How cold is too cold for a GSD? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-18-2012, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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How cold is too cold for a GSD?

I don't live in a particularly cold area so I'm wondering how much cold weather Sasha can take. For example, this morning, I was out at 7:00 a.m. throwing the Frisbee for her in 19F degree weather. The wind chill was about 9F. I was sheltered from the North winds by my house. Sasha seemed oblivious while I was bundled up and freezing to death. Doesn't it hurt them? What about her lungs and frost bite? I thought my fingers, even in gloves, were close to frost bite. Can someone from a colder area explain this to me?

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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-18-2012, 09:31 PM
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I sure can't explain it, but it was -3 F this morning and Bailey didn't want to come in. ? ! He wanted to romp around and it was breakfast time.
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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-18-2012, 09:35 PM
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They can handle the cold a lot better than we can. Maybe it's the double coat they're sporting 24/7.

As long as they aren't living out there in that temperature, you've got nothing to worry about.
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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-18-2012, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
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But, if you look at their feet...they are just hairless pads that smell like Fritos. How can they keep from frost burn?

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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-18-2012, 09:38 PM
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Dogs are designed for cold weather. Dogs with double coats in particular are pretty much immune to the effects of cold temps. Their circulatory systems are different and move much more blood around the appendages(paws and the like). Our fingers sacrifice a real cold weather resistance in favor of extreme dexterity. I have also read in places that how dogs feel heat and cold is different than what we humans experience. I dunno if I believe that but it sure would be a good survival trait if cold was more of a state of mind than uncomfortable.

That's not to say that you can toss a GSD out in -30 degree weather with no shelter.

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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-18-2012, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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Dogs are designed for cold weather. Dogs with double coats in particular are pretty much immune to the effects of cold temps. Their circulatory systems are different and move much more blood around the appendages(paws and the like). Our fingers sacrifice a real cold weather resistance in favor of extreme dexterity. I have also read in places that how dogs feel heat and cold is different than what we humans experience. I dunno if I believe that but it sure would be a good survival trait if cold was more of a state of mind than uncomfortable.

That's not to say that you can toss a GSD out in -30 degree weather with no shelter.
Hmm..that seems to make some sense. I just can't believe how much she loves to out in weather that I feel will KILL me.

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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-18-2012, 09:46 PM
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But, if you look at their feet...they are just hairless pads that smell like Fritos. How can they keep from frost burn?
That frito smell might be a yeast or fungus infection from trapped moisture. I always dry between the toes and under paws with a towel after playing in the snow or rain. Just something to keep in mind.

And they're fine in that cold with their paws. If you're really worried, getting something like this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FUltra-Paws-TrAction-Dog-Boots%2Fdp%2FB0034K3WJ4&tag=5336432754-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325
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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-18-2012, 09:52 PM
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It was -33C today and Chrono was completely fine.


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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-18-2012, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Lucy Dog View Post
That frito smell might be a yeast or fungus infection from trapped moisture. I always dry between the toes and under paws with a towel after playing in the snow or rain. Just something to keep in mind.

And they're fine in that cold with their paws. If you're really worried, getting something like this: http://www.amazon.com/Ultra-Paws-TrAction-Dog-Boots/dp/B0034K3WJ4
Thanks Paul, this is something to consider. Sasha has been on antibiotics for Staph that has been a problem that I think is finally getting better. It's something that I haven't really talked about. She was a rescue/byb dog. Her ears had a yeast issue that we took care of due to the rounds of antibiotics. We have been so dry in Oklahoma that I never thought about her feet! I'll make sure and keep them dry.

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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 01-18-2012, 09:59 PM
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It is possible they could get frostbite if outside for extended amounts of time... A friend of mine had her Dobermans' ears get frostbitten even though they weren't ever outside for very long in the cold.


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