If your precious pooch spends a lot of his time outdoors in a doghouse, it's your duty as a pet owner to pay close attention to the weather. Even if it's not necessarily frigid outside, windchill may be an extreme danger to your cutie, so be extra cautious.
In short, windchill in a doghouse definitely matters—a lot. Doghouses are in no way necessarily resistant to it, and neither is your dog. Even in relatively tolerable temperatures, windchill can be potentially deadly to canines, particularly those of shorter-haired breeds like Dobermans and dachshunds. The lower the temperature drops, the bigger the danger. From hypothermia to frostbite and occasionally even fatality, windchill is no joke. Dogs are most prone to frostbite on their tails, noses, ears and paws.
The positioning of a doghouse can greatly reduce the hazard of windchill. The Greater Birmingham Humane Society recommends placing the door away from the gusts of wind. To keep drafts to a minimum, also consider concealing the doorway with something—a carpet flap, for instance. Adequate insulation of the roof, walls and floor of the doghouse is key. Always make sure the doghouse is completely dry. A slightly elevated doghouse will be drier and therefore warmer.
Since windchill definitely can affect a dog's health, it is vital to make sure your pet stays as warm as possible. If your dog spends a big portion of the day in a doghouse, amp up his feeding. Canines require significantly more energy during cold weather conditions. Since your dog's cold-weather dietary needs depend on her size, consult your veterinarian for recommendations.
Although your dog may not be used to being indoors 100 percent of the time, certain weather conditions definitely call for it. Taking windchill into consideration, if the outdoor temperature goes below 32 degrees, the Humane Society of Central Oregon strongly recommends bringing your cutie into your home, even if he initially protests. His well-being and health are certainly worth the concern and effort.
By Naomi Millburn
Humane Society of Washington County: Be Aware of the Hazards of Cold Weather and Pets
Tri-County Humane Society: Cold Weather Tips
Greater Birmingham Humane Society: Cold Weather Safety
Michigan Humane Society: Cold Weather
Humane Society of Central Oregon: Keep Pets Safe During Windy Weather [PDF]
About the Author
Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.