Forum
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...

Winterize the old dog

Dogs, dogs and even some cats
Forum rules
Let's try to keep the topics related to mountaineering, please.
User avatar
Posts: 127
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:28 pm
Location: Monument & Breck

Winterize the old dog

Postby powhound » Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:50 pm

About a month ago I took my 10 year old dog on a x-c ski in single digit temps. Later that evening he came up quite lame. I was shocked to see how much more sensitive his arthritis was to the cold than last winter.

So, on Sunday, with the new snow and frigid temps, I was itching to test out some new gear... and test out some ideas I had for my dog. We hiked up a small mountain...off trail, 5 inches snow, very steep, 2000 verts, maybe 4 miles. Even in warm temps, this is almost about as hard as I'll work him these days. However, this time I did everything I could think of to minimize the effects of the single digit cold on his arthritis...and it worked!

Here's what I did...

- I gave him a half a Rimadyl with his breakfast.
- Had him wear a doggie coat that covers hips and shoulders.
- I carried an old ensolite sleeping pad with me, and when we stopped on top of the mountain for lunch, I made sure he stayed on it to insulate him from the ground. I also took out my emergency down parka (that is always in my pack...but never gets used) and covered him with this while we took our lunch break.
- I gave him another half of a Rimadyl. In the cold temps, he shows no interest in drinking...but you can "lead a dog to water AND make him drink". I crunched up a fistful of milkbones along with the Rimadyl and put them in a big bowl of water and got it all into him.
- And as an emergency back up, I brought along a dog harness, in case he started to struggle on the rough terrain. This would allow me to hoist him up (like a suitcase) and over any obstacles. He weighs over 75 lbs. so it would really help to have some leverage if needed. I never had to use this.

He did great and showed no sign of being gimpy last night or today. So, I just wanted to share my success with other owners of old dogs who may be considering leaving their buddies behind on frigid days. I would love to hear if anyone has any other cold weather tips for the pooches.
Attachments
mountain top lunch break.JPG
mountain top lunch break.JPG (36.9 KiB) Viewed 1143 times

User avatar
Posts: 2146
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 8:47 pm
Location: Colorado Springs

Re: Winterize the old dog

Postby Dancesatmoonrise » Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:57 pm

That is awesome! You sure take good care of him.
Nice comprehensive treatment plan as well!

User avatar
Posts: 436
Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2009 9:43 pm
Location: Olathe, KS

Re: Winterize the old dog

Postby Theodore » Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:38 am

This is what we do with our lab after she dives into icy water... :lol:

Image

User avatar
Posts: 456
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2007 1:16 pm
Location: Aurora, CO

Re: Winterize the old dog

Postby Jay521 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:52 pm

I hiked and climbed every month of the year with my two Norwegian Elkhounds for most of their 15 years of life. Being a "northern" breed, the cold did not cause them much trouble - I probably had more trouble with the cold than they did, and I'm pretty cold tolerant. But one thing was VERY helpful - doggie booties. Quite frequently, snow and ice would freeze to the hair between their paws causing them enough discomfort that they would have to stop and try and chew it off. I found some dog booties from a Michigan musher supply house similar to the picture below. Now, I think you can get these at most pet supply stores, REI, etc.
ULTRADUR-2T.jpg
ULTRADUR-2T.jpg (16.82 KiB) Viewed 826 times


Edit: I might also add that these booties can be very helpful if your dog cuts his pad on a sharp rock. They saved me having to try and carry a 60# dog off Tabeguache about 30 years ago...
I take the mountain climber's approach to housekeeping - don't look down

User avatar
Posts: 568
Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2008 12:49 pm
Location: Front Range, Colorado

Re: Winterize the old dog

Postby davebks » Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:51 pm

do you all typically give your dog a pain killer? i have wondered about this. I have an aussie now and we do some big hikes. i can tell when hes sore because he spends the night stretching and groaning.

User avatar
Posts: 1731
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 12:47 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: Winterize the old dog

Postby highpilgrim » Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:57 pm

davebks wrote:do you all typically give your dog a pain killer? i have wondered about this. I have an aussie now and we do some big hikes. i can tell when hes sore because he spends the night stretching and groaning.


I trained dogs for a long time in the military and we gave the dogs meds all the time. Some of them were over the counter and worked fine.

You ought to run your issue through a vet though; some medications that you might not expect are bad for pets. Aspirin for example, which can work for dogs, can be very bad for cats.
Call on God, but row away from the rocks.
Hunter S Thompson

User avatar
Posts: 568
Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2008 12:49 pm
Location: Front Range, Colorado

Re: Winterize the old dog

Postby davebks » Tue Dec 11, 2012 5:29 pm

Sounds good. I can ask my vet.
As for your experience in the military... that sounds really interesting. Thanks for your service and if you were overseas, welcome home! My coworker's son is a SEAL who just got home a few weeks ago from his second deployment this year. Amazing guy. Really, so interesting to speak with. But he had GREAT things to say about the dog handlers.

Posts: 284
Joined: Mon May 14, 2007 9:55 am
Location: Helotes, TX

Re: Winterize the old dog

Postby Bill Cummings » Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:10 pm

Love the picture of your "insulated" dog! He looks kinda like a homeless guy waiting for a handout.

In terms of the meds, yes, definitely run that past your veterinarian. I seem to remember that Tylenol and some others can be particularly harmful for dogs, especially when given in people dosages.
Bill "Blind Willie" Cummings

"God loves you just the way you are. But He loves you way too much to let you stay that way." --"Junebug"
"You can't argue with the truth when it comes up and bites you on the buttocks." --Peter Lang

User avatar
Posts: 117
Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2010 11:59 pm

Re: Winterize the old dog

Postby pills2619 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 11:22 pm

had the same issue but Duke likes me to bundle him up at night and then wake me up every 30 min cause he moved and is no longer in his covers. makes for a very long and cold night when you have to unzip every 30 min. i also feel kinda bad that he is cold but its his own fault. anyone have similar problems?
They forget that some crisis is necessary to hone skill. "Near misses," those brief encounters with the reality of mortality, are great learning tools if properly approached. -Denali Climbers Guidebook

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest