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Is it OK for him to sleep outside all night?


larseyfarsey
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Hello, I guess I just need some reassurance and advice. In the past six months, Billy has shown his age. He's about 10 (not sure, as he was a stray). He's now on Rimadyl for weakness in his back legs, and since he has been taking it, he is much better. But he still scrapes his back toenails a little when walking. It hasn't been a problem until it got cold here. See, because I have cats indoors and Billy likes to pounce on cats, he sleeps in the garage. During the day, he has the run of the fully fenced 1/2 acre yard during the day. But now that it's cold, he wants to be outside at all hours of the night. Generally, I bring him in the garage to sleep about 9 pm, and although he barks to be let out during the night sometimes and early in the morning, I don't let him out until I get up, about 6-7. Lately, since it has become "Husky weather," he has been pacing in the garage, and because he drags his foot, his toenail is worn down to the quick. This morning, there was spots of blood all over the garage floor from him pacing! I was horrified, although he doesn't act like his toenail hurts. Because its the weekend, we didn't go to the vet and he isn't gushing blood. In fact, the cold snow has helped it to stop. But if it isn't stopped altogether tomorrow, I may have to take him to the vet tomorrow to get it covered and bandaged (which will be a whole new story, I'm sure). But in the mean time, I cannot lock him in the garage until it heals, and maybe not ever again if this is what he's going to do. Last year, this wasn't a problem. Yes, he probably paced, but he didn't drag his toenails like he is this year, with more age. So, I need some advice and maybe reassurance about allowing him to stay out all night. I live out in the country and have never had a problem with theft or vandalism or anything. He doesn't dig and he can't jump. The gate has a padlock on it and the yard is secure, although you can never protect yourself from someone who really wants to get in. I tend to worry about him, and I'm just praying I'll be able to sleep, knowing he's out there. He is perfectly happy curled up in the snow, and he has the garage to go into if he wants and to sleep on his bed in there if he wants, as I'll leave the out side passage door open. I think the only mischief he could get into is if a cat jumps in the yard over the fence (God forbid). He can't see too well and he can't hear too well anymore, but he can still smell things a mile away! Any advice/reassurance would ease my mind, I think. Thanks for any help. I'm a worry wart, but the time has come to deal.

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Outside during the winter, or inside on the garage floor, probably won't help with his stiff rear legs. Is there a place outside where he can be out of the wind?

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I think if you're comfortable with there being no way for him to escape or be stolen, then he is probably ok to sleep outside all night. My first husky decided it was time for him to stay outside all night once he got older, and he was ok.

Just as soon as I say there's no way for him to escape, he'll find a way. But yes, I'm 99% certain he can't escape. I'm less certain about someone stealing him because no matter how secure you make something, if someone wants to get in, they will find a way. The only way for someone to steal him is to cut the chain link fence. The only people who know he's back in the yard are my neighbors, and although I don't get along with one of them, I don't think he can see that the dog is out all night, as he's about 1/8 mile away in the back. The fence facing the road is a wood privacy fence, so people passing cannot see the dog. The other two sides are chain link and they face my neighbors next door that I am friends with.

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I have indoor / outdoor kennels, and many of my dogs, often including my now 14 year old, frequently choose to stay out, rather than in. Might also be a possibility to make a dog house and fill it with straw or cedar chips?

Billy is quite the divo. He won't "go inside" something like a dog house or a crate. He hates being confined. Believe me, I have tried. Before I found him, I believe he was a 24/7 outside dog, probably chained in a yard. I don't think he ever saw the inside of a house. He is afraid of stairs and other odd things. He does have a nice soft bed in the garage if he gets tired of lying on the ground. I think I am going to get some hay or straw and place it in the places he lays in the yard. I have a friend who, unfortunately, keeps her Husky on a chain 24/7 outside. She spreads hay for Maggie and says she loves it.

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Outside during the winter, or inside on the garage floor, probably won't help with his stiff rear legs. Is there a place outside where he can be out of the wind?

He has at least a 1/2 dozen places in the yard he rotates between, depending on the weather. He's a smart boy! When the west wind isn't blowing, he lays on the grass in the corner of the privacy fence. When it is snowy and blowing, he lays in the garden beneath a tall decorative grass, or next to the house in the mulch behind a bush, or under the three 40' tall blue spruce trees. I'm going to spread some hay/straw in those places to make it more comfortable for him I think. Thanks!

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does he have some soft beds? i agree with mazz it cant help his joints , if it was me i would want him inside, but if he cant come inside then i would make sure he had plenty on shelter, warmth, food and water then he should be ok

I want him inside, too, but I don't have a choice. He stayed outside last night for the first time and he is so happy this morning! And his toenails aren't bleeding anymore. He has the entire garage to come into, food and water in there, and his soft bed. Thank you.

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Are you saying he has free choice to come into the garage if he wants when he stays outside? If so then I would let him have his choice. If it makes him happy, at this age he deserves it. Make sure the bed is insulated up off the cold concrete floor of the garage. This can be achieved with elevated panel of wood or a rubber stall mat. Doesn't matter what but it is important to have something. Otherwise the cold seeps through the bed and its not any better than him laying outside anyways.

Remember, these guys are designed for the cold and snow. While it could be detrimental for say, an old Lab to lay out in the snow all night, our guys thrive in it!

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Are you saying he has free choice to come into the garage if he wants when he stays outside? If so then I would let him have his choice. If it makes him happy, at this age he deserves it. Make sure the bed is insulated up off the cold concrete floor of the garage. This can be achieved with elevated panel of wood or a rubber stall mat. Doesn't matter what but it is important to have something. Otherwise the cold seeps through the bed and its not any better than him laying outside anyways.

Remember, these guys are designed for the cold and snow. While it could be detrimental for say, an old Lab to lay out in the snow all night, our guys thrive in it!

Yes, he has free choice to come and go into or out of the garage. His bed in the garage is on one of those Kennel Decks, which keeps it up off the floor. He has a nice 3" foam bed on top of that, which he normally loves. But nothing can compete with snow I guess. I know he is happy in the cold; it is me who has to get used to the idea that he's out there alone all night. My biggest fear is someone messing with him, even though I have no reason to think someone would. This is still going to take some getting used to on my part . . . . . I hope to pick up a couple bales of hay this weekend and spread it in the spots that he lays in. Thank you everyone for your input.

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Yes, he has free choice to come and go into or out of the garage. His bed in the garage is on one of those Kennel Decks, which keeps it up off the floor. He has a nice 3" foam bed on top of that, which he normally loves. But nothing can compete with snow I guess. I know he is happy in the cold; it is me who has to get used to the idea that he's out there alone all night. My biggest fear is someone messing with him, even though I have no reason to think someone would. This is still going to take some getting used to on my part . . . . . I hope to pick up a couple bales of hay this weekend and spread it in the spots that he lays in. Thank you everyone for your input.

Don't get hay, its pretty coarse and has very little insulating value. Swamp grass (which would be classed as hay technically) is ok though and takes the longest to break down but it still doesnt do much insulating. What you really want is straw! Thats whats used for bedding for livestock too.

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Don't get hay, its pretty coarse and has very little insulating value. Swamp grass (which would be classed as hay technically) is ok though and takes the longest to break down but it still doesnt do much insulating. What you really want is straw! Thats whats used for bedding for livestock too.

OK, thanks for the tips.

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