Care of Outside Dogs
Dogs are naturally pack animals who crave human companionship. Your dog will have better manners and thrive while living indoors with you, their pack leader.
Forcing a dog to live outside with little human interaction can be psychological damaging to a dog. They may have difficulty learning to properly interact properly with humans. And without adequate supervision and guidance from their owners, dogs are likely to develop undesirable behaviors. If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, he still needs attention and affection.
Sadly, often dogs are left outside by dog-owners that aren’t putting enough effort into training. Whether they are unwilling or unable to train and socialize their dogs, or whether they have unrealistic expectations of behavior, some people find it easier to just keep their dogs outside. Leaving your dog in the backyard can actually promote bad habits that might force the owner to want to give the dog away or not allow them in the house. Endless barking, destructive digging and chewing are just some possibilities. Some dogs left outside extensively become aggressive or hostile often result in euthanasia for the animal.
If you currently have a dog that you’ve been keeping outside because of behavior problems, talk to your veterinarian or a behaviorist.
Remember these points if your pet dog spends extensive time outside:
- Outdoor dogs needs human interaction. Do you spend time with your dog other than feed them and walk them? Spending an hour a day with your dog is not enough for his mental welfare. What about when it is rainy, windy, cold, or just plain too hot? Are you still spending that hour daily with your dog no matter what?
- Don't have your dog stay in the house all day and make him sleep outside all night, or vice versa, because the temperature change is bad for his health.
- Pennsylvania law requires that outdoor dogs have access to a proper dog house that is draft-free.
- Dogs require clean, fresh water at all times.
- An outdoor dog requires twice the normal food requirement in winter to maintain his body weight.
- Keep your dog up-to-date on routine shots and seek veterinary attention if you notice your dog is ill or injured.
- The best method of keeping the dog in your yard is fencing. A fenced yard gives your dog the freedom to exercise and play. Dogs that are tied up or chained outside suffer extreme frustration which can result in hyperactivity and/or aggression. Dogs that are tied up cannot escape from other animals or people who mean to do them harm. They can also easily become entangled and do bodily harm to themselves. It has been a sad tale to hear of a dog tied outside because he was a fence jumper, only to hang himself while trying to do so!
- Toy breeds, short-haired dogs, sick or old dogs, and very young puppies are fragile and should not be kept outside.
- Avoid leaving food, garbage and debris in areas that your dog can access. Put trash and garbage cans with tight-fitting lids
- Make sure your dog has dry, comfortable bedding to sleep on. Cedar chips and straw are best for keeping the house dry. Towels, blankets and rugs must be cleaned frequently to keep them dry and to prevent the growth of parasites such as ticks and fleas.
Provide some sort of shade for your dog, a draft free dog house for in climate weather, items to chew on, and plenty of fresh water and food. Check out our Dog houses.
Sunscreen for shade Provide something to provide shade during a majority of the sun throughout the day.
A Fence. Fences are much better than any tie out. Fence needs to be tall enough so a jumping dog is never able to jump over. Tie outs can be dangerous to any dog and should never be used for extended periods.
Disadvantages of an outdoor only dog
- The more a dog is outdoors, the less behavioral control you have.
- He will dig, chew, and bark.
- Most property owners have implied social contracts with letter carriers, paper boys, delivery people, law enforcement, emergency medical personnel, meter readers and others. Do you really want your dog preventing paramedics from assisting?
- Most homeowner's insurance will not cover you if your dog bites someone in your community.
- Health problems from being outdoors in wet cold, hot weather. Prevent the water from freezing with a No Freeze Water Bowl
Dogs will not protect your home from outside unless you put your valuables and your kids out in your yard? If I'm a crook and your dog is out, your fence protects ME. If he's tied up and I keep out of reach, he's useless. He'll bark, but outside dogs bark so much, they're usually ignored.
Dangers to your dog
- Escape from the yard, which can lead to being hit by a car, lost in the woods, hurt by people. Also: they can frighten and even bite people out of confusion.
- Neighbor complaints and threats; visits from animal control officers.
- Frustration from wanting to visit with passing dogs and humans, which can lead to barrier aggression, which fuels aggression towards other dogs and humans.
- Sunburn or heatstroke.
- Illness and chronic health problems from being out in hot, cold or wet weather.
- Electrocution when digging up or chewing on wiring outside the house.
- Running out of water. Check out the Auto fill water bowl.
We urge all dog guardians and would-be pet-guardians to choose a dog that’s right for their lifestyle and can fit into their “pack.” If you want your house to be spotless and hair free, for example, it’s not a good idea to get a large long hair dog that heavily sheds. If you have no time to properly train and exercise your energetic dog, look for a smaller, more laid back breed. If you’re not willing to welcome a dog into your family’s home, it’s probably best to think about a different pet. It’s not fair to the dog, and it’s not fair for you.
Thank you to the websites below for the helpful tips.
Title:The Backyard Dog