Raining Cats & Dogs

Pet tips: Dogs inside or out?

Dogs are a part of the family and should be included in the daily routine, which revolves around a life indoors. Our furry family members are social beings and are most comfortable around their people. This is why Seattle Humane advocates for dogs to be primarily indoor companions with time outside for potty breaks, exercise or play time.

Socialization

Dogs need to spend time with their family to learn the rules and to become comfortable with people in general. Dogs who spend most of their time alone or only in the company of other dogs may demonstrate fearful, aggressive or overactive behavior toward family members or strangers because they've never learned how to act around people.

When your dog is integrated into the family, it's not only fun but their care becomes easy and routine. If you must remember to go outside to exercise, socialize and feed your dog - the task becomes a burden instead of a joy. With a little time and proper training, dogs are wonderful indoor companions who learn boundaries and can be trusted alone in the house or crated successfully.

Behavior Problems

Most dogs enjoy time outdoors, but when left alone, they won't frolic or run laps around the yard for exercise. The isolation can result in loneliness or frustration for your dog who will likely dig holes, chew what he's not supposed to or bark excessively. Boredom can result in destructive behavior, and it's best to keep your furry friend happy by keeping him busy!

If you must leave your dog outside while you're at work or running errands - try to walk or engage him in a game of fetch before you leave. A tired dog is a good dog. Also try giving him chew toys, dog puzzles or Kongs stuffed with treats while you're away that will keep him mentally stimulated - and out of trouble.

Safety

If your furry friend spends an extended amount of time outdoors, you'll need to secure the fence line, provide shelter from the elements, and food and water at all times. During extreme heat or cold, it's best to keep your dog inside.

Remember puppies are vulnerable and susceptible to heat, cold and disease. They should not be left outside unattended under any circumstance. Since puppies need to be indoor and can't hold their bladder for long periods of time, it's important that someone is available to take the puppy "potty" several times a day, about every 2-3 hours. If your schedule isn't flexible, consider hiring a dog sitter or asking a neighbor, friend or family member to check on your puppy during the day.

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