Why Is My Dog Cold To The Touch? (7 Important Facts)

It can be quite alarming to realize that your dog feels unusually cold when you touch him. Once you realize that your dog feels cold to the touch, you will probably want to know the reasons behind it. This article explores those possible reasons for a dog being cold to the touch.

Why is my dog cold to the touch? It could be simply as a result of the weather being cold or the dog being exposed to low temperatures in some other way. But if the weather is not cold, and the dog has not been otherwise exposed to low temperatures, being cold to the touch could be due to a disease such as hypothyroidism.

Thus if your dog feels cold to the touch, the first question you need to ask yourself is on whether the weather is cold.

If the weather is cold, it may be the reason as to why the dog feels cold to touch.

Why is my dog cold to the touch
Why Is My Dog Cold To The Touch?

Then again, even if the weather is not cold, the dog may have been exposed to low temperatures in other ways. For instance, the dog may have been in a room with air conditioning on low setting.

Now if the weather is warm, and the dog has not been exposed to low temperatures, it is worrisome. The dog’s feeling cold to the touch could be a sign of a disease.

You need to check what other symptoms the dog seems to be having.

For instance, if my dog is cold to the touch and lethargic, that could be a sign of an illness. The same would apply if my dog is cold to the touch and throwing up.

Some illnesses can actually make dogs cold to the touch.

 

What Is A Dog’s Normal Temperature?

Ideally, a dog’s temperature should be between 101 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Thus when a dog is cold to the touch, it is important to get an objective temperature measurement.

If you research on what to do if my dog is cold to the touch, most sources recommend first getting an objective temperature measurement.

That you do by inserting a thermometer into the dog’s rectum. Then you leave it there for some seconds. Thereafter you withdraw it, and take the reading.

If it is in the 101 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit range, then the dog’s temperature is okay.

But if it is far below 101 degrees (like below 99 degrees), the dog is objectively cold. The dog has hypothermia.

If the temperature is between 90 and 99 degrees Fahrenheit, you are looking at mild hypothermia.

And if the temperature is between 82 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, you are looking at moderate hypothermia.

In case the temperature is below 82 degrees Fahrenheit, you are looking at severe hypothermia.

So it is essential to go beyond just asking, why is my dog cold to the touch? You should go beyond that, and take an objective reading of the dog’s temperature.

And if it happens to be below 99 degrees Fahrenheit, then you know that the dog is objectively cold. He has hypothermia.

 

Is It Normal If My Dog Is Cold To The Touch?

In some cases, a dog feeling cold to the touch may be normal. But there are also cases in which a dog feeling cold to the touch is not normal.

If the temperature is cold, and your dog feels cold to the touch, this may be normal. Or at least understandable.

Similarly, if the dog has been in an air-conditioned room (which had been set to a low temperature) for quite a while, he may feel cold to the touch. Again, this is quite normal.

Of course, if the dog’s fur had become wet for some reason, the dog may feel cold to touch. Again, this is quite normal – or at least understandable.

You however need to go beyond asking why does my dog feel cold to the touch. You need to establish whether, objectively speaking, the dog’s temperature is low.

That you do by using a thermometer. And if the reading turns out to be below 99 degrees Fahrenheit, then you know that you have a case of hypothermia.

Whatever the reason for it, it is not normal. It is something that can cause the dog major problems – possibly even kill it.

Thus if you find the temperature below 99 degrees Fahrenheit, you need to start asking yourself questions.

Those are questions like, why is my dog so cold to the touch.

 

Why Is My Dog Cold To The Touch?

One possible reason for your dog being cold to the touch is the weather. If the weather is chilly, the dog will likely feel cold.

So you may find a dog cold mouth or dogs ears cold to touch, all on account of the weather.

Generally, if you find your dog cold at night, and the ambient temperatures are indeed low, then the cold weather may be the reason for the dog being cold.

Then again, the weather may be warm. But if the dog was in a room with air conditioning on low setting, then the resultant chilliness may make the dog feel cold to the touch.

So in that case, you find that what causes a dog to feel cold to the touch is the air-conditioning. That is as opposed to the general ambient temperature.

Another possible reason for your dog being cold to the touch is illness.

Indeed, most of the people who pose the question on why is my dog cold to the touch have illness as their biggest worry.

And it is true some illnesses can make a dog feel cold to the touch. Some illnesses can make a dog to be objectively cold.

Key among these are hypothalamic illnesses, such as hypothyroidism. Thus if my dog feels cold to the touch, I would consider this possibility too.

We will now look at each of the possible reasons for a dog being cold to touch at some length.

 

Cold Weather As A Reason For Dog Being Cold To The Touch

Dogs are warm-blood animals. They are able to thermo-regulate. This means that they are able to stay warm, in spite of ambient temperatures being low.

However, the dogs’ thermo-regulation has limits.

If the dog has low temperatures exposure for too long, it gets to a point at which the dog really feels cold to the touch.

You may touch the dog’s back, and find it unusually cold. And that gets you wondering, why is my dogs back cold to the touch?

Why is my dog cold to the touch
Why Is My Dog Cold To The Touch?

Or you may touch the dog’s chest and find it unusually cold. And that gets you wondering, why is my dogs chest cold to the touch?

And when you follow up, you find that the reason for the dog being cold to the touch is weather.

In fact, whenever you find your dog being cold to touch, the first thing to check is the weather.

If my dog’s paws are cold to the touch, I would first check the weather.

And even in answering the question on why is my dog’s chest cold to the touch, the first thing to check would be the temperature.

While at it though, you need to appreciate that there are cases in which other chilly conditions can make a dog feel cold to the touch.

The ambient temperature may be high. The climate may be warm. But if the dog’s fur was wet, then the dog may feel cold to the touch.

Or if the dog had been in a room with air-conditioning on low setting, he may feel cold to the touch. This is due to exposure to the air conditioning system’s low temperatures.

All in all, low temperature exposure can be the reason for dog feeling cold to the touch.

 

Illness As A Reason For Dog Being Cold To The Touch

A dog may be cold to the touch due to illness.

Hypothalamic diseases are the common culprits here. They often cause dogs to become cold. And such dogs actually feel cold to the touch.

For instance, if a dog has hypothyroidism, it may feel cold to the touch.

If a dog feels cold to the touch, yet the weather is warm – and the dog hasn’t had other low temperatures exposure – then the whole thing may be due to an illness.

To be sure, you need to look at what other symptoms the dog has.

For instance, if the dog is cold to the touch upset stomach can be a further sign that the whole thing is due to an illness.

Similarly, in a dog throwing up cold to the touch temperature feeling can be further evidence of illness.

Of course, if a dog has trouble walking and is cold to the touch, this likely means there is an underlying illness.

And if I find that my dog is real lethargic and cold to the touch, I would suspect illness.

In old dogs fatty tumor cold to the touch obviously indicates an underlying illness.

Generally if my dog feels cold and is lethargic, I would tend to suspect an illness.

So an illness can make a dog either unusually cold or unusually warm.

Thus in reversed roles, even if I found the dog back warm to touch (to unusual degree), I would still suspect illness.

If a very young dog or a very old dog feels cold to touch, it can be due to a hypothalamic illness.

So illness can be what is making a very young or old dog cold to touch.

Even in mid-age dogs, illness can cause hypothermia: unusual coldness.

 

My Dog Feels Cold To The Touch – Should I Be Worried?

You first need to understand, what does it mean if your dog is cold to the touch? In other words, why would a dog be cold to the touch?

As we have seen, a dog may be cold to the touch due to low temperatures exposure.

Further, a dog may be cold to the touch due to an illness.

Generally though, if your dog feels cold to the touch, and an objective thermometer reading reveals a temperature below 99 degrees Fahrenheit, you have reason to worry.

If the coldness seems to be due to exposure to cold temperatures, find ways to warm up the dog.

But if the coldness seems to be due an illness, take the dog to the vet urgently.

So if the dog feels cold to the touch, and the thermometer reading is indeed below 99 degrees Fahrenheit, that is reason to worry.

 

My Dog Is Cold To The Touch – What To Do?

Upon discovering that your dog is cold to the touch, the key question will be on what to do next.

Now what to do if my dog is cold to the touch depends on the apparent reason for the coldness.

If it is clearly due to exposure to low temperatures, put in place measures to warm up the dog.

These may include heating, wrapping the dog in a blanket or using a dog sweater.

If the dog is seemingly cold due to an illness, rush him to a vet. Hypothermia can lead to quite serious complications.

Just get the dog to the vet. Explain the symptom(s) you are seeing. The vet will run tests, to come up with a proper diagnosis  and treatment plan.

 

Final Verdict – Why Is My Dog Cold To The Touch

Your dog may be cold to the touch simply due to cold temperatures exposure. Like if the weather is cold, the dog may also feel cold to the touch.

Or if your dog has been in a room with an air conditioning at a low setting, then he may feel cold to the touch. A dog whose fur had been wet may also feel cold to the touch.

Then again, a dog may feel cold to the touch due to an illness. Indeed, if a dog feels cold to the touch, yet he hasn’t had low temperatures exposure, it could be a sign of illness.

Why is my dog cold to the touch
Why Is My Dog Cold To The Touch?

Hypothalamic illnesses often make dogs to feel cold to the touch. For instance, a dog with hypothyroidism will often feel rather cold to the touch.

If your dog is cold to the touch due to low temperature exposure, find ways of warming him up. Those may include the use of heating, blankets or dog sweaters.

If your dog is cold to the touch due to an illness, get him to a vet as soon as possible. Remember, hypothermia can lead to rather bad complications in a dog.

As a pet lover, make sure to learn about pet more and give your pet dog a good and comfortable life!

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