Providing you are able to keep your dog happy, safe and warm, dogs are able to live in outdoor kennels. There are many reasons why you may decide to keep your dog outside, but it is vital that your dog’s needs are met whether they live indoors or in an outdoor kennel, and so the kennel you choose will be an important decision.
In the rest of this article, we will look at whether outdoor kennels are suitable for dogs, what to consider when choosing an outdoor kennel and some of the reasons you may choose to keep your door outside.
Table of Contents
- Can dogs live in outdoor kennels?
- Why would I choose for my dog to live in an outdoor kennel?
- What should I look for when buying a kennel?
- What else should be considered?
- How can I tell if my dog is happy in an outdoor kennel?
- How can I tell if my dog is unhappy in an outdoor kennel?
- Can I train my dog to live outdoors?
- How long should my dog stay in an outdoor kennel?
- Is it ever inappropriate to keep my dog in an outdoor kennel?
- Is it ever unsafe to keep my dog outside?
- Are there any benefits to my dog living outdoors?
Can dogs live in outdoor kennels?
Whilst it may be difficult to provide for your dog’s needs when living in an outdoor kennel, it is possible for your dog to live outdoors. It is legal to keep your dog outdoors, but there are things for you to consider in order to do so safely and ensure your dog remains as healthy and happy as possible. An outdoor kennel is one option for making sure your dog is safe living outside, but it is vital that the right kennel is chosen.
Why would I choose for my dog to live in an outdoor kennel?
An outdoor kennel may be the right option for your dog if you are struggling with your dog’s behaviours inside the house. If your dog’s behaviour is particularly destructive, they may not be able to live indoors happily. Other reasons include difficulty house training your dog or problems with aggression. Contacting a vet or behavioural expert may be a first step in facing these issues but keeping your dog in an outdoor kennel is another option.
What should I look for when buying a kennel?
If you have decided to purchase an outdoor kennel, there are a few things you should consider when making your decision. The most important thing is that the kennel is able to meet your dog’s needs in terms of health and safety. The kennel must provide adequate warmth and shelter from bad weather, good ventilation to ensure fresh air is able to circulate, and space for your dog to move around comfortably.
What else should be considered?
You may also want to consider whether to restrain your dog on a lead or chain when outdoors. The RSPCA does not recommend this as it can limit your dog’s movement and behaviour, as well as causing problems for health and wellbeing. Your dog’s social needs are another important consideration; your dog may struggle with loneliness if kept outdoors, so ensuring company is provided for your dog is important.
How can I tell if my dog is happy in an outdoor kennel?
If you are unsure are keeping your dog outdoors, there are some things you can look for to tell whether they are happy and comfortable. A dog comfortable in its surroundings will give off all the signs of a happy dog: look out for a wagging tail, lots of head tilting and relaxed ears, a sure sign of contentment.
How can I tell if my dog is unhappy in an outdoor kennel?
On the other hand, there are some things to look for to tell if your dog is unhappy or destressed by being outdoors. Your dog may display signs of unease including barking more loudly or more often than usual, aggressive behaviours like growling, and chewing on surrounding items.
Can I train my dog to live outdoors?
Like most things, living outdoors will require time and patience with your dog. It may be something they are unused to or unsure about, so set aside plenty of time to allow your dog to get used to it. Your dog will need to get used to new smells and environments, so make sure to bring lots of comforting smells they are used to such as old toys and blankets.
How long should my dog stay in an outdoor kennel?
If you have decided to keep your dog in an outdoor kennel, you might want to consider whether to bring them inside at times. Your dog should never be left alone outdoors for a long time, including overnight, as this can prove dangerous. Temperatures and conditions can change very quickly and if your dog is left unattended, you are likely to be unaware if anything has happened.
Is it ever inappropriate to keep my dog in an outdoor kennel?
Some dogs are not well-suited to living outdoors, even in a kennel. Age is an important consideration – it is not recommended that puppies under eight weeks or elderly dogs live outdoors, but instead live indoors and spend shorter amounts of time outside. You might also want to consider your dog’s breed, as some breeds will thrive off being indoors, including smaller breeds and those who prefer warmer climates. Dogs with health conditions should not be kept outdoors; these dogs need to be near to you and watched a considerable amount more than others.
Is it ever unsafe to keep my dog outside?
There are circumstances when keeping your dog outdoors, even in a sheltered kennel, may not be appropriate. Extremely cold or harsh weather is not suitable for dogs, even those more acclimatised or suited to cold. Dogs are just as vulnerable to developing hypothermia or frostbite as humans, meaning they cannot cope with cold weather. In these circumstances, you may want to reconsider your dog living in an outdoor kennel.
Are there any benefits to my dog living outdoors?
Whether your dog will benefit from living in an outdoor kennel will depend on a number of things. An important consideration is your dog’s breed; some breeds are more likely to thrive in an outdoor environment than others. As long as they have adequate shelter and warmth, Siberian huskies are more likely to enjoy being outdoors in cold weather than other dogs, for instance.