There are many ways that people take care of the dogs they own, including Samoyeds. Many will keep them indoors for most of their lives and only going outside for walks or take a potty. Other owners will mainly keep them outside with coming indoors only being the occasional special treat. Some will even do a combination of the two. Which way you wish to go with your dog will depend upon the type of dog you have as well as the conditions outside. So can Samoyeds live outside?
Samoyeds are great lovers of the outside. In cool weather, they can be left outside for longer periods and be just fine. In hotter climates, however, they shouldn’t be left outside longer than a couple of hours and should always have a full bucket of water and easy access to shade. Samoyeds love their families, so the happiest Samoyed will be that one which gets lots of their time inside with the family and can also spend time running around outside in a nice yard.
The largest factor determining how long you let your Samoyeds outside will be the kind of weather you have in your area. Places with generally cool temperatures without being extremely cold will give you the greatest flexibility in this domain. Those places with hotter temperature or extremely cold weather will be areas where you will have to be much more careful with leaving your Samoyed outside.
To try to cover this topic in its fullest we will be examining the coat of the Samoyed and how this affects these dogs’ comfort levels in both cold and hot weather.
In addition, we will cover all those things you need to have and be aware of in order to make sure that you can keep your dog outside in the safest way possible whether we’re talking about someplace hot or cold.
There are other things to think about regarding keeping a dog outside like what kind of fence you need and being able to deal with a dog barking in an effective manner. A very loud outside dog can bring out a lot of problems with the neighbors if you don’t know how to successfully curtail it.
Last but not least we will talk about the signs of hypothermia and heat stroke so you will be in the best place possible to prevent these terrible health conditions, how to treat to the greatest extent possible, and when it is time to call a professional veterinarian.
The physical aspects of having a dog outside are not the only thing to consider. You also have to think about the dog’s emotional makeup and what will make them happiest. Dogs are naturally born pack animals and they love their pack more than anything else. Your Samoyed will look to you as their pack and will want to be near you as much as possible. This behavior should of course be encouraged and is a big part of dog ownership and companionship.
What Kind of Coat Do Samoyeds Have?
The first thing you will probably notice when looking at a Samoyed is their immensely beautiful thick white coat. Considered one of the fluffiest of dogs, Samoyeds are definitely not lacking in the fur department. One thing you might not be aware of is that this coat actually has two layers.
Just like when you where a parka over a sweater so too do Samoyeds wear two layers. Their under layer which you will only notice when petting them heavily is soft and somewhat wooly. This you could say is their comfy sweater. But exterior to this undercoat is their outer coat which consists of rougher fur and is somewhat water-resistant.
This is a trait that Samoyeds share with many other northern dogs such as the Great Pyrenees and Bernese Mountain Dog. The two layers are important for survival in cold snowy areas. Snow can make you quite wet and being wet in cold temps is not at all good for survival. This makes the water-resistant outer layer vital to the Samoyeds cold survival.
Another thing that you might not have been aware of is that this double coat also helps keep the Samoyed cool in warmer weather. The two layers make for very good insulation which while keeping body heat in during the cold allows the heat to escape well when it’s hot outside. It’s important to keep in mind though that this mainly applies to temperatures in the 70s and won’t be enough when its really hot like in the 90s or even 100s.
Can Samoyeds Live Outside in Warm Weather?
Samoyeds are not going to be able to handle warm weather very well. They will struggle and you as their owner will need to be careful that they don’t overheat and get heatstroke. A lot of this depends of course on just how hot it is. As long as they have some water and shade a samoyed should be just fine if its in the 70s which could be considered warm in some parts of the world.
But if you live in a very hot part of the world like Texas or Florida for example then you will need to be more careful. When the mercury begins to rise to the 90s and higher than you should avoid leaving Samoyeds outside unattended at all. If you do then it should only be for an hour or so and having lots of water and shade should be considered a must.
Here are a few things that you should make sure that your dog has when dealing with a warmer climate:
- Access to shade: The unyielding sun of summer will be much to harsh for a fluffy dog like the samoyed without some sort of covering to help make it bearable. If you’re going to leave your dog out then make sure they have a patio covering or some sort of shelter that will give them shade.
- Secure their water bowl: A dog isn’t going to last long in the heat without access to water. Unfortunately, even if you give your dog lots of water they could still accidentally knock it over and then they would be in big trouble. So give them a large enough water container like a large bucket that they can knock over. Failing that perhaps secure their water bowl with some logs or pack blankets around anything that will keep it upright even when an excitable dog is bouncing around.
- Pavement can burn: Surfaces such as sand, asphalt, and pavement soak up heat very well. This can make for an extremely hot surface that could burn your dog’s paws. Make sure your Samoyed has some grass or other cool surface to lay on. Another possibility is to put down some towels or blankets so that they can not touch the pavement if they want to.
How to Tell if Your Samoyed Has Heatstroke
When a dog’s temperature gets in excess of their normal body temperature, which is around 101 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit. Then they develop heatstroke. This is when their body gets way too hot and it can cause brain damage or even death if not rapidly treated. While this shouldn’t really be a concern for your Samoyed during winter or in more northern parts of the world. But in summer or the south, this needs to be a big concern and you should make sure your well informed of some of the sings of its development.
Signs that your Samoyed may have heatstroke:
- A high fever over 104 degrees Fahrenheit: Taking a dog’s temperature can be rather difficult. Though there are several ways to do so the best way is with a specific ear thermometer designed for dogs. Make sure you use it very gently however so that you don’t injure your dog’s ears. If you find your dog running a high fever then you need to act quickly to try to bring their temperature down. The best thing of course is professional help but that won’t always be accessible quickly enough.
- Heavy panting and drooling: Dogs do not sweat as humans do. Instead, they pant this is the way that their bodies cool off. The evaporating moisture from their mouths lowers their body temperature. While dogs panting and drooling are perfectly normal an unusually excessive amount could be a sign that the body is becoming overwhelmed with heatstroke.
- Stumbling or disorientated actions: If your dog seems almost like their drunk. Stumbling around not really responding to your voice or they even collapse. Then this is a very certain sign of heatstroke and that they need medical attention as soon as possible.
Here are some quick actions you can take if you think your dog has heatstroke:
Professional medical attention should always be sought if possible. But sometimes heatstroke can develop so quickly then you might need to intervene personally. The key is to bring their body temperature down quickly but gradually. Water, towels, and some ice cubes are all things that help. But do not put your dog in an ice bath or use very cold water. This can constrict their blood vessels which will actually make things worse by obstructing the body’s ability to cool down naturally.
The first thing to do is to make sure your dog has easy access to water. Since they might be too weak to move placed a bowl of water next to their head so that they can drink even if their too weak to move. Don’t force them to drink though. Then take towels soaked in lukewarm water neither hot nor cold and place them along your Samoyeds body. This should help them to cool off. You can also take a few ice cubes and put them near their mouth so that they can lick them or munch on them if they feel like it but once again the same as the water don’t force them.
During this time you should call the vet or quickly take them to an animal hospital. These things are not any kind of replacement for professional help but they can help and are quick to do while you are trying to get them professional treatment.
Can Samoyeds Live Outside in Cold Weather?
Samoyeds were originally designed by mother nature for cold environments. In fact, amongst the Samoyede people, who the people who bred Samoyeds originally and from, Samoyeds often would warn them off deep snowdrifts and weak ice that they could fall in. So these dogs are not ignorant of cold weather. But yet still in cases of extreme cold, there are still things to be aware of for their safety.
- When the snow gets high bring them inside: While Samoyeds are built to be able to handle both cold weather and the snow quite well. But when the snow gets fairly high in level then it can cause problems for any animal. If you’re expecting high snowfall then bring your Samoyed inside otherwise they could be in physical danger.
- Don’t leave them outside in blizzard style conditions: Dogs should never be left outside in very bad weather. This applies to thunderstorms but also blizzards or periods of extremely cold temperatures. Bring them in for the night or make sure they have access to a large warm shelter like a barn.
- Be careful of substances used to de-ice: Items commonly used to help ice melt can actually be poisonous to dogs if ingested. As we know dogs love to eat things even stuff their not supposed so be aware of this danger. Also, these items can be very irritating for their paws and mucous membranes of their nose.
How to Tell If Your Samoyed Has Hypothermia?
In contrast to heat stroke, hypothermia is the other side of the equation. When a dog’s body temperature falls a couple of degrees below the healthy temperature of 101 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit, they are suffering from hypothermia. The cause is usually having been outside in very cold conditions or exposure to ice water. While Samoyeds can handle the cold well they can still get cold enough for hypothermia. If you live anywhere that has dangerously cold winter conditions then this is something you need to have knowledge of for your Samoyeds safety.
Some signs of hypothermia to be on the watch for:
- Pale skin
- Heavy shivering
- Lethergy and unresponsiveness
While hypothermia is a serious condition best treated by a professional there are some things you can do in case this is not quickly accessible.
The key is to warm the dogs body up gradually basically the opposite of the treatment for heatstroke. The first thing to do is to remove them from any cold area and take them someplace warm. This could be a room that is temperature controlled with a nice function furnace or even a warm fireplace.
Quickly wrap your dog’s body in warm blankets.
Heat a water bottle up and then cover it with a towel so it doesn’t burn your dogs skin. Place the wrapped up hot water bottle near the dog’s stomach this should help warm them up quickly. A heating pad can be used if you have one but you should never leave it on longer than ten minutes at a time otherwise it could become too hot and cause burns. Just like the water bottle make sure that there is a towel between it and your dog’s skin.
During this time don’t leave the dog alone stay present until they return to normal. Gently take their temperature every ten minutes or so with an ear thermometer. If their temperature is rising then medical attention may need to be sought immediately and there could be something worse wrong. If the dog is responding well then keep up the treatment and the temperature taking until they have been walking around normal and behaving like their old self for at least 30 minutes.
Other Things to Consider When Leaving Your Samoyed Outside
- Have a fenced yard at least 6 feet tall: Samoyeds can be keen wonderers no matter how obedient they are or how much they love their family. So make sure they have an appropriately sized fence that they can’t jump over so they don’t get lost. Make sure there is nothing close to the fence that they can use as a springboard to help them outside the fence. Also periodically check the fence for holes or loose boards or any signs of digging.
- If you’re not going to breed your dog then make sure their spayed or neutered: Even with a nice fenced in yard mistakes can happen. After all, there are few forces in this world as powerful as the desire to mate. So the best way to make sure that your Samoyed doesn’t become pregnant or impregnate another dog is to spay or neuter them.
- Watch out for barking: If you have any neighbors nearby then barking is something to be concerned about. Especially with Samoyeds who rank among the most vocal of canines. Refer to this article of samoyed barking for more information on how to handle a barking problem.
Just because you can keep a Samoyed outside doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the best thing to do. Samoyeds love their families and are extremely close to them. They need lots of stimulation and to be close to their people. While that might be able to handle being left in the yard physically emotionally it could take a toll. Of course, leaving outside for a few hours a day or longer only occasionally should be fine as long as you take the important safety precaution spoken of in this article.
But with their personality, it’s recommended that their primary residence be inside your home with you their beloved master. Such a living arrangement will help cut down on emotional problems and feelings of abandonment. Not to mention I seriously think that it will help develop the bond with your dog and make you happier as well.