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Old October 6th, 2011, 04:10 PM
geoffh4 geoffh4 is offline
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What, if anything, should I do for my dogs before winter?

I have two shelter mixes.
One is a fairly thick beagle mix and one is a very thin lab/whippet-ish mix.

They were both born and "raised" in Virginia. Recently I was transferred to Boston and my pets and I are adjusting nicely.

However, the weather is beginning to get a bit cooler and I'm a little nervous about them in the heart of winter.

Do they need coats or something to keep warm? Do they even make coats for dogs that weigh 50 pounds?

I'm particularly nervous about the lab mix as she has arthritis in her knees (luxating patella) and had an ACL repair (with the plate in her knee). The vet suggested dog leg warmers but I know these will make it difficult/awkward for her to walk and she will not like wearing them.

Any ideas?
Thanks!
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Old October 6th, 2011, 04:22 PM
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Winston Winston is offline
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If your interested in dog booties check out Muttluks they are a very good quality boot for dogs but they are abit pricey.
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"UNTIL ONE HAS LOVED AN ANIMAL, PART OF THEIR SOUL REMAINS UNAWAKENED"
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Old October 6th, 2011, 04:24 PM
geoffh4 geoffh4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winston View Post
If your interested in dog booties check out Muttluks they are a very good quality boot for dogs but they are abit pricey.
I tried booties once before and it was a disaster. My dog highstepped around like she had glue on her feet and ended up slipping a bunch before finally just sitting down and refusing to move.

Are some better than others or more natural feeling?

How much of a problem is the ice + salt for dog paws?
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Old October 6th, 2011, 06:42 PM
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Loki Love Loki Love is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geoffh4 View Post
How much of a problem is the ice + salt for dog paws?
My husband wasn't convinced on boots for Loki until the first time he took him out and Loki started to limp horribly due to the salt and ice wedged up in his feet :/ We ordered Muttluks that same night.
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Old October 6th, 2011, 07:19 PM
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Chaser Chaser is offline
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I would definitely recommend coats.......typically dogs don't need them, but considering that drastic change and that it sounds like both your pups are fairly short-haired it may be a good idea. You can definitely find them in any size.

If your dogs absolutely refuse the Muttlucks, the best thing you can do is invest in "paw wax"/paw protector. Just ask for it at a good pet supply store. It's applied daily before a walk and hardens in the cold, creating a thin barrier between the paw and ice/salt. You'll find the salt can cause irritation and redness and their paws should be wiped right away after walks. This also prevents "ice crusties" in between their toes, which can pull on the fur and be uncomfortable. Around your home, where they walk most often, get an eco-friendly, pet-safe de-icer instead of salt. Widely available in Boston I expect!

Is your dog on glucosamine/fish oil/etc? I would just ensure you're keeping on top of a preventative pain management regime. And you may very well finding yourself simply doing less walking with them during the winter months....it happens, so don't feel badly. Just reduce their food intake a little bit!

Hope that helps
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Old October 6th, 2011, 07:37 PM
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Winston Winston is offline
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Geoff I had a lab and one thing I did find here in Canada we use a lot of salt on the streets so he always had cracked pads or rough pads. What helped alot was making sure the pads were completely dry and because he had web type feet I made sure to get in between where the moisture is.

I also used a moisturizer cream when they were really bad.

My boy refused the boots and walked like you described every time they were on!
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Winston Nov 15, 1999 - September 15, 2011
Sophie Aug 30, 2011

"UNTIL ONE HAS LOVED AN ANIMAL, PART OF THEIR SOUL REMAINS UNAWAKENED"
He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.
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Old October 7th, 2011, 12:53 AM
Red Shasta Red Shasta is offline
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There are definitely coats for 50+ pound dogs! Check pet supply stores or search the Internet.

Greyhound owners and other extremely shorthaired (or no-hair!) breed owners often put coats on their dogs because they can't regulate their temperature to accommodate extreme cold. If you can't find anything you like, you might try looking for suppliers of racing dog coats.
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  #8  
Old October 7th, 2011, 05:15 AM
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Melinda Melinda is offline
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my mom knit my lab a leg warmer, she also has a plate in her back leg (knee) we threaded a thread through the top of it and I just tie it in a nice bow, it stretches from ankle to top of the inside hip/thigh
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Old October 7th, 2011, 06:56 PM
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kigndano kigndano is offline
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i second the note that you'll probably do less waking in new england.

im a life long new england guy...and there are weeks here when its around 15 F for a high...days like that even the dogs dont want to be out.

youd be surprised that with my own minimal rules of...


*Temp > 19 F
*Not snowing heavily


...that i miss around 10-15 walks every winter - and i walk literally every day, rain or shine, some days 2 times a day (2-3 miles a walk) all other times of year.

good luck, and watch for cracked pads - i dealt with it last winter by taking an extra day and avoiding "hard" snow.

also, for the joint issues, i just got my dog on Phycox, which is glucosamine, MSM and chrondroitin. Its a soft chew.

~$35 for 2 months supply

he seems to be better after a few months on it, less "creaky" when he lays down and gets up.

id say give it a shot.
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Old October 7th, 2011, 09:07 PM
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Dekka Dekka is offline
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If you live in Ontario I HIGHLY recommend the shedrow dog blankets. They are made by the same company that makes horse blankets. They are insualted so very warm, wind proof and water proof. They make them for small to HUGE lol.

Sadly their site is having issues. But you can buy them at greenhawk stores. You are welcome to bring your dog into the stores and try on the blankets.



You can layer if you need too. In this pic she has two fleece coats on underneath, but we were doing a film shoot on Georgian Bay in Febuaray (it was -20C/-4F most days with out the wind chill)
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Old October 17th, 2011, 11:14 AM
Jumajum Jumajum is offline
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I live in the arctic and have two pointer greyhound crosses with a touch of Husky. One is predominantly pointer (Loulou) and the other is mainly greyhound (Lyra). They are essentially shorthaired dogs. They don't salt the roads up here, so we don't have salt issues. Luckily, the girls have webbed feet and they don't get ice balling between their toes.
In the beginning I was concerned mainly for Lyra because her fur is fine with not much over an topcoat and she's very slender built. We call her "Bony Butt'
For most of the fall & winter it hovers around -25C to -35C and we go for 2 hour walks every day. I have had them out at -45C. As long as they keep moving, they good.

Check their paws regularly and if they are showing signs of distress or shivering then by all means, put on a layer. I find wet to be more of a problem than cold.
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