Getting ready for winter - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-01-2014, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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Smile Getting ready for winter

So, yesterday was the 1st day that we got freezing temperature (30 F). I have Maverick inside even though he seems to prefer to stay outside. He also seems to come alive when it's cooler, like in the evening. This will be our first winter with him since getting adopted last May. I would like to get your opinions on how to get ready for the season. Do I need to buy booties? Do I need to change his diet with more fat? Do I need a heated water bowl for the outside?

Also, I was advised by a friend to let him stay outside so that he starts to develop/grow his thicker coat in preparation for winter. Maverick will let us know if he wants to come in and if it's too cold for him. I'm a little divided on this. I do want him to get acclimated, slowly, to the cold. But then I have this nagging guilty feeling that makes want to just keep him in a heated environment. He stays inside at night but during the day,0 while my husband and I are at work, he stays in the backyard.

I really appreciate all the advise you can provide.

Thanks!

jhoanna
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-01-2014, 03:59 PM
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This may not apply to you but someone who had rotties told me to dip theirs paws in a bucket of warm water if they walk anywhere thats been salted. Person said they can get really bad issues if the salt is left on their feet.

Don't know if this is an urban legend but supposedly adding a small amount of vegetable oil to a water bowl outside will stop it from freezing. Can't seem to find any concrete proof of that online

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-01-2014, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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This may not apply to you but someone who had rotties told me to dip theirs paws in a bucket of warm water if they walk anywhere thats been salted. Person said they can get really bad issues if the salt is left on their feet.

Don't know if this is an urban legend but supposedly adding a small amount of vegetable oil to a water bowl outside will stop it from freezing. Can't seem to find any concrete proof of that online
I'll try the vegetable oil when the forecast says another freezing temp night. My husband is not to keen on the heated bowl because Maverick might chew the cord and he doesn't want him to get electrocuted.

Thanks!
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-02-2014, 12:59 AM Thread Starter
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I just read online that a golf ball keeps it from freezing. But I don't want him to choke if he tries to play with it while we are gone. A tennis ball was also suggested, I'm sure he'll take it out and play with it.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-02-2014, 09:46 PM
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The heated water bowl I use has a coil of wire over the cord and my Sting did leave it alone even when he was chewing everything else. For leaving him outside during the day when you are at work, I did that also, but be sure your dog has a dog house so he can have shelter from the wind. I kept to the same routine and did have Sting stay inside when I was at home and also at night. For booties, Sting is a stock-coat and his paws don't get ice balls. I also don't walk him on areas that are salted. If you have to walk your dog on salty sidewalks, then if the dog will tolerate them, boots would be helpful. Musher's Secret is also good to protect the paws. Since I give fish oil and coconut oil all year round, I don't change the diet for winter. But if you notice your dog's coat is dry, then you may want to increase it.


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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-02-2014, 11:05 PM
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I love Mushers Secret balm for their pads in the winter. I also wiped those feet after a walk where salt was used...but I used baby wipes instead of warm water. We had a warmer for the dogs water and the cord was protected with coiled metal/rubber. Dogs actually never chewed it, maybe the metal was too cold on the mouth? Whatever, it did the trick. The kids would build a snowman every once in a while and stick treats in it to keep them entertained, they loved that.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-03-2014, 11:22 AM
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As it gets colder outside, let him stay outside more often. He will grow a thicker coat to combat the colder temps. Put dog booties on his paws if he will wear them so he doesn't cut his paws/pads on any ice in your backyard. They also keep heat in on their paws. I have huskies and malamutes along with a GSD...anything above -20 is good for the huskies and malamutes but with your GSD I'd say as long as he has some shelter available and balm and booties he is fine to be outside during the day. He may even dig a hole and use the snow as an insulator to stay warm during the day. Don't put him out if you feel it's too cold.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-04-2014, 01:18 AM Thread Starter
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As it gets colder outside, let him stay outside more often. He will grow a thicker coat to combat the colder temps. Put dog booties on his paws if he will wear them so he doesn't cut his paws/pads on any ice in your backyard. They also keep heat in on their paws. I have huskies and malamutes along with a GSD...anything above -20 is good for the huskies and malamutes but with your GSD I'd say as long as he has some shelter available and balm and booties he is fine to be outside during the day. He may even dig a hole and use the snow as an insulator to stay warm during the day. Don't put him out if you feel it's too cold.
Thank you so much! I will get him booties this week. I just bought udder balm, hope that works well for him. It was in the mid 40s this afternoon to early evening, he preferred to be outside than hanging out with me inside.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-04-2014, 01:25 AM Thread Starter
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I love Mushers Secret balm for their pads in the winter. I also wiped those feet after a walk where salt was used...but I used baby wipes instead of warm water. We had a warmer for the dogs water and the cord was protected with coiled metal/rubber. Dogs actually never chewed it, maybe the metal was too cold on the mouth? Whatever, it did the trick. The kids would build a snowman every once in a while and stick treats in it to keep them entertained, they loved that.
Actually, we did see a similar water bowl with a coil/wire wrapped cord in Big R this morning. I thought I'd research more about it, but after seeing yours and Mary Beth's comment, I think I'll go ahead and buy it. Also, I love the idea of hiding treats in the snowman! Thanks!
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-04-2014, 01:33 AM Thread Starter
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The heated water bowl I use has a coil of wire over the cord and my Sting did leave it alone even when he was chewing everything else. For leaving him outside during the day when you are at work, I did that also, but be sure your dog has a dog house so he can have shelter from the wind. I kept to the same routine and did have Sting stay inside when I was at home and also at night. For booties, Sting is a stock-coat and his paws don't get ice balls. I also don't walk him on areas that are salted. If you have to walk your dog on salty sidewalks, then if the dog will tolerate them, boots would be helpful. Musher's Secret is also good to protect the paws. Since I give fish oil and coconut oil all year round, I don't change the diet for winter. But if you notice your dog's coat is dry, then you may want to increase it.
He does have a dog house. I just got him an extra bed in there to keep it warmer and more comfortable. I have never heard of Musher's Secret. That will be the next one on my list after I run out of his udder balm.
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