Why Are My Dog’s Ears Cold?

Sometimes, you might notice that our ears get cold for no apparent reason, but there are several explanations for this.

If it’s cold outside – this is probably the reason! Just like humans, we react to extreme temperature changes, and like you, we’re primarily made of cartilage.

There aren’t as many blood vessels in our ears and this is why they’re prone to feeling the cold – plus they’re one of the last parts of the body that are prioritized when we go through extreme temperature changes.

dog in plaid

Another common cause for cold ears is illness, as, just like humans, we’re not immune to common colds and fevers, and can contract viruses just like you do.

A more serious explanation for cold ears is early symptoms of frostbite – which occurs when the tissue gets damaged. This is usually identifiable by the ears turning bright pink, and often occurs in extremities with very little blood circulation.

Usually, our ears, tail, and paws are often the first to be affected by frostbite.

If cold ears persist, and you’ve ruled out the above, it could be a symptom of rare, circulatory problems that can affect dogs of all ages, but more usually elderly canines.

If we have a circulatory issue, it needs to be addressed as soon as possible, otherwise, it’s likely it’ll get worse.

How do I keep my dog’s ears warm?

If you’re worried about our ears feeling the cold when we’re out walking, why not get us a winter hat or snood?

This will keep our ears warm and protected during harsh conditions, and of course, we also look super cute! Indoors, you can keep us snuggled in a blanket, but just make sure we have space to breathe!

Can dogs get sick from being wet and cold?

You might be surprised to hear this, but just like humans, if we have long-term exposure to cold, wet weather we can get sick too.

This can lead to inflammation of our respiratory tract, and in the worst-case scenario, pneumonia, which is especially dangerous for senior dogs and puppies, as well as dogs with weakened immune systems.

This is why it’s really important to make sure you wipe us down and dry us thoroughly after we’ve been out walking in the rain, and you can even consider dressing us in a dog raincoat to keep us dry and warm in the winter.

How do you know if your dog is hot or cold?

Usually, if we’re cold, you’ll notice we’re shivering, trembling, or cuddling into warm spaces.

We may curl up on your bed, on the sofa, or near a heater to seek warmth, and we’ll avoid lying on cold tiles and will choose carpet instead. Chances are if you’re feeling cold indoors, we probably are too!

On the other hand, if we’re overheated, you’ll notice that we’ll be panting excessively, short of breath, and may be drooling a lot.

Sometimes our gum and tongue color changes to bright or dark red, and our pulse and heartbeat may be high.

In extreme circumstances, we may have an elevated body temperature, excessive thirst, and experience disorientation, stumbling, or weakness, as well as vomiting.

How can you tell if your dog is cold at night?

You can tell if we’re cold or not by paying close attention to our body language. If we’re shaking or shivering, hunching our bodies over and tucking in our tail, or lifting our paws off the ground, it’s a tell-tale sign that we’re cold. We may also try to communicate this to you by whining or barking.

When we’re cold, you might also notice a change in our behavior, for example, we seem more anxious or uncomfortable, seem to seek places for shelter or warmth, and become reluctant to go for walks or keep trying to turn around.

At night, we should always have a warm, dry indoor place to sleep with a dog bed and blankets for comfort. And don’t forget, if you feel particularly cold, it’s likely that we feel it too!

How can you tell if your dog has a fever?

The symptoms of fever in dogs are not too dissimilar to the symptoms humans experience.

These can include red eyes, lethargy/lack of energy, warm ears, warm, dry nose, shivering, loss of appetite, coughing, and vomiting.

However, we may experience only some of these symptoms, or possibly other symptoms not listed here.

If you suspect that we have a fever, you should check our temperature. We’re considered to have a fever when our temperature reaches 103 degrees or higher, and at this point, it’s time to take us to the vet.

A temperature of 106 degrees or higher can damage our internal organs and could be fatal, so never leave it too long before seeking medical advice for us.

Why does my dog’s body feel hot?

The most common reason for your dog’s body feeling hot is due to an infection,
vaccination, toxins, or a fever of unknown origin.

For example, if our nose feels hot and dry, rather than wet and cool, it could be a sign of fever. As we said above, you should take your dog’s temperature and take us to a vet as soon as possible if it’s above 103 degrees.

We will most likely be given anti-inflammatory medication and could be put on IV fluids. We may also require blood tests and urinalysis in order to narrow down the potential cause of the fever.

We may need painkillers, intravenous fluids, and antibiotics, and in serious cases, hospitalization, intensive care, and testing may be needed.

If pets do not respond to the treatments they may require an ultrasound, tests for bacteria and fungus, DNA testing for pathogens, sampling of lymph nodes, joints, and organs, as well as titers that are specific blood tests for exposure to pathogen organisms.

The main thing is to get us to a vet as soon as possible if we have a fever, as how quickly you act could make a big difference in our recovery.

You should also never feed us human medications like Ibuprofen – only give us medicine prescribed by a vet, as this could make us even more ill!