Some dogs live outside, but even if they live inside, they will go outside for exercise or recreation. There are many different things that can harm your dog when it is outside. To keep your dog comfortable while outside, make sure they have proper shelter, plenty of food and water, and are protected against pests.
Method 1 of 3:Providing Adequate Shelter
1Ensure the dog has covered areas. Your dog needs an escape from the sun, especially in the warmer months. Too much direct sun can lead to heatstroke and sunburn. During the winter, your dog will need to get away from snow or ice. Make sure your dog has some shady or covered area where they can get out of the direct path of the elements.
Large trees that provide shade can give your dog a good place to rest. However, make sure that the yard doesn't lose shade as the sun changes position in the sky. Trees may not be enough cover for snow or ice.
You can provide your dog with a covered area, like a carport or back deck. You can also build them an area to lay under to get out of the sun or snow.
2Provide your dog with a raised place to lay. No matter if it is cold or hot, your dog needs a place to lay that is not on the ground. During the summer, hot concrete or ground can burn them, while cold or frozen areas can be too cold to lay on. Consider giving your dog a raised bed to lay on.
A raised bed also helps your dog get away from other irritants, like insects.
3Make sure your dog has a house. If your dog is spending a lot of time outside, you should set up a house for them. This is especially important when it is cold outside. You should also make sure the roof is waterproof and doesn't leak. A doghouse allows extra protection that a covered area can't.Trustworthy SourceThe Humane Society of the United StatesNational organization devoted to the promotion of animal welfareGo to source
A doghouse has walls and is enclosed so that it protects them from wind, rain, and other harsh weather. You can also put a flap door over the entrance to help keep the dog protected.
You can put blankets, a heating pad, or a doghouse heater inside.
Make sure the doghouse isn't too big. They should be able to stand up or move around, but that's it. If it is too big, it can make it hard for your dog to get warm.
4Place toys outside for your dog. In addition to shelter, you can provide toys or bones to keep your dog entertained. This will help provide them entertainment so they won't get bored.
You can place the toys inside the dog house, in a shady area, or on a porch.
Method 2 of 3:Taking Care of Water and Food
1Provide plenty of water. When your dog stays outside, you must make sure they have plenty of drinking water. No matter what time of year it is, your dog cannot go without drinking water. They can get dehydrated and die if they do not have access to it. Make sure to change the water every day to ensure access to clean drinking water.
During hot months, you can place ice cubes in their drinking water to keep it cool.
During cold months, check the water daily to make sure it has not frozen. Only use plastic water bowls during the winter because the dog's tongue can freeze to a cold metal bowl.
2Place the water bowl in a safe location. Your dog may easily knock over the water bowl if it is light or placed in a high traffic area. If this happens, it can lead to dehydration if your dog is out of water for too long.
To make sure this does not happen, purchase a heavy water bowl that cannot be knocked over very easily.
You can also place a bucket in a hole you have dug in the ground.
3Provide enough food for your dog. To keep your dog comfortable outside, you should make sure to give them enough food. If they stay outside for long periods, make sure you feed them enough times throughout the day. Make sure to use plastic bowls during the winter to protect your dog's tongue.Trustworthy SourceThe Humane Society of the United StatesNational organization devoted to the promotion of animal welfareGo to source
You may also decide to leave some dry food out for the dog to have access to during the day. If this is the case, make sure the food won't be in an area that will attract other animals, pests, or insects. Try keeping it on a porch or close to the house. Make sure to set it up away from anthills.
It is important for you to feed your dog more during the winter. They use more energy in the winter, so they need more food.
Method 3 of 3:Keeping Your Dog Safe
1Give your dog pest preventatives. If you are taking your dog outdoors a lot, you should give them a medication to help with fleas, ticks, and heartworms. They can take medications for fleas, ticks, and heartworms, or you can give them topical treatments for fleas and ticks.
If you are going into areas with Lyme disease, the dog can get vaccinations for it. They also need to be up to date on their rabies shots.
2Set up a cooling pool. During hot months, you may want to give your dog a shallow pool to lay in. The pool should not be deep enough for a dog to drown. Think about using only a few inches of water, like a kiddie pool.
Make sure to give the dog fresh water in the pool every day. Check it to make sure it doesn't get too hot.
3Refrain from leaving the dog outdoors for too long. Try not to leave your dogs outdoors for too long unsupervised. This is especially important for smaller dogs. Being outside leaves your dog vulnerable to dangers, such as animal predators and cruel people.
If you are going to be gone for more than a few hours, and especially overnight, you should consider getting a dog sitter or boarding your dog.
4Avoid strenuous exercise in the heat of the day. During warm months, you should not take your dog outside to engage in any strenuous activity, like walking, running, or heavy play, during the hottest part of the day. This is generally in the late afternoon.
Keep your dog off of hot pavement and concrete. This can burn their paws.
Instead, take your dog out for their daily walks in the morning or evening, when it's cooler.
5Keep your dog on a leash. When you take your dog outdoors in public places, you should keep them on a leash. This helps protect your dog from running off. No matter if you are at a public park, walking around your neighborhood, or hiking, there are dangers for your dog if they run away.
When you are taking your dog for walks or hikes, make sure they are physically able to do the duration of the walks or hikes. If the dog is older, overweight, or has health problems, they may not be able to do the walk or hike.
If you are letting your dog run around your back yard, you do not have to keep them on a leash.
6Avoid leaving your dog in hot cars. You should never take your dog somewhere with you where you will have to leave them in the car. Even in cold weather, the car can heat up to dangerous levels and lead to heat stroke.
Only take your dog places with you if you are able to take them with you everywhere you stop.