How to prevent hypothermia on your hounds
It's a well known facts that hounds handle low temperatures better than humans and that hounds are better adapted than hunters to expend long periods of time outside under low temperatures and snow with nothing else than their hair cover and impressive ability to regulate body temperature.
With the above in mind one might thought hounds have no hypothermia risk since they are adapted well enough to deal with low temperatures ....
Nothing is further from reality! In fact hounds are able to deal with low temperatures, snow and wet under normal circumstances and during a given time, beyond there they also have risk of hypothermia and even death!
That's especially true on a hunting scenario where conditions are not natural and hounds are restricted to proceed on a given way.
Normally all animals will keep moving to keep them warm during temperature drops, furthermore, they might look for shelter in order to save energy and keep them warm, but when your hounds are in the middle of a hunting raid, especially when you are stalking big games or waterfowling, they can't act naturally.
In fact your hounds will have to keep still for long periods, on a given position and most of time surrounded by wet or snow. Under such circumstances it's harder for your dogs to keep their body temperature and it's on you to be aware about hypothermia prevention.
Otherwise your hounds safety will be jeopardized and probably you will have to deal with tragic consequences.
So, forget about the myth of dogs immunity to hypothermia and keeps eyes wide open to identify any sign of it in order to proceed accordingly, however if you note hypothermia on your hounds is because you failed to prevent it, so the best choice is to be a step forward and prevent hypothermia.
How to do it?
Well, you don't need to find a coat and a hat for your dogs unless you are hunting for long periods on very, very cold conditions such as arctic climate, if not, your hounds hair cover will be enough.
But remember that hair cover provides insulation until it gets wet! So if you are waterfowling be aware of how much time your dogs are in the water as well water temperature, avoid to keep them too much time on the ground wet and allow some movement time to time to increase their body temperature.
This way water effect will diminish and your dogs will be more comfortable.
On the other hand keep high energy, protein snacks for your dogs. On cold weather energy expenditure is higher than usual and high energy snacks will help your hounds to keep them warm.
Keep your dogs on dry soil while waiting to do their work. Dogs lose heat by their paws, so standing on wet or mud terrains will increase their energy consumption and lower their temperature, so be sure to find a dry space for your dogs where they may stand while the time to do their job comes.
Finally remember that your dogs are not machines and sooner or later will get tired and their ability to regulate body temperature will be impaired, thus avoid exhaustion and end hunting before you and your dogs go beyond your energy limits.
This way you will be more effective, your dogs will be safe and everything will get to a happy end with hunters and dogs safe back home and probably with a pack full of fresh meat.