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Keeping dogs in car warm. Mid-40s forecasted.

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  • Keeping dogs in car warm. Mid-40s forecasted.

    I always write a novel, so I underlined the questions. If you're sick of my long-winded posts, you can just read the title and the questions .

    I’m asking this kind of late, but daytime temps the past few days being 60s, I decided not to worry. Now I’m worried -just a little- as tomorrow’s forecast is 20 degrees colder . Big, sudden change!

    Pooches have to wait crated in the car during a holiday party at 3:30 in MD. The 20lb old man I am worried about in a wire crate: he feels the cold more than before yet has always been sensitive to cold. He will wear his fleece “jamies.” I can layer his Smartpak fleece blanket over that.

    I can wrap the metal wire crate in fleece or down blanket. Which is better? I can stuff the crate full of fleeces. Is that sufficient? Should I purchase a space blanket and wrap crate in that? If so, do pharmacies sell space blankets? Crate both dogs together to retain body heat and tell em to suck it and share? The 10lb Pap runs hot...I am not very worried about him.

    If extra insulation/warmth is necessary, what can I procure immediately from a pharmacy or Target?

    I think Santa got him the K & H selfwarming crate pad. I could ask Santa aka my mom if she bought that gift and if she could bring it to this party for Joey’s use. However, I would rather not 1) presumptuously ask for a present and 2) attract attention to my dogs being in the car for a few hours during the party.

  • #2
    Take a couple of fleece throw-sized blankets and put them in the crate. Let the dog make a "nest" if he feels the need.

    I have left my dog in the car for a couple of hours in much colder temps; sometimes I'd wrap my oldster in my own down barn coat for the duration. But I find using the fleece throws and letting the dogs nest if they feel the need is a very functional way to deal with it.

    I would not wrap the crate in anything as that will limit air circulation; should the sun shine on the car, it could quickly get way too warm. Not an issue if it's at night, but I think it's just like closing a barn up too much--snuggled in a nest in colder fresh air is better than losing air circulation.
    "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

    Spay and neuter. Please.


    • #3
      I didn't see you mentioning these dogs being Chinese crested hairless dogs, so I think they will be just fine in a windless car at 40 degrees.

      My doxie/terrier mix is THE biggest wuss ever and she is fine with no blanket when I leave her in the car at 40 deg. Especially if it during the day and you can park in a sunny spot.
      The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
      Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
      The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY


      • #4
        I've left my corgis in the car many times during the winter. I usually have their travel beds (el cheapos from walgreens) in the back seat and they wear their Dover fleeces. I usually crack the windows just a bit so it doesn't get too stuffy.

        I usually find them napping but sometimes I think they get bored or hungry (with a corgi- it don't matter!). I must NOT leave anything edible or drinkable in the car as they will get into it and tear it to shreds trying to get any bit of remaining sustenance- whether it is a half cup of starbucks coffee, an empty sandwich baggie or a Sonic mint!
        Last edited by BetterOffRed; Dec. 22, 2011, 04:48 PM.
        "I'm holding out for the $100,000 Crossrail Classic in 2012." --mem
        "With all due respect.. may I suggest you take up Croquet?" --belambi
        Proud Member of the Opinionated Redhead Club!


        • Original Poster

          So I'm being a worry-wart? I was hoping I was overreacting. Thanks, guys: I am relieved.

          The old man who is extra sensitive to cold will get layered clothing and extra fleecies in his crate. I can cover his crate should he get shiver-y once the sun sets; I'll check on him after sundown. I don't expect this party to go past 7:30. It better not! Get the show on the road, already!!

          Frozen kongs would occupy them but cool down their temps, which is the opposite of my goal. I don't want to give them bones for that long unsupervised.

          He is currently wearing his Smartpak fleece around the house because he will shiver and stare at me whining until I warm him up. Wimp.


          • #6
            Hot water bottle wrapped fully so no chance of burning and then cover the crate...check on him on a regular basis.

            No harm in over worrying about these things, better then not worrying and having a problem IMO
            I have horse to sell to you. Horse good for riding. Can pull cart. Horse good size. Eats carrots and apples. Likes attention. Move head to music. No like opera! You like you buy.


            • #7
              This is my reaction:

              I have to strip my gears and back up to understand where you're coming from, and yeah i do get it. But that's still my first reaction. Living in Montana, 40 degrees is a HOT day in winter! The litter of Springer pups i just sold lived OUTSIDE until i noticed owls watching them. They absolutely loved playing in the snow.

              I know animals that live in warmer climates often have a tougher time adjusting to "colder" temps, especially sudden ones. But if a dog has hair, a good bed or pile of warm blankets should be all they need in a car in 40 degree temps.

              A nice warm bed of blankets should be sufficient, i would think.
              People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they're lost.---Dalai Lama


              • #8
                my english bull terrier lives in my car. we travel together all the time. shopping. barn. everything but work.
                at 40F if no direct sunlight, i'd have a medium weight dog coat on her (in her case it's usually the snuggler by foggy mountain). she also has a fluffy dog bed pillow to lay on top of the car seat. i occasionally throw my spare coat on top of her but mostly b/c she likes to sleep under things.
                i'd think your dog would be fine with fleece jammies and some soft blanky around him.
                TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique


                • #9
                  My dogs are in my car alot here in Northern New England too. 40F is downright warm this time of year! My dogs are used to it, however. 40 for a couple of hours, ACD mix would be naked, she has a very heavy unde mercoat and overheats easily. Unless the car was in sunlight, I'd probably put the BC mixes fleece coat on her, she's young and doesn't have her full coat yet, no undercoat to speak of. If it were below freezing, I'd give them some blankets to snuggle up in. I don't think I'd ever blanket the ACD mix, she really does get hot (whatever the other part of her is is VERY furry). I'd give her something she could manage herself, a blanket she could get in and out of when she got too hot.

                  If the dogs can be together, they'll much warmer too...a couple of dogs and a blanket to snuggle up in together, they could stand a pretty cold car! After that wet, pre-Halloween snowstorm we had here, we had no heat for 5 days, the house was down to 41 inside...I put a boy, a dog and a cat in my bed and covered us all with a down blanket, I woke up sweating!


                  • #10
                    My dogs are reading these post over my shoulders and are HORRIFIED! No blankets on? 40 degrees 'comfortable'? Yikes!!

                    My dogs travel in wire crates because I believe unrestrained dogs in cars are dangerous. Each crate has a double sided thick faux sheepskin crate pad. When we travel in winter and the dogs have to stay in the car overnight, they wear their Thermatex dog coats with velcro closure belly bands; no buckles or T hooks to rub or get caught on the crate. If it is supposed to dip below 40 at night, each dog gets a Snuggle Safe. 5 minutes in the microwave and they have 8 hours of a comfortable (not hot) warmth. They also get polar fleece blankies to cuddle in. I also will drape a space blanket over the crates so that everyone benefits from each others' body heat. I have kept them comfortable in temps between 8 and 22 degrees using these items.

                    Oh, what kind of dogs? Jack Russells. The smooth coats feel the cold much more than the roughs, but even the roughs enjoy their blankets. My smooth coated male has the same idea of comfort as my fiance' and I do. In other words, at home, he sleeps under a sheet, a thin down blanket and a heavy down duvet, with 2 humans and that's with the heat turned down just to 60!
                    ~Kryswyn~ Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo
                    Check out my Kryswyn JRTs on Facebook

                    "Life is merrier with a terrier!"


                    • #11
                      Throw some friggin blankets in the cage and call it a deal.

                      At the barn where I ride the cats just lie on horse blankets and saddle pads in the uninsulated unheated tackroom and they survive just fine even when outside temps are well below 40.

                      Like meupatdoes says, unless these are some freak, hairless dogs, they'll be just fine with a blanket or two.


                      • #12
                        Hell, mine would bust through the ice on the pond and go swimming if i let them. I own one dog "coat"...and i bought it for Bumper last winter because she was old (thirteen) and had problems with being either too cold or too warm. I shaved her so she was comfy in the house in winter (where the heat NEVER gets above 70, usually 68) but that meant she needed a coat to stay warm when she went out to pee...especially when it was 30 below. Chances are that coat won't see use again until i have another geriatric dog with issues.
                        People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they're lost.---Dalai Lama


                        • Original Poster

                          It is fun to hear the wide range of experiences and opinions based on geography and breeds/types. I am in MD and have a 10lb fluffy Papillon and a 20lb wimpy Dachshund mix (thicker coat than typical dachshund but thinner than typical lab).

                          In Maryland, Saturday afternoon was 40s and breezy. As the sun fell, temps fell to the 30s. Because of the wind, I kept the windows rolled up. There was not much sun. Parked from 3:45 -with a handful of food- until 7:45. I checked on them once after sunset. They were cold .

                          Old man Joey got his Smartpak fleece overtop his fleece shirt. I wrapped his wire crate in a down blanket. I wrapped Timber's plastic crate in a fleece. The padding of their beds (memory foam bath mats under crate mats) was already doubled. Thought about tossing Timber into Joey's crate to share body warmth, but with all of the blankets stuffed in there, I didn't see how there would be enough room. I gave them warm water and bones to chew on.

                          When I got in the car to leave, I thought it was warm. And smelly. Didn't know my dogs stink til I cooped them up in a small space for 4hrs . They were not shivering but were excited/restless.

                          The dogs survived and I learned a bit more should I have to crate them in the cold again.
                          Last edited by Bicoastal; Dec. 19, 2011, 08:33 AM. Reason: type of dogs: Pap and Dachshund concoction


                          • #14
                            I have a 7lb Mini Pinscher who spends about 2.5hrs in the car in the evening 2x a week while I'm at the barn. I find the car stays pretty warm with residual heat and rarely is "cold" when I get back from my ride. She wears a puffy dog coat, has a few blankets to nest in and I have a small travel crate that I can put her in if it's real cold so she can stay more insulated in a smaller space.
                            Aunt Esther for President 2012


                            • #15
                              I am seriously cracking up! The dogs on the COTH board are crazy spoiled!
                              Fleece blankets and dog beds, fleece and quilted dog coats, hot water bottles.

                              Meanwhile, we riders probably haven't bought a new winter riding coat in a decade, we lost our gloves in the barn so we have cracked winter hands and probably don't have heat in the tack rooms. I bet most of us have to settle with warming up with the hot water we are using to make our spoiled ponies their winter mash!

                              Now, excuse me...I need to go make am organic mutton stew for my demanding gang of corgis!
                              "I'm holding out for the $100,000 Crossrail Classic in 2012." --mem
                              "With all due respect.. may I suggest you take up Croquet?" --belambi
                              Proud Member of the Opinionated Redhead Club!


                              • Original Poster

                                Originally posted by BetterOffRed View Post
                                I am seriously cracking up! The dogs on the COTH board are crazy spoiled!
                                Fleece blankets and dog beds, fleece and quilted dog coats, hot water bottles...

                                Now, excuse me...I need to go make am organic mutton stew for my demanding gang of corgis!
                                and proud of it! I have a Columbia jacket. Lost the zip-in liner. Brrr! Pocket seams have ripped plus there's a hole in each inner corner so you are in peril of losing keys or anything else important. Permanently stained from an affectionate mare who likes her face hugged. No longer waterproof: my shoulders will be soaked through in a light rain.

                                But my dogs? 4 coats, handmade booties, paw wax, and half a dozen fleece throws just for them. Last night headed to an agility private, I brought an extra fleece and a towel. Dog was only exposed to the rain for 30 seconds. Oh, and I gave my classmate a gift: handmade -by me! - fleece tug with teeny tennis ball and woven-in rabbit fur. s-p-o-i-l-e-d.

                                Fluffbutt needed a bath before Christmas. He got bathed in the sink with warm water while standing on a nonslip mat being fed Charlee Bears. Soap-free, hypoallergenic $$$$$$ dog show shampoo carefully mixed with warm water in a special dye bottle followed by human-grade conditioner and a blow dry. s-p-o-i-l-e-d. For me? Whatever shampoo is on sale for $2.50.

                                Don't get me started on their food: grain-free, fish-based, buffalo bones, sweet potato chews s-p-o-i-l-e-d = $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$! My lunch today: 57cent Cup O Noodles.