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With this Crazy Cold Winter Weather...

With much of the Eastern US Coast (including Florida) under a cold snap, it's time to bring our pups indoors to keep them safe and warm. It breaks my heart when I hear stories of owners who keep their dogs outdoors, only to have the poor baby freeze to death in this brutal cold. In all honesty, owners like that, deserve to be charged with animal cruelty. Below is a great article written by Dr. Ashwani Singh and published in DogsNaturallyMagazine.com about how cold affects our furbabies. Frostbite Frostbite begins when the dog’s body gets cold. The body automatically pulls blood from the extremities to the center of the body to stay warm. The dog’s ears, paws or tail can get so cold that ice crystals can form in the tissue and damage it. The tricky thing to remember about frostbite is that it’s not immediately obvious. Watch for signs of pale or grey skin; the skin may also turn hard and cold. As frostbitten areas warm, they can be extremely painful. Severely frostbitten skin will eventually turn black and slough off.

Hypothermia A second serious winter weather concern is hypothermia. This occurs when a dog spends too much time in the cold, gets wet in cold temperatures or when dogs with poor health or circulation are exposed to cold. In mild cases, the dog will shiver and their ears and feet may grow cold. As hypothermia progresses, they may show signs of depression, lethargy and weakness. As the condition worsens, their muscles will stiffen, heart and breathing rates slow down, and they will not respond to stimuli. Severe hypothermia is life threatening. Protecting your dog from frostbite and hypothermia is essential, so learn how to recognize the signs that your dog needs to come indoors to warm up.