Hi, all. Our family is driving from Houston TX to the mountains in New Mexico later this month to go snowboarding and we're taking the corgis with us (they're excellent car/hotel travelers, having logged over 7000 miles in the last 2 years!). For the first time, they'll be out in snowy conditions--probably not much more than for their daily walks near the hotel, but maybe some other excursions as well. Betsy's coat is short, smooth and dense and repels water like crazy. We can give her a bath and she feels almost completely dry 10 minutes after toweling off. Fred, on the other hand, has a very different coat type--soft and "open," for lack of a better word. He takes absolutely forever to dry after getting wet. My daughter insists that he needs a winter jacket to help keep the snow from soaking into his fur, but I think she just wants to dress him up, LOL. Do any of you have experience with snow and corgis that have Fred's coat type? Do you think he might need some kind of outerwear?
My Madison has a soft, open coat that takes a long time to dry. Jack's is the more traditional coat like your Betsy's.
My experience is that neither needs any snow protection. The undercoat is so dense that no body heat reaches the top layer of coat and so the snow does not melt and the coat stays dry. Just use your gloved hands to swipe off any visible snow from their coats before they come in, so the warm inside air temp won't melt it.
Maddie, with her softer coat, is more likely to get snowballs in her pads, especially if she walks over roads that might have been treated. They will show this by holding a paw in the air. Take off your gloves and use your bare hand to cup the paw and the iceball will melt.
I also use a small bowl/bucket of tepid (not warm) water to rinse their paws when we come in and towel their feet dry, but we walk in areas where there is a chance they pick up road salt; for plain snow that won't be necessary, but if the hotel treats its sidewalks and parking areas it's a good idea.
Outerwear might actually reduce the ability to stay warm by compacting the undercoat, which will normally have a lot of loft. Outerwear should only be necessary for short-coated dogs.
I live in Winter Park, CO. I have a pembroke who is almost 3 yrs old & I never put a coat on him - even at 30 below zero. I might put booties on him then however :) I also rescued a blue heeler/corgi mix that moved here from Phoenix. He is doing fine in the snow so far (he just can't figure out where to poo with no grass ;-) )
NM mtn climate is similar to CO - drier than either coast. The snow doesn't ever soak into their fur until they are inside. sometimes it balls up in icy clumps on their tums or chest, but that comes off when you bring them inside. Your dogs will be fine! They will most likely have a blast bouncin like bunnies through the snow! My dogs LOVE chasing fox tracks in the snow - they will put their noses in every single footprint.
I have two corgi's, one with each type of fur as yours. Both do absolutely fine in the snow and cold here in Iowa. If you're just going on short walks, you should be fine. Only issue we've had is a snow ball getting stuck in their pads, and then they won't walk on that leg until you warm it up for them. I've carried many a corgi because of this. But if you're out romping around, cold shouldn't be an issue. (I don't stay out with them long when it gets below 25 degrees though)...not sure if you'll get that cold or not.
Very seldom use coats...only when the wind chill is -10 or colder and wind. They'll be fine and much more fun rolling in the snow without a coat! We are having a blizzard tonight and it hasn't bothered mine axcept I limit the time outside.
Thanks so much for all of the helpful replies! I'm glad to hear that Fred's coat should be fine, and I'll definitely keep an eye out for any snowballs in the dogs' pads. I'm hoping they'll love the snow and that we'll get to witness them creating tunnels and jumping like bunnies!
I also wonder about this for the coming winter and our fluff. Does anybody recommend booties/mittens to prevent snow build-up or do they just get in the way?