Can Dogs Get Frostbite?

dog in the snow looking into the camera

Living in New England makes for some pretty scenic views in the winter. There’s nothing quite as beautiful as the glistening sun rising over the rolling hills covered in fresh white snow. But if you live in this area you also know how bitterly cold temps can get. While amazing to look at, there are dangers for humans and our pets too.

In the winter months, it’s important to be careful while out in cold temperatures. Maintaining an active routine for your dog is vital but don’t do it at the risk of causing frostbite which is common.

Dogs can suffer from frostbite on their ears, paws, and tails as these are the parts most exposed to the cold while they’re outdoors. Prolonged exposure to below-freezing temps can cause restriction in blood flow to these extremities and lead to tissue damage.

Just think about how that freezing cold snow feels on their paws as it comes into contact with the snow and ice while out for a walk, it’s easy to see why this is such a common danger in the winter months. Especially for dogs who love to be active outdoors. Many may even have frostbite and not even know it.

It’s important as a responsible dog owner to ensure your dog is getting proper care should they experience frostbite.

Here are some signs to look for.

  • Pale grey or bluish tone on an area of the skin
  • Painful reaction (jolt) when touching the potentially frostbitten area
  • Skin ulcers
  • Areas that remain cold to the touch

Contact your vet immediately if you think your dog may have frostbite. Things you can do to prevent this painful condition include towel drying them after coming indoors. Use sweaters or jackets to keep body temperatures while outdoors. Using dog booties to help protect their paws. Limiting outdoor time to a maximum of 30 min.

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