Caring for an Outside Dog
Dogs are commonly called man’s best friend. They are loyal, loving and can be good guard dogs. Dogs love attention and like to be around to people. They can bring years of joy to the people they love.
Dogs would prefer to live near their people, in other words inside. However, there are times when this is not possible. If your dog must live outside, then it is important that you make sure he has everything he needs.
Your dog’s health is very important. There are many ways to find out just what your dog needs. Your veterinarian is a good place to start. Your local library is another good resource. Also there are many websites, such as those provided by your local humane society. One society suggests that some dogs that might not be good candidates for outside living are very old dogs, short hair breeds, young puppies or sick dogs.
Shelter also needs to be carefully considered. You should provide a place to get out of the heat in the summer and out of the cold in the winter. Your dog also needs to shelter from rain and snow. Outdoor dog kennels are built specifically to give shelter and can even be heated in a cold winter climate.
Winter adds another dimension to keeping your dog healthy. An annual exam by your veterinarian can help you be sure your dog is healthy enough to be kept out in the cold. Extra attention needs to be given to shelter, and when temperatures are subzero you should have some place which is heated to give shelter from the cold.
As with all living things, water is very important for dogs. In the summer especially, water must always be made available, clean and fresh every day, or several times a day. In the winter, fresh water is also important. Dogs will eat snow, but it does not provide enough moisture to take care of their water needs.
Nourishment for your dog is another element that can be different for an outside dog. During the winter a dog needs more food, as his body will use more calories to keep warm. Estimates are anywhere from 15 percent according to the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, to 100 percent recommended by the Crawford County Humane Society.
An outside dog also needs a comfortable place to live. Cedar chips and straw are good for keeping the floor dry. If you give your dog towels, cushions or pillows make sure they are also kept clean and dry.
Even an outside dog needs plenty of exercise. A good fence is best so the dog can have the freedom of the yard, but if you do not have a fence, make sure the chain or rope is long enough to give him room to move around without getting tangled up in anything. Either way, your dog will need to get out of the yard daily, as much as possible, to get some good exercise.
Your dog is your best friend. Make sure you are also your dog’s best friend. Take good care of him and make sure he has everything he needs to live healthy and happy.