In the cold weather, do GR need a coat? - Page 2 - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums

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Old 12-02-2011, 08:42 PM
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A golden has a double coat for a reason: It protects them in the cold and the heat.
There is absolutely no need for a coat.
The best rule of thumb in cold weather is: If there is a cold advisory for humans then it applies to dogs. Don't keep them outside for a long periods of time when it's extremely cold.

And in general dogs who are active in the winter do tend to lose weight. I have to normally up my guy's food in the winter so he doesn't lose weight.

The one part of their body that needs extra care in the winter are their pads when there is ice, snow and salt on the sidewalks when you walk. Be sure to wash off their pads with warm water and dry them after a walk. There are products to put on their pads before going for a walk to protect them from the salt.
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhondas View Post
A golden has a double coat for a reason: It protects them in the cold and the heat.
There is absolutely no need for a coat.
The best rule of thumb in cold weather is: If there is a cold advisory for humans then it applies to dogs. Don't keep them outside for a long periods of time when it's extremely cold.

And in general dogs who are active in the winter do tend to lose weight. I have to normally up my guy's food in the winter so he doesn't lose weight.

The one part of their body that needs extra care in the winter are their pads when there is ice, snow and salt on the sidewalks when you walk. Be sure to wash off their pads with warm water and dry them after a walk. There are products to put on their pads before going for a walk to protect them from the salt.
I agree. We walk 45 minutes to an hour each morning. In cold winter weather their feet accumulate little frozen balls of ice. If your pup is limping, take your glove and check for ice (or salt). I often have to brush the feet during our walks - it gets that cold in the Chicago area.
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:34 PM
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Tucker has a coat... he rarely wears it.

We were outside once and he decided he wanted to take a nap in the snow.

I think it's safe to say they stay pretty warm.
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:41 PM
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Pumba was born in January and the people we got her from had the mom and pups outside after they were a month old i think? something like that with a heated dog house and when we got Pumba in April she had a nice thick coat and we had to leave her out a lot because she would over heat in the house
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:49 PM
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The boy dogs like it cold. The girls, not so much. I cannot guess why this would be gender related. The girls have sweaters. My husband would grumble greatly if I tried a coat or sweater on his hunting dog. I did however discover if we are going to be in deep snow, the skid plate we use to keep stickers and goat heads away in the fall field hunting, also prevents icicles...if you know what I mean?
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:55 PM
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I am sure that tolerance for cold builds up, or is lost, depending on exposure.
We lived in northern Utah and upstate New York and I was out for long periods of time in winter.
Now we have lived in South Carolina for 30 years and when it is in the 30's I have to wear several sweaters, a fleece jacket with a heavier jacket over, a scarf and a hat to go on a 1/2 hr walk.
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Old 12-02-2011, 11:53 PM
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I used a coat in the rain and wet snow with my late, great Sadie for my convenience and when she got quite old and didn't handle the colder temperatures well. I put booties on her in the snow because she didn't like getting the snow packed between her pads where it melted and turned to ice. She didn't like the booties, but tolerated them. Now Maisie is inheriting her hand-me-down coat and booties and I expect to use them this winter.
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Old 12-03-2011, 01:16 AM
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Tyson would hate me if I put him in a coat lol he loves the cold and is crazy in love with snow lol 9 times out of 10 I'm the one freezing while bundled up wanting to go in while he slides down snowbanks (on and off leash) and makes doggy snow angles lol I think Ignuta nailed it, depends on exposure, also the dogs preferences.
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Old 12-03-2011, 02:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhondas View Post
A golden has a double coat for a reason: It protects them in the cold and the heat.
There is absolutely no need for a coat.
The best rule of thumb in cold weather is: If there is a cold advisory for humans then it applies to dogs. Don't keep them outside for a long periods of time when it's extremely cold.

And in general dogs who are active in the winter do tend to lose weight. I have to normally up my guy's food in the winter so he doesn't lose weight.

The one part of their body that needs extra care in the winter are their pads when there is ice, snow and salt on the sidewalks when you walk. Be sure to wash off their pads with warm water and dry them after a walk. There are products to put on their pads before going for a walk to protect them from the salt.
I have to disagree with you Rhondas. My girl wears booties and a coat in certain situations, even though she has a double coat and it is absolutely necessary! Generally the situation is when she is coming on a AT skiing or telemark skiing or mountaineering trip with us. My girl has a lovely double coat, but it's just not enough to protect her when she is out in the snow spending multiple days running or walking after us or watching us run laps on a good line.

I am sorry to say I am not a fan of the rule of thumb for cold weather. We are not going to exclude her, by leaving her home just because she could get cold. There are many risks associated with the being out in the elements and the solution is within your risk management. Yes my girl is at risk being exposed to cold weather and the elements, but we plan for and manage these risks. We do always carry multiple layers for her depending on the weather and have even set up camp early if she was getting cold (she quickly warms up in the cosy tent with some food in her belly and a down sleeping bag over her and human to cuddle!). Often if we are doing multiple runs on a hill we will dig her a little cave and insulate it for her so she is protected, warm and can happily nap (unfortunately my lab top AC socket is broken, otherwise I would post some cute photos of her!).

We have even butchered our expensive technical clothes one trip, when we were struggling to manage her temperature control. Food does make a large difference, we eat often when we are on expeditions and she eats every time we do (you wouldn't believe how heavy her food is, even with dehydrating it!). We also feed her a very different diet to keep her energy up. I have also noticed with age she is more susceptible to the cold.

If I was to not put our girl in protective gear, then I can guarantee she would suffer. She would become a huge liability, when the weather hits or we are fighting a long day to get to camp we need the assurance that she is protected and safe, also it would be cruel. Also because we are 8 hours away from snow it can be a shock to her system to go from mild winter weather to the extremity of the mountains, making protection for her even more vital.

So do you think that I shouldn't be putting protective layers on my girl? I am glad to hear your a fan of booties. Do you think that I am considered a bad owner for taking my girlie into cold weather and that she should just be left behind.
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:05 AM
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We're outside for a few hours a day even when it is -12. I never put them out in the yard in weather like that, but I do hike with them- no coats! The only exception is for s senior dog.
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