Working dogs, when cared for properly, can thrive in outdoor kennels. Providing you have a dry outhouse, barn or well-built kennel, your dog should stay cosy, happy and well through even the harshest of winters.
If you have a doghouse, the floor should be raised at least four inches off the ground. Ensure it is well insulated too. Shredded paper or cardboard boxes under the bedding will block the ground-cold from reaching your dog. Secured to the floor; the house should also have a sloped roof.
Here are four more tips to keep your working dogs warm in an outdoor setting;
Provide ample bedding
If you have more than one dog, they will often nestle together for warmth, while some dogs prefer the space to spread out. Provide enough bedding space for everyone.
Use a closed-in bed
Closed-in dog boxes or beds are much warmer than an open bed. Teamed up with some warm blankets, or even shredded paper, which doesn’t hide pests and rodents as straw does, they’ll keep your dog happy and well through blizzards and gales.
Keep your dog dry
After a day of shooting, your dog will no doubt be muddy and wet. Toweling them off is an essential measure; however, a heat lamp ensures your dogs go to bed warm and perfectly dry.
After a day out in the elements it’s also good practice to check your dog’s paws; In icy or snowy conditions, painful ice balls can build up in between their toes.
Keep dogs hydrated and suitably fed
Make sure your dogs have access to unfrozen and clean water. There are heated bowls designed especially for outdoor living, or a cheaper version is to check and refresh containers, daily and diligently.
Dogs that live outdoors in a warm, dry and safe space are less likely to burn off valuable calories in efforts to stay warm. However, if your dog is expected to get cold, it may need more feed to help keep their metabolism up.