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Thread: advise keeping dog kenneled in the cold

  1. #1

    Default advise keeping dog kenneled in the cold

    I'm looking at keeping my black lab in a insulated kennel in the bed of the truck with topper. He could be in there upwards of 6 hours at a time. worst case that is. But it beats being in a kennel in the garage for 14-16 hours a day. He'll be spending more time outdoors this year, just to thicken his coat some, but still, wont be more than a 4-6 hours a day. Any advise on how to build, and heat the kennel? I would like to eventually be able to take him along for over nighters, or possible several days at a time too. But, I'll have to leave him unattended for hours at a time.

  2. #2
    Member JuliW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Palmer, Alaska, United States


    I see no problem at all crating your dog for that amount of time. Put a nice bed of straw in the crate and you are good to go. Make sure your dog has access to water at some point during the crating.

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  3. #3


    It depends on the dog. Some lean field bred retrievers with smooth slick coats won't fair well. English bred labs have a bit more underfur than field labs. They just have a thicker coat. So evaluate your dogs coat thickness.
    Tuffboats is right about the bedding. Most dogs will burrow right into the straw. The bed needs to be thick not just sprinkled in.
    If you use an airline kennel there are several places that make insulated covers for them. From my experience....with the straw and the insulated cover they are good to about 10 below. Being well hydrated and fed is also key.

  4. #4


    His coat is smoother, shiner than my old lab. Doesn't seem as thick, but he still rather be out non the less. thanks for the help! I feel better now.

  5. #5
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    South Central


    If you are in Anchorage I can sell you a large sized plastic pet kennel. It fits my small lab at 65lbs, but may not fit your dog if it is tall and long.

    You can get a insulated cover for it from Sportsmans or from Cabelas since it is a standard dog kennel.

    It was $90 new last fall, so the price to get it out of my garage would be much much less.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Fairbanks, AK


    If you have going to drive him for up to 6 hours, why not let him ride inside? I don't know the temperatures you are talking about but that is an option. Get lots of cheap blankets or sheets to line your truck.

    If it is wet and muddy outside, then I would let him ride in the kennel in the bed. If it is cold enough to have dry snow, then I would let him ride inside.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009


    All I can do is tell you what I do for my Brittanys, and it has worked quite well for many years. I have a system of strapping down two large Vari-Kennels in the bed of my pick up. The kennels are coverd with "Buddy's Pal" insulated covers which appear to be thicker than any of the others I've looked at. I have considered having Alaska Tent and Tarp make me some very nice one's, but so far the aforementioned covers have done the trick for my precious dogs. Inside the kennels I have Mud River pads on the bottom, and a good deal of dry straw fluffed up inside during very cold weather. And I don't have a topper on the bed. My dogs seem to rest quite well that way for many hours at a time. Feed good vittles (fat!), keep them well hydrated, and check on them from time to time. Since I drive a Dodge Mega Cab truck I'll also usually have a large Vari-Kennel inside the truck and tied down in the huge back seat, and that's for any dog (or two dogs) that might be in need of some warmer, drier conditions. As much as I'd like to have a dog or two sitting up front with me, I'm afraid of them becoming missiles if I have to slam on the brakes, like I did recently when a cow and calf moose suddenly appeared in front of my truck at 65mph.

    I've also thought about having some custom jackets made for each of my four Brittanys, but so far neither of them seems to require such a thing.

    Your "mileage" may vary!


  8. #8


    I'm not entirely opposed to driving with him in the truck. I bring him up front at the end of the day, when he's good and tired, cause then he lays down on floor and stays. Other wise hes moving, and wanting attention. Like others, I dont want him flying into the back of my head when a cow decides to take me on. Mostly, though, he'll be in the bed when I'm not with the truck, and I cant take him with, or several of us carpool. My friends and I try to carpool to Anchorage (I'm in Fairbanks) to save on fuel. Nobody wants a 80 lb lap dog on them for 6 hours.

    I havent thought of diet, but he recently had ring worm. And hes lost alot of weight. I want to change his diet to something fattier than aims. Now that I'm single, I plan on running/ working him alot more.


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