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Inside or Outside?
Article by Kelly Marshall of Oh My Dog Supplies

When you first plan to buy or own a dog or puppy it is important to match the dog or puppy to the type of environment you want to keep them in as well as the temperament and overall physical nature of the dog. Some dogs absolutely need human contact as they have been bred as companion dogs and do not handle being alone or isolate well. These dogs are generally considered to be housedogs, and should not be kept outside or in kennels for extended periods of time. Keeping these dogs away from people leads to emotional and behavioral problems for the animals such as separation anxiety, barking problems, chewing and digging and even self-injurious behaviors.

Physical considerations

Some breeds of dogs simply cannot tolerate environmental conditions and need to be kept indoors in most extreme types of weather. Short haired and small breeds do not generally do well when housed outdoors in cold climates. In addition many of the larger long-haired breeds have difficulty with extremely hot or humid conditions and need shelter and possibly even air-conditioned environments in the summer months.

Dogs that are brach cephalic, or have very short muzzles such as Pugs, Shih Tzus, Boxers, Pekingese, Lhasa Apsos and Boxers may have difficulty with breathing in hot, humid or very cold climates. This is because of the short respiratory passages in the muzzle that allow for cooling of the air and regulation of the body temperature. These breeds of dog will need to be kept in relatively moderate temperatures and should never be exercised in the heat of the day or when there is very high heat and humidity combined.

Miniature dogs are generally not considered to be appropriate as outdoor pets. Some breeds, such as the Chihuahua and some of the miniature crosses have difficulty in regulating body temperatures which means that they will easily become cold or overheated in a very short period of time.

Dogs with longer, thicker double coats are often best suited as outdoor dogs. These dogs have the thick inner coat to act as insulation and the coarse outer coat to resist and repel any moisture. Double-coated dogs need to be brought inside to dry if they ever become completely wet during cold weather. The outer coat actually works against the drying process actually trapping the moisture against the skin and preventing drying.

Outdoor times

If you do plan to leave your pet outdoor during the day or when you are not home make sure you have a safe and secure fenced area. This means that your dog cannot get out as well as other dogs cannot get in. In addition find a way to ensure a constant clean supply of fresh water. A small child’s plastic pool may make a great cool area for a large breed dog but may pose a danger to a small dog. Often a outside garden tap left dripping into a dog dish will keep fresh water available at all times and prevents the need for large water dishes.

Make a place for your dog to get out of the rain, direct sun, wind or cold weather. Many dogs will go into a doghouse; especially if it is has soft dog blankets for them to lie down on. Work with your dog to encourage them to use the doghouse.

Provide lots of toys for your dog to play with while they are alone. Balls, chew toys and other dog safe toys are a great way to help keep your dog entertained when you are away.

Article by Kelly Marshall of Oh My Dog Supplies

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