I will not judge anyone for their conditions. Some dogs are exclusively outside dogs and that is completely fine. Most of the time people who leave their dogs outside take good care of them and make sure they have the things they need to be comfortable. If you are new to leaving your dog outside all winter long, there are a few things to consider.

The Idaho Humane Society doesn't recommend leaving your pets outside in the cold for long periods of time. However, I know that every situation is different. I personally don't keep my dogs outside for long periods of time but I have the ability to bring them in whenever I want. If you do keep your dogs outside all winter long, here are a few things you should consider.


  • 1


    Make sure they have shelter where they can get out of snow if they need to or can prevent rain from drenching them.

  • 2

    Heat Source

    Some places make heaters and heating pads for outdoor dog houses. If that doesn't work make sure they have blankets or some other form of heat.

  • 3

    Check Water

    In below freezing temperatures obviously water freezes. Make sure their water is accessible often.

  • 4


    Some dogs are super fluffy and don't need to worry too much about getting super cold. If your pet is short hair or small consider getting them a sweater and/or warm booties.

  • 5

    Check Their Paws

    Dog paws can crack or bleed when they dry out which is easy to do in the winter time. Snow can get between their pads and cause issues.

  • 6

    Check Snow Melt

    Some snow melt can burn dogs feet. Make sure you have pet friendly snow melt.

  • 7

    Consider Bringing Them Inside

    It may not be possible, but if the weather is too cold, there is a blizzard, the wind is crazy, blowing snow or it is too difficult to keep your pet warm and dry consider bringing them inside if at all possible.

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