Prevent Hypothermia in Dogs

Posted by Raja on January 14th, 2014 — Posted in Health, Safety

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Symptoms of hypothermia for dogs:

.Strong shivering and pale skin (roll back the fur to check for white or dull-gray skin tone)

. Unexpected listness and lethargy changing the pace of moving outside

Emergency treatment:

.Wrap your dog in warm blankets heated on the radiator or in the dryer.

.Apply a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel to the dog’s abdomen.

.Give warm fluids.

.Raise the body temp to above 100 degrees F (38.8 C) before removing the water bottle.

With my warm coat over fluffy fur, I'll stay well insulated for my hike.

Raja and I are trying to preach to the unconverted, not those of you who are knitting, shopping, designing up a storm to make sure your dogs are warm in winter.  You people don’t need to read further.   (Yarn is on sale now post Christmas.  Stock up.)


We are writing to the unconverted. May this post find you die hards out there.  We know who you are.  When we post listicles for Dogster, you are those fighting mad reactionaries who write in, “Dogs have fur, Stupid.”  or “That’s why they’re dogs not people.” when we  advocate weatherproofing your pup.  You should read and learn the above symptoms and treatment.

Let’s go back to our favorite ancient subject, wolves.  Yes, dogs evolved from wolves.  Wolves do not wear coats.  In the wilds, they hunt prey, drink from chilly, pristine streams, sleep in the snow and live an average of five years.  The cause of death probably is not lack of coats, but general wear and tear of living the life of a hunter/forager in all kinds of weather: cold, hot, hungry, thirty, tired, hurt, diseased… all discomforts you seek to protect your dog from.

Now let’s consider your dog.  Unless your dog is one of the dogs of snow-Malamute, Alaskan Sled Dog and similar breeds- and unless you yourself live outside  in a very cold climate and your dog was born right  there in your ice cave- your dog probably needs a coat or sweater when the temperature dips below 35.  If your domestic dog is as comfortable as you are with temperatures between 62-70F  inside, he won’t be comfortable for extended periods when the temperature is 40 degrees less.

So, for short outings around the property or to the corner and back, your dog will probably be happy without the ritual of coating up, but, for long walks in cold air, a coat helps your dog feel comfortable by insulating a warm layer near the skin in the fur.  Rather than making you look simpleminded,  a coat broadcasts that you know what you’re doing as a dog owner.

Temperatures across the mid to northern US have been highly changable. Some weeks have been an average of -10 degrees F and some weeks have averaged 45 degrees F.  Beware the effects of radical changes because extreme cold will be especially debilitating after a week of mild temps. If you are complaining about how cold it is, then your dog, too, probably needs outerware.

Don't end up like this snowman and his frozen doggy!

Raja says, “Travel safely and warmly, live long and happily.”  (Many of Raja’s outerwear, including his Folklore Cape-Coat, comes from Carolyn’s Originals.)



Comment by Rhea hartley

I have one of those coats from Carolyn’s Originals and it keeps me very warm! These cold temps require coats and boots! My fur just isn’t enough!!

See ya soon!
Puppy Love,

Posted on January 14, 2014 at 12:40 pm

Comment by Raja

Skamp, you are always stylish and weather appropriate! When you come see us in Spring, bring your boots because Central Park could be rainy! We’ll do a blog post together then!

Xoxo, Raja

Posted on January 14, 2014 at 1:02 pm

Comment by Cy & CT

We sure agree with you and your mom. There are days when every dog can benefit from a coat depending on where you live of course. People wear hats on their heads when it is cold out, even if they have hair. Our hair can’t always keep us warm so we are glad when mom puts our coats on!
Your pals,
Cy and CT

Posted on January 14, 2014 at 4:01 pm

Comment by Raja

Exactly! Good point! Hats keep the heat in. As you know, I’m usually in a hat or a hood because winter warm means winter fun outside!

Posted on January 14, 2014 at 6:51 pm

Comment by Sheryll & Critters.

Oh dear me I would NEVER put my pup in those horrid, bone chilling or high heat conditions. If it is cold to me, it is for my babies. A boyfriend just told me… well EX is what he is now… that I pampered my babies too much, that they have fur!!! Well, my little tiny, somewhat thin, little tiny mommy Sunshine does not have much fur at all, even though she appears ‘fluffy’….. she does not have the double coat and get cold very easily. And so does Speedy. Now Shadow The Poodle (Sunshine’s husband) is better furred up, he still gets cold….. sheesh. I still can not knit enough to make them coats, so I bought them some and even they are NOT that warm. So, they only go out for short times.

Posted on January 15, 2014 at 1:18 pm

Comment by Raja

Aunty Sheryll, it’s not the skill but the intention. Most of my home knit sweaters make me look like a ragamuffin, but, you know, I really don’t mind.

Xoxo, Raja

Posted on January 15, 2014 at 1:31 pm

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