As I’m sitting here today looking out my sliding glass door, the weather outside, dare I say it, looks ironically frightful.
It doesn’t just look frightful, it feels frightful when you’re outside in it.
Lucky for us, and I say that with deep sincerity, a slow-moving lake effect snow band has set up over our house and it plans on dropping a few more inches on us before it moves to Pennsylvania and an Alberta clipper moves in.
The temperature gauge is reading 18°F with a real feel temperature of 7°F.
Baby it’s cold outside.
Well, it’s cold outside for me.
But it’s perfect outside for Sherman and Leroy.
In fact, this is the time of year that when people are shouting, “Bring your pets inside!”
I’m thinking to myself, why would I do that?
Or “Put a coat on your dog!”
But my dogs have a blanket of white heavy snow on them and they’re perfectly content with that.
The picture that’s been floating around social media of a dog curled up covered in snow is a daily occurence for my dogs.
My dogs don’t want to stay inside this time of the year, they want to be outside as much as they possibly can and if they do come inside they want to go back outside a few minutes later.
Leroy would sleep outside all night and try to eat all the snow if I would let him but I don’t let him because if he comes inside he’ll sleep on the couch and that makes me comfortable.
That’s how winter goes with a Newf and cold weather. They only come inside because it makes their owner feel more comfortable.
Their double-coat is designed to protect them from icy waters and is up to the challenge of being outside in the cold. This breed searches for the cold.
They love it and they choose to be in it any day over being inside but I make them come inside because I’ve made them into Newfie weenies.
A typical snowy 20 degree day usually goes something like this:
Leroy and Sherman go outside after breakfast. I check on them 10 minutes later and when I ask them to come inside they look at me like I’m crazy. Check back on them 20 minutes later, and Leroy won’t even acknowledge my presence but Sherman decides to come in because he doesn’t want me to be lonely.
Go back in a bit to check on Leroy and he still has selective hearing and Sherman wants to go back out.
Back again and Sherman comes in and I sternly tell Leroy it’s time to come in NOW because I’m getting tired of going downstairs and I have to concentrate for longer than 20 minutes. He reluctantly comes in, I give him a hug and tell him he needs to come in and warm up or his bones are going to get cold.
He gives a big sigh of disgust and lies on the couch for 10 minutes and then pesters me until I let him out again.
We will do this all day long in the winter.
Am I breaking any laws by allowing my dogs to be outside in cold temperatures? No. Is it cruel? I guess that depends on who you ask. Every winter when I post pictures of the dogs outside covered in snow I get people who shout” Bring those dogs inside!”
It’s usually someone who’s not familiar with the breed and I do my best to cut them some slack but this just goes to show how brainwashed people can get.
Here’s my winter statement on that:
“No, I will not bring my dogs inside this winter. My dogs live for this weather and it makes them extremely happy to be out in it. They spend the entire summer inside the house because it’s too hot for them to be outside. The least I can do for them is to let them enjoy it as much as they possibly can.”
Now, with that being said, I have to take the time and say……..
Owners of dogs that thrive in colder climates still need to take responsibility for their dog and know when it’s too cold to leave their dog outside for long periods of time.
How cold is too cold for a Newfoundland? I would have to say that is all dependent on the individual dog.
According to Pet MD, “When temperatures fall below 32°F, owners of small breed dogs, dogs with thin coats, and/or very young, old, or sick dogs should pay close attention to their pet’s well-being. Once temperatures drop under 20°F, all owners need to be aware that their dogs could potentially develop cold-associated health problems like hypothermia and frostbite.”
Things to take into account when determining how cold is too cold for your dog is the health of the dog, windchill, precipitation and access to shelter.
Signs that it might be too cold out for dog is shivering, being anxious, seems disoriented, lifting their paws
Sherman and Leroy have always had a protective patio to go under which allows them to stay outside longer than if they didn’t have that area. They have water available at all times and they are checked on regularly and I have never, ever seen them shiver.