This month’s question comes from…..
Mrs. Randoph’s Second Grade Class
How do sled dogs keep warm in their outside houses? Are all dog houses the same?
By: Lynne Witte
Illustrations by: Jon Van Zyle
It’s cold and snowing outside, but inside a sled dog’s house, they are warm and cozy. Sled dogs keep very warm in their weatherproof houses.
Being outside running and living in cold, snowy conditions seems natural to a sled dog. They are a northern breed dog that is suited for outdoor living. They have a thick undercoat like our extra layer under our snow pants. Sled dogs are fed warm, high-energy meals with extra fat for warmth.
Sled dogs have weatherproofed houses built for protection and warmth. They are built with insulation and sized with easy access in and out. Special care is taken to have easy access in and out of the door, which is also small enough to protect the dog from wind and snow drifting into their house. Their house is like a cozy den. If needed, the dogs will curl up into a ball, putting their tail over their nose for extra warmth. Mushers will add layers of fresh straw, which is terrific insulation to an animal. Each dog’s house is checked frequently to ensure there is enough dry straw. When needed, more straw will be added, or the straw will be completely changed. The insulated houses may vary slightly in the design, but the basic features of insulation, smaller openings, and additional fresh straw are the same.
All snuggled in their house, even with snow and wind outside, a sled dog will sleep cozy and warm.