Moving from the West to East coast! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-23-2014, 01:11 AM Thread Starter
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Moving from the West to East coast!

Hello all!
My female GSD and I will be moving from Oregon state to Vermont in January, and I was looking for some cold weather gear advice. I think booties (like ruff wear) are a must, but what about sweaters or coats? Do people even make warmth layers like that for large breed dogs? Also, what would be the best way to get my girl used to the snow? I am planning on taking her skiing with me this winter, but we don't get the type of snow in Oregon that Vermont does. Vega has a thick but short coat, if that helps. Also, does flying with dogs work? Vega will be in the cabin with me, but I've never flown with a dog before, so any tips/tricks would help!
Thank you so much!
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-23-2014, 04:31 AM
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Your dog will adjust just fine. The first few days she experience colder than normal temperatures and snow, she might show some signs of being cold - lifting her feet, etc - but let her get used to it. Cold is not a problem for GSDs - for many of us who live in colder climates, the dogs love the cold and are invigorated by it. I wouldn't be concerned with it getting too cold for her unless you arrive there and you are in a cold snap with temperatures in the 0F to -23F.

I wouldn't bother with booties - let her get used to the snow. You may want to consider booties if you are going to walking her on salted roads and sidewalks though - the road salt could cause skin issues.

We get cold winters and lots of snow here, as you can imagine - because the cold winters are normal, I expect my dogs to acclimate. Usually, when if first starts to be very cold ( Like temps hiting -20C [around 0F]), they sometimes start lifting their feet up as the get cold - I don't let them dwell on it, we move! Walk briskly, play fetch, chase the flirtpole, etc. It only lasts one or two days, then they are used to it and it doesn't bother them anymore.

We get temps here in the -30's - still does not bother my GSD. We can play fetch for half and hour in that weather, and other than having frozen drool-covered balls, gloves, and dog whiskers, no problems with the cold at all.

Remember too that dogs don't feel the cold the same way we do because they don't sweat like we do - so the wind chill factor is NOT a factor for them, unless the wind is crazy strong (like riding in the open bed of a pickup truck at high-way speeds).

Just go for normal walks, play sessions, exercise sessions, she'll be fine.

Lucia


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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-23-2014, 04:33 AM
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Where in Portland are you? We just moved from up on Mount Scott (SE PDX; our house backed up to the Willamette National Cemetery) to Idaho. We drove, so I can't help you much with flying. It's gotten very cold in Idaho, down to 10 below zero last winter with a decent amount of snow, maybe a foot or more at a time, every 2 weeks. We have 2 huskies and 2 GSDs, and all of them were fine being outdoors for extended periods of time (1-2 hours or more). None complained or showed any signs of injury or discomfort. Not sure if Vermont winters get colder though. I have never had my dogs wear jackets for rain or snow, but I know Ruffwear would be my go-to company if I wanted to buy one. I love all of their products.

Last edited by counter; 09-23-2014 at 04:36 AM.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-23-2014, 09:20 AM
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Welcome to Vermont (in January)! where will you be? For the most part you won't need anything. The booties for extended hikes may be a good idea but not needed. Rubbing a bit of Bag Balm (a fine VT product) on the pads may be helpful for chapped pads if they start getting bad.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-23-2014, 11:56 AM
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If you plan on having your dog in the cabin with you, she is either a service dog or you are flying on a private plane.

From living in SW Wyoming and Western Montana a bit, I found muttlucks were the best boot but we seldom used them. Musher's secret works to prevent snowballs that form between the foot pads. I did make dog jackets (two layers of fleece fabric) but we only used them when it was 10 below and we were out on walks.

My get-up wasn't pretty but it was effective (there's a good bit of a 'breeze' in SW WY most of the time). I used a down parka (picked up at a junk store under $5) over a sweatshirt, over a long sleeve t over a silk knit long john top --- and windpants over sweats over one or two sets of long john bottoms. The best boots I found were leather lined with real sheep's skin. Beats the synthetic. Some people like PACs but I never did try those. I could get a pretty good pair of polartec-type gloves with a fill and a good lining for my hands. In daylight if it was cold and breezy (aka windy) I used ski goggles to keep my eyes from aching. I also used a hunters/skiers mask for my face at night. (or if it was very cold in the day time). One did not need to worry about being bothered because one looked quite odd and possibly a little scary.

The only time a dog showed signs of being significantly bothered by the weather was my 10 yo when we stopped for the night (road closed) and I took them out for toilet. It was 80 below that night.

Last edited by middleofnowhere; 09-23-2014 at 11:59 AM.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-23-2014, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for all the advice!
Oh whew! I was really concerned I would have a shivering mess of a dog on my hands if I didn't outfit vega with snow gear until she got use to the cold. Is there anything else I should know/ be aware of?
Counter- I am in SE PDX too! In the Hawthorne area. It's funny, I rarely see purebred GSDs in portland, but a TON of GSD mixes. It's nice to know their is another breed fancier out there! ( hopefully that doesn't sound snotty to the mixes. )
We will be moving to Brattleboro! I am going to attend one of the schools there, although I'm really excited to see the cow parade they have each year. Coming from a mid sized city, Brattleboro sounds like a wonderful (if tiny) place.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-23-2014, 08:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vega-gurl View Post
Thank you for all the advice!
Counter- I am in SE PDX too! In the Hawthorne area. It's funny, I rarely see purebred GSDs in portland, but a TON of GSD mixes. It's nice to know their is another breed fancier out there! ( hopefully that doesn't sound snotty to the mixes. )
Awesome. Our holistic vet was the Hawthorne Veterinary Clinic on 23rd and Hawthorne St.

And no, not snotty to the mixes at all. A lot of us own purbreds and mutts. I know I do, and I love them all the same. I've definitely seen some mutts that were better looking than most purebreds (of any breed), and I've heard that mutts have less overall health issues. All of mine have been relatively healthy so far (fingers crossed), so I have no experience to prove that yet.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-23-2014, 08:20 PM
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Hey! What part of Vermont will you be moving to?

Depending where you are, i would be more concerned about what you will be wearing, to keep up with your dog in deep snow!

As for your dog, sometimes the snow ill clump in between their paw pads, just be aware of that and remove them if it happens, my dog sometimes will eat them on her own! lol!

You can buy booties to keep that from happening, also will be less likely to develop hot spots.
You can buy "mushers secret" http://www.amazon.com/Mushers-Secret-Pet-Paw-Protection/dp/B0002XIZXY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1411517652&sr=8-1&keywords=mushers+secret That can also be helpful!

As for Vets, i strongly and highly recommend Nate from Qi Holistic Veterinary Clinic Holistic Veterinary Clinic - Integrating Eastern and Western Modalities He has gone above and beyond for my dog and me.. I cannot even start! He deliveries things to me, he does home visits, he gives me write offs and discounts all the time. The staff there is amazing, helpful.. I e-mail them with any an all concerns, they get back to me as soon as they can.. If its a weekday, the same day i sent the e-mail. Nate has a lot of experience in the Vet world.. I work at a grooming place, i only ever hear positive feedback about Nate and how he took on cases where other vets said to put the dog down, and that same dog is still living years later. He is great and sensitive to the owners needs too. I cannot say in words how grateful i am to have such a great Vet around!

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-23-2014, 09:35 PM
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i know they look a little *removed* but we sometimes use booties if it just snowed when there's piles of salt on the street and sidewalks to keep the paws off the salt. it wasn't even that cold this day but i just think it's cute to put a sweater on her. i do put it on her though all the time when it's like 0 degrees.


Last edited by JakodaCD OA; 09-24-2014 at 07:15 AM. Reason: inappropriate
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-23-2014, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by scarfish View Post
i know they look a little *removed* but we sometimes use booties if it just snowed when there's piles of salt on the street and sidewalks to keep the paws off the salt. it wasn't even that cold this day but i just think it's cute to put a sweater on her. i do put it on her though all the time when it's like 0 degrees.

Ugh snow.. That picture brings back memories of pure frustration and fear while driving a car! Cant wait... I dont mind walking through the snow at least, its more of a challenge.

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