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Care for Outdoor Dogs

Man's best friend should live like his best friend, in his house where
he can be a companion and share enjoyment and love with the family.
A dog living as one of the family can bring years of untold and unforgettable pleasure. However, if your dog must live outdoors, he still needs attention
and affection. A dog living alone, with little love and companionship,
will soon become restless.

Important Considerations:

1. Toy breeds, short-haired dogs, sick or old dogs, and very young puppies should not be kept outside under any circumstances.

2. Continue to exercise your dog regularly, especially if he is confined in the yard by a chain with limited area to run.

3. If your dog is going to be outdoors, begin while he is young and does not learn the luxuries of the house.

4. Don't have your dog stay in the house all day and make him sleep outside all night, or vice versa, because the temperature change is bad for his health.

5. Pennsylvania law requires that outdoor dogs have access to a proper dog house that is draft-free.

6. Dogs require clean, fresh water at all times.

7. An outdoor dog requires twice the normal food requirement in winter to maintain his body weight.

8. Clean the area around the dog house at least twice a week in the winter and daily in the summer.

9. Make sure your dog has dry, comfortable bedding to sleep on. Cedar chips and straw are best for keeping the house dry. Towels, blankets and rugs must be cleaned frequently to keep them dry and to prevent the growth of parasites such as ticks and fleas.

10. Keep your dog up-to-date on routine shots and seek veterinary attention if you notice your dog is ill or injured.

11. The best method of keeping the dog in your yard is fencing. A fenced yard gives your dog the freedom to exercise and play as he likes.

12. If you cannot install a fence and must use a chain to keep your dog confined to your yard, the chain must be at least three times the length of the dog's body and there should be nothing for the chain to get tangled in or wrapped around.

13. Even though your pet is confined in your yard, he still may not be protected from other dogs. Don't let your dog add to the already extremely high overpopulation of dogs by having him neutered (or spayed, if your dog is female).

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