If your dog experiences frostbite, it is important that your dog gets warmed up as quickly as possible. However, there is a right and wrong way to warm up your dog. Here are a few things that you should avoid when treating your dog:
#1 Don't Apply Heat Directly to Bare Skin
If your dog has frostbite, do not apply heat directly to your dog's skin. Applying hot heat to your dog's sensitive skin could burn and further damage your dog's skin. Too much heat could shock and damage your dog's skin.
Instead, wrap a towel around the affected area and put the heat on top of the towel. That way the heat is a little more indirect. Placing a towel down first and then putting the heat on top of it will also help your dog gradually warm up, which is better for your dog's tissue.
#2 Don't Rub the Area
You should not rub the area to warm it up. Friction can be bad for your dog's skin when it is so sensitive. Instead of helping your dog, you could end up causing further damage by rubbing your dog's skin to warm it up.
If your dog is wet, don't rub them dry. Instead, use a towel to pat them dry. Light patting compared to rubbing is less disruptive to your dog's skin.
#3 Avoid Scalding Hot Water
Do not apply scalding water or extreme heat to your dog's skin. This could actually burn your dog's skin and further injure your dog. Use mild heat that feels comfortable to the touch and doesn't make you want to pull away when you touch it because it is too hot.
#4 Stay Away From The Hair Dryer
You should not use your hair dryer to warm up your dog. The heat from your dog's hair dryer is too intense for their sensitive skin. Using a hair dryer to warm your dog up is just another way you can cause further injury to your dog. Remember, mild and gradual heat is best for your dog when they are experiencing frostbite.
#5 Don't Give Your Dog A Bath
Giving your dog a bath may seem like a great way to warm them up when they develop frostbite. However, a bath presents a variety of circumstances that could hurt your dog. Your dog is going to be really sensitive and in pain, and getting into and out of a bath could hurt them. The water could be too hot and damage your dog's tissue. You may accident rub your pet or touch them in a rough manner while washing them, which could hurt your dog's sensitive tissue. Additionally, even if the water is warm, when your dog gets out of the bath, the drying process can make your dog feel chilly, which is the last thing you want when you are trying to warm your dog up.
#6 Avoid Human Painkillers
Finally, do not give your dog any of medication or painkillers designed for human consumption. Your medication and painkillers are not made for your dog, and could actually cause your dog additional damage and harm. If your dog needs something for the pain, your vet can prescribe you medication that is safe for your dog.
After you treat your dog, get your dog to the vet so they can follow up on your home care and make sure that your dog is okay. Contact local veterinary surgical services for more information and assistance.