Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Winter dangers: Frostbite

Many pets like snow and can have a lot of fun in cooler weather, but pet owners should know that cats and dogs can get frostbite and are affected by cold, just like we are.

Frostbite happens because the body diverts blood to the core systems when body temperature decreases. This leaves the skin susceptible to freezing, which uses tissue damage. Frostbite can appear anywhere on the body, but footpads, nose, ears, and tail are at highest risk.

When you've been walking your pet in the cold, check the body, and watch for him or her licking or chewing on the skin. Frostbite needs to be treated and covered.

Do not apply heat directly to the skin. You can use tepid water on the skin, and non-electric blankets to cover your pet. In severe cases of frostbite a veterinarian must remove the tissue, or even a limb.

Needless to say, don't leave your pet outside in the winter. Many think dogs and cats don't experience cold like we do, and that it's okay to keep them outside. If it's cold outside, take your pets in.

Many northern/arctic breeds have better protection against the elements than regular dogs. That doesn't mean they don't need or deserve shelter against the cold.

~ Maria Sadowski ~


  1. We are always watching out for that when it is below zero out around here and especially if there are serious wind chills. The other day we had -40 wind chills where skin freezes in under 10 mins, but it is all over the news so you can't miss it.

    1. Brrr, that's much too cold! Winter is okay on photos and during the holiday season, but other than that I'll pass, lol.