7. Give them shelter
If your dog or cat lives outdoors most of the time, he needs a warm, protected shelter he can easily get to. Make sure your dog has a draft-proof doghouse. Keep it elevated a few inches off the ground and filled with nonabsorbent bedding (such as hay). For felines, install a cat door to the basement or barn.
Some dogs can stay outdoors most winter days if they have protection from the elements. "The shelter should be raised off the ground so that air can circulate under and so it doesn't get damp," Rubin says. "The opening needs to be away from the prevailing winds." Be sure your animal has a continuous supply of water, preferably in a heated bowl or bucket (available at pet stores and online). But there's a limit: No animal can withstand really harsh weather, Rubin says. When the temperature drops below 20+F, however, it's best to bring your pets inside.
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