My pit bull has wandered off--can she survive this weather?
by Leah DePriest
(Linden, Tennessee U.S.)
I have an 11 month old female, blue Pit Bull named Cali. She recently wandered off while outside during a "potty" break. She has been gone for about 4 days now, along with our 6 year old, long haired, mixed breed dog, who is also a female.
Cali is a permanently inside dog, while the mixed breed dog has been an outside dog all of her life. The temperature hasn't gotten above 40 degrees, and it has been pouring rain all 4 days.
We have no dog catcher in our town, but we do have a pound for unwanted pets or strays. We have very little neighbors, and tons of woods around. We have been out every day on foot and atv looking for her, alerted neighbors, the pound, and everyone we see, or talk to (even strangers.)
Cali and her accomplice, (the mixed breed dog), have ventured off before in the summer but found their way back after 2 days with extreme exhaustion, and wounds to their paws. Being that this is winter weather, i'm so worried that Cali could die from such cold and wet weather. Is it possible my Pit Bull can survive the weather to make her way back home?!Gale's Reply:
I'm sorry to hear that your dogs are lost. I do hope they turn up soon.
In answer to your question, it is possible for a short-coated dog like a pit bull to survive in cold, wet weather for a time. But, there are other concerns too--wild animals, flooded areas, ingesting something toxic, getting hit by a car. Not only that, but we're in the early part of winter, late fall really. The weather will be getting harsher in the coming days and weeks.
This is the second time your dogs have wandered off. It's time for a reality check. If you are fortunate enough to get your dogs back, make a commitment to never let this happen again--whatever it takes. You might think your dogs have enough sense not to get themselves lost--but they don't. They can't anticipate and weigh the risks of their actions. It's up to you to do that for them.
If they show up on their own in a few days, you might be tempted to think you worried for nothing--that they would have found their way back eventually. Don't let yourself slide into that frame of mind. Remember how you felt when they were gone and you didn't know whether they were dead or alive--cold, hungry, injured, suffering. Make sure you take the steps necessary to keep them safe and secure going forward.