What to do if the dog has a cold?

Wet and cold weather not only gives us humans, but also dogs easily a cold. “If the fur is wet and the dog is also lying on cool tiles or in a draft, it can quickly become hypothermic,” reports veterinarian PD Dr. Franziska Kuhne.

“We humans are usually protected with a thick rain jacket and only have to take it off in the apartment – but it takes a while for the dog’s fur to dry.” There is also warming functional clothing for dogs, but legs and paws still get wet.

Another cause of a cold: if the warming coat is shaved too late in the year, the dog no longer has its full coat natural protection. A similar danger exists when it cools down abruptly after the summer and the transitional period in which the winter coat can form is too short. In particular, breeds with short fur and consequently no undercoat, but also lean and sick animals as well as small dogs tend to freeze. Likewise, puppies and senior dogs are more susceptible to a cold than their middle-aged counterparts.

Therefore, when the temperature drops, you should carefully monitor whether the animal is showing signs of a cold – and then counteract this as quickly as possible.

What are the symptoms of a dog with a cold or hypothermia?

First signs of it that a dog is cold are increased tremors and a refusal to continue walking. In winter in particular, it is therefore advisable to take several short walks rather than being outside for long periods of time when it is cold. Breaks in conversation with other pedestrians should also be kept short or at least prevent the dog from lying down on the frozen ground.

If the dog is cold and tries to store heat, it is According to the veterinarian, this can be recognized by certain behavioral patterns: “When lying down, the dog will make itself as small as possible and roll up to save heat. But even on walks you can see how it always seeks sheltered and dry places when it’s cold.”

If your four-legged friend has caught a cold, it usually shows in the form of a loss of appetite and a general one slackness. It can occasionally lead to sneezing or fever in the animal. “When petting, the fever is immediately noticeable, especially on the ears and paws, because these areas are then much warmer than usual,” explains the dog expert. “But it can also happen that the dog suddenly refuses to be touched because it is unwell and simply wants to be left alone. Then you can sometimes be growled at.” With such symptoms, it is advisable to go to the vet as soon as possible so that your four-legged friend gets better quickly.

Prevent colds and support the dog

The most effective treatment for colds is of course not to let them develop in the first place. After a walk in cold, wet winter weather, the fur should therefore always be thoroughly rubbed dry and the dog offered a warm place to lie down, ideally a warm orthopedic dog bed. For breeds with thin or short fur, the expert also recommends a dog coat for protection, which protects against both moisture and cold.

“If the dog has a cold, you help the four-legged friend above all, by providing adequate warmth, rest and fluids. There are even special heatable pads or heat lamps that can help with recovery,” the veterinarian describes the key tasks for dog owners.

Regular exercise strengthens the immune system of the dog

In addition to dog coats and other preventive measures, the dog’s habituation to the weather and temperatures can also have an influence: “A slow transition from summery Cooler autumn temperatures automatically help the dogs get used to the conditions. Likewise, a dog that spends a lot of time outside is obviously better prepared for the weather than a couch potato. Regular exercise alone helps enormously,” explains Kuhne. “In the case of extreme temperature differences, for example when it’s 20 degrees in the house and minus ten degrees outside, it ultimately helps but only to get the dog moving properly to warm it up.”

In the apartment, our human comfort temperatures are absolutely sufficient for the animal as well. If the dog is too warm in the winter fur, it will rest on cool tiles. However, one should bear in mind that many people prefer significantly cooler temperatures in the bedroom. It can therefore be helpful to put a dog coat on dogs with a short coat at night or to offer them a warmer room. Otherwise hypothermia can also occur in the apartment.

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Photo: ©Th. Reinhardt/pixelio.de / Post info: DB


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