In the middle of May, the temperature in most parts of Brazil begins to drop, however, the concern of many owners comes: Is my dog cold? What precautions should I take with low temperatures?
Canine Welfare and Behavior Consultant Camille Chamonix from Belo Horizonte (MG), editor of all social media “Your French Country” and graduate of Genetics and Molecular Biology, explains, based on the Studies related to physiologysuch as Guyton and Hull’s article (“A Treatise on Medical Physiology”), argue that dogs are cold-adapted animals.
Proof of this is the way that Regulating body temperature: by breathing – Unlike humans, they practically do not sweat.
“Throughout evolution, breathing cold air has been the way dogs have found it to control their body temperature. As a result, it becomes more difficult for them to live in hot climates, as they pant to try to expel hot air from their bodies and bring in cooler air. It is not Rarely does heat cause dogs to die from hyperthermia.”
So, Cold fronts only start to get complicated for the dog when the temperature turns negativea rare thing in Brazil.
In addition, two characteristics of dogs function Thermal insulatorthat protects them from the cold: Hair and body fat.
“There is no covering more efficient than fur. It prevents the animal from losing or receiving excess heat, which helps to balance body temperature,” records Chamonix.
Precisely for this reason, special attention should be paid to dogs that are very gentle or hairless, such as greyhounds, Mexican hairless dogs and Chinese Crested dogs.
Cold: signs and verbs
The behavioral scientist explains that it is common, in winter, Dogs sleep more and are calmer.
“Because their body temperature drops 1-2 degrees while dogs sleep, cold is a great sleep inducer. Thus, when it is very hot, lowering their body temperature, to promote sleep induction, is more difficult – therefore, dogs tend to feel anxiety and discomfort in the heat,” he assesses.
In addition, since they are isothermal animals (that is, they maintain a constant body temperature – between 38.5 and 39.5 degrees – regardless of the outside temperature), their cells need to constantly function as true “thermophytes”.
That’s why so many calories ingested are converted into heat. When it is cold, this heat production must be greater so that it maintains a constant body temperature; Therefore, being calm is a way to reduce the body’s waste of energy,” says Chamonix.
However, it is worth checking the veterinarian for the possibility of increasing the amount of food a little during this period – of course, if the animal is healthy.
These signs are common and do not require concern from their owners.
However, when he is already feeling uncomfortable with the cold, the dog gives other obvious signs: In addition to being calm, his body is trembling.
This is because the muscles, when shivering, bring motion to the body to produce more heat, in an effort to raise its temperature.
In these situations, Chamonix recommends simple measures: provide blankets and blankets and protect the dog from the outdoors – if he sleeps outdoors, for example, it is interesting to provide a small house with cardboard on the floor.
“However, avoid packing it with clothes or too many blankets; in addition to causing discomfort, this can also make it less resistant to cold, and always ideal is to increase the dog’s adaptability to the environment in which he lives. Leaving the windows open, to distribute the air, And access to areas outside the home are important measures of this adaptability,” Al-Solaki asks.
this is the reason, Attention to clothesBecause not every animal feels comfortable in use. “If the dog runs away to put the piece on or shows discomfort, I advise against forcing it.”
Special attention should be paid to old dogsdue to the fact that they usually have joint diseases.
“They tend to get worse in the cold because the dog is calmer and bouncier, and they contract a lot of muscles. That’s why it’s important to stimulate their movements.”
And speaking of movement, the point that causes one to wonder is whether or not daily walking should be continued at this time of year.
Many owners choose not to walk their dog in the winter for fear of catching a cold..
However, Chamone explains that Physical activity recommendedThen Raises body temperatureIn addition to causing many beneficial health effects.
“By panting more, the dog increases its metabolic rate and body temperature, and is able to warm itself. Therefore, a tour is essential in any season of the year, including maintaining the quality of the animal’s daily life,” he guarantees.
Contrary to common sense, in the canine world, The flu vaccine should not be recommended in just one seasonAs in winter.
According to the guide World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) This vaccine is important no matter what time of year it is but for a specific group: Dogs that frequent places where there are dog gatherings, such as daycares or inns.
“The main form of transmission for canine influenza parasites occurs through direct contact with an infected dog’s nasal secretions or with objects contaminated with a sick animal, such as feeders or chew toys. Therefore, if your dog is in direct contact with others, it is important to vaccinate it,” Chamonix points out.