While no dog should be kept outdoors in sub-zero temperatures, in some climates a pet can still spend a great deal of time outside if proper precautions are taken.
Ensure Access to Fresh Water
Consider using a heated water bowl to keep your pet's water from freezing. Failing this, a floating ball will help to stop ice forming across the entire surface. Check to make sure that ice or snow accumulation has not blocked your dog's access to food, water, or other needs.
Provide Adequate Shelter
The cold weather is often accompanied by strong winds, so it is vitally important that a dog kennel provides adequate shelter. A well-insulated dog house should be sturdy, dry, and draft-free. The flooring should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. The shelter should be large enough for your pet to turn around, but small enough to retain your pet's body heat. Shield the doorway with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.
Don't Use Heated Pet Mats
Avoid the use of radiating heaters or heated pet mats due to the risk of fire and burns. Bring your dog inside when the wind chill drops below 0°F degrees.
Give Your Dog More Food
When a dog gets cold, he uses his own energy supply to keep warm. According to Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, you can give 10 to 15 percent more food to your dog to help provide extra calories. Alternatively, added fat can help to provide those calories, but could also cause diarrhea or gastrointestinal disturbances.