Frigid Cold Means No Outdoor Play

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Luna wants outback but can’t because of the cold.

This last week was a cold one. We haven’t had temperatures this cold in years. The coldest we hit was -33°F air temp. The windchill was down to -54°F at one point. Tuesday was windy and cold causing difficult driving. Wednesday was beautiful as long as you stayed inside. Outside was super cold. It was so cold that they even canceled school here for both days.

The biggest issue I had with the cold was the dogs. We have them go outside year-round. I’ve never used potty pads for them and don’t plan on starting. Even bundling up in boots, snowpants, winter jacket, hat, gloves, and face mask, it was cold. Luna and Morgan both have thick fur but that doesn’t protect their paws.

Morgan got to the point where she would pee, but she refused to poop. We have booties for her, but she won’t keep them on. AM got Morgan out the door with all four booties on but came in with three in her hands. The only way she got out the door with the booties still on was by carrying Morgan out the door.

Luna normally loves it outside and even she was doing her business faster than normal. The only problem we really had with her is that she loves to play out in the yard. She loves it so much that she refuses to come in when she’s cold. She will stand outside with one paw in the air because it’s too cold to have it on the ground and still refuse to come in. Because of this we won’t let her outside off leash, which causes problems of its own.

Tuesday and Wednesday brought a return of the puppy frenzies that she used to get. Luna gets this wild look on her face and will race around the house as fast as she can. She slams into walls and doors because she can’t turn fast enough. She did at least a few laps like this each evening that she wasn’t allowed outside.

We tried playing with her to prevent it. We played tug. We played fetch. She terrorized Morgan trying to get her to play. Morgan doesn’t play, not with toys and definitely not with Luna. The only thing that works to prevent the puppy frenzies is to let Luna play in the back, but that wasn’t an option.

Thursday was a little warmer but not enough to allow Luna out back. Friday was finally warm enough to let her outside. She was so happy to get out there. She ran all over the back yard once I opened the door to let her out. She barely let Morgan do her business she was so happy and excited to play. Even after Morgan came back in (Morgan doesn’t like the cold), she wouldn’t stop running around. Luna finally came back in after about half an hour.

Luna running around outside.

Do you think that was enough? Nope. She wanted back out 5 minutes after coming back in. She spent another 20 minutes outside before coming in again. Then it cooled down enough to freeze my door shut so she didn’t get to go out again until today. She’s been outside a few times and just loves it.

Unfortunately, it’s supposed to get really cold again in a few days. First, we’re supposed to get more snow, 4 to 6 inches tomorrow night into Monday. Then the cold returns. By the end of the week it’s supposed to be lows in the -20s again. I’m ready for the cold to go away and I think Luna agrees with me. She loves playing in the snow but can’t when it gets that cold out.

Does your dog enjoy the cold? How does your dog use up their energy when it’s too cold to play outside?

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