If you’re thinking of getting a pet make sure you’ve given some thought to where the dog will stay. Many people keep their dogs indoors but lots of people keep them outside. Is one better than the other? There are lots of happy pets lying around on their owner’s beds and sofas right this moment but there are also contented dogs asleep in their own doghouses. How do you decide which to choose for your new dog? You want your dog to be happy, and you want to enjoy him or her, but there are a few things to consider before making your final decision about the accommodations for the pet.
It’s always been difficult for me not to feel sorry for a dog who is chained up outside. What kind of life is that? At the same time, my daughter has been pet crazy her entire life and sometimes that made me feel sorry for me! New pets can make horrible messes that are gut-wrenching to clean up. But messes are only one of the factors you should take into consideration when deciding where your new dog will stay.
The most obvious difference between an outside dog and an inside one is the house training issue. An outside dog will, of course, use the bathroom outside. An inside dog will need some training. Even if you have a new pup who learns quickly you will still spend time cleaning up after the dog as he or she is learning the ropes. This means the dog can possibly ruin the carpet or other floor coverings. Even if you clean up well after the dog, urine soaks into the floor boards themselves, and can leave you with a lingering odor. Although the owners of the dog might not notice the aroma guests often can. It can be helpful, though, to keep the dog in a cage at night then let him out first thing in the morning to potty. The dog will not use the bathroom in the cage, since that’s where he sleeps, so it makes it a little easier to train the dog.
Another serious issue when it comes to inside dogs is the fact that they love to chew and gnaw on everything. Give an outside dog a toy or two and he’ll do no damage at all. An inside dog, though, can ruin your furniture, shoes, kids’ toys and more. They’ll literally chew nearly anything they can get their teeth on and that can end up being quite expensive and frustrating for the owner. Even if you give the inside dog some toys that doesn’t mean he’ll opt to chew on them rather than the sofa leg.
Besides gnawing dogs are also famous for digging. With an indoor dog you might have to deal with the dog digging at carpet or other floors. It doesn’t take long to teach the dog not to do this but some damage can be done. The problem can often be much bigger outside. Many outdoor dogs will dig holes in the yard and it’s difficult to teach them not to dig. You may end up spending lots of time filling in holes that the dog has created.
An outdoor dog has its advantages when it comes to fur and dander. Outside, there are no worries about such things. Inside, though, pet fur can be challenging even if the dog has short fur. Count on doing lots of dusting, sweeping of furniture and drapes, and extra care for things like hardwood flooring. It’ll be an ongoing battle the entire time you own the pet. An indoor pet has to be bathed often as well. Just because a dog is outside, though, doesn’t mean he doesn’t need a bath. You’ll still need to wash the dog on a regular basis. You’ll need warm water – none of that freezing cold water from the garden hose! Count on having to carry out buckets of warm, soapy water when washing your outdoor dog.
Whether your dog lives inside or out he or she will still need worm and flea treatments, shelter and fresh food and water everyday. These things are much easier for a dog that lives inside. An outdoor dog means someone will have to traipse back and forth to the doghouse to provide fresh food and water. The fresh water is absolutely essential for an outdoor dog. In fact, you might have to refill the water bowl of an outdoor dog much more frequently. An indoor dog can drink from the same bowl all day, but with an outside dog, he’s likely to be thirstier since he’s outdoors. In addition, bugs, leaves and other foreign objects can often find their way into the water bowl causing you to have to refill it again and again. This is not a huge problem, though, if you have an outdoor spigot.
Besides the mandatory food and water an outdoor dog will also need a way to stay secure. Not every dog decides to mind and stay in the yard. Many dogs chase cars, chase cats or otherwise leave the yard. You might have to pay for fencing, and at the very least, you’ll need a sturdy collar and a chain. If the dog is a large one you might need additional things like ground spikes for the chain. An outside dog will need exercise, too. Plan on walking him everyday or providing him with a running wire. These are clipped onto the dog, and something like a clothesline, to give the dog a way to run and exercise.
Indoors, large dogs can get in your way, particularly if you have a small home. Small dogs, on the other hand, can be unseen and dangerous. Hundreds of people fall and get injured every year because they tripped over their pets. Although this isn’t usually an issue with an outdoor pet the outside dog can often jump up on the owner as he approaches the dog or even circle around the owner’s feet causing the chain to wrap around and present a serious danger.
Outdoor dogs face serious dangers that indoor dogs do not. Coyote attacks, snake bites – the list is long. Outdoor dogs also require a little more physical dedication, between watering, walking and washing down the dog house. Indoor dogs usually receive much more attention than outside dogs. Make sure to take some time, everyday, to spend with your outside dog. He might not get noticed quite as much as the indoor dog but he still needs attention. It’s difficult to decide if your new pet should be an outside dog or an inside one, but rest assured; after years of experience with dogs I can guarantee you that he will be happy no matter which you decide!