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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 inside their dog house. Straw is the best because it keeps moisture away and the dog will stay dry. We like to 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.

  • 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.

  • Read this great article about pet winter safety written by Kacie Goff HERE

Above: our neighbor's dog, Ruby. Below: our puppy Snowball. Photos taken by Kaly White.

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