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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just moved from Los Angeles to Indianapolis a few months ago and have zero experience with dogs and snow.

My questions are:

Do labs need booties for snow?

and

Do they need a coat or sweater when temps drop down into the 20's?

or in other words what the best way to protect a spoiled rotten indoor dog when you have to take them out for their daily walks.
 

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NO and No. Labradors were bred to work in the fridgid waters, helping fishermen retrieve their nets. Labs LOVE cold.

The main concern is salt on the roads/sidewalks (city/counties throw down salt to melt the snow/ice) If you are in an area where the dog will be exposed to a lot of salt boots might be the ticket... but most people go without the boots and just wipe the feet off when they come home from a walk.

Enjoy the snow, your dogs will !!!
 

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Do labs need booties for snow?

No.  Occasionally they may be desirable on some surfaces -- say those that could cut pads -- but the main problems in snow or slush are ice balls forming between the pads and toes. 

My Puff and I go out every morning in Kansas winters where it's sometimes been -10°F with 4-6 inches of snow.   What we found to be great is to use "Musher's Secret" a wax that waterproofs your dog's paws and prevents any ice build up.  You can Google it and find a variety of places that sell it for an even wider range of prices.

Do they need a coat or sweater when temps drop down into the 20's?

Absolutely not. 

They'd be laughing stocks of their 'hood.   Just take out your Lab every day for a 30-60 minute walk in all kinds of weather and an appropriate coat will be grown.

Incidentally, my Puff has the thinnest coat of any Lab we've met and she's active enough with off leash retrieves so that she stays warm enough.
 

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No booties or coats needed around here.  My dogs absolutely love being outside in the cold and snow.  Sometimes I have to go out and drag them inside they are having so much fun. 

 

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Molly loves the snow. Just watch if you get ice. She cut her pad on frozen snow/ice in out backyard. I bought her boots to wear while her pad healed but she didn't really like them.
Good advice about rinsing their feet off after a walk if the get salt on them.
Have fun, your lab will love the soft snow. :)
 

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Emma has only been through one winter so far, but she loved it and wanted to stay out in it all of the time.

They don't need boots, but you should keep the hair that grows between their toes cut short. Ice builds up and snow, and tiny snowballs start to grow. So start now, keeping that trimmed short.

Youre going to have so much fun watching your dog in the snow! Labs love it! The best is making snowballs and throwing them. They go to retrieve it and it's blended in with the rest...nothing there!

Have your camera ready to go!
 

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I have nothing new to add but my own personal experiences. Jes "comes alive" in the colder months. He absolutely loves snow and cold weather. I actually had to force him out of the water one day when it was 8º outside. I think they're better suited for mild to colder climates than the warmer climates.
 

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Cinder absolutely loves the snow. I love when the tennis ball sinks and she runs with her nose under the snow to sniff it out. I have to make her come in to warm up and she lays on the register (we have the big old ones in the floor) to warm up her paws, then she's ringing the bell again. I agree with everyone else about washing the paws if they get salt on them, and if you are spreading salt on your stairs or walkways they sell pet friendly ice melter(?) instead. Have fun in the snow!
 

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For paw protection I'd go with what Bob Pr said or simply make sure and clean your dog's paws after a walk.

As for the sweater...heck no! Your pup will be fine being in the cold for a walk.

You'll see he will love the snow! My puppy has seen only one big snowfall so far during which he just ran out and stuck his head straight into a pile of snow and sat there. He loved it! We'll see what he does this year....he will come across a lot more snowstorms this winter :)
 

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We live in Finland, our winters are long and COLD and snowy. Kimba plays for HOURS in snow (no booties and no sweater) and seems to actually enjoy himself more when temps drop below 0. ;D



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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all of your responses, I wasn't sure what to do about snow, it's not something I had to deal with before and I didn't want to make Molly uncomfortable if I could help it.

I'll check out getting the Musher's Secret, sounds like it will work well. Also the tip about rinsing her paws is good, she loves it when I groom her or otherwise fuss over her. Now the only trick is going to be getting me up to speed about cold, I like cold but to me it's around 40F never had 20F all day long.
 

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Totally agree with everyone...no to the booties and no to the coat. It is us that needs the protection from the cold and not them.

I love winter walks and so do my dogs. The major advantage being we see much less people because everyone cuts their walks (or doesn't walk at all :mad:) in the winter meaning we often have parks/woods/trails all to ourselves without seeing a soul. If YOU where the right gear the cold is not an issue. I wear a special "arctic" fleece that traps body heat and my waterproof jacket. I also wear some thick jeans and heavy walking boots. I strongly recommend some decent walking boots for winter walks...a good pair will be expensive but they are WELL worth it.
 

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I would never put boots on Emma, she would be humiliated! :)

But coat I would say that depends on your lab, how thick coat he/she has etc. We are out for really long walks even wintertime and sometimes we meet somebody to chat with and we stand still for a moment... We have really cold winters here sometimes and Emma was freezing so much she just wanted to go home after a smaller walk! So for about 4 years ago I sew a coat for her so now she's not freezing anymore! :) But it's just in the mornings or extremely cold wether (around 14 Fahrenheit or below) she uses her coat, because when it's milder she loves to make snowangels! :) And if we keep us very active, she's not freezing.
 

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Like the others who replied, no boots or sweaters. I can barely get my dogs in the house during the winter months.

I would suggest getting snow gear for yourself. I use my ski pants and parkas when out with the dogs. Trust me, you'll get colder before they will.

Definitely do not forget the camera! I always seem to be camera-less and miss too many great phot ops.
 

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Pansy ass Morgan reporting here ;)

I will confess that in the last day I have put a coat on Lya, but there are extenuating circumstances....

first due to her allergies her fur is a little thin right now (matter of fact if it was sunny I would worry about a sunburn) AND the cold in my part of Michigan is a little early and a little sudden this year AND we are doing really big walkies to attempt the 3 day walk for the cure in the future.

I am with Bob on this one, once she has just a bit to grow a good coat (I am thinking no more than two weeks) and get used to this cold the coat will come off. We keep our house at 65, so that alone should help stimulate coat growth.

Outside in the Winter, Lya is a dynamo of activity...never does she look happier than in deep snow.

Morgan with Lya
and Friend Rocco the Ridgeback (he has a collection of coats cause the boy is a weenie.)
 

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Oh my goodness...I tried to put a sweater on Rider last year...and he was so mad. :)

It snowed here yesterday and Rider was in HEAVEN...he comes alive in snow. They love it.
 

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Niki loves the snow and spends hours playing outside during the winter. She does have booties but HATES them. I got them to protect her paws against all the salt that there is on our roads but she can't walk in them and they make her miserable.
 
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