Tips to Prepare your Outdoor Dog for Winter

DogHouseWithGermanShepardWith fall nights cooling off and winter coming soon, here are some tips to prepare your outdoor dogs for the cold.

First,  make sure to have a good doghouse for your dog. Doghouses come in all shapes and sizes; including igloo shaped houses, large kennel type houses, and wooden doghouses. If you are purchasing a new doghouse make sure that it is the appropriate size for your dog. You don’t want it to be too small but you also don’t want it to be too big. A doghouse should be a good fit to your dog so that they have enough room to curl up inside but it isn’t so big that it doesn’t hold your dog’s body heat. And if your dog already has a house, check for holes, rust or wood rot. You can use spray insulation to fill in any gaps.

Second, is to make sure that the doghouse is in a good location. Put your dog’s house in a place on high ground and near the house or barn for wind protection. Also note the direction that the entrance faces so that the North wind doesn’t blow directly into the house.

Third, check the bedding inside the doghouse. Your dog should have adequate bedding that gets your dog up off the ground and is padded enough that your dog can snuggle down into. Also, use flea and tick prevention as fleas and ticks will also be seeking a warm place. Another idea is to put straw in and around the outside of the doghouse to help keep the wet and mud out.

Finally, during the winter months your dog will drink less so it is important to always have a good source of water available. To prevent dehydration, provide warm water or check for ice at least twice a day.