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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey friends,
My husband is in the military and we will be PCS'ing to Alaska, Anchorage in October. I have two babies, and I need suggestions and links to coats that will keep both of them super toasty, especially my big baby Solomon who hates cold, rain, well outdoors in general.
 

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Fort Rich? We PCSed out of there in 2009. I would be happy to answer any and all questions I can.

Will you be living on or off post? When in October? That is the month of the termination dust (first snow of the season) and depending on when you go, you are looking at already having snow on the ground and possible shipping restrictions with the airlines. You may need to start looking into a cold weather waiver for your pets (a vet certification that they can handle 20 degree temps in the hold of the plane) or someone to hold them until spring. Some airlines will provide climate controlled shipping, but that ain't cheap by any stretch. I got the waiver for Boris and shipped him just fine.
I do not recommend Continental for shipping pets. I was stuck with them both to and from Alaska and they were horrific. Boris was never walked, fed, or watered on either flight. I was given the wrong location and time for pickup, and the staff could have cared less.

Alaska winter= super cold Alaska summer= a s-load of rain

I recommend REI and PetZoo in the Anchorage area if you need outdoors things for the pets. I know Ruff Wear makes snow coats. Get yourself and your DH a high quality coat, too. AF gets to stop outdoor PT at 20 degrees, Army gets to go inside at 20 *below*. And you will see 20 below. I learned very quickly not to walk the dog with wet hair in the extreme cold because it would break off when I touched it.

I can recommend Greenbriar as one of the few apartment communities that allows dobes in Anchorage. Not very cheap and not very large homes, but you'll have your babies and not be slumming it. Avoid Mountain View. It's the "rough" part of town that you'd just rather avoid completely. Recently, there has been some revitalization of the area, but not enough for me to feel that my stuff was safe there. Muldoon is a bit sketchy, too.

Craigslist is an excellent resource for small time landlords who won't ask questions as long as you pay the rent on time. Frankly, you could have a moat full of alligators in Anchorage and still find a landlord who didn't care. Note that it is illegal in the Anchorage borough to charge both pet rent and a pet deposit. One or the other only. I wouldn't suggest living farther out than the Dimond Center (to the south) and Chugiak (to the north). I know people who do both, but that commute during a snowstorm is the pits.

Ask me anything and I'll be happy to help. What is your DH's MOS? Do you plan to work?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We will be driving most likely, I can't put my babies through a cold flight. We will most likely rent or buy a home. I would like to work a small job, we have two girls, 17 months and 2. He just switched hs mos to 12 something, an engineer of sorts, can't remember which. He's actually still in fort leonardwood training and then he will be off to airborne school. He regionally got Hawaii, and when I said I wouldn't go (cost of living ungodly, locals don't care much for you, quarantine the babies for six months and most places don't allow dobes, moving to an island blah), he tried for something else. We are really excited. we currently own a home @ fort Campbell, and we are looking for another there. I don't think I could squash four persons and two dobes in an apartment? He's got well ov 60+ days of leave, so we think a week or two of driving would be really neat through Canada
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My male is a big o baby who hates being outside unless we are on a walk, he'd rather be by my side, while my female would love to be wild and run outside every chance she could get.
 

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Where we live, it gets well below zero. I didn't have coats, so I wouldn't take my short haired girl out then. She hated that, and would mope. If it was above zero, they have always been energetic and happy. No frost bite, no shivers, just happy pups. Now, if they needed to use the facilities, they were out and back in record time if we weren't going for a run. I guess it depends on what you are doing. My girls were always so obvious in their displeasure at the cold, that when they were NOT, well, I assumed they were good.
 

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IMO, pretty much any dog coat should be fine unless you are planning on spending hours and hours outdoors during the coldest temps with the dog just sitting around. Personally I wouldn't even bother with a coat for something like going potty, or to train/play ball for 15-20 minutes. Be reasonable about what you expose the dog to and for how long then you shouldn't have any problems.

Anchorage doesn't get extremely cold. A little research online will give you an idea of both average temps and record temps. I'm not sure where you are moving from, but winters in NY, MT, MI or several other states are just as cold as the Anchorage area.

Edit- I just noticed you are in Ft. Campbell. Anchorage will be colder, but like I stated above, just be reasonable and your dog will be fine.
 
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Anchorage doesn't get extremely cold. A little research online will give you an idea of both average temps and record temps. I'm not sure where you are moving from, but winters in NY, MT, MI or several other states are just as cold as the Anchorage area.

Edit- I just noticed you are in Ft. Campbell. Anchorage will be colder, but like I stated above, just be reasonable and your dog will be fine.
This is true. You are lucky that you didn't get offered Wainwright. While the temps will not be "real Alaskan" cold (i.e. plugging your car in to prevent the engine block from freezing), it was a shock to the system for this little southern girl. My dog LOVED the winters in Anchorage, but he was a sammie.

I'll have more to add later, off to breakfast with DH!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes, regardless, I need a coat for coat my male. He will refuse to get off the porch to potty when it is cold out, and actually shivers. I'm sure it's colder than Tennessee period, especially since we never even got an inch of snow this year period. So using my experience here as a reference to that most likely by probably a hundred percent, it will probably be colder there in the winters. As I said, my female probably wouldn't notice. She loves being outside anytime and would rather "hunt" birds and squirrels than hang in the warm with us. But their personalities are totally different. That's why I asked for some good recommendations of maybe some websites and or brands. We will be moving in the wintertime, so while your dg doesn't need one (which is great for you, saves ya some cash), I'm pretty sure I'm going to need one for my male regardless.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Oh and CIDHH6, did you ever face a deployment while of we're in Alaska. so, how did you like being there by yourself? Did it ever feel isolating? My honey is scheduled to deploy shortly after He arrives. My family thinks I should wait to go, by I just love the idea of being there. Boy am I glad he was able to switch fom Hawaii!
 

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I need coats for my girl as well during cold SAR missions/practice. She shivers and whines and just generally isn't enjoying life without a coat on!

This works well, and fits the deep-chested body shape of a dobe well but still allows movement:
Ruffwear Climate Changer? Fleece Dog Jacket

If its raining or particularly windy... or just plain REALLY cold, I add this on top:
Ruffwear K-9 Overcoat? Utility Dog Jacket

She also wears their booties, I make her wear them year-round anyways just for safety's sake (torn pads in the wilderness.. not fun.) but they really work well for keeping ice out of puppy pads so we don't have to stop and de-ice :)

I know this sounds like a ruffwear commercial, but I just love the quality of their products. I've yet to have one fail from the abuse we put it through!
 
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Someone on DT has these winter coats, and I bookmarked the site, though I pray I never actually live in a climate that would demand them:

Chilly Dogs - Outdoor gear for Active Dogs - Dog Coats

They also have head muffs to keep ears warm.

I like the winter coat design because it keeps the chest and forechest warm as well as the dog's back and so on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks guys for these helpful responses and coat suggestions. I really like the idea of booties, especially to help keep dirt and icky stuff out of the house. Even in the summer, I whipe their pads off to keep dirt n dust out of the house because one of my baby girls has outdoor allergies. Plus, I'm pretty compulsive about keeping my house clean regardless. I've always liked that people come over and can't tell I own dogs till they see them (no dog hair or icky smell or dirt and paw print).
 

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I remember reading the thread on the Chilly Dogs coats - a lot of people had good things to say about them. I'm planning to get Koa one for next winter so we can do longer hikes in the snow. For shorter outings I've got a few fleeces (found one for like $10 on clearance online) and those seem to be enough when he's outside romping around.

It's fun watching them explore and play in snow :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yes, my mom n I were talking about the dogs being outside in cool weather. She was talking about one of the dogs she had, a lil poodle before he passed on, and how he loved being in the snow. He'd stay out song long, he'd be teeth chattering and shaking, and you would still have to chase him to get him inside. I was like, that's s not Solomon, but that sounds lie Sheba.
 

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One thing to be aware of in colder climates is the possibility of frostbite on the ears. When we are out for an extended time here in MN my dogs wear snoods in addition to their coats.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yes meadow at, I had thought of that as well. Their ears get cold here in tenn. and I thought they would definitely need something for the ears, just like us, it's exposed skin.
 

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Yes meadow at, I had thought of that as well. Their ears get cold here in tenn. and I thought they would definitely need something for the ears, just like us, it's exposed skin.
I made my own snoods for very little money, and they are pretty easy to make. The dogs don't love them, but that's okay.

Here they are modeling their snoods:

 
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