<img src="lonely-dog-outside.jpg" alt="Lonely Dog Outside" />I don’t get it!  I don’t understand how a dog owner can leave their dog outside all the time. To me, what is the point of having a dog if he’s left outside and not allowed to be a true member of your family? My personal opinion is that it constitutes cruel and unusual punishment; not only physically but also psychologically.

Dog’s are very social creatures and don’t do well in isolation. He or she probably wags their tail when they see you but don’t mistake that for a happy dog; they’re just happy to see ANYONE. If you live where there are extreme weather conditions, as I do, your dog is just as miserable and at risk as you are on hot muggy days and brutally cold days and nights. They can suffer from heat stroke and death on hot days and frostbite, hypothermia and death on very cold days.

<img src="dog-curled-up-in-snow.jpg" alt="dog curled up in snow" />http://www.humanesociety.org/search/search-results.html?q=dogs+on+hot+days

http://www.humanesociety.org/news/press_releases/2010/12/keep_pets_inside_winter_122110.html?credit=web_id112494760

Having said that I know there are those who do leave their dog outside 24/7. To those people I would ask you to consider making a spot in your home for your dog, at the very least, during extreme weather conditions.

Of course some dogs are built to take the cold better than others. Dogs like Huskies have a double coat which insulates their bodies from the cold. Single coat and short and wire haired dogs aren’t so lucky. But regardless of their coat no dog is happy being alone all the time. There not built that way.

If you have to leave your dog outside, even for part of the day it’s important for these unfortunate dogs, in all weather conditions, to provide them with proper shelter. Of course in the summer that means shade and somewhere to escape rain and in the winter it means a place where they can escape the cold.

Ideally, for winter you should provide an insulated dog house just big enough for your dog to fit in so his body heat can help him to stay warm. It should have a warm waterproof bed or a heated bed (Heated Dog Bed) and a vinyl pet door to keep the wind, rain, cold and snow out. Or, you could build your own with a regular pet door built in. (vinyl pet doors)

Your dog also needs a constant supply of fresh water; cool water in the summer and unfrozen water in the winter. You can buy a heated dog bowl to keep the water from freezing. (Heated Dog Bowls)

This winter when you’re curled up in your warm cozy bed, think about your poor dog stuck outside alone, in a dark cold box trying just to survive the bitter cold. That’s a miserable existence!

Or next summer when you’re nice and comfortable in your air conditioned house with a cold drink, think again about how miserable it would be to be stuck outside in the brutal heat and humidity with only warm or hot water to drink.

<img src="dog-bed.jpg" alt="dog bed" />

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