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Extreme Cold And Pottying


Guest Literaqueen
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Guest Literaqueen

Winter has hit with a vengeance. Negative wind chills, snow building up, and it's supposed to be like this all week. Fly's done her walks, but it's been a battle. I'm worried about walks in the middle of snowstorms and/or crazy ice conditions. Is there a point at which you figure out a way to potty indoors? And if so, how? I have a screened porch off the back door, but usually she needs to walk in order to poop. What happens on a day we're essentially snowed in?

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Guest kkaiser104

If you're actually snowed in--can't get out at all--she will eventually go potty in the house. They can only hold it for so long (though some dogs will wait a VERY long time). Putting down some newspapers or picking up some potty pads might help let her know she's allowed to go there. We walked all winter last year with wind chills down to -40F.

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When it's that bad, if I don't have access to the fenced in yard, I walk them up and down a very short distance -- e.g., up and down the driveway, back and forth across the front of the lot ... or shovel a path and up and down the least windy side of the house. Don't want to be too far from the door once they're done -- you want to get back in. For reluctant pottiers, whether in fenced yard or on leash, we stay out only a few minutes (depending on just how bad the weather is) and if need be, come in, get warm, dry off the feet, and then go back out again to finish whatever potty needs doing.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Not sure what you mean by extreme cold. We often get -16F or -25C up here in Calgary or worse and they do not refuse to go out. I DO feel sorry for my poor men when they have a super long pee in the snow and cold. They limp back to the door. Can't comment about really deep snow however.

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Don't worry about walking for exercise. Just be out long enough to pee and poop. Limit your walking route as suggested above - you'll probably have to shovel a path for her, or at least clear an area the length of your leash long. You might have to get a longer leash if she doesn't like you standing close to her for doing her business.

 

I once had a dog "hold it" for nearly three full days when we had a bad storm. We called her "Bladder of Steel" after that!

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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Welcome to Greytalk!

 

If you decide to set up an indoor potty area, Fly WILL use it. However, be sure that's what you want, because Fly will not necessarily stop using the indoor potty area when the bad weather ends.

 

Instead, consider a few safety items:

> a harness will protect Fly in windy stormy conditions (even if you have a fenced yard, consider leash-walking in the backyard during bad windy storms, especially if Fly is skittish)

> for icy conditions, find a usable path (my favorite is under a bank of trees, where the snow is less deep but there can still be some good smells) and spread a light coating of sand (about a cup of sand for every 5 feet or so) to build some traction.

> if the snow is deep, you can partially shovel a "loop" in a normally grassy area.

 

Walks should be kept as short as possible ... if the temps are very cold (less than -10F), please keep the walks to less than 5 minutes to avoid frostbite. My hounds were AWFUL with booties on, but there are a number of options if you'd like to try them. Fly may have some excess energy ... you may need to clear the hallways in your home to handle ZOOMIES! I don't think you have more than 1 hound, but if you DO, then please walk them separately in very bad conditions (its not safe to have your pups stand around waiting for the other hound to finish 'doing its business').

 

Good luck!

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We discovered our dog can go with only two to three breaks tops for a day or so in really bad weather. We play squeaky toys or run zooms with him

indoors to burn off some steam. We shovel a small path to the side of our front door with enough room for him to circle/loop about then go. When he has to go, he lets us know and he will go outside pretty quickly. We also stockpile the paw safe snow melt stuff from Whole Foods, which helps getting up and down the driveway.

We rinse his paws in warm water and towel dry after walks and use musher's secret balm on the paw pads before to protect him from non-pawsafe salts. Musher's secret is like chapstick for paws, it seems to provide a layer between him and the snow/ice/salt.

 

If we're on limited walks due to unsafe walking conditions, we go a little lighter on the kibble for a day or two as well. Our boy's appetite usually goes up or down with his activity level.

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I have been leash walking 365 days a year for the past 19 years, come what may. I have no choice. It would never even enter my mind to allow my large dog to use my home as a toilet. I suppose if I was disabled, well, I wouldn't have a large dog--I'd have a little dog that I could paper train and not worry about! However, I choose to have a large dog, and I live in a small condo on the third floor with NO fenced in area anywhere in town, so leash walk it is!

 

Do I enjoy going out when it's really cold? No! But I do it. The key is proper attire! Long underwear pants, ski socks, and wind proof pants (or even snow pants) on the bottom, with some insulated boots. A good down jacket on top and a warm hat (that's key). Gloves, and maybe something to cover the face if it's a blizzard, and off we go! Dog gets a winter coat (Voyager K9, Chilly Dogs both make good ones). When it's truly hideous and the snow is deep, we may just walk the parking lot. But we go out. And we do not come in until he has done what he is out there to do.

 

Hot coffee when I get inside, and somehow the enjoyment I get out of having a dog in my life makes it all worth it!


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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I have a potty pad I'll put out on my screen porch (which has plastic on the windows this time of year).

 

Last night in the time it took them to pee, all of my dogs were limping and crying, and it was only 6*F. Tomorrow it'll be a high of -4 with a wind chill much colder than that.

 

I don't think anyone is concerned about their own comfort, but about the comfort and safety of their dog.

Kristin in Moline, IL USA with Ozzie (MRL Crusin Clem), Clarice (Clarice McBones), Latte and Sage the IGs, and the kitties: Violet and Rose
Lovingly Remembered: Sutra (Fliowa Sutra) 12/02/97-10/12/10, Pinky (Pick Me) 04/20/03-11/19/12, Fritz (Fritz Fire) 02/05/01 - 05/20/13, Ace (Fantastic Ace) 02/05/01 - 07/05/13, and Carrie (Takin the Crumbs) 05/08/99 - 09/04/13.

A cure for cancer can't come soon enough.--

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Guest chickenpotpie

As much as my girl hates the cold, she will go out in it to do her business.

 

For just pee pee breaks at night, I let her loose in the yard, even if its snowing. She's usually wearing her polar fleece jammies when its really cold anyway so she's fine for short jaunts out. I never want her to become accustomed to peeing in the house ever.

 

During the day, I will bundle both of us up and take her out for short walks. She may not like her booties but she will wear them if its super cold or icy. Also considering we can get lots of snow, I also have a big snow blower which will clear out a good figure 8 type track for her to run in.

 

In Massachusetts, its rare to close everything down because of cold or snow, so if roads are passable and its really too cold for her to play outside and she's making me nuts (I work at home), I put her in daycare for the day. At least she gets to spend time with other dogs and not drive me crazy... :hehe

 

I think everyone should have a sort of backup plan. I don't think there's really any one way to handle situations like this. Handle it in the best possible way for you and your pup :)

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Guest DogNewbie

If it is really cold, icy, stormy and generally gross, we do quick trips out side to potty for our scheduled times. As for exercise on these days, we go to the local pet smart and walk up and down all the aisles, practice some training, get pets from the nice staff etc. It is not an ideal amount of exercise, but works. It takes of the edge of his energy anyways. Do you have a big box pet store in your area?

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Guest greytone

My little girl is somewhat silly. Yesterday morning, she was out rolling around in the snow and then in the afternoon, she changed her mind about the cold. She then started to hold one of her paws up and I went to get her.

 

With this cold weather, my dogs quick go out and do there thing and come right back in.

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Guest Dancer

My boys need some encouragement to go outside on the really cold days...but I find keeping to our routine helps reduce their reluctance. Other than that - I stay at the door and they run back into the house at warp speed when they are done (they run full speed towards the door expecting it to magically open when they get close) - so they trust that they will never have to be out a second longer than it takes them to do their business. I have a bunch of mats on the inside so that they have some traction as they reduce their speed to normal :rofl

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Guest Literaqueen

So far so good, even in this morning's -20 something windchill. Boots were an absolute no-go. She seems to do better with Musher's Secret on her paws and just moving quickly. When we get above zero again it's going to feel like a heat wave. Thanks for the suggestions.

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Coldest weather here so far, and it's getting colder today, should feel about -33C with the windchill today (that's -27F) when I expect to get home to take the dogs out. I don't have a yard, so it's always a "walk" for us....but I think the last official walk I did with them was over a week ago, due to weather.

 

They get booties, I put a sweater under their winter coat, and they get a neckwarmer. They can't really handle the cold sidewalks past -10C - and that's bootie time. We walk around the corner and they do a 1 and a 2 and it's back in the house. We last for about 5 mins out there (and I take them individually, since Kasey tends to dibble dabble and I don't want to subject Ryder to bad weather just standing out there waiting....) I ensure I am completely bundled (snowpants, balaclava, gloves, sweater under my coat, hood up) so that I have patience to outwait Kasey!

 

If you find she will only go potty when in a walk situation, this isn't really the time to train for that, however you can. Kasey never used to do a #2 on walks. He would very often make me late for work, and I was getting very intolerant, but you need patience, time and eventually they will learn that we go out to do our business and you might get a separate walk for fun later. If she doesn't go when you are out there for 10 mins, go back in the house, and try again in a half hour for 10 mins again......she will eventually associate going out with a routine and needing to do her business. Kasey would take 40 mins in the morning, went down to 30 and 20 and 10 with this subtle training. This could save you during these months.

Edited by XTRAWLD

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10 year old "Ryder" CR Redman Gotcha May 2010
12.5 year old Angel "Kasey" Goodbye Kasey Gotcha July 2005-Aug 1, 2015

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When it's that bad, if I don't have access to the fenced in yard, I walk them up and down a very short distance -- e.g., up and down the driveway, back and forth across the front of the lot ... or shovel a path and up and down the least windy side of the house. Don't want to be too far from the door once they're done -- you want to get back in. For reluctant pottiers, whether in fenced yard or on leash, we stay out only a few minutes (depending on just how bad the weather is) and if need be, come in, get warm, dry off the feet, and then go back out again to finish whatever potty needs doing.

I do the same. I have a fenced yard but it used to be a HUGE challenge to get Diana to go out if it was around 0F and/or sleeting. She held it for nearly 24 hours one time while I kept trying to get her out and wait her out. I finally shoved her out the door and didn't let her in until she went (right on the doorstep, no problem) and let her in IMMEDIATELY and praised her (of course the warmth and empty bladder was probably the biggest reward). She figure out pretty quickly - get out - do your business - and get back in!!! I never force her to be outside in really bad weather any longer than is absolutely necessary. Other greys I've had - totally different. They didn't mind as much. But Diana would rather explode her bladder than be out longer than necessary in the cold or sleet.

I personally don't think "allowing" pottying in the house is a good idea. It sets a bad precedent. Of course, if an accident happens, it happens. But I'd really try to avoid it. Short distance walks - like just a few yards around in a circle or whatever works. And zoom IN immediately after!

So far so good, even in this morning's -20 something windchill. Boots were an absolute no-go. She seems to do better with Musher's Secret on her paws and just moving quickly. When we get above zero again it's going to feel like a heat wave. Thanks for the suggestions.

 

So far so good, even in this morning's -20 something windchill. Boots were an absolute no-go. She seems to do better with Musher's Secret on her paws and just moving quickly. When we get above zero again it's going to feel like a heat wave. Thanks for the suggestions.

Glad it's working out! Welcome to GT and thanks for asking questions!

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