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I have a 6mo old lab. It will start snowing here within the month. I'm just wondering how long I can allow her to play in the snow. There are still some parts of her body that aren't completely covered by fur, mainly her lower stomach and inner hind legs. And the snow here is usually about 2-4 inch deep but for the last couple winters we've gotten the 1-2 feet falls. Thanks
 

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I usually let my own body be the judge, if I'm starting to freeze, she probably is too. I'm sure she could probably go longer then me - since labs were bred to deal with ice cold waters off of Newfoundland and cold weather doesn't seem to bother them, but my own body temp is the safest bet to prevent issues. We usually average around 15 - 30 minutes depending on the tempreature. Around here we get 2-6 inches of snow per dumping, depending on the season, and average -30 degrees centigrade temp during the deepest parts of winter.

Also don't be surprised if your pup never grows any or a lot of fur on her belly/inner thighs. My girl is nearly 3 and the fur there is still sparse.
 

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Dogs are also susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia, which they can get even when they look like they're having a good time playing in the snow. I'd be concerned about cold blisters and if it snows a lot where you are I'd invest in some booties when she's outside in the snow or on icy walks. Dogs lose much of their heat through their pads.

It's hard to tell, but I think with the booties your doggy will be fine as long as you are fine out with her. If you start shriveling up I'd say it's time to bring the two of you inside!
 

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I've watched Labs retrieve ducks in water where there was ice around the edges of the lake. As far as snow goes, the thing I watch for is the accumulation of snow between their toes which will form hard snow balls and eventually become uncomfortable for the dog. If this becomes a problem, one can trim the fur between the toes and/or use Musher's Secret ( a waxy substance ) which helps reduce the buildup of the icy snowballs.

As far as too cold, if you should ever see your dog lifting one it's pads off the ground outside during bitterly cold days, it's probably time to bring them inside. Most dogs are more comfortable in cold weather than humans.
 
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