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Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19111
Experience:  15 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian
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Live in NC. Doesn't get too cold too often but should be

Customer Question

Live in NC. Doesn't get too cold too often but should be around 28 degrees tonight. Brought stray back from Florida (long story , but very sweet and friendly dog). Definitely grew up outside. Some sort of pit bull mix (when he runs he almost looks like a husky?). He just runs loose (and loves it - stays fairly close to house and will not let me leave without him) , will come inside for very short periods of time , but doesn't seem to enjoy being inside. Has slept in house once or twice (had him for a month now) but always wants to go back outside when I try to bring him in. Have a dog igloo he will occasionally sleep in but prefers my puffy hunting jacket spread out on a chair on the porch. Tonight I have made him a bed of bed sheets , old towels , and old insulated jackets because he insisted on sleeping on the doormat as opposed to his other 2 places? Will he be OK out there? or is it should I force him to stay in the house? He doesn't seem to mind being out there.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 1 year ago.

Hi. Welcome to Just Answer. My name is***** and I've been a veterinarian for 15 years. Thank you for your question. Thank you for giving Grizz a very good new home. He sounds like a very special guy. At this time, it sounds like he has the proper shelters / areas for him to regulate his warmth as he sees fit. In a situation like this, he knows where that igloo shelter is and if he is not staying warm where he is at the current time (on the doormat area with all that material to lay on) he will seek that shelter. For the most part, if an area is available for them to get out of the wind / the elements, they should be good in weather that can get into the teens. As long as he knows where these areas of shelter are, he will seek them when he's not staying warm where he is currently at. He's a smart dog and he will regulate himself. As far as the area on the porch where he's at, something easy to help him be more protected there is to put something up that could block any direct winds on him. Chairs with thick blankets over them to serve as wind breaks.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your help! That would explain why I find him in different places when I go outside in the AM (either his chair or that igloo) - I figured he was smart enough to stay warm but he still can't seem to understand that his tail is attached to him….. Also appreciate the advice to block wind. He usually doesn't sleep right in front of door , but for some reason he picked the coldest night to do so. If he continues to sleep there I will definitely make a wind barrier for him. Do you have any tips on the best insulation for dogs? I have sealed the inside and outside of the igloo with silicone to prevent wind from getting in (it is also on porch so rain is not an issue) but all I have is a large bed comforter in there. If I am correct putting straw in there would promote fleas and such? Would cedar chips be a better option? Just want to make sure he has a safe place to live. As you said earlier , he is definitely a special guy , and the weather from the Florida swamps to the NC country can be a big change this time of year.
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 1 year ago.

I'm glad to help. That change of environment can be one that is an eye opener for him, but I'm sure he's loving his new family and new home! As far as insulation for the igloo, just make sure that air circulation isn't totally cut off as he needs to get some fresh air through the night as he's sleeping in there. Honestly, if you have some old blankets in there, he'll push them around and move them around to help provide all the warmth he needs. These can be easily tossed into the wash if they get soiled or dirty and they won't leave a big mess on the porch. I just always have owners make sure that the blankets aren't being chewed on / used as chew toys as if they start to eat portions of them, that can be an issue with possible blockages.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Great well it seems that he has all that he needs out there then , as I have done my best to provide him with as much insulation as possible. One more quick question , I had a bag of Purina dog chow complete (green bag) from a dog that used to live here. Grizz would pick at it and maybe eat a quarter of what I gave him in a day. Switched to Purina one true instinct (the turkey and venison I believe) and he scarfs down a bowl of it. Is this a good thing , and I assume means he enjoys it? or is there a better brand of food that you would recommend?
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 1 year ago.

You have done a very good job giving him the protection he needs from the elements. As far as brands of dog foods, this is a good question. Honestly, the best way I find to answer these questions is to say the following: Pick a good brand of dog food - there are a lot of them out there and I like Purina, Hill's, Iam's, Waltham, Eukanuba, etc.. Pick one that is easily obtained from a local vet / pet store / other store. Pick one that is in your price range. Pick one that your dog likes. Then as long as they are eating it, doing well on it as far as not getting overweight, and not having diarrhea or intermittent vomiting - then you've picked a good one for your dog!

Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 1 year ago.

If you have any more questions, definitely ask them. I have to go off line here tonight, but I will be back on in about 7 hours and get to those questions then.