Outside Dog: Is it ok for your dog to sleep outside?

Most animal lovers may not have considered whether their dog can sleep outside. Because they tend to be set in their ways about caring for their dogs. Some people don’t believe dogs can be kept outside because they’ve been taught this and have not had this opinion challenged.  They’ve been taught that it’s cruel or inhumane to keep dogs outside. There are also myths about what happens when dogs are kept outside, and many are gripped by false tales of what happens when dogs are kept outside.

So, when asked is it suitable for a dog to sleep outside, many people can’t answer that question honestly because they don’t really know. Most people have been taught a biased view about keeping dogs outside. Therefore, people need to be more informed about the benefits of dogs sleeping outside to answer that question fairly. Hopefully, the following information will make pet lovers more informed about the possibility of letting dogs sleep outside.

outside dog: is it ok for dogs to stay outside

The Case for Dogs Sleeping Outside

People who agree that dogs can sleep aside are often viewed as being inconsiderate of the dog’s well-being. These opinions come from ill-informed animal lovers who are holding on to a point of view without examining real facts. Instead of educating themselves about the benefits of dogs sleeping outside, they would rather uphold their stance at all costs. People willing to adopt a dog who are in favour of certain breeds sleeping outside are usually removed from pet adoption waiting lists.  However, these same breeders don’t consider the possibility of potential adopters keeping dogs in uncomfortable cages all the time.  

Dogs are carefree animals and are not meant to be kept confined inside your house all the time. When dogs can flourish in their carefree nature, they tend to be happier dogs. For those considering letting their dogs sleep outside, the following information will ensure your dog has a healthy and happy outdoor.

Tips on How to Have a Happy and Healthy Outside Dog:

1. Make sure your outside dog has access to some type of company

The social nature of dogs varies. Some dogs are highly independent and can choose when they want company. These are the dogs that like spending time to themselves, but sometimes like to play with others.  However, there are some dogs that need more social interaction than that. These are the ones that thrive when surrounded by other dogs or other animals (like sheep for dogs raised with them) and behave weirdly when interaction with others is limited (for example, whining, excessive barking or uncontrollable running around).

2. Make sure your outside dog has fresh food supply

Your dog should have fresh food and water available all the time while outdoors. For dogs staying out in the cold weather, foods high in fat (to increase calorie intake) are recommended.  You should always place water in a sturdy bowl and make sure the water has not frozen, spilled or evaporated out the bowl. During the winter season, you can invest in a water heater to prevent freezing.

outside dog

3. Make sure your outside dog has the proper stimulation

A lot of people think getting a house with a large yard will take the place of their interaction with their dog. That is far from the truth. Your dog will still need interactive play. This means your dog will still need to take a walk and have play time of some sort with you.

Dogs can entertain themselves to a certain extent while outside by themselves. You may see them running around, rolling in snow, sniffing at bugs or digging holes. However, at some point, they are going to want interaction with others because being outdoors is fun but is still not stimulating their brain. They’re going to get bored. That’s where stimulation comes into play.

When given proper exercise and interactive play with humans and other animals, your dog will maintain his normal behavior.

4. Make sure your dog has an appropriate outdoor living environment, shelter and outside activity area.

Your dog’s sleep area and play area should be separate. This means your dog needs to have a kennel that’s spacious enough for free movement like running, lying stretched out and tail wagging without touching the sides of its own kennel, another kennel or another dog. Crates are temporary holding places and should never be used as a permanent shelter for your pet. The last thing your dog needs is an environment that is more confined than the inside of your house.

The shelter should provide some protection from the weather elements. So, when the weather is bad, all your dog has to do is find refuge in the shelter. Your dog should have a location within the shelter that shades him or her from direct sunlight. Remember, some breeds of dogs may have to be indoors during the harsh part of winter. But in cases of rain (or thunder) during moderate temperatures, your dog will be safe in the shelter.

Some people invest in a/c units for their pet’s shelter. These units will keep the temperature below 26°C and above 10°C. When investing in a portable a/c unit for your dog’s shelter, make sure you purchase one that has no burn risk or no cables that will interfere with the dog’s movement. Also, you will have to regularly check the temperature to make sure it’s staying regulated.

outside dog: is it ok for dogs to sleep outside?

So, is it ok for your dog to sleep outside?

While dogs may be social creatures like humans, we must remember dogs are not human. They have an instinctive nature that thrives on being outdoors. It’s not good to always force your dogs to live inside your house all the time or live on the end of a chain/rope.

It’s understandable that some breeds were not made for the outdoors. Also, if the breed is too frail to be outside (or too old), that’s different. But we’re talking about perfectly healthy dogs that need to remain that way. When you consider these tips, your dog’s outdoor experience should be a rewarding experience, and your dog will appreciate the outside time when you allow them to have it.