Frostbite in dogs? Here Is Everything You Need To Know


Last Updated on April 7, 2021

Should dog owners be concerned about frostbite? The answer is yes because, same as humans, dogs can easily get frostbites during the cold weather. Once the temperature is below 32°F, then all dog breeds will be at risk.  If you live in an extremely cold area and are interested in learning how to keep your dog safe, let’s start from scratch and understand everything. So first things first…

1. What is frostbite? 

When being exposed to extreme cold, the healthy tissues become damaged, and that’s what we call frostbite. For dogs, it occurs when the blood is redirected from the end of their vital organs after a sudden body temperature.  The dog’s body parts that are most commonly at risk: ears (the tips of them), nose, tail, paws, and footpads. Regardless of which dog breed is your little furry friend, they all have equal chances of getting frostbite. However, the breeds that are made for the cold, like Alaskan Malamute and Siberian Husky, are less likely to get it due to their thick fur. But in general, if it’s cold for you, then it’s too cold for your dog. 

2. Signs of frostbite in dogs

  • Skin color changes: You have to keep an eye on the skin color of your furry friend. When a dog is overexposed to cold weather, the skin will become very pale to the point of having a bluish-white pallor because of the lack of blood flow. When frostbite is severe, the skin could turn black while the tissue underneath die.
  • Skin sensitivity: the affected skin will be extremely cold to touch and painful for the dog when touched.
  • Ice forming: when some areas are affected by frostbite, they will start ice form around them.
Keep in mind that when the dog is out of the cold and starts getting warm, blood will begin to flow into the area, which can be a painful experience. The skin gets swollen and red, and the affected area might start peeling, form skin ulcers or blisters, 

3. Treatment

As soon you doubt frostbite on your pet, you must provide immediate treatment. In case your dog spent a long time being exposed to the cold, then immediately bring them inside and warm them up. Here are a few ways to treat frostbite in dogs: