After making the decision to adopt an adorable furbaby for yourself, you’ve completed the first step in a long journey of caring for your loving companion. Now, there are new decisions to make, such as whether your dog will live outdoors or inside with the family as well as what he or she will require to stay healthy in whichever living environment you choose. But, before making your plans, be sure to include these important factors.

Dogs can often make deciding when to let them out and back in a bit confusing for humans. Frequently, as soon as you let your dog outside, it seems like he or she wants to come back in and the cyclical game continues. To keep things more convenient, a lot of dog owners choose to keep their dogs outside. But that’s not always the best choice for your dog. Discover some of the top reasons an indoor environment might just be the healthiest option.

1. Dogs Want to Be with Their Humans
You may have adopted your dog to teach responsibility, help with a specific task, or provide companionship. But, to your dog, you are their entire world! Dogs are affectionate creatures by nature. They want to be with you as much as possible and they enjoy the time they spend with you more than anything else besides maybe treat time. Considering how important you are to your dog, it is easy to imagine how separation from his or her favorite human for long periods of time can be stressful and even traumatic. 

2. Dogs Do Not Have the Same Instincts as Animals in the Wild
Yes, dogs come from the Canis familiaris – the same species as foxes, wolves, and other similar animals who can survive the wild. However, thousands of years of domesticating and breeding specific traits have made most dogs less capable of surviving in the wild by themselves. Of course, you may be thinking that your dog is at least safe in your backyard with some food, shelter, and fresh water as long as there are proper fences and boundaries. However, there is always the risk that a wild animal can break in. If that happens, your dog may not know how to react and start getting anxious. Even worse, the wild animal may attack your dog and it wouldn’t know how to defend itself or the animal could carry a disease that your dog is not capable of fighting.

3. Dogs Can Turn Over Their Water Dish
When left outdoors for an extended period of time, dogs will require fresh clean water to drink. Unfortunately, due to their playful or anxious behavior, dogs can often turn over the water dish either unintentionally or as an attempt to get their human’s attention. Either way, signs of dehydration or heat stroke can start appearing within 30 minutes on a hot day during the summer months. This means that even a single hour without clean water can be hazardous for your dog. However, if your dog is outside and you are inside, the hard truth is you may not know this is an issue until it’s too late.

4. Dogs Can Eat Something and Get Sick
When left unsupervised, a dog may try to lick and eat anything that it finds interesting. A lot of these things can be dangerous or even life-threatening. By keeping your dog inside, you can monitor what your dog eats thereby significantly reducing the risk of him or her eating something suspicious and getting sick.

5. Dogs Can Be Sick Without Anyone Knowing
Just as mentioned with heat stroke or dehydration as well as eating something that is harmful, outdoor dogs can get sick from disease or experience pain without anyone knowing. This is because you may not be aware of their behavioral or mood changes as you aren’t spending as much time with them. On the other hand, you will likely get familiar with your indoor dog’s behavior within a few weeks of the adoption and be able to recognize any signs of illness, anxiety, stress, or discomfort.

6. Dogs Can Be an Annoyance to Neighbors
If you leave your dog outside all night, there is a high chance that it may bark a lot. Not only will this cause you and your dog distress, but it can also be annoying to your neighbors. Depending on where you live, your neighbors might even be eligible to file a noise complaint against you, which could lead to expensive legal fees.

7. Dogs Can Become Fearful or Protective Without Socialization
Dogs are social creatures and like to interact with humans and other animals. If you leave them confined in the backyard for a large chunk of their life, they might become fearful or develop anxiety over time. By keeping them inside, you are providing them with the assurance and comfort of your presence, and that can help lead to a happier, better behaved, more socially adapted, and overall healthier dog.

Ready to Bring a New Dog Home?
Indoor dogs aren’t just happier, but also make their humans’ lives much more fulfilling and content. If you are adopting a dog, make sure to make room for them inside the house with their own safe spaces or take additional measures to ensure your outdoor dog is properly cared for and receives a fair amount of attention and visits from his or her favorite human(s). Once you have a plan, visit our adoption page and discover the right dog for you and your household.