Cold weather affects pets the same way it does people, said Dr. Christine Rutter, a clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. The majority of cold weather-related illnesses have to do with exposure to the cold itself," Rutter said. "In some climates, generalized hypothermia and frostbite of toes, ears, lips, the nose, and the tail can certainly occur."
She said that hypothermia may cause pets to seem mentally dull or antisocial while frostbite shows up as swollen, red lesions. Frostbite does not occur at a specific temperature, but rather results from a combination of cold weather, heat loss, and decreased blood flow.
According to Rutter, some pets are especially sensitive to cold weather, including older animals, newborn animals, underweight and small animals, and those with shaved fur.