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My boyfriend and I have done some hiking with our poodle recently and she seems to love it. We’re planning a trip to the mountains in January for some hiking/cross-country skiing and wondering if we need to make any special preparations for extended outdoor time with the dog in cold weather.

How cold is too cold? Does she need boots for snow? A sweater?

I’ve gathered from other posts that smaller dogs have a harder time staying warm. She’s a standard but definitely on the small side at around 30lbs, 1.5 years old, very athletic.

There’s been no indication thus far that she’s sensitive to the cold but we adopted her in July and it has only dipped below freezing a handful of times so far this year here in NYC.

Note: she’ll have a warm place to stay if it’s way too cold. Obviously we want her to have a nice time and the depth of any potential snow is going to be a factor as well - her legs are pretty stumpy for a standard poodle (but we love her anyway)! :)

Thanks!
 

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One of my concerns would be ice balls forming on her legs and belly. Ice balls will weigh her down and chill her. She might even get frostbite if the ice balls form between her toes and stay there for hours. My boy Pogo was usually ok, but Snarky used to lick and gnaw at the ice balls. His wet feet would then attract bigger and badder ice balls.

There are various boots and snowsuit one can try. I would suggest purchasing whatever you think might work and trying it on shorter hikes. You don't want to get three hours into the back country and discover that your snowsuit straps have rubbed a raw spot. I tried one boot brand when I was having trouble with Pogo and Snarky cutting their feet while running on frozen mud. The boots spun on their feet, resulting in the leather side being on top of the foot and the nylon side touching the ground. No harm to the dogs, and in fact their feet came out in great shape, but the boots were destroyed.
 

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I like Pawz rubber booties. If you buy them, definitely get the Pawz jawz to put them on.

Sorry, realize you are American, can't handle conversions right now.
I find Annie gets colder and wetter at near freezing than at -10C or so because the snow melts and she gets wetter with more snow clumps near zero. If she is running she doesn't really need a coat, if it is freezing rain or snowing heavily near 0, she needs one to keep dry. Keeping the fur shorter (1") will prevent snow clumps and balls from forming and still be pretty insulative. Definitely shaved feet, mud balls and ice balls are very attracted to poodle hair.

I like Annie's stretch fleece for being active, she had a Shedrow coat that looks like a horse blanket and is very insulative and water resistant for more sedate walks.

I am careful of frost bite with her ears in really windy (50 + km/hr winds, -10 before wind chill) and rather cold weather on longer (half hour plus) walks, so I put a snood on her which keeps her warmer. She isn't a huge fan.
 

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Hahaha! No kidding.
I always thought they could keep the wind out of their own flippin' ears. ;)
I have more cold tolerance than my dog.

I put on my north of the Arctic circle layers (which may include a bandana over my cheeks and nose and a wind baffling fur ruff) and am toasty warm. Poor Annie gets trussed up in whatever is needed to keep her mostly content as I drag her around on extra long walks in the bitter cold and wind, happy because no other fools are brave enough to go for a walk!
 

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I have a short coated dog, so no snow balls here.

Ideally, I do not walk him in the winter.. We'll do something inside.

for walks I put on a sweater, I plan on buying boots here soon, but Like I said, we dont do a whole lot of winter walking.

I've seen posted a few times here, that there are socks that are suspenders that go on your dog, to prevent snow balls
 

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My boyfriend and I have done some hiking with our poodle recently and she seems to love it. We’re planning a trip to the mountains in January for some hiking/cross-country skiing and wondering if we need to make any special preparations for extended outdoor time with the dog in cold weather.

How cold is too cold? Does she need boots for snow? A sweater?

I’ve gathered from other posts that smaller dogs have a harder time staying warm. She’s a standard but definitely on the small side at around 30lbs, 1.5 years old, very athletic.

There’s been no indication thus far that she’s sensitive to the cold but we adopted her in July and it has only dipped below freezing a handful of times so far this year here in NYC.

Note: she’ll have a warm place to stay if it’s way too cold. Obviously we want her to have a nice time and the depth of any potential snow is going to be a factor as well - her legs are pretty stumpy for a standard poodle (but we love her anyway)! :)

Thanks!
It all kind of depends on how cold you are expecting it to be, how much coat your dog has (snowball accumulation), how much snow you expect to be out hiking in (snowball accumulation), etc. If you are looking for boots, which I would recommend even if there is no snow but it is cold and you will be out for extended periods of time, I suggest checking out Ruffwear's site. They have a number of different styles of boots and you can ask them which they would suggest for what you are planning to do with your dog. Younger dogs generally tolerate the cold better than older ones, but again, if you are going to be out for extended periods you probably want some kind of coat for her. Don't know how tall your girl is, but 30 lbs. is REALLY on the very light side for a Standard...Are you sure that weight is accurate? One of mine is small at 21 1/2 inches, but in her prime she was about 40-42 lbs. as she was very muscled since we do a lot of performance sports. She's coming up on 13 now and is probably about 36 since she has naturally lost muscle as she's aging.....Point being, if your dog is extremely thin, retaining body heat will also be an issue. So you might want to make sure she has a good coat (unless you are going the full snowsuit route, but that's another discussion). If you want a good coat for her to keep her warm, as opposed to a snowsuit, I suggest you look at the dog coats from Foggy Mountain and WeatherBeeta. I've got one from each of them due to fit for my dogs. My smaller one has one from FM and my larger one has one from WB. Both vendors have different styles of coats with different levels of warmth/protection.
 
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I like these booties for snow & we even had some custom made

Also, like Chilly Dogs coats.
 

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Mia, Christmas in June 2010
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I'll second what eclipse said. My dogs were affected more by accumulated snow and current precipitation than temperature. Minus 20 with nothing on the ground was fine; 20 above with 18" of snow and more falling was cold. I assume that it has to do with losing heat faster in water than air, but I haven't seen any science on this.

Boots and a water repellent coat are good places to start. The boots take some time to train them to put on and wear, so get started with those soon. There are also waxes like Musher's Secret that can protect paws, depending on whether you discover cracking/bleeding from ice and salt.

Finally, remember to start small and build up. Your dog will ignore injury to keep up with you, so it is up to you to set appropriate boundaries and ensure your dog's health. You probably know this, but it can be helpful to hear because once you're having fun in the mountains, it can be difficult to remember your priorities.
 
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