For many dog owners, winter is a great time for you to get out with your pet and explore, play, and enjoy the beautiful winter landscape. However, the colder temperatures, snow, ice, and water can leave your dog susceptible to frostbite. Frostbite is possible in dogs, and if left untreated, can lead to serious injuries. Here are the answers to a few frequently asked questions you might have about frostbite in dogs.

What Are The Symptoms Of Frostbite In Dogs?

If you live in a colder climate and love spending time outdoors with your dog, it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of frostbite, including:

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Skin turning blue and feeling cold
  • Blisters

During the early stages of frostbite, your dog's skin will feel very cold and might appear blue. As the frostbite becomes worse, your dog's skin might become black. This is a very dangerous symptom because blackened skin means that the tissue has died and cannot be saved. If you notice black skin on your dog, contact an emergency veterinarian right away.

How Can You Treat Frostbite?

No matter what the stage or severity of the frostbite, if your dog has the symptoms of frostbite, it is important to contact a veterinarian right away. While you are awaiting to transport your dog to the veterinarian, you must make sure your dog stays warm and dry. Take your dog indoors and wrap your dog in a warm blanket or towel.

Carefully place your dog in your vehicle and make sure that your dog stays warm while you travel to the veterinarian. Once you arrive, your vet will take greater measures to raise your dog's body temperature. Your veterinarian will treat the wounds and give your dog antibiotics to prevent any infections.

In severe cases, your veterinarian might need to remove the dead tissue and treat the affected area to prevent any additional tissue damage and loss.

How Can You Prevent Your Dog From Getting Frostbite Again In The Future?

Frostbite is a potentially deadly condition that can be prevented. Because frostbite often occurs on your dog's paws, covering the paws with booties is a great way to keep your dog's paws dry and clean. Take shorter walks during the winter and if necessary, take breaks inside your warm house frequently. Finally, make sure to wipe off your dog's paws after you get home to ensure they are dry.

Frostbite in dogs is common, and if caught early, it can be treated. Contact your veterinarian with any further questions.