Pets & Hypothermia
Even when temperatures dip, your furry companion still wants to enjoy the outdoors with playtime and bathroom breaks. However, wet snow, melting ice, and freezing temperatures can lead to hypothermia in your pet, even with their fur coat.
Hypothermia signs in pets
When a pet’s body starts to get too cold, it will shift the blood from its extremities to keep their organs warm. If your beloved companion develops hypothermia, you can be on the lookout for these warning signs as their temperature begins to plummet::
- Muscle stiffness
- Pale gums
- Shallow or slowed breathing
- Irregular or delayed heart rate
- Dilated pupils
As hypothermia worsens, your pet will stop shivering and may slip into a coma. Monitor your pet for early signs of hypothermia to ensure they remain warm.
Hypothermia risk factors for pets
While hypothermia can affect any pet, some have a more increased risk. They include:
- Very young or old pets
- Shorthaired pets
- Small pets
- Pets unused to cold conditions
- Pets with heart or kidney disease
- Pets in shock
- Pets with endocrine disorders
Environmental factors that can make hypothermia more likely include:
- Wet conditions
- Strong winds
- Rapidly dropping temperatures
Hypothermia prevention in pets
When heading outside with your four-legged friend, take the following steps to keep them warm, dry, and at a normal body temperature:
- Put a waterproof coat on your pet
- Keep your pet away from melting ice and slush
- Outfit your pet with well-fitting booties to protect their paws
- Dry your pet thoroughly when you come back inside
- Walk in areas sheltered from strong winds by trees and buildings
In the unfortunate event that your pet succumbs to hypothermia, prompt action is essential. Bring them indoors and dry them off as soon as possible; then wrap warm towels from the dryer around their body for extra warmth. A hot water bottle can also be used to increase their internal temperature, but make sure it’s wrapped in a towel so you don’t scald your pet!
Hypothermia can be a life-threatening condition for your pet without immediate treatment. Contact our team for help if your four-legged friend’s body temperature drops below 98 degrees.