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Very Cold And Long Winters - Walking The Greys


Guest noodlenpasha
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Guest noodlenpasha

Hi All!

I am a new grey-momma (and a new dog-person in general). We have two greyhound puppies (Ivan and Pasha) who are about 7 months old and a wonderful, adorable rat terrier/chihuahua mix at ~1 year. I have been having an absolute blast caring for all three, and really enjoy taking them for daily walks, ranging anywhere from 30 minutes around the neighborhood to about 80 minutes on local nature trails. The dogs seem to love it.

 

My question relates to winter walking. I live in a very cold place - the interior of Alaska. Our winter temps regularly drop below 0 degrees F. I'd like to continue walking our dogs and would love other's opinions on winter activity.

 

I am planning on getting all three dogs very warm winter coats, most likely from this site:

 

http://www.bwdogcoats.com/

 

And boots as well.

 

How low can your greys go, temperature-wise? With and without a good coat and boots?

 

You should also know that where I am has very little wind. It's like stepping into a gigantic deep freezer!

 

Thank you all in advance for your advice and for this site!

 

~Ivan, Pasha, and Wookie's Mom

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In MN we're no strangers to sub zero temps in the winter. Coats and boots for walks should do the trick. The boots are especially helpful if you're walking in areas where they may salt the roads and sidewalks. That salt BURNS the paws. As long as you keep a nice brisk pace, they should be fine with the cold. Make sure you mind their ears though. Those thin ear tips can be frost bitten easily in subzero weather.

 

For just a quick "dash & pee" in the yard, I don't bother with coats even in a subzero stretch. They just run out, do their business and run back in. And I NEVER leave them outside unattended.

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~Aimee, with Flower, Alan, Queenie, & Spodee Odee! And forever in my heart: Tipper, Sissy, Chancy, Marla, Dazzle, Alimony, and Boo. This list is too damned long.

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At my house in Southern Ontario, Canada, coats go on my boys at 0 C (32F).

Warmer coats go on when it gets to -5 and -10C (23F to 14F). -10C they start feeling the cold of the sidewalk, and depending on the length of walk, I consider putting boots on depending on how cold of a day it really is (sun or cloud make a difference too).

-20C (-4F) we without fail end up putting booties on for a walk. Colder than that we usually end up with dashes in and out of the house for quick elimination. They don't wanna be out there any more than I do!

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The pups will probably be fine as they'll acclimatize to the cold. Coats are a must and you may be able to get away without boots, but I'd have them on hand just in case.

 

When we are out in those temps, we are careful to not go too long and not get too far away in the event someone gets cold faster than expected. Ironically, the pups go walking at 0F all the time, but don't get walked above maybe 80 - 85 or so. I'll take cold over heat anyday!

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I am pretty much the same as XTrawld. When I adopted a grey I was more concerned about winter cold over heat, but from my experience Teague can handle winter cold a LOT better than summer heat. I used to go by the "if you need a coat so does your grey" advice, but every time I ended up taking it off and carrying it on walks. So...I only coat (and it is a light one layer flannel coat) when it is -5 to -10 celcius. When it hits -15 to -25 (celcius...I can't convert!) or below the dogs tend to limp so that is the only time I shorten their walks, put on boots and put on the puffy warm coats. Other than that, I take Teague snowshoeing and winter hiking all the time and he does really well...much better than the heat that we have now! BTW the only boots I have tried that actually stay on in the snow are the disposable rubber kind. :)

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COATS LOOK LOVELY, ASK THEM TO MAKE THE BACK A TAD LONGER TO COVER THE RUMP AND THIGHS. YOUR DOG WILL LET YOU KNOW IF IT'S TOOOOOOO DARN COLD! DURING A BITTER COLD SNAP HERE ONE OF MINE HAS TAKEN THE LIBERTY TO JUMP INTO A OPEN CAR DOOR(BOY WAS THAT OWNER SHOCKED)- HE WAS TELLING ME THAT IT WAS TIME TO GO HOME- DRIVE ME!

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The pups will probably be fine as they'll acclimatize to the cold. Coats are a must and you may be able to get away without boots, but I'd have them on hand just in case.

 

When we are out in those temps, we are careful to not go too long and not get too far away in the event someone gets cold faster than expected. Ironically, the pups go walking at 0F all the time, but don't get walked above maybe 80 - 85 or so. I'll take cold over heat anyday!

 

Agreed!

The heat is harder on the dogs than the cold.

The past two weeks, we've kept our walks to 20 minutes.

At 7 am it was already 24 Celcious, and the dogs were panting after 10 minutes.

 

However, we walk 4-5 km everyday in the fall, spring and winter.

We don't use boots, but do have warm coats....we like the ChilliDogs coats.

 

I find the dogs are fine in quite cold temps as long as we're out of the wind.

I figure if my hands and face are comfortable, then the dogs should be fine.

 

Nancy...Mom to Sid (Peteles Tiger), Kibo (112 Carlota Galgos) and Joshi.  Missing Casey, Gomer, Mona, Penelope, BillieJean, Bandit, Nixon (Starz Sammie),  Ruby (Watch Me Dash) Nigel (Nigel), and especially little Mario, waiting at the Bridge.

 

 

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In Iowa and it also gets sub-zero here in the winter, and it IS windy. We walk in all weather -- shorter, of course, when it's very cold. Beth has a heavy coat but for extra cold weather she often wears her fleece pajamas underneath the coat for an extra layer of warmth -- they come down the top of her legs. A neighbor's grey wears her pj's pretty much all winter long. If I were doing it again I'd get four-legged pajamas and make sure they coordinated with her coat -- I have only two-legged ones and they clash horribly. :rolleyes:

 

I swear by Pawz disposable rubber dog booties for protecting feet from salt. They do the trick and are more comfortable and easier to get on/off than higher/fleece boots, though I have a pair of Voyagers K9 blizzard boots too, but we don't use those very much. http://pawzdogboots.com I think it is. Here is a pic of Beth wearing hers (no pajamas here). The coat is from Needle Nose Apparel, http://needlenoseapp...s_By_Tara.html.

 

downsized_0128121655b-1.jpg

Edited by PrairieProf

With Cocoa (DC Chocolatedrop), missing B for Beth (2006-2015)
And kitties C.J., Klara, Bernadette, John-Boy, & Sinbad

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I used a 'Pawz' boot when Nixon ripped one of his nails.

They're pretty durable and inexpensive.

 

Nancy...Mom to Sid (Peteles Tiger), Kibo (112 Carlota Galgos) and Joshi.  Missing Casey, Gomer, Mona, Penelope, BillieJean, Bandit, Nixon (Starz Sammie),  Ruby (Watch Me Dash) Nigel (Nigel), and especially little Mario, waiting at the Bridge.

 

 

SKJ-summer.jpg.31e290e1b8b0d604d47a8be586ae7361.jpg

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downsized_0128121655b-1.jpg

 

What a beautiful pic!

 

To the OP: If it gets too cold for them, even with those coats, you can always add another layer underneath. AND for even more, you can get a set of pajamas with legs, wear those under the coat.

Edited by Yamaha_gurl

Greyhound Collars : www.collartown.ca

 

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Yep, the heat can be as oppressive as the cold.

As a Floridian, I can't offer any suggestions, but I wanted to give you a nice warm and sunny welcome to Greytalk!

 

 

ETA: I would sure love to see pics of all your dog-kids!

 

 

 

:gh_bow

Edited by Greydawg

Cheryl - "Mom" to RUNNER (Gunnah, born 6/15/2012) and FARGO (Ridin Shotgun, born 8/21/2015). Missing my Grey-Angels HEISMAN (RX Heisman) (3/29/2005-2/1/2016) and ALEX (Bevenly) (4/15/2005-6/7/2018).

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Guest greysmitten

Greetings, from Northern Ontario, Canada!

 

There are winter days when the temp is 30 below and it's tough to get my hound out for even a morning pee (can you blame her?).

But, as long as she's wearing a coat and boots, she will brave the streets for a walk. In fact, I'm amazed at how much she has learned to love snow. If she's moving, she's happy outside.

 

But, of course, we tuck her in with her blankie at night on the cold ones :)

 

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Guest noodlenpasha

Hi All,

Thank you for all the thoughtful responses! I, too, was surprised at my dogs' sensitivity to the heat (80-85 degrees F). I honestly expected the heat to be the easier adjustment, but, it hasn't been, which is encouraging for this winter! I plan to get some pajamas and coats and layer depending on the cold. And, if it's too cold for me, it's probably too cold for our little guys.

 

Thanks all!

 

How do I add a picture?

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Get a Photobucket account and upload into it.

Then you copy and paste the IMG code into your posts.

 

Nancy...Mom to Sid (Peteles Tiger), Kibo (112 Carlota Galgos) and Joshi.  Missing Casey, Gomer, Mona, Penelope, BillieJean, Bandit, Nixon (Starz Sammie),  Ruby (Watch Me Dash) Nigel (Nigel), and especially little Mario, waiting at the Bridge.

 

 

SKJ-summer.jpg.31e290e1b8b0d604d47a8be586ae7361.jpg

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Guest BlueCrab

We dont' have much problem with the really cold temps here in DC, but we had two winters with really bad snow (not this past winter - very little snow!) plus we have a home in upstate New York which gets pretty bitter in winter. Trixie has a couple different coats ranging from light to fairly heavy fleece, some 4-legged jammies, and she gets to wear a pair of Voyager boots when things get really deep or really cold. She seems to hate walking in the snow and cold, and more than once DH has had to drop Leyland's leash in order to carry herself back home after she's complained of cold feet and then quit walking. The boots helped. I tried the Pawz disposables but just could not get them on: I think I got the wrong size. FWIW, the Voyager boots recently came in handy when Trixie had lost a claw and had to have a bandage on for a couple days so the claw could get started healing. She wore a boot on the rainy day walks to help keep the bandage dry.

 

We started using jammies so WE could sleep at night. We started out in winter by tossing a fleece blanket over her, but she'd roll out of it, then lay there and whimper like a diva, keeping us awake until we'd cover her up again. We finally got so tired of it we bought 4-legged jammies and voila - fixed!

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We have an array of coats, sweaters and pjs. This winter was mild but the winter before that I was pairing fleece pjs underneath thick winter coats. This winter I bought boots (MuttLuks) but it never really got cold enough, not even when we headed up to northern Ontario for Christmas. We walk 30-45 min twice daily almost regardless of temp. It has to be 30C or -20C before we really cut back. Any temp in between we just adjust routes (shade if it's hot) and outfits.

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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Guest Snazzy_Chloe

Good advice - I have some boots that I got from itscath in Canada that stayed on pretty well - but the only time I needed them was when streets were slushy due to road salt. Once the dog steped in that and back into snow her feet would immediately freeze, or sometimes there would be clumps of damp snow that would get stuck in her palms of her pads (like acorns do), and you would have to pick that out and she would be good as new. She learned pretty quick that if she would stop and hold up her paw that I would help her. One time she was trying to hold up two paws at the same time and that was turn around time and hustle back home. When they get cold - they want to stop and not walk - even if you turn around - so you need to learn their tolarence point of the cold for them (Happy talk and a quick trot helps to get their blood flowing so they can get back home and warm up. For the most part as long as it was just natural snow, boots were not needed which was always preferred by the dogs. We don't go for long walks in the winter- we get a lot of wind but 15-20 mins is pretty much tops unless there is bright sun and no wind out. I pull the snood over their ears but they don't like that as it restricts their hearing - and it is critical to keep their soft underbelly warm. You really need a couple of coats to handle the cool temps 20-30 and the heavy coats to handle the 0 and below, Looks like your coats will handle the very cold. I always worry about their skinny legs that you can see thru but they seem to pump a lot of warm blood down to their feet which must keep their legs warm.

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Guest noodlenpasha

Hi All, I'm learning to add pictures. This may be a huge pic, but, here's Ivan at 4 months-ish!

Ivan_1.jpg

 

And, one more. Please ignore my husband's "laundry day" work in the background! :)

 

This is Ivan, Pasha, and Cookie.

 

greys_on_the_couch.jpg

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Love the pic!

 

In Utah, it would often be in the the single digits, above and below 0 F. We didn't bother with booties, because we walked where there wasn't salt. Enzo has a fleece coat I made that I would often have to take off halfway through, and we went up in foothills of the mountains. Now we're close to Tahoe, so we'll see how it goes. Nothing of course like AK but I've found that cold was much easier to handle than heat. Enzo loves snow, it's so adorable watching bouncing zoomies and dives into snow!

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