Does My Dog Prefer To Be Indoors or Outdoors?

outdoor dog

​​​​​​​If you haven’t had a dog before, you may well be wondering whether your canine companion would prefer to be indoors or outdoors. Figuring this out may be easier said than done, particularly as most dogs enjoy spending time both inside your home and outside.

​​​​​​​To help you determine whether your dog prefers to be inside or out, and indeed where you will allow him to spend the majority of his time, here are some of the key things that you should consider.

Where does he spend most of his time given the choice?

The easiest way to tell whether your dog prefers to be indoors or outdoors is to leave your back door open and observe his behavior. Obviously, you must first ensure that your yard is secure and your beloved furbaby can’t escape. However, by giving him free run of both inside and outside, you will be able to determine where he prefers to hang out. It is then down to you to decide if his chosen area works for you and your family. For example, if he prefers living outdoors you will need to check that the weather is clement for him, he is safe from thieves and cannot get out, and that he has adequate protection from the sun and rain. However, if he prefers staying indoors you will need to be sure that you can let him out for adequate bathroom breaks.

Ensuring He is Microchipped

Any responsible dog owner should be sure to get their canine pal microchipped regardless of whether he prefers to be indoors or out. However, this is especially important if your furbaby is going to be spending a great deal of time in your yard. This is because despite your best efforts to secure the area, there is still a significant risk that, at some point, he will get out and become lost. Microchipping increases the likelihood that lost, and indeed stolen dogs are reunited with their owner.

Outdoor dogs are at increased risk of disease unless they are adequately protected

This isn’t to say that there is no risk of your pet becoming ill if he predominantly stays inside. After all, you will still be taking him out for walks and to let him do his business in the designated spot in your hard. However, large periods of time outside mean that your dog is more likely to come into contact with viruses and diseases that are either airborne or spread through contact with an infected animal or parasite. For example, a wild animal passing through your yard that has an infectious disease could leave feces, urine or other fluids that could infect your dog if he comes into contact with them.

While there are preventative medications and vaccinations available, these must be administered correctly and with the necessary regularity to be effective. Being even just a few days late with your pet’s next dose could put him at considerable risk, particularly if he lives predominantly outdoors.

Do you intend for him to be a guard dog?

Protection is one of the key reasons that many people get dogs, believing that their canine pal will act as an advance warning of intruders and help defend them should they come under threat. However, true guard dog skills only come with training and practice and are nearly always more successful amongst dogs that live indoors. This is because your pet will be more likely to develop a close bond with you and your family and nurture the instinct to protect you if you live in the same building as one another. Pets that live outside are more likely to defend your yard than you and your children.

If you would like more advice on whether your dog would prefer to live indoors with you or spend most of his time out in the fresh air and sunshine, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly and experienced veterinary team here at Lake Emma Animal Hospital. Call 407-333-2901 today!