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GrouseHunt'R

How cold is too cold?

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GrouseHunt'R

I have a 9 month English Setter. He is in his outside kennel whenever we are gone or sleeping. So he is usually inside from ~6-10pm. My question is, he has a K9Kondo dog house, I think its the Dog Den 2 if I remember right, but how cold is too cold if he has access to his dog house. With the up coming temperatures not getting much above 0 I am wondering if I need to be concerned about letting him sleep inside in his crate or if he will be fine out there. Is there a rule of thumb of about the temperature? I guess it would be helpful to know how much warmer he keeps his dog house above the outside ambient temp.

I think I will rig up the aqua-vu camera so I can record his activity during the day and night and see how much he actually uses the dog house.

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magnum165

I'm not much of a dog expert,but I have owned a couple of black labs.They both were full-time outside dogs and I even became worried when temps got low.My last lab had no desire to come inside no matter what the temp was.She had a doghouse that was insulated and straw on the floor of the kennel with plastic around the outside.If she came inside, you could tell that she was very uncompfortable- panting and pacing.I guess it comes down to how the dog reacts when it is inside.I would think that around -30 you would want to consider bringing it inside depends on how used to the cold it is.The vet I talked to suggested that the big temp difference could be more harmful(inside to outside).My lab would have frost on it when it was very cold but it didnt seem to mind.Age might make a diff also.Heated water bowl is for sure a priority, due to cold,drink as much in winter as summer.Your hound thanks you for caring grin.gifHope this helps.

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BLACKJACK

I think it hard on a dog to go from cold to warm/hot back to cold. If they're used to the cold, leave them outside. Thats provided you have a GOOD dog house with plenty of bedding and even insulation around it, preferably with a cover over the door or built where they can go around the corner in side the house and stay out of the wind, no matter how windy it is or what direction it comes from. Now I have my dog houses built in side of the shed where they go thru a kennel door to their outside kennel, but previoulsy when their doghouse was out in the open, I put hay bales all the way around it and over the top. My wife called it the 'reservation look' but I know they were warm and comfy in there.

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gspman

Make sure your dog is getting food with plenty of fat in it for energy. Check him often to make sure he is keeping the weight on. If you can feel to much rib then either increase the ration or bring him inside or both.

Put plenty of good insulating type bedding in his dog house. Make sure the bedding is dry and check/change it often.

Make sure the dog house isn't too big. The dog will have to heat the whole house so the smaller the better. Also put some bales or a canvas tarp or both over the house. Make sure the dog door faces away from the wind too.

The pro I got my dogs from used to take all of his dogs inside if it got really cold out. He'd just crate them all up at night. You could do the same at night. Now his kennel is enclosed so he doesn't do that anymore.

Since your dog is just 9 months old I'd be a little more inclined to take him in too.

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lawdog

Obviously opinions vary on this, but gspman brings up a good point. A dog's body isn't fully developed until about a year and they are less able to handle the cold.

One thing I would say though is DON'T take the dog into the heated house. Your travel crate in the garage will be much warmer than outside and won't be too warm for the dog, which the inside will be if they are all time outside dogs.

With my black lab I never have to worry unless we have extended periods that don't get above zero or a night that's looking at -20 or so. Now I have the 6 mo old yellow pup too though, and he'll be in the garage at night this week I think, although he's already showing that cold isn't much of an issue with him either...

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GrouseHunt'R

Thanks guys. My dog hasn't shown any signs of not wanting to be outside, or inside when we bring him in. He seems content about most things and is generally a happy dog. He has a heated water dish, always full and his food dish is always full too. From what I can tell his weight seems fine and he seems to be eating just a slight bit more then when the temps were warmer. As part of the breed, they tend to eat only when they need to, so I always keep his food full for him. His dog house is probably one of the best on the market, I am sure others have built better, but the K9 Kondo houses are top quality and well insulated with swinging doors. And it is up against the outside of the garage. I was thinking about installing a remote thermomter in there so I can monitor the temp from inside the house to see how much his body can heat the house up above the outside ambient. This would be a good data point.

Planning on stacking some bales around the sides of the house and break one up for some bedding. I have tried a couple different things for bedding and nothing has really made him or me happy. The loose cedar chips were probably the best, but each time he came out he hauled out half of them on his coat. Some other beds I have tried, but he has physically pulled them out through his dog door into the kennel and turned them into toys. So I think straw is probably going to be a better option at this time.

Does anyone know where I can buy 8-10 square bales of straw from around the metro?

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