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Discussion Starter #1
Posted this under the dog food section with no replies. Might have better luck here.
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Hello to everyone! I am new here and new to owning a dog also. I have a 6 month old dog named missy. She's a mix between a lab and a boxer.

I bought a bristo petmate watering system, the ones with the acrylic tank. She drinks water like no other and this was a lot more convienent for me to make sure she always had water.

First off, let me say that I live in nebraska and we get some pretty cold winters here. Last winter was the coldest that I can remember.

I am wanting to convert this bristo tank system into a heated system. I am looking for ideas here. Here was my idea.......I was thinking about taking a fish tank heater and sticking it either in the base or the tank itself. The thing that im not to sure of is how many watts is going to be required to keep my tank from freezing. I am also wondering if a bird bath heater might work also, they turn on when it reaches 35 degrees.

I was thinking about wrapping my tank in a blanket also to kind of help out.

I know they make heated water bowls but I dont want one of those because then I would be right back to where I was and having to fill it twice a day.

Any other ideas?
 

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I think maybe a dog might just be too much work for you if filling a water bowl twice a day is more than you want to do. When are you going to scoop poop etc as you can do your water refills then or is this just a loose outside dog. I don't quite understand your setup.
 

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I would stick with the heated dog bowl. Water and electricity could turn out to be a deadly mix if not done right. Your dog could end up either burned or electricuted. Either way you will need to wash the dish daily. Bacteria love to grow in warm wet places. My dog's water is in the house and never freezes. Why is the dog outside in freezing temperatures? I have several dog bowls and Nanuq gets fresh water in a clean bowl a minimum of twice a day. I got bowls that are dishwasher safe. It really only takes seconds to put down a fresh bowl.
 

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Can you clarify - are you keeping the dog outside during the winter? I don't see the need for such a setup indoors, unless your house is ice cold during the day. Larger breeds like labs & boxers tend to be better with the cold than they are with the heat; as long as it's bearable for you, your dog should be ok. If you're planning on leaving the dog outside, the only thing I would say is: don't.
 

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I understand your dilemma, even though I really don't like keepings dogs outside unsupervised. What if you're not around to fill the bowl twice daily or the bowl gets tipped and the dog has to go without water for part of the day, right? So, why not get a smaller metal stock tank and put a small stock tank water heater in it? The stock tank will be too big to be tipped over and won't need to be refilled as often between cleanings, plus with the heater the water won't freeze. Obviously you'll want to rig it so your dog would have a very hard time getting to the cord or heater. That's what I suggested for my neighbors who keep their hunting dogs outside and it works well. It wouldn't be feasible for them to use smaller heated bowls, either. They actually have one of the nicest setups I've seen for their outdoor dogs, including a heated shed.

wvasko - In the winter I rarely scoop poop out of the yard when it's covered in snow and ice. ;)
 

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I understand your dilemma, even though I really don't like keepings dogs outside unsupervised. What if you're not around to fill the bowl twice daily or the bowl gets tipped and the dog has to go without water for part of the day, right? So, why not get a smaller metal stock tank and put a small stock tank water heater in it? The stock tank will be too big to be tipped over and won't need to be refilled as often between cleanings, plus with the heater the water won't freeze. Obviously you'll want to rig it so your dog would have a very hard time getting to the cord or heater. That's what I suggested for my neighbors who keep their hunting dogs outside and it works well. It wouldn't be feasible for them to use smaller heated bowls, either. They actually have one of the nicest setups I've seen for their outdoor dogs, including a heated shed.

wvasko - In the winter I rarely scoop poop out of the yard when it's covered in snow and ice. ;)
Yes, but I assumed that if dog was outside it would be kept safely in a kennel run and then scooping poop is a necessity. I know if you had dogs kenneled outside you would be scooping because that's the type person you are. For a few years we had only outdoor kennels and in winter they are a pain in the butt but it was what you did to keep dogs in a correct manner, it comes with the territory.
 

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I have a big heated water bowl for Susie in the wintertime. She is in the house at night when it is cold but likes it outside during the day. As I have a heater in the horses' water trough, just got a heated water bowl for Susie and plugged it into the same outlet. At least then it does not freeze up overnight and is there for her in the morning when she goes out.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
This dog is strictly an outdoors hunting dog. Sorry to get your panties in a twist wvasko!! You take care of your dog how you like and i will do the same. Dont you worry, she gets taken care of pretty well. She is a boxer/lab and is perfectly fine outdoors in the winter. She has a heat pad in her dog house where she stays in her kennel.

ANYWAY! on to the topic of this post..............

Thanks for your understanding pamperedpups. Im thinking a bird bath heater or a fish tank heater that has a thermostat switch to turn it on when it falls below 35 is going to be the way to go. Now im justy trying to figure out how to place it in the bristo watering system to make it work the best. They will both be safe for plastic so thats not an issue. It will either be placed in the tank itself or the base. Im not sure where it will be most affective? If its in the base it will be out of the wind and heat the water she is actually drinking. If its in the tank, i would think it would be more apt to keep the water from freezing in the tank. Maby if its in the base it will do the same trick though..........

Im not to worried about her getting electricuted as both of these heaters are designed to be submerged in the water. The cord placement will be my main concern. I always get to her watering tank before its empty and she plays with it, so im not concerned with her finding the heater. I think if i place the cord so it runs out the back and through the kennel it would be fine.

I guess im just not sure on how many watts that will be needed to keep the water from freezing.


If you have something constructive to add to this post then please do, Im looking for ideas.

If your just going to critize me about how I put my dog outside in the winter or how I dont always have time to water her twice a day then dont bother posting!!!

NOT LOOKING TO BE CRITIZED HERE PEOPLE! You worry about your dog and I will worry about mine.
 

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If your just going to critize me about how I put my dog outside in the winter or how I dont always have time to water her twice a day then dont bother posting!!!

NOT LOOKING TO BE CRITIZED HERE PEOPLE! You worry about your dog and I will worry about mine.
If you don't want us to worry about your dog, don't post about your dog on a dog-lover's forum. Not many people here are going to agree with leaving a dog outside in weather that is literally freezing. Now if you go stay out there with her, and sleep in those conditions, and drink that heated/frozen water, then come tell us you still think it's okay, I'd understand that. But this is a board where we view dogs as family. Not like family. Family.

I'm confident leaving a dog outside in actual freezing weather is considered cruelty. If she has a heated kennel, why isn't the water in there with her? What would be so difficult about bringing her indoors?

You're not going to get many "oh my god, that's such a great idea, now I can keep MY DOG out in the freezing weather too, all that was stopping me was the heated water issue!" posts. You're going to get a lot of flack. It's the "internets".
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
WOW! If that post didnt say peta all over it!


Im sorry jesirose, My world does not revolve aroud my dog. Dogs were once wild animals and there are a lot of farm dogs in my area that are only outdoor dogs. Dogs have and can survive out in the cold for many years! Just like deer or rabbits or any other wild animal...... Having a dog outdoors is not animal cruelty. Now shooting a dog because she dosnt listen is. I had a friend that did that...........Dont preach to me about animal cruelty, I am a hunter and have my own beliefs. Im not going to sit on here and argue with you about this. GROW UP!


Her watering system is to big to put inside the dog house......


My dog is not allowed indoors for a few reasons.

#1 we have a little kid and the dog is way to rough for him right now.
#2 she is not pottie trained.
#3 she tears everything up.



Not looking for an OH MY GOD, THATS A GREAT IDEA! Just looking for ideas.


Seriously, get a life!
 

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WOW! If that post didnt say peta all over it!


Im sorry jesirose, My world does not revolve aroud my dog. Dogs were once wild animals and there are a lot of farm dogs in my area that are only outdoor dogs. Dogs have and can survive out in the cold for many years! Just like deer or rabbits or any other wild animal...... Having a dog outdoors is not animal cruelty. Now shooting a dog because she dosnt listen is. I had a friend that did that...........Dont preach to me about animal cruelty, I am a hunter and have my own beliefs. Im not going to sit on here and argue with you about this. GROW UP!


Her watering system is to big to put inside the dog house......


My dog is not allowed indoors for a few reasons.

#1 we have a little kid and the dog is way to rough for him right now.
#2 she is not pottie trained.
#3 she tears everything up.



Not looking for an OH MY GOD, THATS A GREAT IDEA! Just looking for ideas.


Seriously, get a life!
Well it looks like somebody else has their panties in a twist. I see nothing wrong with keeping dogs outside during winter months just the attitude that watering a dog twice a day was too much work. I have an idea buy a goldfish you can keep in home and you will only have to add water as it dehydrates. Oh, I don't believe you're gonna find many pro-peta people on this forum. What kind of game are you hunting with the Boxer/Lab mix that has no training. Just curious, I know it's not a big problem because if she's not a natural she can be shot.

Good luck to the dog, I have an idea she could use some.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I never said it was to much work. I have a job that sometimes I dont make it home everynight and I want to be sure she has water. If its a big deal to you then I WILL use a bowl and then she can just go without water.......Is that what you want to hear?

You obviously dont hunt at all or else you could answer your own question about what I would hunt with a lab.

Who said she had no training on hunting?

GET A LIFE!


You people would have a heart attack if you ever went to a nebraska farm and seen all the outdoor farm dogs that never see a vet!!!
 

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Any mammal has to keep its body temperature within a given range in order to function. What matters here is the rate of heat loss relative to heat generation. The relevant variables here are:

  1. Insulation - fur & fat
  2. Body mass - larger dogs have a lower surface area to mass ratio, thereby reducing heat dissipation (an advantage in cold weather, and a serious disadvantage in hot weather)
  3. Metabolism - the amount of heat generated by the dog's body;
  4. Temperature differential - the difference between external (environmental) temperature, and the dog's body temperature; wind chill is the increase to the rate heat dissipation due to convection
(1) and (2) are physical constants you have no control over; dog fur/fat is better natural insulation than a naked human, but worse than, say, a down-filled Gore-Tex parka. Dogs also have far, far smaller body mass than humans. (3) is variable, but constrained; there is a physical limit to how much faster your dog can increase its metabolism to offset heat loss, and, subsequently, requires a disproportionate increase in the amount of food consumed (more calories need to be consumed in order to generate each additional unit of heat produced).

#4 is the key issue, because it's the only one you have direct control over. What kind of temperatures are you exposing your dog to, and for how long? If it's cold enough for water to freeze (32 degrees Fahrenheit, with wind chill having an additional, adverse affect on a heat-generating body), it's cold enough for a dog to get hypothermia or even freeze to death - and that includes an 'outdoor hunting dog'. Hence our concern.

If you have something constructive to add to this post then please do, Im looking for ideas.

If your just going to critize me about how I put my dog outside in the winter or how I dont always have time to water her twice a day then dont bother posting!!!
Recommending that a dog not be left out in the winter, or suggesting it's worth ten minutes/day to change the water, both strike me as pretty constructive.

NOT LOOKING TO BE CRITIZED HERE PEOPLE! You worry about your dog and I will worry about mine.
That's odd; I AM looking to be criticized every time I post. I don't see much point in posting if I don't get criticized. It also seems odd to seek advice on how to care for a dog only from people who don't care about your dog.
 

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My dog is not allowed indoors for a few reasons.

#1 we have a little kid and the dog is way to rough for him right now.
#2 she is not pottie trained.
#3 she tears everything up.
All of these issues are trainable with a little work and you can find lots of great advice here on training all three of them. The first and second can be cured with lots of supervision and the third with a combination of supervision and exercise.

That being said, I think a fish tank heater is a bad idea. They're made of glass and will crack if the temperature gets too low or too high. They also don't have a very good failure rate. I end up replacing at least one in one of my tanks at least once a year it seems and sometimes have to replace two or three of them. When the glass on them cracks it exposes the electrical innards and can send an electrical charge through the water. The charge can kill fish or make them very uncomfortable and can also shock humans pretty well to boot.
 

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smitty81
I never said it was to much work. I have a job that sometimes I dont make it home everynight and I want to be sure she has water. If its a big deal to you then I WILL use a bowl and then she can just go without water.......Is that what you want to hear?

You obviously dont hunt at all or else you could answer your own question about what I would hunt with a lab.

Who said she had no training on hunting?
Well let me see I've spent 14 years campaigning GSPs all over the country in field trials. Done retreiving work with Labs, Goldens, Chessies, 1 Portuguese Water Dog.

Hunted Ducks, Geese, Pheasants, Quail, Chukars, Grouse. Killed a Moose in Canada, Deer in Wyoming and Wisconsin and actually spent 3 summers in the Lincoln Nebraska area with a 20 dog string of German Shorthair Pointers (GSPs)
This was my summer training trip and I wintered with a string in Texas in wintertime.

It appears you ought to get off the farm and get the life you keep telling everybody else to get. I will say your 6 month old pup could have some hunting training but since it's May and all hunting seasons have been closed for quite a while so I know you have not hunted anything legally with the pup. I can understand if you can't get water for pup if you're not there but if you're saying that all these loose farm dogs in Nebraska have special water systems I think you have got your facts wrong. I'm outa here there is not much help I could give you or your dog as it appears you have everything except water covered. Somebody else I'm sure will help you if you stop telling every body to get a life.
 

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Wvasko in panties - hmm just funny thinking about that . :)

The one thing to worry about with a fish heater is that it can crack if it is not fully submerged. So let's say the dog drinks and the tank gets low the heater could be partial exposed and can crack its glass.
 

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Wvasko in panties - hmm just funny thinking about that . :)
Now that you said that I'm trying NOT to picture Wvasko in panties... and that's just gross. :p


"I'm confident leaving a dog outside in actual freezing weather is considered cruelty. If she has a heated kennel, why isn't the water in there with her? What would be so difficult about bringing her indoors?" jesirose

I've met plenty of dogs who stay outside all winter in the freezing temperatures, snow, ice, sleet, rain... They usually have a dog house to go into that may or may not be heated somehow and a water bucket that freezes and gets refilled at least once a day. These are family pets, farm dogs, hunting dogs, herding dogs, sled dogs and otherwise working dogs and they generally don't lead an easy life in comparison to indoor pet dogs like yours or mine.

The OP's dog's house might be heated, but there may not be room for the waterer to kept in it. And although I am against keeping my dogs outdoors, there are plenty of people who simply do not want their dog to live indoors. For dogs who have to go out and work in extreme weather conditions, the temperature difference between that and living inside the rest of the time can cause more problems than having the dog live outside to remain acclimated.
 

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I had a similar situation at one time. I simply did not want my dog inside. I compromised in the winter by keeping him in a crate inside that only had access to the outside (via a dog door). I would feed him and give him water in the house, then put him back in his crate.
 

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A type of dog houses that I used were oak whiskey barrels filled with a mixture of straw and cedar shavings. A rubber flap over the entrance to keep body heat in and dogs are all fed heavier as when cold the act of shivering keeps them warm and to shiver takes energy so you must feed heavier. Rubber water buckets were used as you could knock ice out easier and refill. Dry dogfood was always mixed with water and allowed to soak. I never used a heater or heating pads. It was a lot of work keeping snow out of runs etc but not too bad as the runs were roofed and that helped a bunch.

A better setup is a 2 room dog house, dog walks in entrance and actually turns into another compartment, that keeps him better protected against wind from entrance. Windbreaks on 3 sides of the kennel runs also help with wind. The backs of the dog houses are always facing north side. Just some more useless trivia of little importance to dump on forum.

Boy me in panties while funny, definitely would not be a pretty sight at all.
 
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