Try to picture a situation where you then notice that your dog’s ears are noticeably colder.
What will you do in this case?
Most dog owners usually get quite concerned about the temperature of their dog’s ears especially when they know their dog’s regular body temperature. It is usually surprising to see the sudden temperature change.
There are various reasons for your dog having a cold ear. In most cases, the causes are not something serious. However, you have to watch out and be sure that the cold ear is not a sign of a bigger undiagnosed health issue.
In this article, we have compiled a list of common reasons that causes your dog’s ears to be cold. To ease your worries, we also added information on what to do when your dog’s ears get cold. Find out more as you carefully read along.
- Cool Weather
Sometimes, your dog’s cold ear is simply caused by cool weather. Dogs are living beings too just like humans so they also tend to reach extreme temperature changes.
Your dog may begin to bundle up to get away from cold wind or snow. At some point, they will have to go outside, and that is where the problems start.
Dog’s ears are similar to humans in many areas. They are made of cartilage. Unlike many other body parts, only a few blood vessels run-up to the ear.
So, when your pup goes outside the house in cold seasons to do their business, they hardly prioritize their ear. The resultant effect is that they get cold faster.
Cold Weather Hits Dogs Differently
It is pertinent to always keep in mind that temperature affects different dogs in different ways. Dogs whose coats of fur are thick will likely tolerate cold weather better than others.
On the other hand, short-haired dog breeds have a higher tendency of getting cold faster than others. The same applies to senior dogs and young puppies. Senior dogs are particularly susceptible to extreme cold weather because they are not able to regulate their body temperature.
However, senior dogs’ body fat percentages are usually lower. This implies that they do not have much insulation like other dogs and cold temperature affects their joints.
So, dog owners should apply caution when they are taking their senior dogs out for a walk during cold seasons like a cool winter morning.
Smaller dog breeds also tend to get pretty cold very fast too. Their small stature means that their body heat is less than that of large dog breeds. If you plan to take your dog out for a walk in colder months, it is better to get them a sweater for insulation.
Lastly, some dogs have perky ears. Dog breeds like Corgi, German Shepherd, and the Siberian Husky have adorable erect ears which perk up whenever they are excited.
These perky ears are more exposed to the cool air than ears that flop down near the dog’s body. So, they tend to get cold quicker.
Things You Can Do
If you notice that your dog’s ears are cold due to cool weather, it is best to reduce your dog’s exposure to the weather. You can get them a sweater or ear wrap to keep their body temperature up for as long as possible.
Also, you should keep them indoors for long, and allow them to go out only for a few minutes when the weather is extremely cold. When it is time for your dog to go back inside, ensure that you bundle them up and crank up the heat.
In few minutes, your dog’s ears will surely be back to normal.
If your dog has been outside for a long time, you may see early signs of frostbite in them. To identify these symptoms of frostbite, check the color of your dog’s ears. There is cause for alarm if the ear color is bright pink.
Frostbite is a health challenge which occurs when the tissue becomes damaged. The tissue can fall off after they become blackened, although this depends on the gravity of the issue.
Frostbite often occurs in an extremity such that there is little blood circulation. It first affects the paws, tail, and ears.
What You Can Do
Immediately you notice that your dog’s ears are getting pink, take them inside and apply a warm compress on the affected ear for five to ten minutes.
You can also bundle the dog up because it is likely to have a lower body temperature at that time. If the symptom persists and the issue seems serious, consult your vet immediately.
Your vet is in the best position to check if your dog has hypothermia. Then they will inform you of the next line of action.
Illness is another frequent cause of cold ears in dogs. Dogs are not immune to fevers and common colds as many people believe. Just like humans, dogs can also contract viruses.
However, there is a slim chance that your dog’s illness will make you sick, so there is nothing to worry about. Most dogs contract viruses from other dogs who have been earlier infected. This is common in dog parks and vet offices.
When your dog is ill and trying to fight it off, it might cause a strange change in the ear temperature. Not all dogs will have cold ears, some dogs will experience an increase in temperatures instead.
The cold ear is not the only symptom that can affect your dog when they are ill. You might also notice that your dog has a cough or dry heave. It is also common to see a persistent flow of mucus come out of their nose.
In extreme cases, your dog may also show signs of weakness and lethargy.
What You Should Do
Mild cold leaves after a few days. That’s good news, right? What you can do is show your dog plenty of affection and love during the challenging period when they are ill.
Many dogs can get clingy when they are under the weather. They do not know that they are ill, but they will love to be around those they love.
Show them that you love and care for them during this period. Give them extra attention. Make sure you make them feel comfortable while they recover.
Also, ensure that you provide your dog with adequate clean water. This is because dogs can get dehydrated when they are ill. So they need plenty of water during this time.
Also, make sure that the dog environment is clean. Dirty area breeds diseases. So, clean out their bed, toys, and dishes.
After all these, if your dog temperature still begins to rise, take them to see your vet. Similarly, you have to watch out for severe symptoms like extreme weakness, vomiting, and confusion.
High fever tends to lasting effects on your dog, so you must give them the right care.
- Circulation Issues
All the causes of cold ear we have mentioned above can be dealt with efficiently and swiftly. But what happens if the problem continues? In such cases, it could be the result of a systemic disorder triggered by circulatory issues.
Although it is rare to see circulatory problems in dogs, it can affect any dog. However, it is most prevalent in senior dogs.
The circulatory system in a dog’s body is saddled with the responsibility of delivering blood all through. At the core of the circulatory system is the heart which pumps warm blood all through your dog’s veins. In effect, the circulatory system controls the body temperature. It also ensures that all the vital organs in the body get the nutrient they require to function properly.
When a health issue inhibits the circulatory system from its optimal performance, it must be addressed immediately. It will only get worse if you ignore the problem.
Many things can affect your dog’s circulation. The most prevalent ones are anemia, organ infections, bleeding tumors, and heart conditions. In most cases, a few different symptoms accompany circulatory problems.
You might also notice other extremities like redness around the paws, lethargy, and regular shivering in addition to cold ears.
What You Can Do
The circulatory issue is a serious one that should not be handled with levity. Consult your vet immediately you notice that circulatory issue is the reason why your dog’s ears are cold.
Your vet will then perform various tests and diagnoses to know the cause of the problem. Afterward, the vet will work with the dog owner to develop a care plan.
If a tumor or infection is the cause of the circulation problem, circulation will be restored when you solve that issue. However, it is trickier to deal with heart problems.
In cases like heart problems, dogs have to make serious life changes and take medications to stay healthy. Early diagnosis is important to help your dog deal with a life-long condition. So do not avoid the veterinary doctor.
Cold ears are generally no cause for concern. It is quite rare that it is a serious medical issue. It could simply be your dog’s reaction to cold temperatures.
You have to be aware of your dog’s needs. Get your dog a cozy blanket and give them plenty of cuddles when you notice cold ears. Their ears will soon warm up.