Caring for Dogs in Cold Weather
We may think our dogs are tough and they shouldn't be in the house alone, especially when they are considered a large dog breed. Your pet does need regular exercise and plenty of room to grow, but you should also consider the type of weather you will be leaving them in. Cold weather is one of the most dangerous times of the year for your dog. Even when you have a Huskie or Akita they need to have protection from the harsh cold weather. As an owner you are going to be responsible for their care. If you must leave your dog outside during cold weather check the weather forecast.
You will need to know what temperature it will reach and whether it will be snowing or raining. Shelter will only help your dog so much when left outside in the cold. There are also many different types of doghouses you can have to help keep your dog safe. First the doghouse should be insulated and large enough for them to fit their entire body into as well as have plenty of blankets and covering to avoid the cold earth or snow. If it is not going to snow several feet then you may be able to let them stay outside depending on the provisions you are providing them and the temperature.
Any temperature that is near freezing or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit is going to be too cold to leave your dog outside. Water will freeze if it gets too cold and then they want have part of the basic care a dog needs. When the cold weather rolls in you are better off keeping the dog inside, no matter what it will be doing. It is rather cruel to withhold proper care just because the dog is a little too big or can get into trouble while inside. Your best option for cold weather care is coming home at least once during the day and letting them out for exercise and bathroom breaks. We all like to turn down the temperature when we aren't home, but consider what temperature the dog will need to be comfortable.
If it is too cold inside you are doing no better by having them inside. So keep the thermostat up at a decent temperature while you are away for the day. You may need to spend a little more playtime and exercise time with your dog once you get home, but it is important to see they are safe, warm, and happy during the day when you are at work. You can even leave them extra blankets around their bed during the night and when you are away just in case the house isn't warm enough. Most dogs love to cuddle when it gets cold. You will find them in front of fireplaces and heaters warming themselves.
If you do have a fire going make sure you have the doors on the fireplace closed or that the screens are in place. You don't want the dog to get too close just because of curiosity. Cold weather can be just as harsh on your dogs or dog as it is on you. Keep in mind that extra care needs to be taken even if you are just going for a little exercise out of doors. There are many things you can do such as dog sweaters, little booties, or just keeping up the pace to make sure your dog will not suffer in the cold.
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