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black labrador dog sleeps outside on wooden deck in garden

Can Dogs Sleep Outside? Or Is Inside Better?

New dog owners often wonder whether dogs can sleep outside safely. Although loads of us invite our pooches into bed for a snuggle, some pet parents prefer their dogs to sleep outside.

Many of us like the idea of the dog barking if there’s an intruder or something suspicious nearby, acting as our early warning system. For others it’s because their dogs are working dogs rather than pets, or because the dog is restless or disruptive at night. It may even be because you can’t get past the doggy smells and shedding fur.

So, can dogs sleep outside? Or should they come into the house at night? Let’s have a quick look.

Should dogs sleep outside or inside?

Basically, the short answer is although dogs can sleep outside – as in, they are physically capable of doing so – your dogs should come inside at night.

Here’s why.

Weather

If the weather is particularly hot, cold, or rainy, it can be pretty unpleasant for dogs to sleep outside. And in some cases, it can even be dangerous.

Dogs suffer from heat stroke or heat exhaustion quite easily as they can’t sweat the way humans can. And just like us, they feel the cold as the winter sets in.

Safety hazards

Your garden or patio might be a safe haven for you, but it isn’t necessarily for your dogs. Sleeping outside comes with extra safety hazards. If you have a pool, that’s an obvious one. You may also have poisonous plants in your garden or yard. Plus, there’s the risk of your dog choking on something left outside or that’s been thrown over a fence by a passer-by.

Then there’s the concern of dog theft. It might seem silly, but stolen dogs in NZ are not that uncommon. If your dog sleeps outside, they could be taken through your gate or over your wall while you sleep soundly. Particularly if your dog is friendly, trusting, and is a desirable breed!

Human interaction

At end of the day, dogs are social animals. Another reason dogs shouldn’t sleep outside where possible is that they’re wired to crave human interaction and affection. By having your dogs inside at night, they’re more likely to feel close to you, get some scratches and love, and even play a game or two while you watch TV.

Plus, it’s good for you too. Studies have shown that sleeping with your dog in your bed has physical and emotional benefits for us humans. So we say, bring them inside and invite them onto that California King!

red and white collie dog lying in wooden dog kennel outside in bare back garden

If your dog does have to sleep outside

Maybe there are occasions when a dog simply has to sleep outside. It could be that there’s a kid visiting and your dog isn’t friendly towards children, for instance. If you absolutely have to have a dog sleep outside, it should be for as short a period as possible, and you should ensure:

  • There’s plenty of shelter from the elements
  • Their resting place is comfy to lie down in, with plenty of blankets, cushions, and/or a bed
  • Fresh water is always readily accessible
  • You check on and interact regularly with your dog so they don’t become bored, anxious, frustrated, and/or destructive.

You could also consider putting your dog in one of the local kennels for a night or two if the other alternative is for them to sleep outside, especially if you know it will make them anxious.

Pet insurance for inside and out

Even if you’re a model pet parent who has their dog sleeping in the lap of luxury, they can unfortunately still get sick or injured. That’s where pet insurance comes in. By covering your dog in this way, you can provide the medical care they need without having to think twice (or three times) about the bill before you head to the vet.

Plus if you sign up with us online you can get one or more months free. Just click below to start your quote.

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