by Doris Donnerman
(last updated February 17, 2009)
Most dogs I've ever encountered are inside dogs, meaning they're dogs that live inside. They go outside whenever they please, but they eat and sleep indoors. There are, however, certain breeds that people may like to keep outside. Certain "guard" type of dogs are an excellent example. The fierce, mean, aggressive dogs, whose purpose is to guard the yard and house, tend to be outside dogs. There are pros and cons to each alternative when it comes to your pets, but the pros tend to favor the option of keeping your pets indoors.
While certain dogs you may like to keep outside for whatever reason, whether that be the breed of dog, the nature of the dog, or the purpose of dog, some people just like to keep their pets outdoors. Unless your purpose for keeping your pet outside is very specific, you should make your pet be an inside pet. First of all, you need to think of their needs. If you have a pet, chances are you have it to keep you company, to play with the kids, to just have fun, and if you constantly keep your pet outside, that won't really achieve any of those objectives. Also, in the winter, if your pet is an outdoors pet, your pet could suffer from loneliness after being kept outside for so long. Pets tend to be sociable and they generally like people. If you put them in a situation where that access to people and play is limited, they won't be very happy, and unhappiness in pets can lead to aggressive behavior.
Apart from the actual needs of the pet, there are safety concerns to be considered as well. If your dog is constantly outside, you risk your pet either running away or getting stolen, both of which are unhappy events. If the pet is unhappy from constantly being left outdoors, it could start feeling neglected and decide to escape. That's not really too hard for them and they would definitely have motive. Also, it's not entirely impossible for people to get into your backyard and steal your pets. If it's observed that your pets are always outside, it wouldn't be hard for someone to come along and take them. You also need to consider weather factors. Temperature at either extreme is a safety hazard for your pet. If it's too hot they could suffer from dehydration or heatstroke, and if it's too cold they could catch hypothermia. Also, if there is a storm of any kind outside, that could also put your pet in danger.
If you really want to have an outside pet, you really need to take all these factors into consideration before you make your final decision. Overall, keeping your pets outside isn't the best for them in any aspect. If you are a pet owner, one of your primary responsibilities is keeping your pet safe and happy. By keeping them outside, it's much harder to accomplish those objectives.
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