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Thread: whats too cold for a dog

  1. #1
    Member marcj33's Avatar
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    Default whats too cold for a dog

    Hello there,

    I live here in Michigan and it's been dipping into the high teens lately. We have a couple inches of snow on the ground. I've been taking my 3 month old out a few times every day for 15 minute walks around town and basic training and out for extended woods and field walks/work on the weekends.

    I'm wondering when to be concerned with temperature and the dogs safety.

    Any info is appreciated; thanks in advance.

    Marc

  2. #2
    Senior Member Ken Bora's Avatar
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    I watch the feet. when they start lifting one paw at a time and chewing the ice off, it is inside time.
    "So what is big is not always the Trout nor the Deer but the chance, the being there. And what is full is not necessarily the creel nor the freezer, but the memory." ~ Aldo Leopold

    "The Greatest Obstacle to Discovery is not Ignorance -- It is the Illusion of Knowledge" ~ Daniel Boorstin

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bryan McCulloch's Avatar
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    Like ken says,I was out yesterday throwing stand-alones for a half hour in the -33 celsius before my boyz started lifting their feet.When late fall arrives I start trimming their nails a little shorter(slowly so the quick recedes).Seems to help as the cold travels up the nail pretty fast.


    Edit;sorry didn't notice was a 3 month pup,I would limit to short walks when real cold.


    Bryan.
    Last edited by Bryan McCulloch; 12-07-2008 at 01:15 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Chris Meyer's Avatar
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    It takes a lot to get a dog truly cold. Some dogs are mentally tuffer that others. Even the lifting of the paw doesn't mean they're cold, it usually signals they have snow caught in their pads since their feet are warm and the snow is cold. It's more of an uncomfortable feeling to them.
    A pup such as yours will tend to get cold a little faster than a mature dog since at this age in the wild they are still wrapped up with their litter mates in a den. The best sign is that of shivering and the dog will want to be next to you, not playing in the snow. Typically, unless temps are bitterly cold, as long as the pup stays active and is not subjected to water they will remain warm for very long periods of time.
    Dogs have many friends because they wag their tails, not their tongues.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Miriam Wade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ragingun View Post
    It takes a lot to get a dog truly cold. Some dogs are mentally tuffer that others. Even the lifting of the paw doesn't mean they're cold, it usually signals they have snow caught in their pads since their feet are warm and the snow is cold. It's more of an uncomfortable feeling to them.
    A pup such as yours will tend to get cold a little faster than a mature dog since at this age in the wild they are still wrapped up with their litter mates in a den. The best sign is that of shivering and the dog will want to be next to you, not playing in the snow. Typically, unless temps are bitterly cold, as long as the pup stays active and is not subjected to water they will remain warm for very long periods of time.
    Oh-I know you live in a cold climate too and I'm sure you have seen the paw lifting from snow packed in pads, but there are times when it's so bitter that the dog is trying to tell you that his feet are literally freezing. Dogs can get frostbite-especially on their ears & pads-whether they are exercising/working/moving & especially when not.

    I spend hours & hours outside in the winter. Today it was 28, but felt like 21 with the wind. That's fine & we've been out since 9:30 for about 3 hours-training & walking. A couple swims in the river too on a day like today, but...

    ..when the wind chills dip the temp well below zero-I don't train & I limit walks to just enough to get exercise and well aired, but any paw lifting or sign of being uncomfortable and we are right back in the house. Honestly-if the temps are deemed dangerous by the weatherman and just common sense-don't wait for signs-just air your dog and keep them safely inside.

    M
    "You can put pressure on a dog, you canít take it backÖ"

    Mitch Patterson '07

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  6. #6
    Senior Member Bud Bass's Avatar
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    A lot depends on the dogs, some are much better at cold then others. A few minutes to air them won't hurt any lab, even if well below 0. During the day when we are gone we often leave the dogs in the yard or outside kennel when as low as 20f for a hour or more, in the winter they sleep indoors since our kennel is too expensive to heat, but in spring and fall don't hesitate at all to leave them out at night if a little below freezing. We do occasional short workouts and training even below 0, but not extended and not a lot of standing around.

    This winter is a bit different, just arrived in So Cal, currently in Palm Springs, will travel to AZ next week for the holidays and going home in March or April. 6f when we flew out of Anchorage, over 70 daily since arriving here. Bud

  7. #7
    Senior Member Devlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akblackdawg View Post
    A lot depends on the dogs, some are much better at cold then others. A few minutes to air them won't hurt any lab, even if well below 0. During the day when we are gone we often leave the dogs in the yard or outside kennel when as low as 20f for a hour or more, in the winter they sleep indoors since our kennel is too expensive to heat, but in spring and fall don't hesitate at all to leave them out at night if a little below freezing. We do occasional short workouts and training even below 0, but not extended and not a lot of standing around.

    This winter is a bit different, just arrived in So Cal, currently in Palm Springs, will travel to AZ next week for the holidays and going home in March or April. 6f when we flew out of Anchorage, over 70 daily since arriving here. Bud
    Welcome to SoCal, Bud! Hope you enjoy your time here, and the holidays. We're off to Montana again next month, and the long-range forecasts look pretty cold...damned cold, in fact! Knowing where and how we'll be hunting, I may have a problem keeping my Sadie even partially dry, and I have no idea at this point how I'm going to keep her from having to sit on ice or in wet mud all day in under 20 degree weather. Maybe I'll need to tote a waterproof pad of some kind to the blind, along with some extra towels.

    I sure don't mean to hijack the thread, but does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions? How do you all keep your dogs from having to sit on ice or in cold water and mud all day without a stand or bench?
    Last edited by Devlin; 12-07-2008 at 02:11 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member DrCharlesBortellPhD's Avatar
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    Marc, Watch the 3 month old pup carefully. Ears, tail, & paws can be affected very easily and injuries can occur (frostbite is only one).
    Also of concern (to ANY dog this time of year) is watch when walking for salt or ice melts on sidewalks (esp if walking dog about town). People throw this about and do not realize the dogs are affected. It often gets stuck in pads and paws. The dog licks at it. Salt (esp the rock salts) can be poisonous and harmful to the dog and the 'ice melts' usually contain poisons including ethyl glycol bases chemicals -like anti-freeze - very toxic!!! Wipe paws off with a wet cloth after ALL walks (salts melt and cannot be detected). Charlie

  9. #9
    Senior Member jgrammer's Avatar
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    We get the paws up for snow balls but once out they are fine. However, when it gets about 5-10 below, I stop taking them out. Within a block or 2 they are holding varying feet up. And I did the control, one am I misread the thermometer, missed the - sign and thought it was about 7 out. So off we went, and then back home in a hurry! They have much more sense than me...I will still go running in it but they don't get to come along.

    Jean

  10. #10
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    We are, of course, talking about dogs that live indoors and have not been gradually conditioned to the extreme cold .

    A dog with a weather conditioned dbl. coat* should be able to stand considerably more than a 10 min walk in the park

    *We don't breed for that any more do we regards
    john
    "i guess the old saying 'those of us that think we know everything annoy those of you that does' " --bobbyb 9/13/06

    "A Good Dog is a Good Dog"

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