Outside Dogs and Cold Weather

When it comes to outside dogs and cold weather, there are a few extra precautions you need to take, to ensure your dog is safe, warm, and healthy!

In an ideal world, our Golden Retrievers would always live inside of the house with us, but I know that sometimes this is not possible, due to various reasons.

If your dog does need to live outside, additional care during the winter months must be taken, so he does not get sick.

Obviously, the most important requirement is a good, sturdy dog house.

However, many people are not sure what type of bedding to use in the dog house, to help keep their dogs warmer.

You will hear people say to put a blanket in the dog house, but why? 

Dogs do not get under a blanket, like we do, they lay on top of them, so a blanket does not provide any type of warmth for them.

Straw or hay makes for good protection as it blocks winds, is an insulator from cold weather, and dogs curl up inside of it. 

Do not just put a layer of straw on the bottom of the doghouse.

Break it apart and heap it up heavily.  Then hollow out a hole similar to making an igloo.  Then add even more of it, so your dog has to almost push through the straw to make a bed.  

This will give him the best protection against wind and cold air.

Water will quickly freeze.  You need to either have some type of  heated watering bowl to keep the ice from forming, or you will need to go out a few times a day to give him water.

Dogs need extra food in cold weather, as their energy reserves are used up while trying to stay warm.

They burn extra calories, even if it appears that all they are doing, is laying around all day.

Though all of the above information about dogs and cold weather, will increase the safety and health of your dog, always bring him in when the weather gets excessively cold. 

Golden Retrievers do grow a winter coat that is thicker in the winter months, it still doesn't mean they are able to survive in extremely cold weather. 

If the wind chill or the air temperature is going to be overly bitter, dogs need in the house.  Even if it is just in a small, gated room.  If they are not brought in, they can and unfortunately do, freeze to death.

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