The better part of the country is experiencing record-breaking low temperatures this season, which for most of us has meant hunkering down inside and praying to anyone that'll listen that we don't have to step foot outside. But for dog owners, the cold weather holds a whole other set of concerns because your trusty pals probably have to venture outdoors to do their business (which means you might, too), and they can't communicate when their paws are frozen. That's why you need to keep an eye out for these signs your dog is too cold outside, because the polar vortex is no joke.
There are a lot of signs to look out for when watching your dog for signs that they're too cold outside, which are all made complicated by the fact that not all dogs are build the same way. Coat-type, size, and weight are all variables that vary drastically by breed and make a huge difference on what each dog is able to withstand. But even the fluffiest, largest dog can get chilly in the frigid cold, no matter how much they might appear to be built for the snow. It is really important to protect our four-legged friends when it starts to get dangerously cold outside.
When the temperatures hit below freezing, you need to start keeping an extra close eye on your dog. PetMd advises dog owners to watch out for temperatures that dip below 20: "Once temperatures drop under 20°F, all owners need to be aware that their dogs could potentially develop cold-associated health problems like hypothermia and frostbite." On top of that, wind chill can also affect the feeling of the air, making it feel degrees colder that it actually is.
And as with humans, frostbite is very dangerous for dogs (it involves discolored skin on their paws, swelling, and blisters), and as a dog owner, you of course want to avoid this at all costs. So it's best to catch signs that your dog is too cold outside early on. Here's what to look out for when you're walking your dog in the tundra.