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At what temp. is it too cold to take dog for walk/play outside?

March 6th, 2011, 07:47 AM
Hi everyone
Does it depend on breed of dog, size, coat, age?
Lucy is 18 months, 52lbs, thick coat
This morning it is -19C with wind chill, -28C
(or -2F, with wind chill -18F)
It will warm up as the day progresses
I know it's too cold right now, but just wondered if taking her for a run (not walk) would harm her?
Thanks, J.:pawprint:

March 6th, 2011, 08:01 AM
I am always more concerned about their paws getting too cold (unless it is a very short haired dog). Usually if the animal has a thick coat and is used to the cold, -28 for a short walk is not too bad.

March 6th, 2011, 08:29 AM
it does definitely depend on the breed. A husky, which has nice thick fur can definitely stay out long in the winter that say a greyhound who as thin fur and skin. if your a concerned about you dog you could always put a jacket on him if you felt it was necessary. Also if you keep moving at a brisk pace that will keep the both of you warm compared to just doddling down the road. If you are worried about their feet you could put boots on their feet also to help protect them a bit.

March 6th, 2011, 08:35 AM
.... thanks for the input
I wish I could put dog boots on her but she is a "chewer extraordinaire" (sp.?)
Even when it isn't this cold, when she comes in she has little ice balls between
her toes - I used to put her feet in a bowl of water, but now she just gets them
out herself, then eats the ice!
Yes I suppose it's not just the cold temperature but how long they are outside
...... she is a house dog and it's too bad she's not getting more exercise lately.
I've had her on the treadmill for about 15 seconds at a time, ha ha

March 6th, 2011, 08:44 AM
...she hadn't even tried it yet (the treadmill) !!

March 6th, 2011, 08:49 AM
lol, she wont stay on for more then a few seconds? i was actually looking at a treadmill today to get for enzo.

March 6th, 2011, 09:32 AM
well I think it's about fifteen to thirty seconds and she jumps off
I keep thinking I will go on Internet and find out the best way to train them
We would still take her out for walks/play and she actually plays catch the ball inside our house..... but I thought during our long winters it would be good if she could go on treadmill for, say, fifteen minutes a day (ahem..... please don't ask me how many minutes a day I spend on it) :o

March 6th, 2011, 12:54 PM
She's dreaming about her New Year's Resolution to get more exercise! :D Too cute!

March 6th, 2011, 08:06 PM
I keep Scruffy in if it's colder than -25 before the wind chill. Well that's because I am a wimp. Doesn't seem to bother HIM.
He wears mittens and a jacket. He hates them,but he's too busy having fun to notice once we get to the park.

Gail P
March 15th, 2011, 08:51 PM
Watch her and she'll tell you how long she can stay out. If she's shivering and holding up paws then she's feeling the cold and either needs to go in or wear a coat and/or booties. If she's running and playing and having fun chances are she'll not notice the cold too much. My dogs stay out for hours even in that kind of cold, but they're always running/playing/hiking with me (yes I'm out in it too, they're not just stuck out in the yard) or they're in harness pulling my sled. btw, none are huskies, most are border collies and mixes and most have a short but double coat. A couple are pretty smooth with less undercoat but none seem to really feel the cold as long as they stay active. Sometimes in extreme cold they'll hold a foot up for a few seconds but then they get moving and seem to "run it off" and not act cold anymore.

For the problem of ice balls, if you don't want to use booties there are other options. One is to trim the hair short on the underside of the foot and between the pads which will help prevent the snow from sticking. Also, when you notice she's got ice balls it's easy to melt them loose with your fingers. You'll have to take off your glove or mitt but you can kind of pinch the base of the ice ball and the heat from your fingers will cause it to loosen from the hair. It's better to get them out right away than to wait until you go inside and put her feet in water. If she's running around playing the ice balls can cause bruising to her feet. Think how uncomfortable it would be to have a stone in your shoe and run on it. There are also wax-based preparations you can buy to help protect the pads and prevent snow and ice balls from forming. Once such product is called Musher's Secret. Another alternative is a zinc based cream. I keep a tub of diaper rash ointment in my truck in case I need it for any of my dogs feet. It's a mix of zinc oxide, lanolin, beeswax etc.

I never let the cold stop me from getting my dogs out. They so look forward to their daily run around the fields when I'm out doing the farm chores and they love to go sledding in any weather.

March 16th, 2011, 12:20 PM
..thanks everyone for the tips
I have zinc ointment here so will put that on next time....
some of those ice balls are quite large!
hopefully the snow will be gone soon - then i can spent time washing the mud off her feet before she comes into the house and jumps on the bed

March 17th, 2011, 12:04 AM
What a cute pic.

March 17th, 2011, 08:32 PM
It can get to temperatures like that where I am and pooch and I go out anyway. He was a winter puppy and I was pretty careful when he was only a wee little thing but now I would not hesitate to go out in -19C with -28C windchill. I think it depends more on your dog. Mine is a Lab, he likes the cold, wears no boots, doesn't have the thickest coat even for a Lab but still wants to go. I DO make such an outing a bit shorter, watch his feet, keep him out of deep snow.

Running in such cold might be worse than taking it slower. You and dog will both breath more cold air into your lungs faster. This may be some kind of old wives tale but I have heard it said that you can freeze lungs doing that. A second caution is more for you but in cold like that I am very careful not to get all hot and sweaty because when I do slow down, boy, is it ever cold. Not good to get wet in the cold.

March 19th, 2011, 12:40 PM
...thanx again everyone - some great ideas to try; hopefully the snow will be gone soon.... but there's always next Winter !