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Snow Country Airing Options

3390 Views 20 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Moose Mtn
For those who are living in snow country, especially those with house dogs, do you use tie outs for airing or do you have fenced yards? And how do you keep the area clear of snow and deal with cleanup? When the snow gets deep, do you snow blow, or shovel the area for them? I know it’s a daily chore for me. Just wondering what everyone else does?

When I moved back to Northern MI three years ago into a new house, instead of fencing the yard, I built a small 30ft x 20ft pea-gravel area, along the back of the garage, where I use a tie-out setup for airing. It’s convenient out the attached garage door, and simple, especially since our two dogs live in the house and are outside only for training and airing.

But now, I’m adding a third dog to the family and wondering if there might be better options for airing instead of a tie-out.

The only problem I’m having is in the winter and snow removal and preventing snow drifting into the airing area. Each day we get system or lake effect snows. I put up a snow fence this year and it helps a little, but I still get significant snow in the airing area from it blowing off the eaves of the roof leaving sizeable drifts to clear. Other than covering a large outdoor area, not sure their are many options.

For those living in snow country with house dogs, do you tie them out, or do you let them out into a fenced area? And what do you do for clearing snow and cleanup? Is it a daily challenge for you as well? Thanks.
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With four dogs it can be quite a chore. Many years ago, the problem was solved by putting a small,fenced in area directly out of what became the mud room. With three well placed spotlights on the second story, it's like daytime.

The only snow removal I do is near the entrance. When the dogs air, they are not left alone and I "pickup" right after every matter how late, cold or inconvenient the weather may be.

In the warmer months when paws are dirty, they walk around in the mud room and I follow with a mop full of bleach water until no more muddy prints are left. They then cross over a thick rug (which absorbs most of the water on their paws) and re-enter the house. It's a "dirty job" simplified (and workable).

When spring comes the yard has no "surprises", the grass grows back quickly and mud is not much of an issue......but still the yard is ALWAYS picked up immediately.

It has become so much of an easy habit, I hardly think about it.

edit: We have had as much as 15-20 inches of snow (but that is rare). Lake effect snow (deeper than that) would probably mean using a snow blower.
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A "snow base" is very effective. Between the dogs' movements (and mine), a layer of packed snow is easy to establish and works really well.....except when there is ice.

I'm positive the key to an effective, winter airing routine is the "quick clean-up" habit.
"How large of area is fenced for your dogs and is it chain link, wood privacy, other? How high of fence? Wouldn't think a 4 ft fence would be an option, unless you watch them constantly."

I used inexpensive 48" green garden wire attached to metal stakes (driven into the ground). It is an oval which makes it easy for dogs to run a long way (35X40 feet with no corners) . When it was installed the fencing enclosed a much smaller fenced in asparagus patch. Later, I realized this tended to make the airing yard appear more like a never ending race track as they moved about.

There's only one reason for them to be in there and I DO watch them constantly. In ten years, I've had just one dog "go over". She only did that twice and the second time was very, very brief.
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