can a dog get sick, like a cold, when living outside? i moved back home and she is not allowed inside at all

my dog has enough shelter from rain...we have a large patio roof that she's covered by and also a large wooden dog house- but i'm still worried about the winds and cold temperature...she's a german shepherd so she has a heavy coat, but can she get any viral illnesses?

Asked by Kenya on Jan 4th 2008 Tagged outdoor, cold in Other Health & Wellness
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I looked at your Dogster page and saw that you're located in California. Is that correct? What is the lowest temperature you get in an average year?

In general, if your dog is in good health and is provided with proper shelter, health-wise she should do just fine in the colder temperatures. There are a couple of things I would do to improve her situation. One, provide her with a heated water dish so that her water does not freeze over. Two, consider an insulated or heated dog house, or adapt the current dog house to provide her with protection from the elements. A slightly raised sleeping platform and plenty of blankets would be a good start. A way to cover the front of the dog house so the wind and cold won't get inside would help, too.

That said, German Shepherds are extremely social and people-oriented dogs. I would be more worried about the psychological effect this will have on her than physical. Physically she will probably adapt well but GSD's don't do well with this mentally.

Abby answered on Jan 5th.

Other Answers



You don't get a cold from being outside in bad weather - you get a cold from coming in contact with the viruses that cause colds. People get sick in cold/bad weather because they spend more time inside with sick people, and because the weather can make your immune system weaker and more likely to catch a virus. Like the first poster said, if you provide good shelter, food and water, being outside won't make her sick. But if she comes in contact with a sick dog, she can catch a cold, especially if her immune system isn't strong. So make sure she's well cared for outside - sounds like you're doing that - and make sure she's up-to-date on her shots and that she's eating good quality food and getting attention, love and exercise.

Loki answered on 1/5/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Roxie, NPC

It is very important to make sure she has a good shelter. Here is a link that has the details to buliding a dog house that will protect her from the elements:
this should be helpful too. (Do's and Don'ts of doghouses)
Dogs cant get a cold from being outside dogs.. but they can get sick from other things. Make sure her shots are up to date. Heartworm checks and flea medication all year. also, dogs can suffer from heat or sun stroke in the summer time.
When you own a dog, you become the dog's pack and he wants to be with his pack. Forcing a dog to live outside with little or no human companionship is one of the most psychological damaging things a pet owner can do to a dog. So make sure you are still spending alot of time with her, or conisder re-homing her.

Roxie, NPC answered on 1/5/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer