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Outdoor Dogs
Original article from: Michigan Humane Society

Obviously, dogs can be forced to live outside, alone and away from their families. But to force this kind of life on a dog is one of the worst things you can do to him.  Such a life goes against a dog's two most basic instincts: the "pack" and the "den". If you have any doubts about these ideas, think of all the whining, barking, clawing dogs you have seen from dogs tied up alone outside. Dogs trying desperately to get their human families' attention, and then just giving up to become hyperactive, listless, fearful, or vicious when the stress of enforced solitude becomes too much to cope with.  

The rationale given by people who permanently keep their dogs outside is that they will spend time with the pet outside. Even the most well-meaning pet owner does not spend significant time outside, particularly when it is raining or cold (or hot).   Consequently, under the best of circumstances for the outside dog, a bowl of food and water hastily shoved before him, a quick pat given, and his owner, his WORLD is gone, leaving the animal to spend another 22 or 23 hours alone.

A dog brings you the gifts of steadfast devotion, abiding love, and joyful companionship. Unless you can responsibly accept a dog's offer of these great gifts, please do not get a dog. If you already have a dog, perhaps this article will help you to see things from his point of view, and possibly motivate you to change your relationship with him. A sad, lonely, bewildered dog, kept outside, wondering why he cannot be with his family, brings only sadness and unhappiness to the world. The dog suffers.  Man's best friend deserves better!

Consider a Doggy Door .... Freedom of choice for your loyal and loving companion!

Outdoor Dogs  .... An outdoor dog has an address,  NOT a home.
By Dennis Fetko, Ph.D.
Reprinted in part from August 1995 issue of Whiskers & Wags, the Halifax Humane Society Newsletter.

I'm familiar with hundreds of dog breeds, but what's an outside dog? Unless you're medically intolerant of the dog (and therefore can't take care of him in a medical emergency, so you shouldn't have the dog anyway), making a dog stay outside is a costly waste. If he's for protection, what do you think I want to steal - your lawn? When you leave, do you put your valuables and your kids out in your yard? Just what is the dog protecting out there? Most dogs kept outside cause far more nuisance complaints from barking and escaping than any deterrent to intrusion. Such complaints cause teasing, antagonism, release and poisoning. With your dog a helpless victim, it's no laughing matter.

If I'm a crook and your dog is out, your fence protects ME, not your possessions or your dog. If I just open the gate, 9 out of 10 dogs will run off! I can safely shoot, stab, spear, poison, snare, strangle them, or dart through the fence and you just lost your dog AND everything I steal!

If he's tied up and I keep out of reach, he's useless. He'll bark, but outside dogs bark so much, they're usually ignored. But let a dog hit the other side of a door or window I'm breaking into, and I'm GONE! I can't hurt the dog until he can hurt me, and nothing you own is worth my arm. Deterrence is effective protection.

.... An outdoor dog has an address, not a home. Dogs offer real value as companion animals. Stop behavior problems and start enjoying real protection and companionship. Bring your dogs inside.

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Keeping Pets Outside in HOT Humid Weather

Because we humans tend to go from our air conditioned house, to our air conditioned car, to our air conditioned office, the heat may not seem so bad. If however, we stayed outside during the heat of the day for several hours straight, most of us probably would be miserable.

In the Southeast Texas climate in the Summer months, even with shade trees, it has to be miserable for animals to be outside during the heat of the day, for consecutive hours. Of course there are some animals who might prefer this to staying inside in a crate for hours and hours every day but being outside in intense heat can lead to heatstroke..

For animals who do not require crating or who are not prone to dig out, a doggy door could an excellent idea and certainly the animal would be more comfortable and content.

If giving your animal access to your yard:

  • Make your yard as escape proof as possible.
  • Keep gates securely locked to prevent someone from accidentally letting your pet out or stealing them.
  • Know and trust your neighbors who have adjoining yards. (Kids may tease your animals or even worst, a person who dislikes animals may poison the animal. In one case a hidden video camera caught a neighbor deliberately annoying an animal.)
  • In many areas meter readers have equipment which can take meter readings from the street and do not have to enter your yard.

When people are outside we can cool down with 'cold' drinks, wetting ourselves with a garden hose and most importantly,  being able going into an air conditioned area to cool down. Dogs kept outside cannot do these things.  At least with a doggy door they can go inside to cool themselves and have refuge from storms or other severe weather.

If you must keep your dog outside with no doggy door, make sure to:

  • Provide plenty of shade at ALL times of the day. A dog house sitting in the sun at any time during the day  is NOT sufficient to help with heat. 
  • Provide plenty of water and place water in an area which stays shaded ALL day. Provide an 'extra' bowl of water in case one bowl is accidentally spilled.
  • Place a children's plastic wading pool with water in a shaded area for the dog to get in to cool off. (If your dog is small make sure he can easily get out.)
  • Have a water proof covered shelter that a dog may retreat to in the event of a rain storm.  The shelter should be large enough for the dog to stand in without their head touching the top and should be long enough to allow the dog to lay down comfortably. It also should be raised an inch or two off the ground so it does not sit in water.

When deciding where to leave your dog, consider the weather, your own individual circumstances and most importantly, ask yourself where YOU would want to be placed to spend hours and hours, day after day, if you were the animal!!!!

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Your animal and COLD Weather!

Anytime temperatures are near, at or below freezing, your animal should be brought inside. A dog house is NOT enough. Consider placing them in the bathroom, laundry room or make a bed for them beside your bed.

When temperatures are very cold, an animal can get sick or even die. But
even if they do not get sick, they are miserable being outside in very cold temperatures for periods of more than an hour. Imagine yourself staying outside all day or all night, even wearing a coat, you would feel awful and wish for a warm place.

In cold weather, animals Need More Food since their body uses up energy trying to stay warm. Make certain to give animals 'extra' food during the cold months.

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Doggy Door .... Freedom of choice for your loyal and loving companion!

Purchasing a Doggy Door -
PatioPacificPetDoors - Excellent selection of pet doors!!!!
ThePetDoorStore  - Has many types of pet doors.
Petsmart sells several price and types of Doggy Doors including 'Economy' Doggie Doors,
'Electronic' Doors and even Doggy Doors to use with a 'Sliding Glass' door!

'Economy' Dog Door
(About $29.99 & up - based on size of dog.)
Electronic Dog Door - (dogs up to 40 lbs.) Only lets in your pet.
Electronic Large Breed Dog Door   - (dogs up to 100 lbs.)  Only lets in your pet.

Patio Door Panel - For Sliding Glass Doors.

You can also Block off a section of your home for your pet to use.
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To Crate or Not to Crate .... Click Here

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Heatstroke can kill your pet! ....
Don't wait until it's too late to learn the signs!

Heat Stroke

When outside, a dog must always have a shady shelter and access to cool water!
Failing to provide shelter, food and water is against the law!  Cruelty Laws