Old Dog, Cold Dog

I keep my home rather chilly in the winter. I don’t like wasting energy, and I don’t mind wearing an extra layer. (Could be this stems from my love of New England, where I met my husband.) My dogs and cats wear their fur coats all the time, so I never saw the cold house as a problem. That is, until Logan, my boxer, got old.

dog in fleece sweater laying down in bed

Logan, like most boxers, was not built for either hot or cold weather. On 76 to 78 degree days, he would happily bask outside in the sun for hours. More than 78, and he would stay inside and enjoy the air conditioning. Less tan 76, and he needed a coat. (We often joked that all boxers really needed to live in San Diego.)

Logan did not wear a coat just to go outside and play or to go for a walk. If he was moving, he was fine. But in the winter, if he came for a ride in the car and needed to wait in the car, he would be shivering by the time we returned. So we bought him a coat just for car rides.

But as Logan got older, he even got cold in the house during the night when we turned the heat even lower. We would find him curled up in a tight ball in the morning. And that is when we got him his jammies. Betty, one of our receptionists, had ordered custom pajamas for her dog, but they were made incorrectly and were way too big. So she gave them to me for Logan. Logan loved them! He would come running when we told him it was time to put them on. And he seemed quite comfy at night. Big, tough boxer in his lavender fleece jammies. Pretty darn cute.

Logan has passed on, and I now have 2 older Griffons. When they are out hunting, they will run in the fields for hours without getting cold, even in single digit temperatures. But when we are home relaxing, Hattie, my 9 year old, will be shivering, even in the day time. Just like a little old lady, she could no longer maintain her body heat as she did in her youth. So we temporarily turned up the heat while we waited for her new jammies to be delivered.

During this cold winter, she has worn her new PJ’s most of the time. No more shivering, and she is very happy. Gator, my 10 year old does not seem cold at all, so not every old dog need help to stay warm. But it really is quite a common issue in our senior dogs.

So if your dog is getting older, keep an eye out for signs that he is chilly: shivering or sleeping in a very tight ball. He might need to look for a cute set of jammies of his own.