This week I got a phone call from a lovely woman who has an 8-month-old iggy puppy. She was looking for a piece of advice on when & how to dress him as she was the first-time iggy owner.
I have no doubt that many Italian Greyhound owners face a very similar challenge every time. ‘Is it too cold now? Or is it too warm?’ ‘Can my dog go for a short walk naked if it’s slightly snowing?’ ‘It’s definitely warm enough to keep her naked. Or is it?'. Familiar thoughts?
It’s quite ironic that me, designing clothes for Italian Greyhound, have a pretty strict approach towards my iggies - every year I try keeping my dogs naked until it gets really cold. ‘Torturer!!!’ - was that you who thought that?!
Let me put this straight. There are clear signs when an Italian Greyhound is cold. If you learn to recognise them and add a couple of very logical rules, you then have a golden secret on when clothes are a must already. I’ll surely get to those. But keep in mind - every dog is different. Some require clothes even when staying at home, the others have a higher threshold for feeling cold. Know your doggo!
Anyhow, let’s admit, clothes are not always about Italian Greyhounds being cold. For many humans, it’s a part of a lifestyle or simply a fun thing to dress iggy in fabulous outfits. Uuuuh, I am with you, folks!
But there are allllways many discussions around it. I mean, it’s enough to open Facebook or Instagram comments on some dressed dogs to get loads of hate coming their way. Who are we to judge on style?! The only thing important here is how the dog feels - if it’s comfortable and not too hot, then you go, guys!
But this time we’re uncovering the need for an outfit when it’s a necessity rather than a stylish detail. In my personal opinion, both are very much compatible (I mean, have you seen our outfits?!)
Signs that your Italian Greyhound is cold:
- Your iggy is constantly shaking. I know, I know, they are shaking almost always :) It’s a tricky task for you to recognise if this is because she’s scared, upset, excited or cold. Try to identify if there are any specific triggers that could cause excessive shaking. If not - it could be it’s too cold. If shaking combines with the other cold-iggy signs - then it is very likely too cold, too.
- Your iggy stops walking and raises the paws up. Yet again, this could mean that she’s curious or concentrated on some sounds around. That’s another challenge for you to recognize it. In most cases, refusing to walk further or walking on two or tree legs is a clear sign you need to put a cosy coat on your Italian Greyhound.
- Iggy’s ears are freezing cold. Back when I was a kid, my mom used to feel my nose with her lips and state whether I’m cold or not. That’s the superpower all moms have. Dog parents can do a very similar thing just with… Their hands and Italian Greyhounds ears (or lips/ears - your choice :)). But that’s a real deal, if ears are very cold, there is a high chance your iggy is cold. Even when I dress my iggies in wintertime, I aim to hide their ears under the long & warm neck of a jumpsuit.
- Iggy is cowering and casually trying to sit on the ground. This one is a really clear sign that it’s too cold. Unless there is some stressful situation but I guess… You’ll know the difference. Usually, my iggies do that during the cold wind gusts. In most cases, this combines with shaking and keep raising the paws. I mean, these are quite clear expressions – the clearer one would only be saying it out loud and, (un)fortunately, Italian Greyhounds don’t speak. At least mine don’t 🙂
Don’t wait until the Italian Greyhound is cold - dress up!
There are a couple of rules to always follow. I mean, we can go outside and wait until our dogs freeze and then dress them up, but we are not this kind of pawrents, are we? Our goal is to learn when to dress them before they are exposed to cold weather.
It’s not that tricky after all:
- Always dress your Italian Greyhound when you’re taking her outside after a nap. Why? Imagine yourself being super cosy in your warm bed, under the soft blanket and then, three minutes later, you’re going outside for a pee. Going outside for a pee, in general, doesn’t sound exciting but after a snuggle in bed, it’s pure torture! Have you tried it yourself?! Jokes aside, it’s very easy for an iggy to catch a cold - the difference in temperatures is just too big. This applies to iggies of all ages and all parts of the day - may it be morning, daytime or late evening.
- Always dress your senior Italian Greyhounds and puppies until ~12 months old. Iggies with some existing illnesses fall under the same group. These iggies are at a high risk to catch a cold. Their immune systems are simply weaker compared to sporty adult iggies. Trust me, it isn’t nice at all. Not even to mention stressful and expensive. My Harvey caught a cold when he was around 8 months old. We went to see the vet, got antibiotics (!) and spent quite some sleepless nights. You know the drill.
- Take a look outside and at the thermometer. Is it raining heavily? What if it’s really windy yet warm? Is it 10°C degrees? All these factors combined tell you about the outfit needed. We usually start lightly dressing our iggies when the temperature falls below 15°C degrees. But again, pay attention if it’s windy or rainy, too - in such cases warmer, perhaps windproof outfits are better. In other cases, it could be 5°C degrees but sunny & no wind. We may not even need a coat - the vest or shirt is totally enough. If we’re going for long walks, I grab some extra pieces of clothing, just in case it gets wet or freezing cold.
All of this may sound like a hassle but it gets really easy when you practice this! Do you have any tips of your own on how to know if your iggy is (will be) cold? We'd love to know, please share your in the comments.
In the meantime, I hope all of this will help you to stay confident in your choices and to keep your iggy warm - this is what we all are aiming for!
Keep it warm & cosy during a cold season, folks. Greetings from Vilnius <3