Preventing Cold Weather Calamities

Does your dog like cold weather? To many dogs, Georgia winter conditions are far more hospitable than are the supposed “dog days” of summer. Yet, many dogs are poorly suited for the drop in outdoor temperatures that accompany the winter season. Such dogs may experience hypothermia, frostbite, cracked pads, and stress when left outdoors for an extended period.

Certain profiles of dogs are more at risk when exposed to cold winter weather. In addition there are a number of compounding environmental risks.

Risk Factors

  1. Age- Puppies and senior dogs are more at risk.
  2. Small breeds and breeds with short legs
  3. Dogs with short coats
  4. Very thin dogs
  5. Overweight dogs
  6. Sedentary dogs
  7. Health
  8. Underfed dogs
  9. Dehydrated dogs
  10. Wet dogs
  11. Dogs that do not have protection from the wind or rain
  12. Lack of acclimation
  13. Weather conditions- Temperatures below 45º F, windy conditions that bring the wind-chill factor below 45º, and rain increase the risk of hypothermia.
  14. Time outdoors

Nevertheless, by taking proper precautions owners and dogs can safely enjoy the cold winter months. To learn more about the listed calamities and risk factors and to learn about 11 preventive strategies that enable your dog to safely enjoy the winter, we recommend that you read the detailed version of Preventing Cold Weather Calamities within the Articles section of


© Mark Spivak and Comprehensive Pet Therapy, Inc., November 2014.  All rights reserved.


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