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Old 12-11-2007, 11:29 PM  
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Winterizing dogs, how cold is too cold?

I would really love to know how other people take care of their dogs in the winter.
What kind of dog do you have? Different coats require different tactics.
Does your dog live inside or out?
What I need input on is the outside dogs.
What kind of shelter does the dog have?
Do you increase the amount of food they eat?
What do you do to keep them warm?
At what temp. do you start to worry?
One of my dogs is a Great Dane. Very, very short coat. She has a 4 foot wide by 4 foot tall by 8 foot long shelter, set up off the ground. I put a mix of hay and straw in for bedding. When the temp is below freezing I put a foal blanket on her. I've never had an animal with that little hair before! When it's in the 20's I feel pretty confident. When it's in the teens, I start getting worried. When it gets down to single digits, well I'm glad this is southern KS! Last winter we only had single digits for one week, I took her to my vet's and kept her there. They have wonderful facilities, with big areas for large dogs inside.
It would be nice to know how others deal.
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Old 12-12-2007, 12:31 AM  
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Sorry, I can't help you. I only believe in inside dogs.
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Old 12-12-2007, 01:01 AM  
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i've had three kinds of dogs in my life:

strictly inside

strictly outside

inbetween the two

the ones that stay inside are usually the small dogs (we've always had dachshunds and they are big weanies when it comes to cold) and the hurry out in the morning to potty and rush back in and under the covers. they do this two or three more times a day and otherwise are content to be sitting in my recliner watching tv. (and my bf says i spoil them) the outside dogs a border collie and lab mixes. they have long coats (usually longer than 4 inches and very thick) and stay in the tool shed or garage at night. they also have access to several hay-filled dog houses if they need them. and then the medium coated dogs stay outside during the day when it's warmer and come inside at night and sleep in my recliner......with a blanket...
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Old 12-12-2007, 06:48 AM  
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I have Rhodesian Ridgebacks--short coats like the Dane [altho all Danes I know have even shorter coats]. In winter, they are inside dogs. If I am home, they are in the entryporch, and if I am gone, in the heated garage in their chainlink kennel with a raised wooden carpeted bed. Before we moved, I had a Dodge van filled with straw as their dog house with flap door, but when it got to below freezing, they came in the porch. These two are 90 and 100 lbs, but well trained, so in winter they just hibernate--out 4 times a day for bathroom breaks and back in the warm.
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Old 12-12-2007, 07:04 AM  
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Our two queensland/aussies shepard crosses are outside all day - they have free range, with a hay barn to go into for shelter, as well as the front porch - but they are in at night ...

Our spoiled Molly Mouse (mini doxie) goes out with a jacket or sweater, but she is never outside alone.. so she lives better then most humans..

We don't get that cold here... If it were north with lots of snow, etc., I would have an inside kennel of some type, with a house off the ground, and lots of hay or straw for protection and warmth.. However, our dogs would still be inside when we are home and inside.. They are considered family members - spoiled family members..
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Old 12-12-2007, 07:08 AM  
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Boy, I have nothing against keeping a dog outside, but the dog should be equipped to handle the cold. (long fur, hairy ears, good size)

To expect a dog that is meant to be inside such as a dane outside in below freezing borders cruel. Anyway you can put a heated mat or someother kind of heater in his kennel? Even with a coat your risking frost bite to the ears.

Otherwise I'd stick with your plan of having an alternate place to take him in the sub freezies.
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Old 12-12-2007, 07:51 AM  
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Ours are both outside dogs, a blue healer and an Aussie/border collie cross. They live in the same kennel when locked up and share the dog house bedded with straw. In sub-zero weather they are crated in the basement at night. Extra food in single digit weather. They prefer being out and get quite nervous when allowed inside to the point of whining at the door.
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Old 12-12-2007, 10:30 AM  
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Ours are both outside dogs, a blue healer and an Aussie/border collie cross. They live in the same kennel when locked up and share the dog house bedded with straw. In sub-zero weather they are crated in the basement at night. Extra food in single digit weather. They prefer being out and get quite nervous when allowed inside to the point of whining at the door.
This is pretty much the same with my 2 aussie mixes. They lived in az their whole life as outside dogs, now moved to vt and it is ALOT colder, so they sleep in the basement (1/2 heated) and in the garage or basement during day if we are not home. When we are there, they are allowed to come in and sleep on the dog bed with the other 2 inside dogs (who live in crates when we are not home). They have gotten use to it, but my littler girl needed a blanket this year.

I think my next dogs will be little house puppies!
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Old 12-12-2007, 10:38 AM  
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Hmm, up until my dad got the mini wiener-dog, our dogs were always strictly-outside dogs.

My australian shepherd was outside 24-7. She had a decent-sized insulated and straw-covered shelter, with only a door small enough for her to get through for the winter to decrease the amt of cold air blowing through. She never had problems, not even in the sub-zero conditions.

Our outside-only dog now is a lab-chow-husky type of mix? He has long dense hair and is of medium build. He gets a run into the barn and has a small area that's covered with straw for warmth inside. He hasn't had any problems yet.

Both those dogs were fed free-choice food year round, as both were/are very dainty eaters and didn't overeat. they would eat more in the winter, though.
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Old 12-12-2007, 10:46 AM  
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we have 3 labs and a german shorthair that are outside 24-7. They have a large indoor kennel (not heated) put it has alot of bedding in it. They can all sleep together too keep them warm if they want. Plus, they have a large outside run. I can tell you that the short hair is out playing in the snow as much if not more than a couple of the labs.
We feed Diamond Dog food (performance) and they all get a little extra food in the winter. The dogs are never shivering and we keep an eye on them.

they do make heat pads that you could put in the bottom of your kennel for your dog.

we don't for ours cause I know that at least one of them would chew it up.
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Old 12-12-2007, 10:51 AM  
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I don 't do anything special. Ours stays in the garage in a kennel(she can go in or out- it's open but she seems to like to lay in there) w/ a blanket, food and water. At night she comes in the house. During spring, summer and all, she seems to like to just stay outside.
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Old 12-12-2007, 12:04 PM  
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I just don't understand the concept of outside dogs. Now, I understand outside working dogs. Hunting dogs and such. But with pets, well, I don't under stand why you'd have them if you're going to stick them outside 24/7. I really don't. I'm not trying to be mean, I really don't understand...

I certainly don't understand why you'd even try to keep a dog with such short hair as a Dane outside.

You do realize dogs have a higher normal body temp than we do, so they get colder before we do...

I'd try and figure out and indoor solution when the temps go below 32 degrees.

My pit bulls, who have coats similar to Danes, won't even consider going out any longer than to do their business when it's below freezing.
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Old 12-12-2007, 12:13 PM  
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Wildcat you have a good point.
They only thing that I can add is this: Ours our outside 24/7 with really good shelter, bedding.
Its harder on hunting dogs if they get used to the warm indoor temps and then are taken out and used for hunting. This is actually very hard on them.

If they get used to the temps slowly like with the weather changing its easier on them to deal with the cold then if they are used to 70 degree inside temps and then asked to be outside for long period of time.

Our inside dog is inside all the time except to just go poddy -she's not used to the weather. I could never leave her outside durning the day and only bring her in at night. Even with all the hair she has it would be way to hard on her cause she's used to the heat.

People need to make up there mind if there dog is going to be inside or outside expecially if you live in area where the temps very alot!
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Old 12-12-2007, 12:20 PM  
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My aussies are inside dogs.
Actually with Callies congestive heart disease she retains water and gets swollen pads and they get cold very quick. It was like 20 degrees the other day. She was good for only about 5 mins outside. I bought her little booties.
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Old 12-12-2007, 12:20 PM  
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Mine are strictly inside dogs, a great dane and 2 boxers.
When I was a kid our dogs were all outside but they came inside when it was too cold. Now I believe in keeping them inside. They run outside take care of business and run right back inside.
I guess mine are spoiled though, they have their own blankets in their crates and they are allowed on the furniture too.
Oh well, can they every really be spoiled??
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Old 12-12-2007, 12:22 PM  
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I have two huskies. I really couldn't imagine them happy inside. THey love to roam and run. During the cold (like they really need it) I put lots of straw inside their dog houses. I noticed today that my femaile is actually SHEDDING I had a talk with her and told her I didn't think that was such a good idea.

I do have two smaller dogs that are outside dogs. They have a 4 ft wide square, 3 1/2 ft tall insulated building with a heat lamp. BUT the building cost me well over 200 dollars. All thier food and water is kept inside. You can stand by the entry and feel the heat. On those extremely cold days, you won't see my dogs b/c they are inside thier house snoozing.
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Old 12-12-2007, 12:23 PM  
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Well.

My Basset hound just cannot be left in the house alone for longer than a couple of hours. She will destroy anything she can get ahold of, and she stresses very badly when put in a crate. She'd be a wreck if we crated her for the 9 1/2 hours a day we are gone. And the Chi/Doxie cross is a wreck if he is anywhere without the Basset.

So, at the risk of having big rocks thrown at me - out to the kennel they go every morning when we leave for work. My husband built a doghouse to Fluppy's specifications - it is big enough for her to get in, turn around, and lay down. The door is set off to the side so they do not lay in front of it and has a towel over it. The house is completely insulated with 2" Styrofoam in the floor, walls, and roof, and we bank and cover it with snow in the winter. It has the biggest dog bed in it that I can fit in there. She and Buster share the house and I can tell you that if you take off your glove and put your hand in there with the dogs, it is toasty warm.

In a perfect world, my dogs could and would stay in the house all day. But they are imperfect dogs, both of them from bad situations originally, and we do the best we can. When we are home, they are inside with us.
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Old 12-12-2007, 12:25 PM  
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Sorry, I can't help you. I only believe in inside dogs.

Ditto for me too. I know for a fact my 2 austrailian shephers are spralled out across my bed while I am at work. Soozing away ........
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Old 12-12-2007, 12:36 PM  
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Well.

My Basset hound just cannot be left in the house alone for longer than a couple of hours. She will destroy anything she can get ahold of, and she stresses very badly when put in a crate. She'd be a wreck if we crated her for the 9 1/2 hours a day we are gone. And the Chi/Doxie cross is a wreck if he is anywhere without the Basset.

So, at the risk of having big rocks thrown at me - out to the kennel they go every morning when we leave for work. My husband built a doghouse to Fluppy's specifications - it is big enough for her to get in, turn around, and lay down. The door is set off to the side so they do not lay in front of it and has a towel over it. The house is completely insulated with 2" Styrofoam in the floor, walls, and roof, and we bank and cover it with snow in the winter. It has the biggest dog bed in it that I can fit in there. She and Buster share the house and I can tell you that if you take off your glove and put your hand in there with the dogs, it is toasty warm.

In a perfect world, my dogs could and would stay in the house all day. But they are imperfect dogs, both of them from bad situations originally, and we do the best we can. When we are home, they are inside with us.
Your dogs are very well taken care of. They are sheltered from the elements even if they are outside. If they are warm and happy what more can you ask for.

I just know that there is no way I could possibly bring in 5 large outside hunting dogs into my house besides the dog and cat that have already taken over our house. That and when we rescued the one dog the lady had tried making her an inside dog -she hates it in side no matter what temp it is outside. Once she's outside she's happy as can be.. Not all dogs like it inside.
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Old 12-12-2007, 12:43 PM  
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Not all dogs like it inside.
And I can attest to that, too. We had a Lab/Husky cross who couldn't stand to be inside for more than about 20 minutes...she's start to pant, whine, and pace. She loved the outdoors!

Granted, most dogs love to be indoors, and many should be. My two dogs, though not extremely fluffy, do have a LOT of hair. If they didn't, we would have to look at doing something different, be it a heated building or a heat lamp.
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