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Dogs

If you are cold outside then so is your dog?

The thought behind this statement is based in wanting to do the right thing but it comes from a lack of understanding. It’s too broad to be based in fact.

First off – dogs are not people. I know some folks have a hard time with this idea but they ain’t little people in dog suits. They are designed differently and can deal with things that we can’t. This is especially true of certain breeds. It’s actually much crueler to have these dogs in the South with our summers than our mild winters.

Next – it’s about whether your dog has been conditioned to live outside. If you have one that’s been inside his entire life and then you stick him outside in this kind of weather, that’s going to be a problem. If he’s used to being outside then this is a different story.

Dogs require three things to stay warm.

They need to be dry, out of the wind and enough calories to generate the body heat that they need to stay warm.

The question should be – are your outside animals protected from the weather?

Mine are. They have insulated dog houses that are warm, dry and out of the wind. The funny part is that many of them still spend a large part of their time outside and on top of their houses.

They also get double the calories this time of year vs the summer. This allows them the ability to burn extra to stay warm.

The bigger issue is keeping open water. Making sure they can get to enough water can be a problem. I feed dry most the year but I add water to their food in these kinds of weather situations to help keep them hydrated.

We also sell dog house heaters and water bucket heaters. I don’t use them myself (well not for the dogs but our tortoise has one) since our winters are generally mild.

The question needs to be about protection more than anything. Having outside dogs is a year round thing and giving them what they need all year is important. This is also true in the summer when it’s 100 degrees. They need cool shade and plenty of water. We run fans that time of the year and have multiple checks on them daily to make sure everyone is safe.

If you don’t have this kind of setup than you either need to get it or you need to provide protection for them in this kind of weather.

If you are not willing to do these things for them, then maybe you don’t need to have a dog. You might just not be worthy of that kind of relationship.

I’m sure some of you won’t like these statements and I’m ok with that. Keep in mind that I love my dogs much more than I like most people.

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