Corgis are beloved for their adorable appearance. But like any other breed, they are susceptible to certain health risks. One of which is hypothermia.
While these small dogs boast a thick double coat, it’s important as a pet owner that you aware of the signs and prevention methods to keep your corgi health, especially in colder climates.
What is hypothermia?
Hypothermia occurs when a dog’s body temperature drops below the normal range (around 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 to 39.2 degrees Celsius – slightly higher than humans).
This can happen in cold environments or water, leading to symptoms such as shivering, confusion, and, if severe, it can be life-threatening. Immediate warming measures are crucial to treat hypothermia.
Corgis, with their low-to-the-ground stature, are particularly vulnerable to losing body heat, making them more prone to hypothermia in chilly weather.
What causes hypothermia in corgis?
Hypothermia in corgis can be caused by exposure to cold weather or water.
Factors such as low temperatures, wind, rain, or immersion in cold water can lead to a corgi losing body heat faster than it can generate it.
Short-legged breeds like corgis may also be more susceptible to cold ground. It’s essential to keep corgis warm in cold conditions and monitor them closely to prevent hypothermia.
Let’s dive into a closer look at some of these factors.
1. Cold weather
Corgis are not well-suited to extremely cold temperatures. Prolonged exposure to chilly weather, especially without proper protection, can lead to hypothermia.
2. Wet fur
Corgis’ double coat is effective at insulating against the cold, but if their fur becomes wet, it loses much of its insulating ability. Rain, snow, or even a dip in cold water can contribute to this risk.
3. Wind chill
Wind can exacerbate the effects of cold weather by rapidly removing the warm air around a corgi’s body. This can increase the risk of hypothermia, even in moderately cold temperatures.
4. Age and health
Puppies, older corgis, and those with underlying health conditions are more susceptible to hypothermia. It’s crucial to monitor these dogs closely in cold weather.
What are the signs of hypothermia in your corgi?
Signs of hypothermia in your corgi include shivering, lethargy, cold ears and paws, pale gums, muscle stiffness, difficulty breathing, and confusion or disorientation.
If you notice these signs, it’s important to warm your corgi gradually and seek veterinary attention if needed. Here is some more info on the signs to watch out for.
If you observe your corgi shivering, it’s a sign that they are attempting to warm themselves up in response to cold conditions.
When you notice frequent shivering, especially in chilly weather, it suggests that your corgi might be feeling too cold and struggling to maintain a comfortable body temperature.
Lethargy in your corgi manifests as unusual tiredness and a decrease in overall activity.
If your playful corgi suddenly appears very tired and less interested in activities, it could be a sign of hypothermia. Particularly if they have been exposed to cold temperatures.
Hypothermic corgis may experience weakness, making it challenging for them to move around comfortably.
If you observe your corgi having difficulty getting up or walking, it may be a result of their body being too cold. Weakness is a notable sign that your corgi may be struggling with the effects of low temperatures.
4. Pale gums and ears
Checking your corgi’s gums and ears is crucial. If you notice a paleness or bluish tint, it suggests reduced blood flow, which can occur in response to the cold.
These colour changes are indicators that your corgi might be too cold and their circulation is affected.
5. Difficulty breathing
When corgis are too cold, they may experience difficulty breathing, characterized by shallow or slow breaths.
If you observe abnormal breathing patterns in your corgi, it serves as a warning sign that their body temperature may be dropping, requiring prompt attention to prevent further complications.
How to prevent hypothermia in your corgi?
To prevent hypothermia in your corgi, provide a warm bed and use dog clothing in cold weather. Limit outdoor time, dry them off if wet, and give them indoor shelter for a cosy and safe environment.
Taking preventive measures is key to keeping your corgi safe from hypothermia. Let’s look closer at the strategies to make it happen.
1. Insulating bedding
Make it a priority to provide your corgi with a snug and insulating bed, particularly during chilly weather. I suggest you pick bedding that offers warmth, giving your corgi a comfortable and cosy retreat, especially in the colder months when the temperatures drop.
2. Appropriate clothing
When the weather turns cold, consider dressing your corgi in a dog sweater or jacket. This extra layer provides them with the warmth they need to stay comfortable during brisk and chilly days.
3. Limit exposure
Take care to limit the amount of time your corgi spends outside in extremely cold conditions. Keep their outdoor adventures brief, and always keep a watchful eye on them. This reduces their exposure to prolonged cold, reducing the risk of hypothermia.
4. Dry Them Thoroughly
Act promptly to dry off your corgi if they get wet, as damp fur can lead to heat loss. Thoroughly drying them helps maintain their body heat and prevents the onset of hypothermia, ensuring they stay warmer and healthier.
5. Indoor Shelter
Make sure your corgi has access to a warm and dry indoor space, especially during temperature drops. Providing a cosy indoor shelter allows them to seek refuge from the cold and keeps them safe from the elements.
Final thoughts on hypothermia in your corgi
Even though corgis are tough and adorable, they can still be at risk of getting too cold.
To keep your corgi safe in the cold, it’s important to know what might make them chilly, spot the signs, and take steps to prevent it.
Keep an eye on them, make sure they stay warm, and give them a bit more attention. You’ll find it can really help keep your corgi happy and healthy during colder times.