Cold: how long can you leave your dog outside?
Dogs are more resistant to the cold because of their coat and their metabolism, but in winter, especially at night, temperatures are often negative and your pet can get very cold. These harsh weather conditions can cause discomfort for your four-legged friend who lives outside. The cold can even be dangerous for his health, so should you bring him home, and when?
Size, breed, age... these factors must be taken into account
Not all dogs have the same resistance to cold. A sick, old, or very young animal cannot stay outside in winter. Small breeds, especially if they have short or short hair like the Chihuahua, the small bulldog, and the jack Russell... also have difficulty staying outside, even in a kennel. Veterinarian Hélène Gateau explains that other breeds are better suited to the outdoors. "The Labrador, hunting dogs, the Bernese Mountain dog... these are dogs that can handle the cold well as long as they have a place to shelter from the cold."
Also, an animal that lives outside gradually adapts to the change in temperature. "Its coat changes with the seasons and the animal also produces a layer of fat to protect itself from the cold," the veterinarian continues. However, if he stays outside, it is important to give him more food because adapting to low temperatures will require more energy.
A well-insulated kennel is a must,
If large dogs can stay outside, there is still a condition to respect the well-being of the animal. "He must have a kennel, a place to shelter, which is well equipped with plaids for his comfort, well protected from the wind, isolated from the cold of the ground and in which the dog can have a minimum of warmth", details Hélène Gateau. To insulate a kennel well, don't hesitate to place the opening against the wind. It is also important to raise the kennel with a pallet for example so that it does not touch the ground, which is a conductor of cold and humidity.
A question of common sense
If the weather conditions are really bad and you see your dog in distress, shivering, bring him inside to protect him from the cold because he can quickly get sick. If your dog is not allowed inside, don't hesitate to shelter him in the garage if you have one. You know your pet well, do what you think is best for him!