Can Dogs Live Outside In All Seasons?
The backyard dog is fast becoming a thing of the past. Decades ago, it was common for dogs to live their entire lives outside in suburban and urban yards. But as our knowledge of canines has evolved, we've learned that staying outside 24/7 can be hazardous for a dog's health.
The list of potential dangers is long and varied: poisonous plants, puddles of toxic antifreeze, sharp gardening tools, deadly pesticides, cruel teenagers and revengeful neighbors -- just to name a few. Even when confined to a fenced-in yard, dogs aren't safe from other wildlife that can still easily enter. Think yellow jackets, poisonous snakes and hungry coyotes.
But perhaps the biggest danger of all is the weather. Dogs can freeze to death or suffer from heat stoke just like people can, says veterinarian Dean Vicksman of Evans East Animal Hospital in Denver, Colo.