Even though our dogs spend the majority of their time indoors, especially in weather like this, I am still very conscious of how much time they spend outdoors.

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I occasionally see dogs tied up outside and wonder how long they've been out there. Good tip, if you are cold, so are they. Always a good idea to keep your pups sheltered from the cold winter weather or the blistering sun during the summer.

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Until today, I had no idea that Minnesota had a "doghouse statute" on the books. Even though I still don't think it's okay to leave a dog outside in this frigid cold, even in a doghouse, I guess it's better than no shelter at all.

Minnesota has a statute on the books and it reads like this;

Minnesota Statute 343.40  “The shelter shall include a moisture-proof and windproof structure of suitable size to accommodate the dog and allow retention of body heat. It shall be made of durable material with a solid, moisture-proof floor or a floor raised at least two inches from the ground. Between November 1 and March 31, the structure must have a windbreak at the entrance. The structure shall be provided with a sufficient quantity of suitable bedding material consisting of hay, straw, cedar shavings, blankets, or the equivalent, to provide insulation and protection against cold and dampness and promote retention of body heat.”

Vets will tell you that in 10 degree weather

  • Large dogs (50 to 80 pounds can be outside for 5 minutes
  • Medium size dogs (25-50 pounds) for about 2 to 3 minutes
  • Smaller dogs should only be out for as long as it takes to "take care of their business"

I think the being out only as long as it takes for them to "take care of their business" probably applies to dogs of all sizes, in frigid weather like we are experiencing this week.

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