How cold is too cold to leave a dog outside overnight?
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  1. #1
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    Default How cold is too cold to leave a dog outside overnight?

    There's a dog that lives across town from us that has decided that he's adopted us as his new family. Every chance he gets he runs away from his owner's house and shows up here. For a long time we thought he belonged to the neighbor across the street who owns a lot of dogs. It always seems like he has a new dog over there, so when this one showed up we thought he belonged to them. He took to staying at our house all the time, either outside or in whenever he could get in. We didn't say anything to the neighbor because he's a nice dog, doesn't cause problems, and we figured we don't need troubles with the neighbors. We did think it was strange that he never called his dog home.

    This dog, T, has figured out that if he pushes on the back front door he'll be able to get into our house. We have seven kids and installed automatic door closers to keep the kids from leaving the doors open all the time. Half the time they don't open the door far enough for it to shut fully as it closes. So this dog is in the house all the time. More than half the time, I don't even know he's gotten in again.

    Just before Christmas, his real owner showed up looking for him. Of course, T was in the house again and I didn't know it. I explained how we have a lot of traffic in and out of the house with the kids and I can't keep up with keeping T out. A few times I've tried to put him outside at night and he's whined, scratched, and barked so much the kids couldn't sleep because of the noise.

    He took the dog and left.

    Then T showed up several times more. We took to calling and letting them know he was here again. We don't want them thinking we are trying to take their dog. (He's a boxer.) A couple of times they haven't shown up to get for over a day. During one of those times it was 12* outside, so when they didn't come for him, we let him sleep inside.

    The last time he showed up and we called, the lady got snarky and told dh to put him outside and they'd get him the next day. Thanks. This was after T had showed up at our house at 2AM and proceeded to kick up a loud ruckus on our front porch because he wanted in. She was not at all apologetic about him showing up like that.

    They did come to get him that evening. Dh talked to the guy. The dog is his or his younger brother's. He explained again how this dog won't stay out of our house. Sometimes we put him out one door, he circles around the house, and comes in another door. We decided we weren't going to call again to tell them if T showed up. They could come find him if they wanted him.

    Well, you guessed it. He showed up again- and sneaked into the house. One of the boys was by while dh and I were running an errand and said to call if T was in the house again. Yeah, I want to do that and be griped out by his mom again. After some thought, we decided to call and tell them since the guy had asked our son to do that. They weren't home and now it's too late to call again.

    It'll be below freezing tonight. Should I shove him out the door and hope he goes home or let him sleep inside? I don't want him freezing to death.

    What should I do?

    Any help would be appreciated!

  2. #2
    Registered User Libby's Avatar
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    Keep him inside - have a heart. Put him out in the am or when the owners come to get him. I'd start asking that they leave a bag of dog food at your house for when this dog shows up so you're not spending $ on their problem (of not watching their dog properly) I bet you once you request that, they'll keep a tighter leash on their dog.

    Maybe you should file something with the city/county so its on record that you're not trying to 'steal' their dog? Just cover yer butt through all of this. Keep a notebook with dates the dog is over, when the owners come to get them & how long it took, what they say/how hey react when you call each time to notify them etc. Last thing you want is a lawsuit for your random acts of kindness.

    I believe this dog keeps coming into your life for a reason - though unknown right now.

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    If it's too cold for you, it's too cold for him. Poor dog has picked you and it sounds like it's no wonder. To live where no one cares or w/ 7 fun kids and you guys.

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    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    The dog has decided who his family is.

    If there is shelter outside (doghouse or shed) and he is used to being outside he should be okay. But if it is going to be below freezing it might be too cold for even that. If he is an indoor dog he won't be used to the cold and he could suffer or get frostbite.

    If he is well behaved with your other dogs I would let him stay inside.
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    Poor thing. Sounds like he just wants a warm home and some good old fashion love. I couldn't put him out.

    Below freezing, he needs to be inside.
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    Registered User Debbie-cat's Avatar
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    Keep him inside. Good luck! I think that he wants you as his family.

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    Let him in - if below freezing, no dog should be outside without some sort of shelter, then only big dogs that are used to it.

    If you don't want him, and they aren't taking care of him, AND IF you have a 'no kill shelter' I would take him there. Let them pay to get him a few times and they might watch him/care for him better.

    The people shouldn't be pet owners in the first place!!

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    Well it sounds like he adopted him self a new family.... and it sounds like they dont want him... ask them if they are looking for a new home for him and that you would be interested... if they are ask them to put it in writing so they cant renig... also let the poor thing in for the night they probly dont even miss him and if he went back home they would probly not bring him in.

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    Thanks everyone. I'm letting him sleep in the house tomorrow. This dog belongs to a high school kid. Our neighbor across the street said he's not super careful about making sure T's shut up when he leaves home. I think it was his older brother who has come to get him before.

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    Registered User MaryinFL's Avatar
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    I would say call the authorities or animal control and report it. However, that would more than likely result in the authorities paying a visit to the creatures that claim to be his owner and threatening them with a fine or neglect charges. If that happens, they could tie him outside with no shelter, food or water, which would be worse than he has now. Much worse

    I would absolutely bring him in. There is no way a dog should be outside in the cold. If you wouldn't let your kids stay outside, a dog shouldn't be outside either. Personally I dont think any dog should consider outside home no matter what size.

    Whenever the dog does show up, document it. Also document how long he is there, who comes to get him and when. But I wouldn't call them when the dog shows up this time or any other time. They may tire of coming to get him pretty soon.

    If it were me, I would start looking for a home for the dog among my friends if you don't want him. Chances are the dog isn't vaccinated or licensed since they aren't responsible dog owners.

    Dogs are domesticated animals who live in packs. This dog has obviously adopted you as his pack. There has got to be a reason he doesn't want to go home.
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    A neighbor's dog sleeps on our back porch every night. Won't come in the house no matter what the weather. DH made her a dog house out of spare plywood and put a pillow in it. I covered the pillow with some fleece fabric, and when it got down into the 'teens last week DH bought a heated throw and put in under the fleece fabric.

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    Definately bring him in. You said he was a boxer, so really he does not have a coat suitable for the cold outside.

    I can't help wondering why his owners have such a whatever attitude about the dog. The dog definately prefers being around you and the children.

    Growing up we had a cat that would go to the neighbors and meow to get let in on the second floor of the neighbors house. We never knew this was going on until the neighbor called saying she could not open the window to let the cat in and could we come over to get the cat off the second story roof. Yes, this was when people let their cats out.

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    A few years ago I had two girl dogs and the neighbor had 1 boy dalmation. His name was Rambo and the 3 dogs were with each other all the time. Sometimes they were at our house other times they were at the neighbors. When it was cold they all three came in and played in our basement. When it was really hot they did the same. The neighbor had no basement and was happy that we were willing to keep Rambo warm and cool.

    When they were about 5 my two dogs managed to get into some antifreeze that someone had left for them and died. There were all sorts of rumors about who had done it. Rambo and I grieved together. The end result was we still lost our dogs.

    From then on out whenever I was outside Rambo was right there with me. If I took a nap on the hammock he stood watch.

    On more than one occasion he let visitor's know they were unwelcomed.

    He was a great dog and I owe our friendship to letting him in the house.

    Dogs are great beings that reward kindness in spades.

    With that said I am always warry of any animal that I did not raise myself. Mike Vik showed us that anyone can mistreat a dog. Has he shown any signs of aggression to anyone in the household?

    Good luck on your new pet and BTW 7 kids WOW!!!!

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    Registered User ravenmaniac's Avatar
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    I have a boxer too. They do not have enough fur to keep themselves warm in cold weather. My boxer goes out for his exercise and comes back inside. Of course all 6 of my dogs stay inside. I do A LOT of house work.

    I would not dream of putting my boxer outside in the cold or heat. Or any of my dogs for that matter. In my opinion they are part of my family and we treat them as such.

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    Registered User Thevail's Avatar
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    Default Can you just ask the guy if you can "adopt" the dog?

    I mean, obviously the dog needs love etc. and he's coming to you for it.
    Maybe the guy's brother would be really happy if the dog had someone who could keep it and be with it all the time. It doesn't sound like the brother has a place to keep the dog.

    Boxers can't really cope outside if it's below about 40 Fahrenheit, they get too cold.

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