I have two medium sized dogs.. One is a pit and the other is a pit and walker hound mix... I have them in a nice shed, with a heater and wheat straw. (I have the heater well away from the straw)... But I am not sure wheat straw is good for them, and if it's the best thing to use for bedding ... If someone has any input on what is best used for bedding during winter please let me know... Thanks!
What is the weather like where you stay in winter? I assume both dogs have short coats. I've never heard of straw being a problem for dogs, I have always found hay to be much warmer though as it seems to trap the heat in nicer. You'd need a lot for them, so they can kind of make a cozy den out of the stuff or at least use it to be cushioned off the ground. You can also get non-electric heat mats for dogs.
I'd be very cautious about using a heater, or electrical heat mats, when the dogs live outside and in proximity to flammable so like straw. In fact it's dangerous and you really shouldn't have anything like that. Even if the straw is far away from the heater, it can go on fire through just over heating, and in any case leaving dogs with a heater is dangerous. They could chew or break the heater, get burned or simply overheat from it and die from heat exhaustion, all without you realising. I know it sounds strange to think of dogs over heating in winter, but it can happen. If I were you I'd find better ways to heat the shed.
I'd recommend insulating the shed. There are many ways you can do this and you'll find guides online in any case, so you're bound to find one appropriate for your own shed/size/budget limitations. Also make sure the shed is waterproof as any damp getting in can make it cooler but can also cause the air to get bad and potentially cause other problems for your dogs. Added to this the hay and the body heat from the two dogs, it should be pretty warm in there. If the shed has windows, you might want to put something over them to stop the heat getting out and cold in, and the dogs might benefit from dog jumpers or jackets, but again you don't want them to risk overheating, and I find dogs who wear dog clothes too often get sores and lose hair around those areas so it's not a good long term option for dogs kept outdoors.
So, insulation, no electronics, warm hay, make sure it doesn't get too hot. Sorted.
I'd like to know whether a dogs diet could affect it's abilities to deal with cold, I mean because they can get a different type of fat from say a raw diet than a grain diet, do you guys reckon that it would have an effect or not? Just wondered.
Thank you guys for the comments, I will definitely take them into consideration ....We'll I tried having them inside but my 6 months old baby had bad allergies with them... It killed me to put them outside... The shed is very close to the house so I go and check on them very often... I live about an hour from Chattanooga tn ( that's the best way I can explain it) so it does get cold but not real bad like it would if I were up in the northern states... I am using a little heater that is zip tied to a shelf in the shed so there is no way they could knock it off or chew on the cords.. I have the plug ins attached to ceiling, and if the heater gets to hot it will shut itself off. I also have a timer on it, so it turns on at 8 pm and goes off at 8 am... So I am trying to take as many precautions as possible...
And as far the diet thing goes, the only I have noticed with my dogs is that they eat more in winter... Lol... In my opinion I don't think it would make a difference... Maybe ? I'm sorry I couldn't be more help...