We have a nice house with loads of great places for a dog to go to sleep but Oliver always wants to sleep outside on the deck at night. We live near the coast of the North Sea in Holland, so it can get cold in winter, but I know that some of you live in very cold parts of North America and wondered how low the temperature can be for this outdoor sleeping to be safe. We leave the patio doors open so he can come in and out as he likes all night but is it likely that he will be able to judge when it is too cold and come in by himself? He has a good length coat and is almost a year old.
|In Alaska, the news always says once it reaches freezing points at night ...dogs need to come in. I think it's cruel to let dogs stay out past that or even at higher temps if your dog just isn't used to it. I saw my dog shivering or walking on their tippy toes when it's too cold for them and it wasn't even at that freezing point outside.|
|We actually had to install a latch on our sliding screen door because Morgan figured out how to open it and would go out on the balcony to sleep at night. If it isn't freezing out and I had a way of leting him in and out that didn't freak out my husband, I would be tempted to let him decide for himself, after it gets to be around freezing I wouldn't want to let him stay out or let the draft in when he came in|
|A good rule of thumb is if it's too cold for you it's too cold for the dog.
They do have a great coat, but ears, nose and toes etc can get frost bitten easily.
|Obe always falls asleep on the porch but then comes in around 9-10 to actually go to sleep for the night. I would never leave him outside all night here to many wild animals. Mountain lions, bears, coyotes all of which could easily get into a fence if they were hungry enough. It's getting colder, so his routine will change soon. I will start shutting the door instead of pushing it too. Even in the dead of winter Obe will want out and stay for 30 minutes then he is wanting back in.|
|Our first sheepdog, Shakespeare, would wake us up to let him out at night...at 2:00am....in the winter.....when it was between 10 and 20 degrees Farenheit...in New Hampshire! And then he would oh so casually lay out on the porch basking in the moonlight. I would get him in after about half an hour and he would always give me a look as though "Why do I need to come it? It's beautiful out." Goofy dogs
Fortunately (for me), my current group of sheepdogs are much more civilized and prefer to snuggle into their beds on cold winter nights.
Jennifer, Baxter, Cassiopia and Abby
|Sami loves being inside BUT Blue loves it outside, he has even fallen asllep in a snow storm before and we had to get him in. Silly dog. We put in a doggy door and he comes and goes he even sleeps by the door to keep an eye on us. I have to trick him to get him in a nite if he is in the mood to say out. Thank goodness he loves treats. I have never let him stay out... with it colder and he goes into watch dog mood at nite he would drive the whole block crazy.|
|Max loves to sleep in the garage in the fall... much to our dismay. Nothing like cuddling with a sheepie when it gets cool outside. When it starts getting too cold, he is in the house whether he likes it or not!
We wouldn't let him sleep outside, even if he wanted to. We have a pack of Coyotes in the back of the woods- yuck, and I would be scared to death they would get him. We like him safe and sound inside. I always would worry about the frost and the dew, making him damp and cold.
Even in the day, when we are out, he is never far from our site.
|Miley loves to sleep on the screen porch or the back steps or yard. We generally let her out for an hour or so and then call her in. She loves anything cool and will sleep against the outside doors in the winter. We used to put something in front of the doors in winter to keep drafts out and now that is where Miley will sleep in winter. She has beds to choose from and will sleep on them for a bit but always goes for the cool spot.|
|To be safe, I'd make sure to bring in a dog at freezing point, if you are talking about over night. Sooner if it was damp--drizzling rain or snow, because even a dense coat will eventually become saturated and a dog can loose body heat very quickly.
I don't let my dogs sleep outside at night (although they love to drouse away an afternoon...in Minnesota winters where temps drop below zero (F) frequently.
What I have noticed is that my dogs love to sleep on the tile by the front door. It stays cooler there in winter when we have our house heated. I know with their thick coats, they have much greater tolerance for cold and less tolerance for heat, so I make sure they have access to their preferred temp. as much as possible.
|If a dog has a very good dog house, with wind baffle entry, insulation and warm bedding, they can withstand below freezing easily and in the case of my first dog family, they'd go subzero too. OK, the guys slept together and shared body warmth along with the warm bedding. They wanted to be outside, they disliked hot weather including inside the home.
Realize an outside dog must have plenty of undercoat so brushing has to be done very, very carefully. Also the dog can't get wet. If they are outside, they must have and use shelter to keep them dry. Don't assume they will "know" to go into the dog house. If the dog is structurally sound and can curl up into a ball, tucking their feet and tail (if present), they are fine.
Heavy coated housedogs may want to have a sleep over outside form time to time, but I would not let them stay when temps get below 45-50 or so. And surely not if a heavy dew is expected or other forms of precip.
Daytime my guys have access to their fluffy dog beds on a covered porch and to the garage where there are more dog beds. They tend to stay in the sunshine running about even in subfreezing temps.
Hint: On the porch and in the garage we put down a thick plywood base with rigid insulation and carpet over the top and then the dog beds. Concrete is really cold. Yeah, the insulation does get a bit smushed.
|Growing up, all of my family's dogs were 'outdoor' dogs. They never came into the house unless it was 20 below or less. Since they never came in, this seemed to stress them out quite a bit, so it's a good thing it very rarely gets that cold!
As long as your dog has shelter they can get into, especially a cozy space that keeps drafts out, just about any dog is fine outside. Indoor dogs don't have the same tolerance for cold as outdoor dogs do, but they shouldn't be in any danger as long as they can get to shelter, food and water and it isn't subzero temperatures.
We even had a smooth coat chihuahua who did just fine every winter because she had big cozy dogs to sleep with, in either the (unheated) garage or a doghouse with a pressure sensitive heating mat.
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