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Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2477
Experience:  DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
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We have 3 dogs that spend most of their time inside, but get

Customer Question

We have 3 dogs that spend most of their time inside, but get to run around outside quite a bit. Our house is starting to suffer with the wear and tear. I would love for them to stay outside all the time, but that doesn't seem practical because we have hot summers and harsh winters at 6600 ft. Elevation. What is the answer? Should the dogs be crated all the time they're in the house, and is that humane? How long can they be in the crates at a stretch?
Thank you,
Juli
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.
Hello,I'm Dr. Jo and I'm here to help you with your question about your dogs.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.
You may join the conversation by typing in what you want to say, then click REPLY or SEND.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.
I live at 8,300' so I'm familiar with the effects of elevation and weather on dogs. This is a good question. Please let me start by telling you it is not cruel for dogs to be in a crate as long as they have periods of time where they can exercise reliably during the day. That being said, a dog who is housebroken and not prone to property damage can be left at large in the house during the workday at your discretion. Time outside is wonderful as it is available, but you are correct to be concerned about the extremes in temperature. Be sure your dogs have access to the basics of shade, water, protection from the wind. The bot***** *****ne is that if they appear comfortable outside, they are. In extreme cold, they need a place to curl up out of the wind. In hot weather, they need a place in the shade.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.
Most dogs would be quite happy to be allowed to spend as much time as possible outside, but every dog is different. If your dogs start to destroy the door in an attempt to get back inside, for example, then that'll make the message loud and clear. In regards ***** ***** your dogs, you can teach them to be happy and content in a crate, and as long as their other needs are met, it is not inhumane for them to be kept in there for lengthy periods. Many dogs across the country spend the entire workday in a crate, then sleep in the crate again at night. This situation is improved when the owners make every effort for the dogs to be out and active as much as possible between times. The bot***** *****ne is this is a personal decision, and it is your decision. You need to do what's right for you. Do keep in mind, however, that a certain amount of wear and tear on the house is to be expected with three large dogs.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.
Please rest assured I am here to help.You may still reply when you return online. I will be notified of your response via email and will do my best to help.Please remember I am here for you and am happy to discuss this with you until you are satisfied with the information I've provided.You may return to this page at any time to review the information and/or post more. I will be notified of your response via email and will do my best to help.If you are satisfied with the information I've provided so far, I'll kindly ask you to rate my response on your way out of the chat, as this is the only way I am compensated for my time and effort.If you are not, please let me know how else I may be of assistance.Thank you for using our website.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.
I should clarify that a dog can go for a very long period in a crate, up to eight hours, without harm, but he would need a considerable amount of exercise before and after such a period of rest. Shorter intervals are better.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.
This is another helpful link that might help you decide what to do...
http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/crate_training.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.
Hi Juli,
I'm just following up on our conversation about 1. Stella 2. Tigger 3. Paisley. How is everything going?
Dr. Jo
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Dr. Jo,
Thank you for your response to my question. I guess I didn't see it earlier, so am sorry for the delay getting back to you. Your answers were helpful. I think crating the dog during the day while they are in the house is the way to go. One of the dogs, probably the shepherd, is peeing on the carpet and we can't seem to catch any of them in the act. Crating should eliminate this problem. The boxer (a rescue dog) gets very anxious when he is left alone, but seems pretty content in his crate as long as he has a companion close by. He has been known to tear apart his crate, or tear apart a door in his desperation to not be confined alone, injuring himself in the process. Is this typical behavior for a boxer?
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
Thank you for your reply. I'm sorry to hear about your frustration. I hope it will help to use crates.
Is this typical behavior of a boxer. No, unfortunately separation anxiety is common in *any* breed of dog, and it can be tough to manage.
Please rest assured, however, that help is available. Talk to your vet about this. A combination of behavior modification techniques and prescription medication are used to successfully manage many cases.
You can learn more about separation anxiety here...
http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?A=1393
Please copy/paste the above link into your browser. I think it's a really helpful article.
Please also remember you can return to this page at any time to review this information and/or post more. I'll be notified of your reply via email and will do my best to help.
If you are satisfied with the information I've provided so far, I'll kindly ask you to rate my response on your way out of the chat, as this is the only way I am compensated for my time and effort.
If you are not, please let me know how else I may be of assistance.
Thank you for using our website.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.
Just checking in to ask what else I can do to help you with your question. Once you are satisfied with my response and are ready to leave the chat, please ACCEPT my answer and rate my response.
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