If you suspect that your dog has frostbite on one or more areas of its body, this isn't an issue that you should ignore. While you might initially feel tentative to contact your local animal hospital because you might worry that someone will view you as a neglectful dog owner, it's important to make this call. Veterinary clinic staff know that dogs can develop frostbite in a surprisingly short amount of time, and will be fully focused on providing your pet with the treatment it needs. The treatment options largely depend on the severity of the frostbite. Here are three options that may be appropriate.

Pain Medication

Your veterinarian will always assess the level of pain that your dog is experiencing due to its frostbite. Pain can vary depending on how long the animal was exposed to cold conditions. If the dog is acting in a manner that suggests it's in pain — perhaps acting withdrawn or even showing aggression toward others — the vet will almost certainly provide pain medication. This will help your pet to feel better in a short amount of time.


Frostbite can damage your pet's skin in different ways. If this condition is serious, the skin can actually die and begin to peel away. While you might be worried about your dog's comfort level when enduring this issue, an equal concern is the risk of infection. Infections can quickly spread and lead to serious health consequences for your dog. If the veterinarian assesses that the frostbite has resulted in an infection, they'll carefully clean the area and prescribe antibiotics for your pet. They'll also teach you how to look at the affected areas in the days ahead so that you can identify any signs that the condition has worsened.


Unfortunately, there are cases of frostbite in dogs that can require amputation. This may be necessary if the dog's skin is severely damaged. In certain scenarios, the need for amputation may be immediately apparent when you visit the animal hospital. At other times, the vet may ask you to return a few days after the initial appointment so that they can assess how the affected area is progressing. If the condition is grave, amputation can be an appropriate course of action. Ideally, the amputation will only be minor — for example, removing one of the dog's toes because of frostbite damage. Visit a local pet hospital if you believe your dog has frostbite.