Baby it's cold outside.
Yeah, we get it. It's January in Vermont. It's cold! But how cold is too cold for a photo session with your dog? Short answer - it depends on your dog! Some dogs, like Tripp (pictured above) do just fine in 10 degrees and others, like my girl Ivy, struggle to stay warm in 30 degrees. They're very different dogs in terms of their coats and personalities.
Take a peek at this handy chart from Petplan.com.
It takes into consideration the size of the dog and whether they have long coats, are bred to endure the cold, if there's that nasty freezing rain/slush/daggers falling from the sky, and how hardy your dog is in the cold. According to this chart, it'd be potentially dangerous for Ivy (short haired, southern belle) at 25 to 30 degrees. Tripp could safely be outside in 10 degrees and only have to stop to get those darn snowballs out of his toes!
When I'm out photographing dogs in the snow I'm watching for signs of discomfort like lifting paws, shivering, even frost on ears and muzzles. If your dog is uncomfortable, it's only right to cut the session short and try again another day. Even though I bundle up and give my camera plenty of breaks to catch up during cold weather, if your dog isn't happy I'm not either. Winter weather around here is really unpredictable and rescheduling to a warmer day is no big deal.
So, if you're hoping to get out and take photos in those freshies after the next winter storm, as long as it's above 15 degrees and your dog is comfortable, I'm game! I think you'll agree that those snow-covered faces are totally worth it.