Certain dog breeds can withstand living outside in a doghouse during the winter, with proper preparation. In this article, we’ll discuss which dog breeds can live outside during winter, and which breeds cannot. We’ll talk about whether it’s safe for dogs to live outside in the winter, and we’ll go over ways to keep outside dogs warm during winter, specifically how to keep a doghouse warm in the winter.
I think one of the main reasons, possibly the only reason dogs are living in a doghouse is because the owner was unable to train the dog properly to live inside the home. Many people get a new puppy or adopt a dog without knowing effective dog training techniques, and it results in the dog urinating in the house, chewing and destroying items and furniture, barking excessively – until the owner finally gives up and decides to put the dog in the backyard in a doghouse.
If that’s why your dog is living outside, please consider learning how to train your dog to behave properly inside. Dogs like to be outside and be taken out frequently for walks, but they are happiest when they live inside with the rest of the family. And since dogs are pack animals, I imagine dogs who live in a doghouse feel lonely and isolated.
At the end of this article, I’ll give you more information about my #1 recommended dog training program that’s super effective and inexpensive. But in the meantime, please feel free to sign up for a FREE series of dog training videos from this dog training program:
Is it Safe for Dogs to Be Left Outside During Winter?
According to the Humane Society of the United States, pets should be kept indoors with you and your family. “Under no circumstances should pets be left outdoors, even if they roam outside during other seasons. Don’t leave pets outdoors when the temperature drops.” You can read their article elaborating on this statement here.
It’s important to realize that only certain breeds can withstand living outdoors during winter. Please refer to this printable checklist containing a list of dog breeds who can live outside and a list of dog breeds that cannot. Also, please read this article, Dogs and Cold Weather – When Is It Too Cold for Dogs?
All that being said, I realize people will still have their dogs living outside. In that case, it’s important to make sure you know how to keep outside dogs warm during winter.
How to Keep a Doghouse Warm in the Winter
If your dog is outdoors for long periods of time, they must be protected by a draft-free, dry, warm shelter that is big enough for them to comfortably move in, but small enough to keep their body heat in. The floor of the doghouse should be raised several inches off the ground, and you should cover the floor of the doghouse with cedar shavings or straw. You can get straw at places like Home Depot and Lowe’s.
You should also provide a flap of some type to keep the doorway protected by wind, snow and rain. You can see a variety of these HERE. You can find a variety of insulated dog houses HERE. You can also see videos on how to build a warm doghouse on YouTube.
You might consider moving the doghouse to a sheltered location during the winter, like behind the garage a shed, or right next to your house. The idea is to provide protection from wind, rain and snow. Placing it where there’s sunshine will help as well. You should give the dog a bed or pillow to sleep on that fits inside the doghouse, and warm blankets. You might provide a mylar blanket, which helps retain body heat.
You could also provide a doghouse heater. Make sure you monitor the temperature so the doghouse doesn’t get too warm and be aware of the dangers of electrical wires that can get wet or be chewed by your dog.
Dogs Need Changes to Their Food and Water During Winter
Dogs who live outdoors during winter need more food, because keeping warm uses more calories. Also, realize that their water will freeze in the winter. Use plastic food and water bowls – the dog’s tongue will stick to a frozen metal bowl. You should provide dry dog food, since wet dog food can freeze.
I suggest getting heated bowls that will not only keep water from freezing, but can keep canned food from freezing if you’d like to provide that along with dry food. You can find heated bowls HERE.
Need Help Training Your Dog to Live Inside?
Dealing with dog behavior issues can be challenging and frustrating for dog owners. But instead of giving up and putting your dog outside in a doghouse, please try this dog training website called, The Online Dog Trainer, run by Professional Dog Trainer and Behavioral Specialist, “Doggy Dan.” The site contains more than 300 videos of Doggy Dan working with dogs on every dog behavior issue you can think of. Doggy Dan offers a 3-day trial of his website, where you can watch as many dog training videos as you want for $1.
Whatever your dog was doing that wound him up literally “in the doghouse,” please sign up for this $1 trial and watch one of Doggy Dan’s videos about that issue. I think you’ll be impressed.
I Donate to Animal Charities
Thank you for visiting my website. I donate 10% of all commissions I earn on this website to animal charities. You can see a list of the charities I donate to here. If you like this website, please share it with your friends – every article and every purchase helps animals! Debra 🙂