How to Ensure Your Pet is Warm and Toasty This Winter

Make sure your pet stays warm this winter. Learn more about hypothermia in pets, what to look out for, and how to prevent it from happening to your dog or cat.


It’s a common misconception that pets cannot get cold. In reality, animals do get cold and can even suffer from hypothermia. Hypothermia is a dangerous condition that occurs when your pet’s body temperature drops below normal levels. Hypothermia affects both cats and dogs. Here are some symptoms of hypothermia in pets as well as ways to prevent it:

Signs of hypothermia in dogs and cats.

If you're worried that your dog or cat is experiencing hypothermia, look for these signs:

  • Shivering (or lack thereof)
  • Drowsiness, lethargy and weakness
  • Depression or confusion
  • Pale gums and/or bluish lips or tongue (indicating low body temperature)
  • Slow heart rate

How to tell if your cat’s cold?

The first thing to look for when determining if your cat is cold is signs of shivering. Shivering may be a sign that other symptoms are present, such as hypothermia or hyperthermia. If you notice your cat shivering or shaking, it’s important to take action quickly and raise the temperature by moving them closer to a heat source or adding more blankets on them.

Next, check their paws: if they feel warm and dry then this is good indication that the animal isn’t experiencing any hypothermia yet but if they feel cold and wet/moist then you should immediately seek medical help as this could indicate frostbite has already occurred somewhere else on their body (such as their ears).

Also, check their ears: if they aren't red or swollen then everything is good! However if there's any swelling present then it's definitely time for an emergency vet appointment because this could mean some serious damage has been done internally due to prolonged exposure in extreme temperatures conditions such as high winds and snow drifts during the winter months.

Next, look at their belly area; does it seem like normal healthy pink coloration? Or does it seem pale instead? If so then don't worry about anything just yet since most cats tend towards paleness anyway but if there seems like something wrong with either the color or texture (bumps appearing upon closer inspection) then take immediate action.

Check around their tail area. Does everything seem normal here? If all is good, check their gums. Healthy gums should always be pinkish-white in color without any discoloration whatsoever!

How to tell if your dog’s cold?

  • Symptoms of hypothermia in dogs and cats include shivering, lethargy and sluggishness.
  • If your pet is cold, you may notice that they have a slow pulse rate or even feel stiff as though they’re stuck."
  • To prevent hypothermia in pets during the winter: keep them warm by providing them with blankets or towels to lie on; set up heated water bowls so they can drink warm water; give them an extra layer of clothing (such as sweaters) when it’s cold outside; make sure they have access to dry bedding indoors; give them access to heat sources such as lamps or fireplaces if possible

How to keep your cat warm during the winter?

The best way to keep your cat warm during the winter is to keep them inside. Cats need a lot of attention and care, so if you have a busy schedule, it’s important they have access to warm comfortable bedding, food and fresh water.  If your cat spends most of its time indoors, then make sure that there is plenty of space for them to run around and play with toys when they get bored. This will help reduce stress levels which can lead to other problems like obesity or behavioral issues such as biting/scratching furniture or people! Incorporating more interactive toys into their environment can increase exercise levels which in turn reduces weight gain risks too!

The easiest way I found was by following these tips:

  • Keep away from drafty areas of the home
  • Move any items such as chairs nearby that may block warmth from entering
  • Open windows only when absolutely necessary (and close them afterwards). 

Hypothermia is dangerous, but it’s also preventable. So it's very important that you're aware of the signs of hypothermia or low body temperature in your pets.

So what are the signs of hypothermia, and how do you know if your pet is getting too cold? Here are the top three things to look out for:

  • Shivering
  • Slow heart rate (less than 100 beats per minute)
  • Low body temperature (under 99°F)


If you think your pet is showing any signs of hypothermia, try to get them inside under warm blankets or into a warm car. If they’re too weak to walk then try and carry them carefully. Check their pulse rate and if it’s above 40 beats per minute then we suggest you wrap them in blankets or towels until they start breathing normally again. As soon as you get them wrapped up in warmth, call us immediately so our team can schedule an examination with our Doctor to ensure no further damage was done to your pets. 

As an AAHA-Accredited practice, we are dedicated to providing top notch care to both you and your pets. Should you need anything just give us a call or text us at (845) 878-4833.

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