Cold feet are common among humans despite wearing socks and shoes, we get cold feet when the temperature falls around us.
This also happens to dogs; they get cold feet, not metaphorically but in the practical sense. They are differently built than us, walking without socks or shoes, which is one reason their feet can turn cold.
You might wonder why they get cold feet, and there can be numerous reasons why; while some reasons are normal and need no action, others can be very serious and will need medical attention asap.
In this article, you will learn why dogs get cold feet, when it is normal and when to worry, what to do when your furry partners get cold feet, and tips to prevent cold paws in your pet.
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What Does it Mean When a Dog’s Paws are Cold?
Dogs get a cold nose and feet very commonly, and most of the time, there is nothing to worry about. They do not have any shoes or socks to make their feet warm while walking on those cold streets or tiles in the hall.
When your dog has cold feet, it simply means they feel too cold and need a warmer place to rest. If they came from a walk in a chilly winter or just roaming around on the cold floors of the house, cold feet are nothing to worry about.
If your dog has a cold foot with other symptoms like lethargy, pale gums, or weakness, it is not a good sign, and you should see a veterinarian as quickly as possible.
Cold feet can mean a lot of things, and few can be associated with health issues and should be brought to a professional’s attention for a quick check-up to determine the cause.
Why are My Dog’s Feet Cold?
As said earlier, there can be absolutely nothing to worry about, and the cold feet of your dogs are a normal occurrence with regard to the weather or the activity they did.
Or there can be some reasons that have made your dog’s feet go cold, and if there are some other symptoms with the cold feet, it’s time to get the pup checked.
Let us have a look at some of the common reasons why dogs’ feet get cold.
1. Nippy Weather
The easiest guess of why your dog is getting cold feet is because of the temperature. Winter is when everyone can get their feet cold.
Dogs do not wear shoes like humans, and they do not have furs on their paws too, which can provide some warmth from the excessive cold causing their feet to get blunt cold.
If their paws start to change to a red or gray kind, then they might be suffering from frostbite. Try washing their feet in warm water and contact a vet.
2. Circulatory Issue
Every living being has a circulatory system; the heart and blood vessels make a circulatory system, and their collaboration executes a successful circulatory function.
The heart pumps blood which is supplied through blood vessels to the entire body with the required oxygen and blood.
When the circulatory system fails or has issues performing its functions, the blood and oxygen supply is disturbed and cannot reach the body parts which are far from the heart.
Since a dog’s paws are the farthest from its heart, it is the first to be affected, causing the paws to get cold. This also results in dogs getting lethargic and weak. If you seem to observe these in your dog, please visit a veterinarian, as things can get serious quickly.
Another reason why your dog is getting cold feet is Anemia. Anemia in dogs is said to be caused by the reduction of red blood cells in the body, which causes a decreased blood and oxygen flow, ultimately resulting in cold feet.
Anemia is a serious health condition, and many dogs are now being diagnosed with this. Pale gums, lethargy, loss of appetite, and weakness are some symptoms that are seen with anemia.
Providing a good diet can maintain the amount of red cells and hemoglobin in dogs preventing them from the danger of anemia.
Is it Normal for a Dog’s Paws to be Cold?
Yes, dogs get cold feet very commonly, and it naturally depends on the weather or any activity they do. Their paws are always bare with no fur cover. But there is nothing to worry about.
In some cases, there can be some health issues that have made your dog’s feet go cold, and if there are some other symptoms along with the cold feet, it’s time to get the pup checked.
What to Do When My Dog’s Paws are Cold?
Dog’s feet getting cold can sometimes be a serious issue and needs immediate attention. It is important to find the reason why they have cold feet, which can help in further diagnosis and early recovery. We will discuss some steps you can follow when your dog’s paws are cold.
1. Assess the Condition
Start by observing changes in your dog’s body besides the cold feet. See their behavior and assess any other symptoms like lethargy, paws turning red or blue, loss of appetite, or weakness.
If there are no abnormalities and no symptoms, then there is nothing to worry about, but if there are some signs, visit a veterinarian as soon as possible.
2. Check Temperature
Another step you can take is to try checking their temperature. You can use a thermometer made for humans but then only use it to measure the temperature of dogs and not of humans after it.
It may sound gross, but for you to check the temperature of a dog, you will have to lubricate the thermometer and then gently slide it inside a dog’s rectum and wait for a few minutes or till it makes a beep sound.
Then, take it out and note the reading. If the reading is between 101 and 102.5 F, everything is normal. If the reading is anything below or above that, it means they are ill and need medical help right away.
3. Pulse Checking
You can check the pulse very easily, just put your hand around the back thighs of the dog and feel the pulse.
If it’s irregular, fast, weak, or slow, contact a veterinarian and let them know about the condition.
If your dog’s feet are cold and are turning red or blue, it can be because they might have frostbite. Bring them in, cover them with warm clothes, and try washing their feet with warm water. Refrain from anything hot, and do not try to massage or rub the paws. Contact a veterinarian if the redness or blueness does not fade and the paws slowly don’t become normal.
Can Cold Paws Be a Sign a Dog is Dying?
No, Not even in extreme cases. Cold paws are not considered deadly but can always reflect a severe health issue.
Cold paws in dogs should be checked by the pet parents at the earliest, as determining the cause early always helps in treatment and early recovery. Try figuring out the reason for the cold paws; if it’s normal, there’s nothing to fret about.
3 Tips to Prevent Cold Paws in Dogs
There are a few things that can be done to prevent your dogs from getting cold feet and keep them safe from many health issues.
Let’s have a look at them.
1. Use Heaters
Using indoor heaters during chilly winters is a prevention step that can be taken to prevent your dogs from getting cold feet.
Refrain your dog from wandering outside in cold weather, and provide ample warm clothes and bedding for them to sleep on and get themselves warm.
If you reside in a cold weather area, there are many electric heating pads that you can buy for a comfortable, warmer sleep for dogs, but always keep an eye out while they rest on it.
2. Using Shoes and Socks
We, humans, can wear socks to keep our feet warm in cold weather; why not our canine partners? Make them wear socks and shoes if they are comfortable with them, which will help them keep their feet warm in cold weather.
There are socks available for dogs that allow them to keep their balance and not skid or slip while walking on the floors. Good-groomed dogs with trimmed nails with socks on will have warm feet.
3. Diagnose the Issue
If your dog has cold feet even after all the precautions, and there are some underlying symptoms like lethargy, paws turning red or blue, loss of appetite, or weakness, go to a veterinarian to determine the cause.
The veterinarian will start the diagnosis and start the treatment, and as they recover, the cold feet will turn into good warmer feet.
They commonly get their cold feet because of the cold chilly weather, and they have been outside wandering or walking on the cold floors for long.
Yes, cold weather conditions pose a severe health risk for dogs, especially to their paws. Cold weather can harm their paws, and there’s always a danger of frostbite in dogs which can lead to some painful cracks in their paws.
You can use a digital thermometer made for humans to measure the temperature of a dog’s body. To check the temperature of a dog, you will have to lubricate the thermometer and then gently slide it inside a dog’s rectum and wait for a few minutes or till it makes a beep sound.
Any reading below or above “101 and 102.5 F” means your dog is not too well and needs medical help asap.
If your dog has cold paws, then it’s time for you to understand the issue behind it. This article will help you know all the probable causes of why dogs get cold feet and what are the symptoms to watch out for, along with preventive measures.
Follow this article as a guide to providing the necessary help to your dog.
Dr. Lillian is a D.V.M. passionate about promoting awareness of dogs. She shares her expertise through her blogs on canineweekly.com and provides animal care services, including internal medicine, dermatology, and emergency care. Dr. Lillian is committed to contributing to animal welfare.