I have a German Shepherd Husky mix; can he live outdoors during the winter months with the garage as a shelter?
By Mac from Chatham, Ontario
If the dog has no doghouse set up in the garage over winter, then here's my plan if he were my dog:
If the garage is not drafty and blowing in snow or rain. Then I would say yes, but I would make a really nice large and deep wood box for him to lay in and snuggle up to keep warm in a corner. Nail four posts to each corner and wrap with plastic on the bolt purchased reasonably at Walmart to shield your dog from blasts of cold air when the garage door is opened.
You can make an inexpensive pad of remnant fabric and fit to the size of box. Fill with bags of polyester filling used in pillows and sew closed. Cover over with remnant fleece or fur fabric, so you can wash the surface layer. Drinking water will freeze up, so that will need to be checked frequently during the freezing cold temps.
Keep in mind the age of the dog and if he has any arthritis or other health issues that cold weather can affect him. You might need to use a heat lamp during coldest days and nights so the dog is kept warmer.
Though your dog may be able to survive physically outdoors, why would you want to do this to him? Don't you think it would be lonely for him to be outside and away from the rest of the family? Dogs do have emotional needs as well as physical, and as pack animals, they want to be with their "pack",which is their human family, not banished alone to the yard. Not sure what your reason is that he cannot come into the home, maybe no one committed to proper training for him, or no one considered when he was a cute little puppy that someday he would be a big dog that would shed and bark and leave a doggie smell behind, all things people should consider before they get a dog, but obviously they don't, or shelters wouldn't be full and we wouldn't be talking about this. Sorry, but this makes me angry. I don't understand why people get dogs at all if they are just going to chain them up or pen them in the yard.
Please reconsider, or find a home for your dog where all of his needs will be met.
Why does he have to stay in the garage during winter? Snow in Canada. Lonely dog in the garage. No contact with the family. Please find a proper home for him if you are not willing to give him love and companionship. He deserves much better than a cold garage in winter.
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