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Protect Your Dog’s Ears From Frostbite

Robbie, my Boxer x Pit Bull


Ginger and Petroleum Jelly – simple, inexpensive and effective…

When the temperature goes below -20 Celsius, dogs with short fur can end up experiencing vascular damage to their ears (the first stage of frost bite) in a relatively short time period – development can occur during a 30 to 40 minute walk.

I noticed one day that my Pit Bull x Boxer Robbie, was starting to get a cut at the edge of his ear. I thought it odd as I had not seen it there earlier in the day. With 10 dogs, you don’t run to the Veterinarian every time something comes up (non-emergency items). You try to see what conclusions you can come to first. So, I thought while we walked – he has not run since this morning -so it’s not a cut from dashing thorough the woods and he was not playing with his pack mates this morning. The temperature was in the -20’s, and there was a nasty wind-chill. In fact, we were experiencing multiple days of deep cold. So I thought a little more, put two and two together and realized it had to be the start of frost bite!

I headed home with my pack and knew I would have to find a quick and affective remedy. He wears a coat in cold weather, but to cover his ears with a hood is not practical!

When seeking solutions I try to relate things back to how I treat similar conditions for myself. My hands get really beat up by the cold. Before I take the dogs for their walk in the depth of winter, I usually put a thin layer of petroleum jelly on my hands. That way if I have to take my gloves off, my hands have a little protection. And that was it! I figured petroleum jelly would work on him too!

So, I put petroleum jelly around the edges of my Boxer’s ears when we went out in the deep cold for our daily walks. It worked well. The cut healed back-up quickly despite that fact that he was out for two walks a day in the cold. He has never had a recurrence even when out in -30 Celsius.

The petroleum jelly gets absorbed into the skin so there is no greasy mess, even when you apply it on a daily basis. So, if you are taking your short hair dog out in extreme cold, don’t forget your dog’s jacket and put a little petroleum jelly all around the edge of his/her ears!

All of my dogs get fresh minced ginger in their food once a day – ginger also helps stave-off frostbite by supporting good circulation.

About Karen

Dogs are my life, my work, my passion… I am a Dog Whisperer, Dog Behaviorist and Holistic Canine Wellness Adviser with a wealth of real-time, real-life experience living and working with dogs. For two and a half decades I have worked with and shared my life with dogs. My own dog pack is comprised of eleven dogs, various breeds and ages. I provide a full range of services including Obedience Training for puppies and dogs; canine Behavior Modification; canine Psychological Rehabilitation, specializing in assisting dogs that are experiencing extreme states of insecurity, anxiety and aggressive-reactive behavior; Diet, Nutrition and Wellness Advice and Plans for canines and felines…natural wisdom for you and your companion animal.

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One comment

  1. The saddest thing, while people like you and I care about our dogs, there are assholes out there keeping their so called pets in the backyard with heavy chains and a bare shelter, exposed to the cold, wind and sun. Unbelievably sick.

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