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Old 10-15-2010, 05:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Name: Fiona's Mom
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Default How cold is too cold for a maltese?

How cold is "cold" for our babies? In other words, at what temperature does your malt feel uncomfortable without a sweater/coat? I live in Ohio and we are getting into mid 50's F - Fiona seems fine, we go for 15-20 min walks and she does not seem uncomfortable, does not shake, etc.. At what temperature would you dress your malt in a sweater/winter coat?

Also, please help:

Would you suggest a winter coat (snow suit) with sleeves that cover front legs and rear legs, such as this one:
Poochtini Winter Dog Snowsuit

Or would you say a 'vest' type of winter coat with no sleeves that only covers the chest/ribcage area would do? Wouldn't the stomach and rear legs get cold? Here's an example:
Little Barkets Playground Puffy Dog Jacket

Are booties needed in the winter time or are they more for looks rather than function?

Does longer hair really keep them warmer? It seems so thin, I'm not sure if it will make a difference and I'd rather trim it to prevent matting from the clothes...

PLEASE help, I need advice on how to keep my baby warm!


ps. Fiona is 4lb so I think she does need something to keep her warm in cooler wheather
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Old 10-15-2010, 05:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have lots of sweaters and jackets for my malts. I used to put them on every time we went out.

Don't do that anymore. They seem sturdier than I originally thought.

When we go walking in the winter, I put on their harness dresses/vests and that seems to do it for them. And if they're just going outback in the yard to do their business..........they go naked!!

I have to tell you about Ava. She is 3 lbs and lived the first six months of her life in Florida. That little stinker doesn't know the meaning of cold!!! She goes out back and mills around for what seems like forever to me in 20 degree weather!!!
Personally I HATE the cold!! But Ava seems to love it.

I realize every dog is different, but that's how it is in my household. Now, let it be wet outside Not even raining, but just wet....no one wants to go out!
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Old 10-15-2010, 06:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Two of mine have full coat and the other two are grwoing out. They have pretty thick fur especially Emily and Sasha. They all seem to not be bothered by the cold when they go outside,they just love to run and hop in the snow like snow bunnies. Unless they're realy shaved short,close to the body and not outside for a long time,I think they do well w/ their fur.
It really would depend on how heavy the coat is,or if it's wet. Mine don't seem effected by the cold but if it's cold and raining,that's different,they do come in shivering.
If they're shaved short and you go on long walks or they might be in the car a while ,while you're in the store then I would do a coat or sweater and lots of blanlets to curl up in... by a while I would mean not longer than 20 minutes or so,depending if it's sunny out,so the sun can warm up the car.
Even if they have a lot of fur,I wouldn't want to leave them in a cold car for long..
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Old 10-15-2010, 06:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Pat - sounds just like Lacie and Tilly. Heck - 2 years ago, Tilly brough huge ice pieces through the doggie door. But let it rain a drop and neither wants to go out.

Glad to know that Ava likes the cold. I'm worried about Secret as she's spend most of her life in Florida. Hopefully she'll be like her daughter.
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Old 10-15-2010, 07:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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That's a really great question. I'm not sure what the actual temperature is, when I start putting on their harness coats. I live on the East Coast. And last winter was a mess.

For me personally, I don't dress my dogs. All there outerwear is harnesses. Vest, coats. The kind with the ring, that you can just attach the leash to. I have found that to be the easist way for me and my two.

As far as booties. I don't use them. I could see if you will be walking your baby and people have rock salt out. You don't want them walking in that.

Right now, it's about oh, 60's, so I am still doing the vest. But as it gets colder, I do have harness coats for them. They have velcro for the neck area, and for the tummy area. These seem to work well for my two.

Both of my babies are in puppy cuts, so they do have less hair.
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Old 10-15-2010, 07:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Wonderful question.
I am wondering what the degree in temperature that would be considered too cold??
Last year I asked my vet, he said at freezing.
But this was when my girls were young pups.
Now this winter they will be older.

I have coats, rain jackets, and sweeters for them.
I am hoping to get them out for walks in some of the winter months.
Now that they are older & sturdier.

They have some boots but I plan on looking into different kinds and a full leg snowsuit or two.
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Old 10-15-2010, 09:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have one of each...Soda is happy to walk around in the middle of winter in Chicago with nothing on - he'll happily lay on the sidewalk. Roo on the other hand starts shivering when it gets below 60. Roo has a couple of sweaters, a couple shirts, a rain coat, and a heavy winter horse blanket-type coat that was a hand-me-down. Nothing fancy.
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Old 10-15-2010, 09:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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My Rose has always been cold-natured. She gets uncomfortable at 60 degrees and I always keep her coat long in the winter. She has the usual assortment of jackets and vests but I had a custom-made mink coat made for her(ok, its faux fur but it looks like mink! ) with a satin lining for cold weather. Lily can take the cold a little better. They both like cool weather, but not cold. We keep a cool house and they usually wear a t-shirt or light hoodie indoors. We had a lot of ice and snow last winter and bitter cold. When it's like that, we stay inside. I turn a space heater on for them and they love that!
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Old 10-15-2010, 11:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yo will probably laugh at me if I tell you that although I live in sunny California, I do dress my fluffs with sweaters when we go for nightly walks.

I always determine that, if I am cold and need a sweater, they do too. I also have another way of determining if they are cold: I touch their nose: if it's cold, then they are cold and need to wear a sweater
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Old 10-16-2010, 08:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I let Shoni be the judge. If he is getting shakey he gets a sweater. If he is playing hard or walking and isn't wet he usually doesn't need anything. If he is in the house and has been out and gotten a little wet he will get shakey and I cover him or put a coat or sweater on until he is dry and warm. I do think their coat (fur) length helps. If it is maybe 2" on their body it should be plenty. If it is really shaved down on the body I've noticed it makes a difference.
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