How cold is too cold?

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

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My Mama loves- me.
Barked: Fri Nov 23, '07 10:45am PST 
Now that winter is here, when is it too cold for you to take your dogs for walks? Cooper and I usually walk in the morning between 10-11, but this morning the weather said it was 20 degrees, but it felt like 10. So we waited until this afternoon when it was about 35-40 degrees out. The sun was out and there was a slight breeze, but it wasn't bad. It sure didn't keep Coop from his sniffing duties!
Fuzzy- Huskies Dog- Team

'09 Jr. Yukon- Quest- Red Lantern!
Barked: Fri Nov 23, '07 2:40pm PST 
It depends on the dogs. I have some that need belly bands and/or jackets at 10, and some that don't need jackets at -45. Just go by how your dog's coat is and how comfortable he is.

I solemnly swear- that I am up to- no good
Barked: Fri Nov 23, '07 2:45pm PST 
I agree with the Huskies above me. I know it doesn't get too cold here in AZ (40 degrees at most), but a good indicator for us was when our dogs started switching paws if they were standing in one place, or refusing to go anywhere once they were outside. Too cold smile


perfect lap dog
Barked: Fri Nov 23, '07 2:55pm PST 
I don't like the cold, but my mom used to take her lab, & her bichon for 5 mile walks just about every day. They especially loved walking in the cold of winter. You just have to be careful when they salt the roads. Mom always tryed to keep them in the grass so they didn't get salt in their paws. dog

*Retrieva Diva!*
Barked: Fri Nov 23, '07 7:08pm PST 
It really depends on the dog and how they react to cold weather. My Nallah (Labrador Retriever) can handle some pretty cold temperatures, and she would PREFER the cold temperatures over the warm temps. Do be careful (as someone else posted) of the salt and sands on the roads though, they can be very rough on the paws. If you can put some booties on that helps keep the paddies clean and dry. If you are worried about it being too cold out, there are a lot of places that make doggy coats or sweaters to keep the chill out. Nallah has been out for brisk walks well below zero, around 15 below or so. After that , we stay indoors and try to get some extra playing down in the basement.

Lighting up my- mom's heart....
Barked: Fri Nov 23, '07 7:11pm PST 
It's 41 degrees here in Tennessee...Freezing our tushies off as usualshock

I bought our short haired dogs thick coats, and I bought Firefly a light over coat with no belly band. I also bought dog booties to keep their toes from numbing and becoming tender when it snows real hard.

The only thing to keep us from a walk is rainsmile
Roxie- ♥- Doxie

it's a roxie- doxie life
Barked: Fri Nov 23, '07 7:12pm PST 
well i refuse to go out at 10, even bundled up so mom chose to piddle pad route. but i'm smalllaugh out loud

but we are always bundled up at about 50, cause we shiver.

Why you wake me- up?
Barked: Fri Nov 23, '07 10:59pm PST 
It depends on if you have an indoor or outdoor dog. If you have an outdoor dog then any degrees as long as it's not below 10 but if you have an indoor dog make sure it is not below 25 degrees because it is not good for dogs to be warm and then go out into the freezing cold and then really warm again because that can get a dog sick.
Stella- "Blue"

Puttin' my freak- on!
Barked: Fri Nov 23, '07 11:04pm PST 
Well, Kaya could be out in the cold all day with her long hair. Blue, with her short hair seems to hold up fine as well, and we get pretty darn cold around here. I think you just have to look for signs on your pup (as stated previously) Some short haired dogs will have surprisising tolerance, while some long haired dogs may not. I know Horseware Ireland has some great products. These are the ONLY blankets I will by for the horses, as they hold up better than any other blanket I tried (and I tried quite a few) and they sell ones for pups as well. Water proof and breathable, so if they get hot and sweaty underneath they won't catch a chill.... and super durable. and adorable as well... look like mini horse blankets.

This is me- ignoring you!
Barked: Sat Nov 24, '07 6:26am PST 
Dogs, in general, can handle very cold weather quite well, unlike warm weather which they can only tolerate up to about 90 degrees F. and less if it is very humid. Heat stroke is much more common in dogs than hypothermia. My pup, for example, thrives in our cold winters but wilts in the hot desert summer.

In the cold, dogs have the ability to metabolize energy to create heat. However, with single coat dogs and small dogs, their ability to keep themselves warm is less efficient. Shivering is a sign that your pup is trying to generate heat and that it is probably too cold. As Nallah said, the important thing to watch for is frostbite on the paws and also damage from the salt and other chemicals that are put on the sidewalks to melt the snow. You should always wash off your pup's paws after a walk if the sidewalks have been treated.
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