top of page

How to Care for an Outside Dog

Where we live there are "outside dogs" all around us. Although we do not like to see them outside there is nothing we can do except making sure they are warm, hydrated and safe, as follows:

  • Water freezes in the bowl at below 32 degrees Farenheit or Zero Celcius so check their water bowl daily and add warm water to delay freezing.

  • Feed them more. They need more calories to keep warm, especially if they spend the nights outside. If you do not know how much food they get, bring them extra just in case and for your peace of mind.

  • Do not use blankets, they keep moisture in and will not warm up the dog.

  • Add straw (not hay) inside their dog house. Straw is the best because it keeps moisture away and the dog will stay dry. You can scatter straw on the ground to keep wet mud out of their paws. If they do spend the nights out you can pile up bales of straw all around their dog house for added insulation. Click HERE to watch a very endearing video from Four Corners Animal League of Tulsa, Mexico that illustrates this principle very well. In colder climates you can lay plywood on top of a wooden palette before adding the straw to keep moisture and mud away from the floor of the dog house. This is how my husband built his sleigh dogs' houses and they were fine in the winter.

  • You can find straw at your local Tractor Supply for $15; each bale is wrapped in plastic to avoid a mess in your car and had handles for easy carrying. I get mine at a local greenery for $9.50; I do not mind the mess since I already transport feral cats lol and I put the straw on top of a plastic table.

  • Protect their paw pads from ice and snow by applying Spaw Wax to their paw pads and between their toes. That will prevent painful icicles from building in between the toes and will also keep paw pads moisturized.

  • Thank you for caring and keeping your dog (or your neighbor's dog) warmer this winter.

Above: our neighbor's dog, Ruby, who lives outside. Below: our puppy Snowball who loved the snow but ended up with icicles between her toes - she lived inside. Photos taken by Kaly White.


Recent Posts
bottom of page