It can be a struggle to find a comfortable temp for your pup with the recent weather changes. With the summer heat and now winter chill, sometimes they feel too hot or too cold. It may seem like an easy answer to throw a blanket over your canine companion, but vets warn against it.
In this article, we’ll take a look at how blankets can harm dogs, looking at why you should never cover them up with one and also what you need to do if they’re feeling chilled through on chilly days.
How Blankets Can Harm Dogs
How Your Dog’s Temperature Works
There are two types of temperature: hot and cold. When we’re feeling too hot, our body will naturally sweat to cool itself off. We’ll naturally shiver to add energy into ourselves and warm ourselves up if we’re feeling cold. Your dog’s body is the same too. When the pups feel too hot, their body will naturally perspire to release heat and cool themselves off. A blanket can block this exchange of heat between your dog and the air, increasing their temperature and making them overheat.
What Is Overheating?
When a dog’s temperature rises very high, it can affect its organs adversely. Generally speaking, a temperature of 104 degrees is the point at which a dog will start to suffer from overheating. At this point, they’ll often show signs such as excessive panting, weakness, and even collapse. It’s important to take your pup to a vet if they’re showing any of these symptoms.
A higher temperature can damage their liver and kidneys, and it can even put them in a coma or cause death. If you leave your dog with a blanket on in the winter, they can die from hypothermia.
When your dog is in survival mode, its body will unconsciously do everything it can to stay warm. For dogs, this includes licking themselves to release heat into their body. If you cover them with a blanket, they won’t be able to cool down in the same way they would if no cover was on. As such, your dog can enter survival mode, and this will cause them to overheat. This is the same as if you were to cover a human in a blanket; they’ll begin to shiver and shake excessively as this is another way for them to release heat into their body.
What You Can Do to Help Your Dog
When it comes to dogs, their organs are different from humans. Generally, they’re very good at regulating their body temperature. If you’re worried about your pet’s temperature, take them outside for a short period each day. This will help them shed heat into the air around them. If they still feel too warm after 15 minutes outside, your dog may benefit from a bath with plenty of water.
This will help regulate their temperature. However, it’s essential to be careful when bathing your dog, as most breeds will not enjoy the process. If you’re unsure about how to go about it, consult your veterinarian or take them to a dog grooming salon.
What to Do if Dogs Feel Cold
Just like humans, some dogs are more prone to feeling cold than others. If your dog is shivering on a cold day, there are several things you can do to help them feel warmer.
Blankets or Jackets?
If you own a dog that’s perennially feeling cold, it’s important to get them a dog coat to wear. This will help your canine companion feel warmer than they would wear just a blanket. Coats are great as they’re super easy to slip on and off, and they can be adjusted depending on how cold your pup is feeling. Dog coats are also far easier to wash than blankets, making them ideal for pups who love water.
Due to the way dogs sweat, bathing them can help regulate their body temperature. However, you will need to be careful when bathing your pet, as inexperienced dog owners often end up with their dog soaked in water. If they feel too cold after a bath is finished, put them in a heated blanket wrapped around them until they dry off.
Dry, Warm Places to Rest
If your dog is feeling cold, it must have a warm place to rest. Please encourage them to take shelter in a dry, warm spot. You can offer them blankets or towels for their comfort here. Remember to keep the temperature regulated! As warm as you might be feeling, your dog is probably feeling just as cold, if not colder. Make sure they’re comfortable in their area and have a warm, dry place to rest.
Stay With Them
If your dog feels very cold, you may want to consider staying with them. This will allow you a chance to monitor their temperature and make sure they don’t become hypothermic or get frostbite. If this is something you’d like to do, make sure the temperature is regulated and your canine friend still has a way of getting comfortable. It’s also a good idea to have a vet on hand in case anything goes wrong.
Don’t Forget Your Puppy!
If you want to ensure your dog is never left alone when it’s cold outside, make sure they have somewhere comfortable to lie down in when they’re feeling chilly. If you place them with a blanket on, they’ll be unable to regulate their temperature and may suffer hypothermia or frostbite.
Are Dogs Allergic to a Blanket?
Yes, dogs can be allergic to blankets.
Your dog can be allergic to something in the material their blanket is made from. There are two types of allergies, one is a food allergy, and the other is environmental allergy. A blanket can fall into the environmental class. If your dog is scratching due to a blanket, it’s likely experiencing an environmental allergy. If this is the case, they’ll probably be responding to many things in their environment. The symptoms will also likely affect other parts of their body.
If your dog is scratching due to a blanket, it’s recommended you take them to the vet. The vet will ask you questions about your dog and how it responded to the blanket. From there, they should be able to tell if it’s an allergy or not. If so, this might be something you need to avoid entirely rather than just switch the blanket materials. In this case, it’s recommended you speak to a professional.
If you’re concerned about your dog feeling cold, make sure, they’re inside during the cold days of winter. If you own a dog that’s prone to feeling chilly, make sure they have somewhere warm to rest on those chilly days. It’s also important to remember not all breeds enjoy baths, and some dogs may be more susceptible than others.