As with most things in life, allowing your pooch to live outdoors has its pros and cons. If your dog is especially active and seems to prefer staying outside most of the time, however, the goal should always be to make sure that he's as comfortable and safe as possible. Your cutie is more than worth the consideration.
Year-round weather can be a challenge for outside dogs, which is why outdoor shelter is so important for them. Make sure your dog has spacious shelter that allows him to escape the harsh glare of the sun, as well as aggressive wind, rain and cold. Note that dog crates are not suitable for these purposes and are simply not spacious enough for your pet's needs. Shelters that are equipped with cozy sleeping spaces are beneficial, as long as they offer defense against drafts. They also are effective when they're slightly elevated, as they help keep your pet out of unpleasant rain and sogginess. Always bring your dog indoors in cases of severe weather, whether intense heat, blizzard or thunderstorm. From heatstroke to hypothermia, weather issues can be highly taxing for canines.
Avoid Loneliness and Tedium
Dogs are companionable creatures who adore interplay with people and fellow animals. Make a point to spend lots of quality time with your outside dog, every day of the week. Whether you take your dog to the park for jogging sessions or play fetch with him every night, make time with him a serious priority. Dogs who feel overly isolated might express their dissatisfaction by whimpering, panting, barking or even acting fiercely.
Always keep a close eye on your dog's water and food supplies, even if that means going outside several times a day -- at least. Keep his food and water in a secure bowl that's hard to push over. Nutritious and balanced canine food is imperative for dogs indoors and outdoors, as is clean H20.
Life outdoors can introduce a variety of potential hazards that don't usually exist for indoor dogs. Because of that, it's important to make your pet's outdoor living environment as safe as possible, from eliminating any potentially toxic garden plants to investing in reliable and sturdy fencing -- a means of keeping wildlife out. Not only can random animal predators attack dogs, they can also carry harmful infections -- not good. Instead of engaging in nonstop worry over these things, put in the effort to make your yard as canine-safe as possible. Lastly, examine your pet's body daily for any hints of malaise or wounds. If you have any reason to think that your pet might have a medical issue, take him to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
- Partnership for Animal Welfare: Backyard Dog, Outdoor Dog - Facts, Guidance, Solutions
- Vetstreet: Why "Outdoor" Dogs Are Miserable
- Humane Society of Broward County: The Dangers for Outdoor Dogs
- City of West Lafayette, Indiana: Pets & Cold Weather
- Alaqua Animal Refuge: Home Alone? Basic Time Management for Your Dog
- Humane Society of Utah: Cold Weather Care for Dogs
- RSPCA: Living Outside
- American Veterinary Medical Association: Cold Weather Pet Safety
- TODAY Pets & Animals: Keep Your Pet Cool During Dog Days of Summer
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images