Cold Weather Safety for Outdoor Dogs

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Fundog
Posts: 3874
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2008 8:31 am
Location: A little gambling town in the high desert

Re: Cold Weather Safety for Outdoor Dogs

Post by Fundog » Sun Dec 01, 2013 3:50 am

Mr. Fundog was a long-haul truck driver for a time. One winter, he was making a run to Wisconsin. It was -70. :shock: He and his road-mate (another driver running the same route) decided to get a room for the night. Both their engine blocks froze, since they turned their trucks off to save fuel. It cost us $500 to have our semi towed to a shop and parked in front of a heater for a full day to thaw out, then have the battery recharged. Mr. Fundog's friend wasn't nearly so lucky. His fuel line froze as well, and he had to have it replaced, costing him over $1,000.
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Swanny1790
Posts: 571
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:27 pm
Location: Two Rivers, Alaska
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Re: Cold Weather Safety for Outdoor Dogs

Post by Swanny1790 » Sun Dec 01, 2013 9:41 am

A considerable contributor to our electricity bill is the cost of engine heaters on our rigs. Our dog truck is diesel powered, and refuses to start at temperatures of 0F (-17C) or colder. It's equipped with a block heater, oil pan heater and a battery blanket for each of the two batteries. We feel compelled to keep it plugged in and ready to go in case of a veterinary emergency or sudden need to evacuate the house as our place isn't within the jurisdiction of any structural firefighting department.

Our "daily driver' is a tiny (by U.S. standards) little Toyota RAV4, and only needs the engine block heater. That one can be plugged in about an hour before we plan to go somewhere and then starts O.K.

We have a small John Deere tractor we use for general maintenance in the dog yard and on the property, including snow plowing. It only has an oil pan heater underneath the small diesel engine, and at 0F it will start nicely after just a couple of hours of warming. At any temperature under -10F (-23C) we might get the tractor started, but it's too cold to operate the hydraulic system for the loader or dozer blade. Besides, at those temperatures even I don't want to spend much time sitting on in the open to operate the machine.

At work we keep all of our equipment running unless plugged in. Fortunately, someone else is paying that fuel bill.

Our weather forecast for today and tomorrow is actually better than they were predicting just a day or two ago. It looks like it will be pretty tolerable. I might even be able to steal away a couple of hours and take some dogs out for a short run.

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WufWuf
Posts: 1371
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 7:53 am

Re: Cold Weather Safety for Outdoor Dogs

Post by WufWuf » Tue Dec 03, 2013 12:01 pm

Cool picture Swanny Thanks I so love hearing about your life :D

When I was full time at the rescue it was very rough and ready as it was between moves and all we had was a shipping container with no electricity for our shelter. During the winter (which is probably not that cold to you but was very cold to us) I use to wear fleece pyjama bottoms, tracksuit bottoms (sweatpants) and rain leggings, 2 pairs of socks (one pair knee high) with wellies, on the top I wore a vest, t-shirt, long sleeve T, hoodie, big coat and then a rain coat, a scarf and 2 fleece hats. As we spent all day in the same space as around 30 dogs we were all soaked and stinking. We had a camping stove with an old fashioned kettle and a Superser for heat (double fire guards as of course the dogs got the prime heat positions). It was still the best time in my life :D . Things are now a millon times better there but I'm no longer that involved as my health just won't allow it anymore.
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wvvdiup1
Posts: 3397
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:31 am
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: Cold Weather Safety for Outdoor Dogs

Post by wvvdiup1 » Tue Dec 03, 2013 9:32 pm

The next time our weatherman mentions an Arctic Front heading our way, I won't complain about the temperatures being cold! -19.2 degrees Fahrenheit. BRRRRRRR!!!!

Here, everything is inside where it is warm. Block heaters, oil pan heaters -you name it- those are even indoors, ready to do their jobs when I need them. I don't have that much to plow or shovel, so my equipment is pretty much gasoline with "dry gas" in the gasoline tank and fuel line.

As for my dog, I don't keep my dog Karma out in the winter even though she is an Akita with a very heavy coat. It's just a quick trip outside for toileting, and when she's done, it is right back inside, just like a poodle! :lol: There are days when it isn't that bad and we're out in cold weather, but as long as we're well-bundled up and moving, we're okay for a bit. Then, we're all inside like poodles! :lol:

I don't know how many people are going to make it this year with costs of heating out homes going up. I have natural gas line to my house, but strong winds can knock out power, which my furnace/boiler won't operate because the thermostat takes electricity (you would have thought those would have battery back-up to them), so burning wood is something I do quite a bit to try save on my heating bills. No matter, I'm wrapped around my dog for warmth. :D
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DianeLDL
Posts: 832
Joined: Sun May 19, 2013 4:16 pm
Location: Maine USA

Re: Cold Weather Safety for Outdoor Dogs

Post by DianeLDL » Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:12 pm

Sandy,

Just keep you and Karma out of the icy waters, please. :D

Read about your "swim" in the creek. Sorry to hear about Karma's eye. Are the antibiotics helping?
Have you two warmed up yet?

I knew Karma was a cold weather dog, but couldn't remember. Thanks for the reminder of Akita.

One of the reasons, I don't like winters in Maine, same as Swanny, heating oil. Of course, the markets decide on the price.

Didn't know that Albuquerque would get so much snow and winter weather. Yes, it is just a few inches at a time, but turns out the realtor didn't let us in on the secret (what is new) that our house is in the windiest part of the city. Two weekends ago the wind chills were a major factor. A gust hit so hard it nearly blew me over when I had our Sandy in the backyard for potty break! :shock:

Anyway, we are due for another winter storm coming down from Canada. Yes, we are in the desert southwest near Mexico, but we are at 5000 ft. elevation.

We also have natural gas heat with an electric thermostat. Hope the winds don't get too bad. :!:

Stay warm everyone and Sandy stay out of the creeks. :D

Diane
Sandy, Chihuahua mix b. 12/20/09

DianeLDL
Posts: 832
Joined: Sun May 19, 2013 4:16 pm
Location: Maine USA

Re: Cold Weather Safety for Outdoor Dogs

Post by DianeLDL » Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:16 pm

Fundog wrote:Mr. Fundog was a long-haul truck driver for a time. One winter, he was making a run to Wisconsin. It was -70. :shock: He and his road-mate (another driver running the same route) decided to get a room for the night. Both their engine blocks froze, since they turned their trucks off to save fuel. It cost us $500 to have our semi towed to a shop and parked in front of a heater for a full day to thaw out, then have the battery recharged. Mr. Fundog's friend wasn't nearly so lucky. His fuel line froze as well, and he had to have it replaced, costing him over $1,000.
Fundog,

My husband was a long haul driver for a couple of years. That is why they never turn off the truck engines. :roll:

And he still doesn't mind driving us cross country. We use the truck stops on the way, and that is why he likes to be on the road by 4 am in the west and earlier in the northeast. He hates traffic jams. :wink:

Diane
Sandy, Chihuahua mix b. 12/20/09

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