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Tips for Having Dogs Outside in Extreme Cold Winter Temps

I’m in quite a few facebook groups and one of them was discussing dogs and the winter months. Someone posted that they live in a condo, and their neighbors let their dog use the balcony to go potty. Of course, everyone was all grossed out and reading through all the comments made me chuckle a little bit.

One person said “My dogs are tiny, like chihuahua mixes! They can’t go a minute in this cold weather” I thought, this can’t be. I have a chihuahua mix and although he’s on the bigger side, he goes outside. Others commented saying their dogs wear booties and little coats. I was like okay that makes me the worst dog parent ever because mine wouldn’t let me put that kind of thing on them so I don’t.

Other said they let their dogs out, they do their business and in they come. Others then said they walk their dogs for much shorter walks, but they get them out. Then someone said they let their dogs use puppy pads inside in the winter. No way I’d be doing that so, this brings me to this post. I wanted to share some tips because we’ve had dogs since I could remember. Growing up I always had dogs, big ones. Then I’ve had my three babies for almost 9 years now for Chase, 7 for Chanel and 6 for Ace. They are all fairly small. They also hate the cold but do go outside during the winter months.

Tips for Having Dogs Outside in the Extreme Cold Winter Months

Go outside with them: I know this is a hard no for a lot of people, and it usually is for me too BUT I find if my dogs are hesitant to go outside, and I go with them they’ll do their business, they’ll frolic and play a little bit then you go back inside. My kids love going outside with the dogs when it’s not too cold out, which lets the dogs play and get a little bit of outside exercise but also we can tell when they need to come in right away and get them in.

Let them out more often for less time: When my kids are at school and I’m stuck inside with the baby and my hubby isn’t home I let my dogs out more frequently to the backyard, and they come in quickly. They’ll run out, do their business and come back in. Because it’s generally really quick, they’ll do it more often but at least it avoids any accidents in the house and keeps them warm.

Go for walks instead of the backyard: Because it’s not warm enough for the dogs to get proper exercise in the winter months we will often walk our dogs. One at a time, or two – Ava loves taking them for walks. Gets them some exercise and with us being with them we can tell when they’ve had enough and its time to get them home.

Booties and Sweaters/Coats:  If your dogs will allow there is nothing wrong with getting them dressed for the weather too, especially if your dog is smaller. It’s a good idea to get them into what they’ll wear.

If they want to be outside, let them: Dogs won’t stay outside if its freezing and too cold for them. Sometimes they need to just run. When Chase gets a burst of energy, no cold can stop him. He is like a puppy that has never seen outside before and just GOES nuts in the backyard. It’s hilarious, it was so cold the other day and he was begging to go out back I let him out and he just bolted all over the backyard, so quickly and so happily. I snapped the photo below and thought it was just hilarious.

Once he was done he let me know and inside we went. He then slept the whole afternoon. Dogs need to exercise and get bursts of energy, that they NEED to release. As long as you aren’t chaining your dog up or locking them outside (or somewhere else cold) and just letting them have their few minutes – they will be fine!