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When The Cold Is Dangerous


Guest Frannie
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Guest Frannie

I'm not sure this fits under health and medical, but I don't know where else to post it.

 

We're in Boston. It's Sunday, February 15. Probably enough said.

I'm looking out my window. The winds are gale force, and the temperature with windchill is well below zero. No one can shovel their sidewalks and the plows have left such high drifts that you can't get to the street to walk.

When it's this bad, what do you do about potty breaks? This white, blinding world is scaring Yurtie. He's disoriented by it, and the extreme cold completely freaks him out. He's having a really hard time even thinking about going to the bathroom.

I know it's dangerous to keep him out there for more than about 5 minutes. I'm taking him out less often, with the hope that when we do leave the house he will really, really, REALLY need to go. But sometimes even with that, he won't. Instead, I have this trembling dog who will not, no matter what, put 1 foot in front of the other, and all I can humanely do is come back inside and hope he doesn't have an accident.

He wears two coats (one polar fleece, one thicker than that) plus a snood.

I'd like to hear from other people in New England, or anyone who has had to navigate extreme winter weather with their Greyhound. I am worried.

Frannie and Yurtie at the North Pole

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Up here today we woke up to -46C with wind chill (that's -50F). Booties, coats and a dash in and out to get the job done. Kasey is the absolute worst in bad weather. It could be raining so hard you can't see, and he dibble dabbles to find the perfect place to go. In blinding snow, again, he just takes FOREVER. Paralyzing wind, you got it.......actually what he insists on doing is walking in belly deep snow to pee, when a clear sidewalk will clearly do. When it's this dire, I allow them both to go on the street, I don't care - just go, and just go anywhere.

 

If he's fearful, have you tried a Thundershirt (underneath all his coats)? It's tight and comforting (I have one, alas it doesn't work for Ryder and his fear of my coffee machine) but it might for Yurtie. I notice you didn't say boots. Boots are a godsend for Kasey in this weather. At least I know that because he takes so long, his paws won't freeze doing so. If you don't have any, HIGHLY consider getting a set. We have muttluks here.

 

Do you have any options like a covered porch, or a more wind resistant area to go potty? Maybe end of the driveway behind a snowdrift?

Edited by XTRAWLD

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Up here today we woke up to -46C with wind chill (that's -50F).

It was -44 C (-47F) here this morning too. It is FREEZING!! This is the first day all year that we aren't going for a walk. That being said, the dogs have still gone out to go potty in the backyard a few times today. They just stay out for minute or two, and are totally fine. Teague even looked like he was enjoying himself :P Have you tried actually walking him instead of letting him out in a yard? Sometimes that distracts them enough to go. I have heard of greys holding it for a long time in bad weather. I guess if he won't go, you can only keep giving him the chance by taking him out. Hopefully he will have to go bad enough to go later on today. Good luck and stay safe!

Edited by RedHead
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Last winter Rocket and I were in the Polar Vortex of Illinois. We went weeks with no walks due to ice and temps. We did have a turnout area for him that was secure, so we were able to keep that area easier for him to use. I was ab;e to put down horse stall bedding on top of fresh snow and ice to give him a warmer surface and some traction for his paws.

 

The main thing is that paws /pads will feel like they are burning at these temperatures. As posted above, boots / booties are a lifesaver. Until you can procure them, you might try throwing down an old towel or blanket for him to stand on, knowing that you are sacrificing it "for the cause." Another option is thick coating of kitty litter, sawdust, newspaper or anything that you can get between his paws and the ice / snow to prevent the burning feeling .

 

At times like this, you have to think outside the box and just do whatever works. Grocery bags on his paws might freak him out, so if you try something like that, make it something soft that doesn't crinkle and allows a little traction. Maybe an old towel cut up and wrapped with some vet wrap or tape. Just remember that he will go when he has to. These hounds can often hold their bladders for 12 hours or more when they decide they aren't going out.

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Poor Yurtie, we are dealing with the same here in Southern NH and it is getting tougher for my 2 to deal with the snow. I have a fenced yard on a hill here and we snow blow/shovel paths that now resemble tunnels through walls of snow. Poor Max who is 12 is and is having problems with weakness in his hind legs is suffering just getting down the stairs to get out there. Flower hates it and waits until she is ready to burst to go out there. I put double layers on them, for Max, he gets a polar fleece with polartec shell with snood that covers over his ears and butt and then another fleece over that, Flower gets 4 legged pj's and a coat over that and I coat their feet with all natural balm, 4Paws, works well to keep paws from cracking. We only get" business done" in this weather then back in, their bodies are not able to handle this winter from hell, we are all really tired of freaking snow and cold!!!!

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Another quick fix that might work if you don't have boots:

Baby/Toddler socks. You want the ones that are long enough to go past the hock, preferably. Those + vet wrap (A few weeks ago, used medical tape in a pinch just to keep them on) to secure them are what we use on the handful of days it is too cold to even go out to pee.

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Another quick fix that might work if you don't have boots:

 

Baby/Toddler socks. You want the ones that are long enough to go past the hock, preferably. Those + vet wrap (A few weeks ago, used medical tape in a pinch just to keep them on) to secure them are what we use on the handful of days it is too cold to even go out to pee.

Thank you! I knew there was something else that people used as makeshift boots when I posted, and absolutely could not remember what it was...

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Camp Broodie. The current home of Mark Kay Mark Jack, and Diva Astar Dashindiva.   Always missing my boy Rocket Hi Noon Rocket,  Allie  Phoenix Dynamite, Kate Miss Kate, Starz Under Da Starz, and Petunia MW Neptunia.

 

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Guest Frannie

Thanks everybody. I just rubbed his feet with som old musher's I still had from years ago. I had started searching my house for materials for makeshift boots and asked a neighbor with a baby if she had any outgrown little socks.

I went through Mable's old stash of worn out Therapaws (she's my girl who died in 2013; chronic plantar warts.) I found four that are perfect. It's like Mable left him four nice shoes in her will.

We've done a little bit of practice walking in the house, with Yurtie in his inherited boots at one end of the room and me with treats at the other.

He is weirded out by them, but got better at walking pretty fast. (he did try to eat them off eventually.) We'll have some more practice runs inside; I think he's going to have to tolerate them outside.

He has no trouble pottying in the back yard (it's harder for him on-leash).But right now there is no back yard, just a nose-deep lake of snow.

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The deep snow in certain areas on the coast is just terrible. I'm not there, but a friend sent a few pictures and she can't see a thing over the snowbanks. I hope the booties, etc., work, but him holding his P&P is stressing you out more than him.

 

We're at an air temp of 3F with a wind chill varying between -25 and -50. The 4" of snow we had overnight is blowing all over creating whiteouts. For us also this is the first day this winter Annie and I haven't taken at least one walk. Thankfully, she likes the cold. She's the type who pants on a 20-degree day with the sun out and dressed in a winter coat.

 

Today Annie has willingly gone out three times in the backyard to P&P. She was dressed in her heavy winter coat and snood, of course, and sorta meandered down the path I've kept shoveled to the back of the yard, sniffing here and there -- which is silly 'cause the only P out there is hers -- until finally taking a huge jump into the unshoveled part of the yard and running around like crazy to find just the right place to poo.

 

I feel so bad for houndies and their parents who have to face this. Good luck!

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We have the same weather and temps as the other Canadians who posted in this thread. My guys are refusing to go outside. I have to give their wee bums a little push to get them out the door. They run to a good spot, do what they have to do, then run rull speed back to the door.

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It was -44 C (-47F) here this morning too. It is FREEZING!!

 

 

Up here today we woke up to -46C with wind chill (that's -50F).

 

Yikes - keep safe and warm!! Hope your furnaces are doing well

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Canadian houndie here!

For QUICK (and I mean, we rush out and run) morning and post-feeding pee break, we just go without clothes or paws. We circle the yard and he pees near the tree line so Jack is safe from the winds.

When we are out for longer, he wear paws (the balloon thingy) or boots, a fleece polar covering only his front legs, belly and with a snood attached and he wears on top of that a doubled coat (I swear it is as thick as mine).

He never don't want to go on walks. He will in the extreme cold raise up a feet for me to take in my hand to warm up and then off we go. On a 20 minutes walk, we can stop maybe 2-3 times max for frozen paws and it only happens if we put on the Paws but it is too cold out.

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My guys are very quick to get the job done in this weather.... and I am so thankful for our fenced in yard.

 

We also shovel them a couple of paths through the bigger drifts... no way would they go out if they had to wade through it.

Even our GSD hated this kind of snow and cold.

 

Nancy...Mom to Sid (Peteles Tiger), Kibo (112 Carlota Galgos) and Mario (2nd Chance Rescue).   Missing Casey, Gomer, Mona, Penelope, BillieJean, Bandit, Nixon (Starz Sammie),  Ruby (Watch Me Dash) and especially  Nigel (Nigel), waiting at the Bridge

 

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Now is not the time to start training, but I’ve found that putting going potty on cue helps in these scenarios. Lila knows “go pee” and “go poop”. Obviously I can’t make her go when she doesn’t have to, but if she hasn’t peed hours and she’s hesitant to go out in the cold or rain telling her “go pee” seems to help her understand what’s expected of her.

Hang in there!

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It's not a quick fix, but I highly recommend a move to Southern California. It hasn't snowed in San Diego in 55 years.

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Our pups won't go unless there's a track shovelled for them. You may have to consider this. Secondly, Ben won't go out when it's really cold, he just heads for the door. I need to put a coat on him and boots because he needs a few minutes to pee. Brooke and Katie will go out the back and quickly pee, while Ben needs to go for a walk. They seem to have different preferences when dealing with P&P.

 

Hopefully the therapaws will work.

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I've had dogs who've let me know that they will hold it for YEARS if they have to, they aren't going outside in that stuff.

 

It's cute that Yurtie has inherited boots from Mable. And that Annie leaps off the carefully shoved path to do her thing.

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I live in Canton (outside of Boston, and we have more snow than Boston proper) and my dog is named "Buck Naked" for a good reason--he is nearly bald. I take him out five times a day, regardless of the temp or weather. He is from Florida. I happen to feel that a dog takes his/her attitude about weather from the cues they get from their owner. I may be 100% wrong about that, I admit it. And I know SOME dogs truly hate the cold and/or rain. But I assure you, they are not raised being allowed to decide when they'll go out and in what weather.

 

I don't think that it's "dangerous" to be out for more than five minutes, given your dog is wearing not one but two coats. You either need to keep him out until he goes, or accept that at some point he will pee in the house.

 

We have almost nowhere to walk at this point--just our parking lot at my condo, and the parking lot of the park across the street. It's not ideal, but I find that for Buck, 15 minutes in the morning is plenty. Our other trips outside are shorter, but I am fortunate in that Buck is very cooperative and not fussy about where he goes. But not once have I thought I was endangering him taking him outside. He's a dog, not an orchid!

 

As for yourself, if you don't have snow pants, invest in some! I got a great pair from Zappos.com and they make MY attitude a whole lot better! Warm boots are key, as are anti-slip spikes.

 

 


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It's not a quick fix, but I highly recommend a move to Southern California. It hasn't snowed in San Diego in 55 years.

 

One of the many reasons I moved home. The 40 layers of combined clothing and boots for me and the grey was just too much! Sunny, 65 degree mornings are so much better.

 

Teasing aside, boots, coats and quick sidewalk runs to take care of business were the norm for us in NYC when it got crazy cold and snowy. I really like the cheap boots from www.dogbooties.com. They worked for snow/ice/salt as well as for nesting damage and the one who liked to give herself 3 am pedicures with her teeth. What more can you ask of a $3. dog booties? I love that you can buy singles so you only have to replace as needed and can have a stash on hand.

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