It is a common belief that cats and dogs are more resistant to cold weather than people because of their fur, but it is not true. Like people, dogs and cats are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia. Dogs are able to regulate their body temperature based on the temperature of the environment, but they feel both hot in summer and cold in winter.
Tolerance to cold can vary from one pet to another depending on their coat, body weight, level of physical activity and their health. Thus, long-haired or thick-haired dogs tend to be more cold-tolerant, while short-haired dogs have less protection, and if they have short legs they can cool down faster by being closer to the ground. Therefore, we must observe their behavior and know the tolerance level of our dog to take appropriate measures.
Pets with diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, or hormonal imbalances may have a more difficult time regulating their body temperature and may be more susceptible to extreme temperature problems. The same is true for very young and very old pets. On colder days we may have to take shorter walks and avoid risks to your health. In addition, we must check their paws frequently to look for signs of injury or damage to the pads such as cracks or small cuts that could bleed and become infected.
Although long, thick-haired dog breeds, as well as huskies and those that have been bred for colder climates, are more tolerant of cold; We should not leave any pets outside for prolonged periods in a subzero climate. The General Directorate of Animal Rights of the Government of Spain (@AnimalsGob) has shared the climate safety scale of Tufts University (Massachusetts) in relation to the minimum temperature that dogs can withstand taking into account their size and breed.
We must also consider the option of put on a sweater or coat to our animal every time we go outside, and have a change, since wet sweaters or coats can cool it.
As the American Veterinary Medical Association, if our pet whines, trembles, is anxious, slows down or even stops moving, seems weak or starts looking for warm places, it may be showing signs of hypothermia.