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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Outdoor Alternatives to a Chain

If your dog must be kept outside, please provide him with a fenced yard or kennel run with an appropriate dog house or shelter where he can be warm and dry.  Always leave plenty of fresh water for him.  He should always have plenty of shade from the sun. 
By providing a fenced yard or kennel space, your dog can then move around uninhibited without the worry of being tangled or injured by the chain.  Freedom of movement is a great way to reduce your dog’s stress levels and help him to be calmer and more content.  It can also help him be healthier.
You can also leave toys and bones with your dog inside a fenced area.  If he was on a chain, he could toss or roll the toys away and not be able to reach them. This would increase his frustration levels.  And what if another dog came into the yard and stole them from him?  That would not make him happy at all!  Within a fence, all his toys and bones will be contained with him and he won’t be bored. 
By leaving him with things to occupy his time, you will probably notice less barking from your dog.  You can provide him with different bones and toys by rotating which ones he gets on certain days.  Toys don’t have to be expensive, and I have written about some ideas for food puzzle toys you can make at home that you can leave in the yard with your dog while you are gone.  Also see some of my blog posts on food toys and enrichment activities for ideas on how to keep your dog busy.
In extreme weather, provide your dog with access to a garage or bring him into your basement.  Either would be cooler in the summer and will provide a place to sleep away from snow, ice, and wind in the winter.  A dog coat will be appreciated in cold weather too, if your dog has short hair, or is elderly.
There are organizations that may be able to help you with resources to get your yard fenced or to build a kennel run for your dog.  They may help to provide your dog with a warm dog house.  You can do internet searches to find assistance, or you can ask your dog’s veterinarian or a local rescue organization or shelter.


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