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I am in a unique situation: the dog I take care of is not my dog. it is my neighbor's dog. I have helped out for the past 4 years now. The owner keeps the dog outside during the winter unless it get's below zero. I've been putting marsh hay in his dog house to help insulate the past few years. Are there any other tips to help keep the dog warm? Also, I am thinking about making a homemade doggie door to help keep the wind and snow out - I am thinking about using tarp material making a slit down the middle and taping washers on the bottom to weigh it down in the wind. I take very good care of this dog, I give him treats, bones, and I am thinking about warming up some Campbell's beef broth this upcoming winter. Would low-sodium beef broth be bad for the dog? Do you think the doggie door will work? Any other material besides marsh hay? Is there any such thing as a battery powered heating pad? Or since the dog has been an outside dog its entire life, and is used to it, would it just better to stick with the marsh hay? Any other ways to help insulate the dog house?

I realize these are not ideal conditions for the dog, but without getting into details, I have talked with the dogs owner (my neighbor) and this is the best I can do. He's a longtime family friend, and has gone through a lot of BS in his life, but he is very stubborn and "old-school." To be honest, the dog seems pretty hardy and never really seems to be shivering in years past, so I'm assuming the dog is used to it and maybe its coat insulates him better than some people think. Regardless, telling me my neighbor is an a-hole, or telling me to put the dog inside during the winter will not help me because this is just the way it is unfortunately. I need advice on what I can do given my circumstances. By the way, I live in Wisconsin.
 

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Animals kept outdoors in the winter require more food to burn calories to maintain body heat. If you can, see to it he gets some extra kibbles in the winter

A doggie door can be made simply with a carpet scrap! Just attach it to the top of the door and ensure he figures out how to go in and out :)

Good on you for looking out for this guy :)
 

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you can also buy a pre-made flap for the dog house from a petstore. there are out door dog beds that are meant to insulate against the coldm again you would have to buy it. what kind of dog house? there are different shapes and sizes and some insulate better than others.


this type is better than



this type....
for example....

i live in the snow too, if i learn of anything new, i'll pass it your way.

what kind of dog?



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will the dog wear a simple dog jacket? Can you run power to the area? There are large heat pads you can buy...but you need an outlet.
no outlet, no power, that's ok though. I thought about a dog jacket but I figure it might get wet? good suggestion though, I'll keep it mind. thanks
 

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Animals kept outdoors in the winter require more food to burn calories to maintain body heat. If you can, see to it he gets some extra kibbles in the winter

A doggie door can be made simply with a carpet scrap! Just attach it to the top of the door and ensure he figures out how to go in and out :)

Good on you for looking out for this guy :)
gotcha. more food. I read I should increase the diet by about 10%. is that correct? if I give the dog say a 25% increase one day, then miss the next day completely, is this hard on the dog? I'm sure consistency is preferrable, but how hard on the dog is it really? is sporadic treats better than none at all?
 

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you can also buy a pre-made flap for the dog house from a petstore. there are out door dog beds that are meant to insulate against the coldm again you would have to buy it. what kind of dog house? there are different shapes and sizes and some insulate better than others.


this type is better than



this type....
for example....

i live in the snow too, if i learn of anything new, i'll pass it your way.

what kind of dog?

well if you haven't figured out by now I'm not exactly a dog person, myself (heh heh), so I'm not exactly sure what kind of dog it is - it's a mut of sorts but it's kind of a beagle I guess? my neighbor hunts rabbits with it, if that indicates anything.

The kind of dog house he has is the bottom one. Just curious - what about the top kind makes it better? The house he has is fairly well built with shingles on top and the walls are made with 2 layers of particle-board type wood and styrafoam in the middle. I felt in there one time last winter when I woke up early and it actually felt kind of warm, so I'm hoping I might be worrying more than it's worth. I also read that dog hair is hollow which makes it a good insulator and it's like they're wearing a blanket - is this true?

oh yeah, dog beds. so is the idea that the dog bed fits in the dog house? what do they look like? about how much would it cost. thanks.

thanks to everyone who responed. keep me in mind if you find out anything new.
 

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well if you haven't figured out by now I'm not exactly a dog person, myself (heh heh), so I'm not exactly sure what kind of dog it is - it's a mut of sorts but it's kind of a beagle I guess? my neighbor hunts rabbits with it, if that indicates anything.

The kind of dog house he has is the bottom one. Just curious - what about the top kind makes it better? The house he has is fairly well built with shingles on top and the walls are made with 2 layers of particle-board type wood and styrafoam in the middle. I felt in there one time last winter when I woke up early and it actually felt kind of warm, so I'm hoping I might be worrying more than it's worth. I also read that dog hair is hollow which makes it a good insulator and it's like they're wearing a blanket - is this true?

oh yeah, dog beds. so is the idea that the dog bed fits in the dog house? what do they look like? about how much would it cost. thanks.

thanks to everyone who responed. keep me in mind if you find out anything new.
the top house is better bc the door doesn't open directly into the house...when it is off to the side it tends to stay just a bit warmer and the dog is less exposed to the wind...some dog houses have an opening that the dog has to go in and turn a corner...that is even warmer...at any rate a flap over the opening would help quite a bit.

i've never really heard dog's fur explained like that:ponder:...dogs that have a thick undercoat, usually do well in winter weather (german shepherd dogs, malamutes, huskies etc)i wouldn't use a jacket on an outside dog...like you said, i think it will just get wet.

as far as the dog bed, i can't find it again...:confused: it may have just been an electric heating pad thing.....you would have to have electricity....lots of hay is a good insulater...



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dogs hair is not hollow. certain breeds have well insulated hair, these breeds are the ones with undercoats. Maybe I am missing it but what type of dog is this?
 

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Som' dogs have double coats which insulate better. Nothing hollow tho. :)


there are waterproof coats (like raincoats) you can buy....also you can also put up a few tarps so the dog never has to get wet in the first place :)



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When I was a kid we had hunting dogs that would stay outside on occasion during the winter (unless we had an extreme cold front roll in). We shielded their kennel with a tarp (wind side). Insulated their houses with "Blue board" (they were not chewers). And covered the entrance with a rubber sheet cut into strips. (like was said above). When the dogs were in the doghouse it was actually pretty warm. The dogs themselves became the heater and we just insulated their kennel and home from heat loss.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
the top house is better bc the door doesn't open directly into the house...when it is off to the side it tends to stay just a bit warmer and the dog is less exposed to the wind...some dog houses have an opening that the dog has to go in and turn a corner...that is even warmer...at any rate a flap over the opening would help quite a bit.


as far as the dog bed, i can't find it again...:confused: it may have just been an electric heating pad thing.....you would have to have electricity....lots of hay is a good insulater...

aahhh, I see. that makes sense. I might look into talking with the owner about getting a new house. thanks.
 

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dogs hair is not hollow. certain breeds have well insulated hair, these breeds are the ones with undercoats. Maybe I am missing it but what type of dog is this?
Ok, I did some searching on the internet, and the dog is definitely a type of hound. It has the stature of a beagle, I guess, but it's color is black and tan, so I guess some sort of hound cross-breed? I know his owner goes rabbit hunting with it, so some kind of scent hound, I would guess.
 

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Som' dogs have double coats which insulate better. Nothing hollow tho. :)


there are waterproof coats (like raincoats) you can buy....also you can also put up a few tarps so the dog never has to get wet in the first place :)
well he's not in a kennel, and he likes to run around in the snow, so I was thinking he would get wet from the snow. I will look into a waterproof coat, though. good idea. and you're right, I don't know where I read that the dog hair was hollow.
 

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When I was a kid we had hunting dogs that would stay outside on occasion during the winter (unless we had an extreme cold front roll in). We shielded their kennel with a tarp (wind side). Insulated their houses with "Blue board" (they were not chewers). And covered the entrance with a rubber sheet cut into strips. (like was said above). When the dogs were in the doghouse it was actually pretty warm. The dogs themselves became the heater and we just insulated their kennel and home from heat loss.
what is "blue board?" thanks.

thanks everyone!
 

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To everyone: thank you so far. I have decided to make a doggie door out of rubber mud flaps - they are surprisingly cheap and I imagine they are pretty durable. The one I am going to buy is 1/4 inch thick. Do you think if I doubled it up and essentially made it 1/2 inch thick, that that would insulate the dog house any better?

Also what is your opinion on people food for dogs? Specifically I was thinking about warming up Campbells beef broth. Do you think this would actually help the dog sort of warm up? would beef broth have too much sodium do you think?

thanks
KS
 
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