Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Pooches: How Cold is Too Cold for Dogs?

Here in Chicago we've gotten by with an extremely mild winter; we've even had less snow than Dallas! So this week's subzero temperatures have hit us all hard.
I think a lot of Chicagoans have learned to do it right because we are out there along with our pups on our daily walks. And we've gotten a lot of tips from our SociaBulls group.
Here are some things we've learned about keeping our pups extra warm:

We have been noticing how all the urban Chicago teenagers 'layer up' with cold weather, so we've done the same thing with our pooches. We've been layering their hoodies under their coats. We even have some urban puffy coats we just received from RC Pet Products. The pooches are wearing the Skyline Puffy Vest. We like how the hoodies cover the under-area the coats don't reach.

Covering Up:
We like covering up the pooches' bare neck area with snoods. I don't know how much of a difference it does make, but it seems like the metal tags and parts of their collar can get very cold against their necks. Plus, the snoods do cheer us up on these dreary winter days.
Our pooches have colored fleece snoods (also shown here) from Sirius Republic.
And we have knit snoods--that make them look like animals--from Snug-A-Bull.

Dog Footwear:
We get a lot of questions about what we use to keep our pups' feet warm. In our experiences we haven't had to put on boots because their feet get cold on the pavement, but we do use boots when they are walking on snow-covered sidewalks. Snow will begin collecting on their feet, sometimes becoming ice-like between their toes. They also find the salt scattered on the sidewalks to be painful. We have tried using doggie boots, but it was too difficult for our pooches to keep on, so we just went with the PAWs disposable reusable boots.  We also like these boots for the muddy spring thaw walks when unmentionables start melting out from the snow. We wrote more about our quest for the perfect dog boot, here. 

We also heard a good question about knowing when your dog has had enough of the cold and when you know whether it's time to bring them back in.
For us, our pups will cut the walks short on their own and start pulling in the direction of home.
How does your pooch tell you when they're too cold?

Miss M and Mr. B do the dog-boot dance
What to do inside when it's too cold outside
What we hope was only once in a lifetime.


sweetemaline said...

This winter has been relatively mild in KC too - but we actually had to cancel our walk yesterday due to the extreme cold. We just got our Sirius Republic snoods and they definitely came in handy when we took Turk out in the chilly weather!

Emily @ Our Waldo Bungie

How Sam Sees It said...

All good ideas. We are hopefully in the future heading north (we don't know when or where) and I worry because I've been a desert gal my whole life. I can keep the dogs safe in the heat, but know nothing about the cold.


Hannah@Eriesistibull said...

We in Erie just got blasted with winter weather, too! Tess will only go out to potty and then she doesn't even leave the patio (ugh!). She's an easy read since she begins quivering uncontrollably!
Ed, on the other hand, seems to love snow and would play in it for hours. He doesn't know the word "stop" and you have to make sure to bring him in. I've found he'll do this in hot & cold weather, although he's more reluctant in warm weather (aren't we all).
If you do figure any quick identifiers, let us know!

Anonymous said...

It's funny because Melvin is impervious to the cold, yet I have always dressed him warmly (I guess more for my own entertainment). Jake however starts shivering if he even thinks the door is going to open so I've had a much harder time keeping him warm. Layering is an excellent idea -- I shall shop more right now!!!

Unknown said...

We were in the high 50s on Saturday & then in the single digits this morning! Yuck! Annie could not care less how cold it is (she does have thick fur), but Pauley shivers even when inside. He usually stays covered up all winter. That being said though, if there is snow on the ground, he wants it :) We do make sure that he is only out in it for short time periods & he bundles up for his walks.

Anonymous said...

We try to layer up little Chick, but she just won't have it! She'll either wear her coat or her snood, but not both. More often than not though, she'll only walk with the snood.

Heatherkay said...

That fur hat cracks me up every time you run the picture.

Anonymous said...

I've been looking for boots that would work for Boomer and Dottie. They hate to have things on their feet but when it's icy out I think it's best.

And, I love all the different "looks" your dogs have! They are so stylish!

Tucker The Crestie said...

As you know, cold weather is not really a factor here ... but I sure do love looking at all the pictures of Miss M and Mr B in their cold weather gear. So adorable! If they are not staying warm it is not for lack of trying!

Pocket Pittie in the City said...

Nigel seems to have a little thicker coat but the Magsters gets cold at anything under 50 degrees! (What a wimpy California dog we're raising...) She shakes like a leaf! But her Zach and Zoey hoodie with a snood seems to keep her pretty warm.

Anonymous said...

Love the hat in the first pic! I sure could've used 3 of those a couple weeks ago.

Two Kitties One Pittie said...

Too cute! You already know all my strategies... but I think the layering is key! And the snood has worked really well with the cone of shame! :)

Emily said...

Our sun-spoiled AZ pups tell us it's too cold by only running outside to pee and then hauling buns back inside. We rarely get the pleasure of making them look cute in "winter" accessories.

Annie & Pauls Mom said...

Random idea: what if you bought the extra large PAWS boots and put them on over top of the cloth dog boots? Do they stay on any better? When I was a kid, we'd put used bread bags over our feet and then a 2nd pair of socks and our winter boots (the bread bags helped keep our feet dry and warm.) Just a thought.

Two French Bulldogs said...

So adorable. Maybe you need leggins
Benny & Lily

dr_smartypants said...

with the weather the way it's been the last few days i finally made a special trip to the pet store just to get my pups some of those paws disposable booties...and omgoodness !! game changers! a 1000 times better to have to deal with getting the booties on rather than digging mug from between puppy toes! so glad i finally got them :)

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