Cold weather - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-07-2019, 07:30 AM Thread Starter
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Cold weather

Winter is almost here. So, is there definitive temp where we say it's too cold to play outside with our pups ? Also, do coats for dogs actually help ? Tks all
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-07-2019, 08:35 AM
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We are having temps in 40s and 50s. My dogs are happy and active. Humidity is down and that helps a lot! When it is snowy, my dogs enjoy it like kids. Since my dogs live indoors I do monitor how long they've been outside. Mine don't wear coats but if there is snow I clean it off of their paws and britches as best I can. I avoid salted roads.

If temps are in the single digits, then our trips are for pottying only and we stay indoors.

If you go with a coat make sure it fits well. A poorly fitting coat will hinder the dogs from the running and playing that helps keep them warm.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-07-2019, 10:51 AM
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If it's to cold for me then I don't go out. negative wind chills, single digits, etc. They can take anything we can.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-07-2019, 01:17 PM
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Shadow has not much undercoat, not that you would guess that in "dog building season", so she does have a coat that I use in really cold weather or if I need her outside for extended periods. It seems to help and she definitely likes wearing it. The issue with dog coats is that they don't do anything for the really vulnerable parts. The ears, feet and much of the belly are still exposed.
Since she is an indoor dog, I follow common sense rules. If it's too cold for me, it's too cold for her.
My Malamute loved the cold and would happily lay around in the snow in -30 temps, much to the neighbors distress.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-07-2019, 01:46 PM
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Dogs seem to love the cold weather except for chihuahuas. Luna will lay out in the snow 5 degrees and weight for the squirrels. My King Charles loveD the snow and cold winters she and would plow through drifts three times higher then her happily to go sledding.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-07-2019, 02:29 PM
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OK anything lower than -30. -20 we'd do walks, we'd do fetch. In winter's bitter cold, we'd walk at 2 AM because that's when Wyoming's infamous wind would stop. (Yes, it does stop. 2 AM.) This was with GSDs and in those walks the dogs did wear coats. Especially if it was 20 below and windy. In daylight, I wore ski goggles when it was windy and cold. The dogs didn't.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-07-2019, 02:51 PM
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I have barn chores that never care whether it's stormy or sunny, and that means regardless I have to go out to water and feed my animals. I live in NS, where it gets bloody cold. My dogs grow a winter coat and even Ellie who's arthritic, loves the winter. She's like me, when my feet and legs ache, I will go stand in cold water or snow. It's the only thing that helps.

No, I've never put a coat on a dog and never will. There was a study done on blanketed horses--they neither grow a proper winter coat, nor are they able to have their hair stick up and trap warm air to keep them warm. So blanketing keeps them colder. Chickens and other birds fluff up and keep themselves warm by trapping air, so do horses. Dogs are not people, they are warmblooded and have fur for a reason. Fur keeps you warm.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-07-2019, 05:19 PM
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I live in Montana. The coldest we've had so far since I adopted Willow is 0 degrees F. I bundled myself up and took the pup for a walk to pee and poo, and she seemed like...completely fine while I was freezing my booty off. I think her paws did get a bit cold on the pavement (whenever she stopped she'd lift up a foot, like that classic lizard-in-the-desert picture) but once we were on soft ground she didn't seem to care.

I've also had to take her to work with me for long days outside. She slept in a crate in the backseat of the truck for much of the day. I was worried she'd be cold in there, but every time I checked on her she seemed warm and comfortable. All I had in there with her was a fleece crate mat. I did, however, make sure she didn't get too wet between naps--I think being soaked through would make her a lot more vulnerable to the cold, especially if she's not moving around. She has the type of coat that doesn't get wet easily, but once it gets wet (like if she goes swimming) it NEVER DRIES.

So yeah I think depending on the coat type they can take a lot colder weather than we give them credit for. I don't let Willow outside unsupervised mostly because she eats junk (sticks and cat poop and stuff), but I think she'd be fine out there. I'd be more worried about hot temps than cold temps.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 11:16 AM
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IDK about you but the colder it gets the more Rollo loves it!
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 12:19 PM
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Our GSD's seemed to enjoy the cold and snow esp when they were off the leash and active. When they were static on a cable run, always when I was plowing snow they would just lie down in the snow and be content to watch me.

On a recommendation from this forum I got some mushers mix for paws, because under certain extended dry, real cold conditions to prevent a paws from getting chapped or cracked.

Beware of thin ice if you have a dog that loves water...just say'en.
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