Winter cold can be so horrid not only to us but to our canine friends as well. Even the thick furred breeds like Siberian Huskie and Alaskan malamute still feel cold just like we do. The most affected are the small short-haired dogs and puppies like Chihuahua among others. Dogs can get very cold at night and their ability to tolerate cold changes according to their size, age, and health status. This means you need to recognize when to protect your dog from cold whether they are healthy or have thick fur. 

How to know if my dog is cold at night 

When do you need to dress up your pooch? Cold-averse dogs begin to get uncomfortable when temperatures fall below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures below 32-degrees Fahrenheit can be intolerable for small breeds, senior dogs and puppies. 

Dogs experience frostbites and hypothermia if left in the cold. Hypothermia is a condition that affects your dog’s nervous system and also impacts on their breathing, blood flow, and immune system.  

Frostbites happen when temperatures drop, causing your dog’s blood vessels to constrict, which results in reduced blood flow. This can consequently lead to severe tissue damage.  

What are the signs of frostbites in dogs?   

  • Skin discoloration especially at the extremities.
  • They can be gray, pale or bluish.
  • Pain on the skin especially when you touch your dog.
  • Skin ulcerations and blisters
  • Signs of ice on the skin  

Other warning signs that can show you that your dog is feeling cold include:   

  • Shivering and trembling

Just like we do, dogs shiver, shake and tremble as a way to react to the cold. While they may display these signs due to stress, fear, and excitement, they are very rampant during cold weather.    

  • Lethargy

Did you know that cold can make your dog look weak and tired? Cold affects your dog’s muscles making them look clumsy, stiff and incapable of walking. This is the last thing you’ll expect from your dog, right?   

  • Too much sleeping

Unusual or excessive sleeping is another sign of cold in dogs. It can also be an indication that your dog is starting to experience hypothermia. In such a case, you may need to warm up your dog before it gets worse.    

  • Restlessness

Some dogs may become numb and motionless due to cold while others move constantly hiding and seeking shelter. They may hide under, behind or in things such as boxes and clothing not because of fear but due to cold.    

  • Coiling up

You wake up in the middle of the night only to find your dog has frizzed up into a ball or has hunched over with his head low and tail tucked. This is a sign that your dog is trying to warm himself up.

Depending on the breed of your dog, some would bark, whine and whimper as a sign of discomfort and cold can be a reason for this. If you notice this sign in your dog, dress him up and give him a cozy place to sleep. One of the solutions is to invest in an insulated dog house

Cold can cause a lot of discomforts, anxiety, stress and other health concerns in dogs. If your dog whines, howls, whimpers, coils, trembles and shivers at night, then it is not due to potty but cold. Find a sweater or coat and protect your dog from cold.