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In a husky's paws

Are we too cold in winter?
Are we too hot in the summer?

 No way ! our visitors often gasp when we tell them that our dogs live outdoors all year round. Indeed, a husky's fur coat is a real treasure that protects them against all sorts of annoyances (cold, heat and rain included.)

A little explainatory diagram :

The husky's double coat is made of an undercoat and an outer coat. When temparture rises, the undercoat gets thinner, allowing heat to be evacuated while preserving a layer of cold air to protect from heat strokes. It also protects the skin from sunburns.

On (very) cold days, the undercoat gets thinner and provides the dog with a layer of warm air that protects them from frostbite and hypothermia. 

This richness of their coat is the reason why you should theoretically never, ever shave a husky !

 

Did you know that huskies can lower the temperature of their paws and tongue at about 0°C (32°F) ? That way, they can run and eat or drink in extremely cold temperatures without major discomfort. Truly amazing, isn't it? 

schema explication poil husky

What do we eat?

Our dogs are elite athletes with specific nutritional needs. Their diet must be taken care of very carefully as it is the main factor in their physical condition, as well as their good mood !

Between 7:30 AM and 8:00 AM : distribution of the daily soup. It is made with dry food, eggs and ground beef. Huskies aren't particularly interested in drinking water but a proper hydration is critical to their level of activity. The soup is an incentive to drink as it smells good with proteins and good fats.

At midday : chunks of frozen soup are cut to serve as snacks for our dogs between their outings. It gives them a little extra energy and insures their constant hydration. 

Between 4:15 PM and 5:00 PM : the evening's rations are distributed. We have partnerships with nearby avian and procine farms, that make for wonderful meals for our sportsdogs.

 

During summer, portions are reduced because of the lower level of physical activity, soup is replaced by water and we practice fasting once a week. These intermittent fasting gives the digestive system a break in aid of other bodily functions and allows weight control.

The BARF approach (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food), as promoted by the Dr Hillinghurst, recommends a diet as close as possible to its natural state. It includes raw meat, fleshy bones and offal.

Postive effects on the mental and physical health of dogs have often been observed..

Did you know you should never give your dog solid food before intense physical activity ? It is not merely about comfort. Feeding before effort increases the odds of gastric dilatation-volvulus (stomach bloating). It's extremely serious amd the dog's prognosis for survival is at stake. Nothing like a good soup !

Where do we sleep ?

The question of dogs' living spaces is tricky and must be considered with great care. Indeed, even if our dogs are physiologically fit to most climatic conditions, we have the responsibility of insuring them the highest level of comfort and serenity. After much trial and error, we have decided on houses made of a wooden exterior and a plastic interior.

The tying system that you can see in the first picture has been designed to allow the dog to move in every direction around their house and enjoy the maximum length of their leash at all times. We should probably strap a pedometer on to have a definite number but the estimate of their daily walks and runs is around 2 or 3 miles !

(Some of them do more : Futé, here's looking at you.)

Niche vie chien habiter

Why ?

The wooden exterior allows the house to be elevated and creates a space between the slab and the balcony where the dog can curl up comfortably in the shade when the sun is intense. During the winter, that height can compensate for a good share of snowfalls (for the remainder, we shovel !), so that the house is accessible at all times.

The gravel-surrounded slab insures a permanent drainage and makes certain everyone's paws are always nicely dry.

The balcony is a little extra to make entering the house easier but also provides the dog with an elevated platform to sit and watch their surroundings. You'll see, they enjoy monitoring what's going on ! Some of them even hop higher on the roof to see farer into the distance.

The plastic barrel inside is entirely waterproof against bad weather, protects from drafts and has the great advantage of being easy to clean. All these pros make up for its very unpleasant look.

Niche chien habiter maison
Niche 4 saisons
Niche chien habiter maison
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