dog on a bed no dog foodApart from water, healthy dog food and shelter is a dog (and man’s) most important thing.

Though it seems that not everyone understands the importance of good shelter to their dog.

I recently did some research on the domestic dogs direct ancestor the gray wolf, and it turns out that these animals do not regularly use a den like foxes, otters and many vermin. A den is an underground hole that acts as a home to an animal. The only time that wolves use a den is when the alpha female is pregnant and it serves as the ultimate protection for the pack (since she is the only one allowed to breed).

And while wild dogs may follow a similar practice, finding somewhere safe to have puppies, they don’t regularly excavate the ground to make a safe home.

What both wolves and dogs do in bad weather however is the find temporary shelter in caves, under trees or whatever they can find. They usually try and find it on a high point and if there is prey around they don’t stop for the rain, they need to eat more than stay dry.

How a dog’s coat works

The first primary defense against cold and wind is a dog’s coat. Many arctic breeds like the husky and malamute have similar DOUBLE coats as the wolf does. A thick outer coat to protect against rain and weeds, and a soft inner coat for insulation. These work great in cold climates, but unfortunately most European dogs often live in warmer climates such as Australia or Southern North America.

Some dog coats also have an oily protection to repel water, but even this can let water reach the skin in a severe downpour. And that is why dogs have learned the full body shake in response to being wet. This shake expels the majority of the water, before the damp lowers a dog’s core body temperature to critical levels.

But in modern society and modern houses and yards, finding a natural cave is of limited likelihood. That is why people spend so much money on dog beds, dog kennels and dog houses.