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Recent Letter to the ElderWisdomCircle™

OTHER: How Cold Is Too Cold for a Dog?
Letter #: 393948
Category: Other

Original Letter

I live in Northern Minnesota and right now, it's winter. For the nest week or so, the temperature isn't supposed to go above 0. I am worried about my dog; a 3 year old Australia Shepard and Labrador Retriever mix. My mother says that she will be okay in her kennel outside. We have it filled with hay, and have put a few blankets and beds in her house. For Christmas my sister got her a self-warming crate mat, which she has been sleeping on ever since. But while it is so cold outside, I have asked to bring her inside to protect her from getting too cold. My mom keeps saying 'no' and I am just worried that she won't be able to handle the cold. Am I worrying over nothing, or is this justified?

Elder Response

I would say that you are justified in your worry. At those temperatures a dog should not be outside. Dogs can freeze to death in those cold temperatures. I suggest you talk to your vet for some advice.

I think you should also do an internet search on how to care for a dog in cold temperatures. Specifically ask if dogs can remain safely outside in zero temperatures.

It is a mystery to me why your mother insists the dog stay outside. Is your mother allergic to dog hair? Is the dog mean? Does the dog chew the furniture? Your mother must have a reason she doesn't want the dog inside the house. At the very last the dog should be allowed to stay in the garage.

I think it is important for your mother to know that dog owners can be arrested for cruelty if they treat their dog inhumanely. There also may be a law in Minnesota that if a dog freezes to death the owner could be arrested and have to serve jail time for animal cruelty.

If your mother really doesn't want the dog (and I know you do and you love the dog) then the dog should be turned into the people who rescue and find homes for dogs. It would be better for the dog to be in a home where everyone loves it. It would probably be better for you to wait until you are grown up and have a home of your own before you get another dog.

I hope my advice is helpful and that you will contact Elder Wisdom Circle again if you need us. We are always here.

Best Regards,



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