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Old 12-20-2010, 11:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Bassets in cold weather

Hello everyone,

This is my first winter with my adopted basset Porter and I would like some advice from the more experienced basset owners to help me winterize my basset.

Porter usually get about 2~4 miles of walking a day, maybe a little more on the weekends (if it doesn't rain, he hates the rain and refuses to get wet). Since we are located in Boston, it can get very cold here in the months of Dec-Feb and I have already bought him a sweater and he really likes to wear it. One thing I have noticed is that his giant ears can get very cold, especially when they drag on the ground. Are cold ears ok when we are out for over 1 hour since he doesn't walk very fast? Should I worry about his ears getting too cold even though his body temp is ok? Do I need to cut back on the amount of time we spend outside?

Another thing that happens in Boston is that large amounts of salt are used on sidewalks to prevent ice buildups. Anybody every get shoes for their bassets to protect the paws from salt or a gentle wipe with a damp cloth after the walk is enough to clean the salt from paws since his paws are very big and deep.

I would appreciate any advice. Thank you.
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Old 12-20-2010, 12:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Over many years, none of our Bassets have ever suffered because of their ears getting cold but they've never been in temperatures lower than about -10 so I don't know what it's like where you live in the winter!

I know that in warm weather, Bassets don't generally pant like other dogs because they cool themselves through the blood supply in their ears (or something like that). When ours are out, they often sniff the ground, dragging their ears along and our Lucie eats snow but they don't seem to be affected by it. We try to stick to walking the country lanes near us, around the edges of the fields or along the beach where there is no salt on the ground, but if we have walked along the road or pavement that's been salted, a quick romp through the garden if it's still snowy, gets rid of the salt, or I dunk each paw into a bowl of warm water and towel dry them.... hope this helps you a bit!

I'd love to see Porter in his jumper... maybe you could make him a matching snood to keep his ears warm!!
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Old 12-20-2010, 03:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I've read that dogs lose the most ammount of heat via their ears, esp if they are long like a basset's. Sophie's idea of a snood, may not be a bad idea.

FWIW, my guy definitely feels the cold, esp in the house if the heating is off. Going out he has a coat which is padded and waterproof.
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Old 12-23-2010, 02:03 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I have a 3.5 month old puppy named Bailey and she LOVES the snow! We have got over 10 feet of snow in the last week and I can't get her in the house she loves it so much. She sometimes isn't even visible because the snow is over her head! I try and keep her where I can see her but my other dog Trigger keeps an eye on her and brings her back to me. Trigger is a Queensland, Akita, Lab mix and he so got the herding gene. He can bring any person or animal back to you even when they don't want to come like my puppy Bailey. She could stay outside for house but I try and limit her snow play because her little pink belly and girl parts get red from dragging in the deep snow. Her ears are never an issue they can be covered in snow and still be warm.
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Old 12-28-2010, 08:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I got some great advice from my vet... They do loose a LARGE amount of heat threw their ears in the boston cold So she said they make these things that look like hair scrunchies for dogs list bassets and you pul lthem ontop of the head... I however cant see spending money on that when I can go to the dollar store and get a hair scrunchie there anyway with the amount of snow we have had in the last weekend (you know lol) it seems to really work!!! she can deal being outside a little longer and seems to be a little happier when we do... i also have a sweat for louise... As for the booties my vet said its no big deal as long as you rinse with warm water and try if you are in a large amount of salt area We use the pet free salt at our home and louise stays in the yard most of the time but for our weekend trips to petsmart where there is some in the lot I rinse when i get home and pat dry then let her shake the rag dry (so she thinks lol)
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Old 12-29-2010, 09:44 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The cold hasn't seemed to affect Boomer in the least. The length of time he stays outside depends on if anything interesting is going on or not.

We haven't had a lot of snow for him to seriously romp through, so we don't know if he would like that or not.
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:17 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone for your replies! Boston just received 12+ inches of snow and Porter is refusing to go out at all (too cold for him I assumed). He just sank right into the snow. He is refusing to walk outside, just doing his business and then run back in. I'll be monitoring his food intake carefully all winter since he wouldnt be getting much excercise at all from the look of things.
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