How Cold is Too Cold for a Basenji?

I live in CT, and it's becoming a lot colder than it was last year. My boyfriend and I have electric heat, and our bill is through the roof. We keep our home at 65 all day, every day. My B Kaeda stays home in a crate. We unfortunately need to tone down our electric bill, and my boyfriend wants to keep the heat at 50 when we're not home. Would 50 be too cold for her? I've already tried to argue that it is, but I need a second opinion. If he's really adamant, about 50 (which he probably won't be if I get a second opinion), would a blanket in her crate be enough to keep her warm?

Dogs have very 'sturdy' vascular systems, much like horses. My basenji has very fine hair (even bald patches in some areas), but even so we often go for hour long walks in -10 or lower degree temperatures with little issue. Of course, that's with him running around. Still, if a human is capable of living in a 50 degree F environment, a dog can do that easily, even if they're at rest in a crate.

We had to live for months in a low heat environment (negative degree temperatures outside) when our heater system went kaput. Dogs never had a problem. I'd say exceptions might be necessary for a dog on the older side, but that's just my personal opinion (with little factual basis to go off of.) They do love their little special heat spots, but dogs don't really need a whole lot, even if we're more than happy to give it to them.

50 is 10 Celsius. I keep my barn that temperature in the winter because my horse will overheat with his winter coat. I wouldn't live in a house that cold, and I wouldn't leave Cricket in a house that cold. We keep our house at 17 Celsius, which is 62-63 F. Cricket has a few blankets, and she is fine.
You have to think about how much electricity you will use to raise the house to a livable temperature and balance that with how low you can go. For our house, it costs about the same amount to raise it five degrees as it does to maintain it at 20 C. So it stays at 17 C unless we are home and in the specific heat zone. Then we raise it the 3 degrees. We also use a fireplace in the living room, a heated blanket in the bedroom, and an oil heater in the office.
Another thing we didn't think of until we blew the TV: Your appliances need time to warm up and also will take more energy to start heating up (oven). If you have satellite, it will also take a few minutes to warm up before anything on the remote works.

**The TV was at our unheated cabin, Husband couldn't wait for the wood stove to heat to near room temperature before checking the game. Honestly, I didn't think it was that cold, maybe 5-10 degrees.

I can't speak to whether its TOO cold but I can say that I personally wouldn't do it. I am single and my work days can be as long as 10 hours some days. I bite the billet on both keeping my old place (no insulation) to 65-67 PLUS I keep the Tv on animal planet for him. Costs me but I wouldn't change it for anything bc I feel so guilty being at work that I want him as comfortable as possible

Yes, it's too cold for a Basenji (unless it is snuggling under the covers with you in a warm bed!) The dog would be uncomfortable, and uncomfortable Basenjis tend to find trouble to get into. Leaving one in a crate at that temperature is just plain mean. An insulated house (sized to the dog, so body heat keeps it warm) or a heated bed of some sort would be O.K. if the house must be that cool. Perhaps you could place the crate so at least one half has some sort of heat, e.g. pig bed or such that plugs in (you don't want to force the dog to stay on the heating pad, but it should have the option). Or alternately a radiant heat lamp it can move under when it feels cold.

Why don't you just pick an intermediate temp and see how it goes? 50 is a bit extreme and I would think it odd that you house would even drop that low just during the day. My dogs stay in our basement during the day and it is a constant 60 degrees year round. My dogs never have had any issues with cooler temps, perhaps because they live in cooler climate.

Clay

Or you could get a heating pad for her crate. They do not use any more then a lamp. However, I will also agree 50 is extreme… Here is a link to a heating pad http://www.upco.com/p/HPM or search the net for lectro kennel

Bills are no fun to pay but everyone else has made the point that if you drop your heat that low it will cost more to warm the place when you get back home. 65 to 50 degrees is quite a jump and I think you two will end up paying more money to warm your house than to keep it at a steady temperature. I live down south so we have issues with extreme heat and humidity. I can tell you though that changing your thermostat just a few degrees can help the bills but the trick is to stick with the temperature.

Some of the things we have done to cut our electric bill with our central air is to adjust all of the vents so the air goes where we want it. We hung curtains in doorways to control where the air stays. In winter we use oil heaters and leave them on low and leave our heat on low. All our exterior doors have something to keep a draft from coming in. If I was in your situation I would decide where to keep heat in the home and drop your thermostat to 60. I think 50 will result in a higher bill and everyone in your home will be cranky from the cold.

As for your pup, my girl would start shivering whenever the temperature dropped below 70. She had no tolerance for cold. I would cover her crate with a blanket and she had a full wardrobe of different types of jackets. You can fill socks with rice for heating pads but be careful not to burn your pup. I would also find inexpensive blankets for her by getting left over fleece at fabric stores.

I hope this helps and good luck.

Thanks everyone for your replies and suggestions. I convinced my boyfriend that 50 degrees F is just ridiculous. So we are keeping it at 60 - 63ish with a bed and warm blanket for her to snuggle in. If she does seem too cold, I'll get her a heating pad if need be. I just happy I was able to convince my boyfriend! I don't care if I'm freezing cold in my house, but I DO care if it's my furbabies!

You could put a sweater on her also

She hates wearing sweaters, lol. I try not to make her wear them if I don't have to.

First Basenji's

What about one of those electric fire places you can keep it in the room she is in. My parents used to have one for zone heating so they didn't have to spend money heating rooms they are not in and keep the door partially closed so they heat is contained. Also they are really pretty!

That might be a good idea, vickayx! I work at Bob's Discount Furniture in advertising, so I know exactly what you're talking about! I actually have one underneath my desk when it's cold. I think that I may do that and just move it from where she stays by herself when we're gone to the finished basement where everyone hangs out when we're all home.
Thank you for that suggestion!

I have lots of plug in heated pads for dogs. I have several hard plastic ones, like Tanza gave the link too.

I also have one like this:
http://www.jefferspet.com/lectro-soft-heated-outdoor-bed/camid/PET/cp/0034927/

several of these:
http://www.jefferspet.com/snugglesafe-microwave-heating-pad/camid/PET/cp/998/

one of these:
http://www.jefferspet.com/microwavable-pet-bed-warmer/camid/PET/cp/PC-MA/cn/100023/

and 4 of these in 2 different sizes:
http://www.jefferspet.com/pet-bed-warmer/camid/PET/cp/0032468/cn/100023/

(all that may be excessive for 3 basenjis, but i've been collecting the stuff for many years.)

When it's really cold, i'll leave a small radiant space heater on for the pups.

should have added:

i don't use all of the above all the time. usually 2 or 3 of the heated insert pads are plugged in

First Basenji's

No problem I just wanna help! 🙂 Because Basenjis are the BEST!

I feel your pain, Bellinduh! I recently bought a house in the country and my heating choices are wood stove or propane ($$$). A few points that haven't been raised:
1. Remember that hot air rises, and most drafts are near the floor. So raise the crate off the floor on a folding table or something. It's cold near the floor!
2. I have insulated crate covers (a blanklet works too) and leave the side near the stove rolled up.
3. Put the crate near a sunny south window.
4. Put the crate in a smaller room that's less expensive to heat, close the door, and turn down the heat in the rest of the house.

@vickayx:

What about one of those electric fire places you can keep it in the room she is in. My parents used to have one for zone heating so they didn't have to spend money heating rooms they are not in and keep the door partially closed so they heat is contained. Also they are really pretty!

Just found this on bradsdeals dot com and thought of this thread. It is from 2/2/13. be sure to use the code for the best deal (read the comments on the bradsdeals website)

This LifeSmart 1000W Electric Home Fireplace/Stove drops from $97.95 to $64.99 via exclusive code BRADSTOVE at VM Innovations. Plus, shipping is free. The best price we could find anywhere else is $102! It features 2 infrared heating elements, a cool touch exterior, 3400 BTUs of max heat, and it heats up to 800 sq ft. There is no sales tax (except PA, NV and NE).

http://vminnovations.com/Product_47404/LifeSmart-L-SIFST-S-1000W-Electric-Infrared-Home-Stove-Fireplace-Black.html?ni=1

@vickayx:

Thats a good deal!

yea, i wish i had a place for it!

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