As a responsible pet owner, you are familiar with every aspect of your dog’s health and wellbeing. Therefore, it will come as a surprise if the dog’s mouth is suddenly cold. What makes a dog’s mouth go cold?
My dog’s mouth is cold – what does it mean? The dog’s mouth can become cold due to many reasons varying from licking cold surfaces and low ambient temperatures to decreased body temperature due to intoxications and breathing problems. In general, a dog with a cold mouth requires veterinary attention.
In this article, we will talk about the reasons a dog’s mouth can be cold. We will cover both the normal (physiological) and abnormal (pathological) causes and review each of them. We will also give hints on when to call the vet and what to do to manage the situation.
Why Is My Dog’s Mouth Cold?
There are many reasons a dog’s mouth can be cold. Some are benign and transient, while others are more severe and require veterinary management or treatment. Let’s take a closer look at the different reasons dogs may have cold mouths.
Reason number 1: Licking cold surfaces
Dogs can be weird and sometimes fond of licking unusual surfaces. For example, some dogs like to lick frosted windows. In such cases, it is only expected for the dog’s mouth to become cold. Usually, smaller dogs are more sensitive to cold and less inclined to such adventures.
Reason number 2: Eating a doggy ice cream
If you have been serving your dog homemade blueberry ice cream or frozen berry smoothies, it is only logical to expect its mouth to become cold. Even if the ambient temperatures are high, the dog’s mouth will be cold after eating such delicacies.
Reason number 3: Low ambient temperatures
Obviously, a dog exposed to low ambient temperatures will experience a sudden body temperature drop which will manifest with shaking, shivering, and a cold mouth. The issue resolves as soon as the ambient temperature is corrected.
Reason number 4: Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid gland is a common issue in dogs. One of the signs of hypothyroidism is decreased body temperature followed by a cold mouth. Although it sounds serious, the condition is manageable – however, it requires life-long supplementation with synthetic thyroid hormones.
Reason number 5: Hypothalamic disease
Hypothalamic disease is a specific condition affecting the hypothalamus. In terms of cold mouth, this is important as the center for thermal regulation is located in the hypothalamus. Therefore, if the function of the hypothalamus is compromised, it is only logical to expect problems with body temperature regulations.
Reason number 6: Certain medications
Some medications may result in lowered body temperatures and a cold mouth. For example, anesthetics have such powers. After waking up from anesthesia, some dogs need more time to eliminate the drugs from the system. During this timeframe, they may still experience a cold mouth. However, the issue and transient and will resolve as soon as the drugs are eliminated from the body.
Reason number 7: Intoxications
Intoxicated dogs experience decreased body temperatures. As the temperatures drop, the dog’s mouth will become cold. Intoxication triggers an array of additional signs and symptoms. However, their exact extent depends on the type of toxin. An intoxicated dog is in life0threatening danger and needs to be examined by a vet as soon as possible.
Reason number 8: Breathing issues
A dog with impaired breathing will experience a decline in the amount of circulating oxygen. This will result in pale pink to blue-colored lips and gums. As a result, the mouth will feel colder than usual. This is considered a medical emergency and requires immediate veterinary help.
Why Is My Dogs Mouth Cold and White?
Usually, the dog’s mouth and tongue are the same temperatures as the overall body. In normal circumstances, they are also pinkish and moist. However, when the body temperature drops and the mouth becomes colder than it is supposed to be, a color change follows. Namely, the mouth may become white or pale pink due to the decreasing temperature.
Should I Be Concerned if My Dogs Mouth Is Cold?
Yes, in general, having a cold mouth is not a normal scenario. If your dog’s mouth is cold and discolored, you need to observe the overall situation and call the vet for a consultation.
Depending on the exact circumstances, the vet will probably recommend an in-person visit to evaluate the dog’s health and determine the problem. Anyway, a dog with a cold mouth is a cause for concern and should not be taken lightly.
What Do I Do if My Dog’s Mouth Is Cold?
As explained, if your dog’s mouth is cold, you need to call the vet. However, before calling the vet, you need to evaluate the situation and rule out some normal causes, such as eating foods from the freezer and licking cold surfaces.
To get a better understanding of the problem and try establishing a connection between the cold mouth and its potential triggers, you need to focus on the following questions:
- Is the dog’s mouth always cold
- When is it most cold, and when is it normal
- Is there something unusual before the dog’s mouth turns cold
- Is the dog acting differently when its mouth is cold
- Whether the dog manifests other troublesome signs and symptoms
- When did the issue first start
- How long is the dog’s mouth cold before becoming normal?
If you have the answers to these questions, share them with the vet. The more information you provide the veterinarian, the easier it will be to pinpoint the exact culprit and then craft an adequate treatment strategy.
Summing Up: Dog’s Mouth Is Cold
All in all, if your dog’s mouth is cold, you need to analyze the situation, gather information, and call your trusted veterinarian.
If the dog is showing additional worrisome signs and symptoms, you should skip the waiting part and call the vet right away.
Some causes of cold mouth are severe and potentially life-threatening. Therefore, you need to call the vet as soon as you notice something is wrong with your dog.