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Dogs outside in cold weather

Old 01-02-2008, 05:32 AM
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Default Dogs outside in cold weather

We are having a cold snap for us here in the South, suppose to get down in the mid teens tonight with brisk winds, and I have 2 labs that stay in a kennel outside. One is 2 1/2 and the other is 6 months old. Outside of putting cedar chips in their dog houses is there anything I should be concerned about for them.

I have thought about putting them in kennel crates in the garage for tonight but not sure how the younger one will react to that all night, he is just learning he can bark

They stay outside all the time but we have really not had much cold weather in the last few years.

Both dogs are very healthy
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Old 01-02-2008, 06:22 AM
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Default Re: Dogs outside in cold weather

If you want to feel better about it throw some straw in there. If it was me I wouldn't worry an ounce. Grew up on a farm and had lifestock out in weather that went down to 0. The key is shelter.
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Old 01-02-2008, 06:22 AM
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Default Re: Dogs outside in cold weather

My JRT's are gonna sleep inside after a good bath.
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Old 01-02-2008, 06:31 AM
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Default Re: Dogs outside in cold weather

Your question is a difficult one for me to answer as my chocolate lab is completely under a blanket and snuggled up next to me in bed. I don't know how cold it is going to get where you are but when in doubt bring them in. Why worry?
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Old 01-02-2008, 06:38 AM
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Default Re: Dogs outside in cold weather

minus 19 f right now - can't get the dog to come inside. Tough critters! He's got a doggy door when he wants to come in.

150# giant Alaskan Malamute!
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Old 01-02-2008, 06:52 AM
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Default RE: Dogs outside in cold weather

tprice - 1/2/2008 9:32 PM

We are having a cold snap for us here in the South, suppose to get down in the mid teens tonight with brisk winds, and I have 2 labs ...

This is a no brainer...labs are "short hair" dogs. When you are cold, short hair dogs are cold. They just lack the ability to complain. That does not imply they will not survive. It just means they are uncomfortable.

Hope that helps.



Edit: when your dogs sleep at night, do they curl up in a tight little ball for warmth, or do they stretch out and relax like you do in bed? Hint: You want your dog(s) to relax.



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Old 01-02-2008, 06:57 AM
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Default Re: Dogs outside in cold weather

A dog, unlike people, can't add layers to their coat when needed. Their coats adjusts to the weather gradually. If the dog is used to staying outdoors thru all kinds of weather, his coat adjusts as the seasons change, but if it's a warm climate dog put in a cold situation suddenly, the coat doesn't have time to adjust. Putting the dogs in a warm place is your best bet. Why risk a serious problem or worse.
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Old 01-02-2008, 07:07 AM
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Default RE: Dogs outside in cold weather

Sure reading a lot of 'interesting' opinons here. I suggest that you'll be way ahead if you just call a vet for his/her professional advice.
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Old 01-02-2008, 07:36 AM
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Default Re: Dogs outside in cold weather

If your labs have not grown a winter coat then you should bring them in. If they have a winter coat they would be fine. And if you have to ask what does a labs winter coat look like then they don't have it. Its about 5 times thinker then thier normal coat and it sux to brush it off in the spring.
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Old 01-02-2008, 07:52 AM
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Default Re: Dogs outside in cold weather

Send your wife out there to sleep with them, that'll help keep them warm and you can have a few extra brewskies and watch some porn.

See, you wouldn't get such sage advice from a stupid vet.
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Old 01-02-2008, 08:23 AM
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Default RE: Dogs outside in cold weather

We have too big of swings in the weather for a dog to get a good winter coat. It is going to be 20deg or colder here tonight, and just the other day it was 70 deg, so i suggest bringing them in. I crate trained my chocolate, and he loves his crate so on cold nights, or nights that it is very hot inside he comes.
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Old 01-02-2008, 08:39 AM
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Default RE: Dogs outside in cold weather

I live just a couple of hours from you, so I will be experiencing the same thing.

I have a Chessie who is pretty hardy to begin with. He sleeps outside year round and actually prefers to be outside rather than inside. His kennel is covered and his house (filled with cedar shavings) is built on a wooden deck so it's off the ground. The rest of the kennel has wheat straw covering the ground. (10' x 30')

But, I think tonight I will bring him inside just to be safe. That's the beauty of having a crate trained dog.

If he barks just put a bark collar on him. It will take about three barks before he realizes he should be quite.


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Old 01-02-2008, 09:15 AM
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Default RE: Dogs outside in cold weather

I have had numerous dogs over the years, all of them being outside dogs. Right now we have 2 black labs. We have an outside roofed fenced inkennel that is attached to one of our sheds. On the shed we have a doggie door which leads to an inside bedding area for them. When its really cold and honestly on most winter nights we bring them in our unheated garage in their portable kennels which both have doggie beds in them. They both really like the smaller kennels. After there night walks, they sit in front of the garage door wanting to go in the smaller kennel in lieu of the outside enclosed kennel. For some reason they like that smaller tighter space.

One thing for sure.....If there was open unfrozenwater at the local park, I can guarantee that both of them would go in with no hesitation. I will have to agree on the winter coats. If you dog has it, then its probably OK to be outside.

The goldens and labs that I have had, all of them have lived what I would call beyond the average life expentency. Our last golden lived 17 plus years. All those being outside. Labs and goldens are a lot tougher then you think.

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Old 01-02-2008, 10:01 AM
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Default Re: Dogs outside in cold weather

I got hounds out back and they never saw the inside of a house ,ceder chips are for summer time ,use straw now it holds heat ,I also bought a hound heater for there box and it is warmer than my house is ,I also up the amount of food the take in and add chicken broth to there food to add calories
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Old 01-02-2008, 10:34 AM
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Default Re: Dogs outside in cold weather

They will be fine as long as they have shelter out of the wind. Short coat has nothing to do with it. Bread Newfies for years.
Heat is much more of a concern than cold. Unless we are talking about a foo foo dog
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Old 01-02-2008, 10:34 AM
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Default Re: Dogs outside in cold weather

Bring 'em inside.
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Old 01-02-2008, 10:43 AM
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Default Re: Dogs outside in cold weather

My 17lb ratter is inside. He doesn't have much hair on his belly anyhow. He freezes his arse off when temps hit 60. My house temp is 67F right now. Might turn the heat on tonight briefly. Ratter is curled up in a ball under a blanket. He sticks his head out just to see if anything different has happenned.
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Old 01-02-2008, 11:39 AM
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Default RE: Dogs outside in cold weather

is there anything I should be concerned about for them.
Frostbite (especially at ears); spiders; fleas; ticks; possible hazards of encounters with other animals seeking shelter there (and some of them are very good at digging); hypothermia from long exposure; the extreme discomfort of exposure to extreme cold.

putting them in kennel crates in the garage for tonight
That would be better than the outdoors. And better to give them some blankets, too, to help them with maintaining their heat.
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Old 01-02-2008, 11:47 AM
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Default RE: Dogs outside in cold weather

Eyeball - 1/2/2008 6:52 AM

tprice - 1/2/2008 9:32 PM

We are having a cold snap for us here in the South, suppose to get down in the mid teens tonight with brisk winds, and I have 2 labs ...

This is a no brainer...labs are "short hair" dogs. When you are cold, short hair dogs are cold. They just lack the ability to complain. That does not imply they will not survive. It just means they are uncomfortable.

Hope that helps.



Edit: when your dogs sleep at night, do they curl up in a tight little ball for warmth, or do they stretch out and relax like you do in bed? Hint: You want your dog(s) to relax.


My Lab when for a swim in the ocean Monday morning. The water temp was right around 40'F. He ended up going in 5 times with out hesitation. No way you could get me to go in.

The key is to get the dog (any dog) off the ground. Give your dog an old blanket to lay on, he will be fine.
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Old 01-02-2008, 11:57 AM
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Default Re: Dogs outside in cold weather

Wheat straw in the house. Thats what my chessie gets but he still lays right out in the middle of the yard sprawled out. Then again, this is the same crazy animal that busts an ice hole in front of the blind and sits in the water when its that cold.
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