from Frostbite
There are different options to help protect your dog from getting frostbite in Peoria, IL.
Booties or Shoes
There are many types of boots or shoes for dogs available now online or in stores. You can find foot coverings for dogs of all sizes and all types. Dog booties will protect your dog’s paws and pads from frostbite through insulation. You can find different types depending on the level of protection your dog needs. Foot coverings explicitly made for dogs are the best way to protect them from frostbite when you need to take them out into freezing temperatures. Humans shouldn’t walk around on ice and snow with bare feet, and neither should dogs. It has been said before that if the ground your dog walks on would hurt your feet, it may hurt theirs as well.
Products have been created that can be used to create a barrier between the pad of your dog’s paw and the ground. Paw balms are made specifically for dogs, but some people have used Vaseline in place of these and see effective results as well. The barrier the balm creates allows the dog to regulate their body temperature more successfully without losing too much heat out of their paws.
Jackets for dogs work great to prevent hypothermia. Hypothermia is closely connected to frostbite. Frostbite will usually occur to prevent the body from going into hypothermia by warming the internal organs and sacrificing the limbs. To keep the body of your dog warmer and, in doing so, prevent hypothermia and frostbite, you can get them a jacket. There are many types of jackets made for dogs with different levels of warmth. You can find jackets for dogs that fit them so they can still go the bathroom with them on, which is perfect for taking your dog out in freezing weather.
Protecting Your Dog from Frostbite is Important
Dogs can get frostbite in Peoria easily, depending on their breed, age, and health status. It is important to protect your dog from the cold as much as you can. If you can avoid taking your dog out more than necessary when the temperature is low, they will be at less risk. If you do need to take your dog out, it’s best to find ways to keep them warm or protect their paws. You can use a dog jacket, dog boots, paw balm, or a combination of these to make sure your dog doesn’t get frostbite. Frostbite is a serious problem and can cause your dog’s body to be damaged for life after having it only once. That is why you must do your absolute best to prevent your dog from getting frostbite.
If you believe your dog has frostbite, call your Whitney Veterinary Hospital veterinarian at (309) 685-4707 today!