Is It Cruel to Keep a Dog Outside

While dogs enjoy being outside, some people believe that keeping a dog outside is cruel. This debate has become a hot topic among many pet parents.

Those who say that it’s okay to leave a dog outside are accused of cruelty and neglect. If you have a dog pet that you love so much, you may also think that leaving them outside is negligent.

But the truth is, most dogs enjoy staying outside the house or playing in the yard with other dogs. They could stay there all the time.

In most cases, owners prefer to keep their dogs outside due to their behavioral problems that may hinder them from staying indoors. For instance;

A dog may be destructive or difficult to toilet train, and it can be a bit tricky to allow them to stay inside the house. Thus, sometimes it’s reasonable to keep a dog outside.

If you choose to keep your dog outside, there a few things you will want to consider to ensure that your pet is safe. Here

1. Build a Suitable Outdoor Kennel

Build a Suitable Outdoor Kennel

If you decide to keep your dog outside, you need to provide them with a suitable kennel. An ideal kennel should have a large and enough space with separate sleeping and activity areas.

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While living in the kennel, your dog should be able to comfortably walk, play, run, and wag their tail freely. They should also stretch and lie down without experiencing any problems within the kennel.

2. Shelter and Protection

Exposing your dog to extreme weather conditions like rain, wind, and direct sunlight can make them uncomfortable. You should be sure to provide fit shelter and protection to help your dog live a comfortable life.

In this case, dog crates may not be the best for providing suitable shelter and protection for your dog. Use building materials that can limit direct sunlight to the kennel.

3. Temperature and Ventilation

Temperature and Ventilation

Automatic heating or cooling and ventilation are also essential to ensure that the kennel temperatures remain above 10 degrees Celsius and below 26 degrees Celsius.

You should ensure to use safe heating and cooling systems to keep your dog safe and avoid posing risks in the kennel. For instance, there should be no trailing cables. Once you install the heating and cooling systems in the kennel, you should monitor the temperature daily.

4. Tethering or Restraining Your Dog

If you want to keep your dog outside, you may think of tethering them or restraining them to ensure that they don’t go away from home.

However, tethering or restraining a dog is not always a good idea, except when you do it for a short period only. Restraining a dog or leashing them could lead to aggression, injuries, and sometimes restrict normal behavior. This can be very damaging to your dog’s wellbeing.

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5. Your Dog’s Social Needs

Your Dog’s Social Needs

You should always ensure that your dog behaves normally and allow them to perform daily exercises, play, and interact with other pets and human beings.

This will fulfill all their social needs and help them live happily, even when outside. Keep in mind that your outdoor dog needs to have the appropriate company around to prevent loneliness and boredom.

If you don’t fulfill the social needs of your dog, they may become distressed. Some of the common signs of a distressed dog include whining, howling, barking for no reason, and showing aggression.

How Do Dogs Feel About Being Outside?

Generally, dogs feel good when they are outside, and most of them do well when living there. However, depending on breed and prevailing weather conditions, some dogs do not do well living outside, especially in winters and hot and humid summer. Some sturdy dog breeds like the Siberian Husky don’t like to stay inside, even during cold seasons, provided they are used to staying outside. They prefer to live outside in the cold instead of staying inside.

Which Dog Breeds Can Stay Outside?

Which Dog Breeds Can Stay Outside

It’s also crucial to know what dog breeds can stay outside, as some breeds will not do well when kept outside. All livestock guard dogs will do better when kept outside than when they stay inside the house.

You can set aside a dry area where your livestock guard dog will sleep during rainy and stormy seasons. Nonetheless, your livestock guard dog might not even use a shelter, other than when it’s raining. Other dog breeds that can be kept outside include:

  • Malamutes
  • Samoyeds
  • Alaskan Huskies
  • Siberian Huskies
  • German Shepherds
  • Tibetan Mastiffs
  • Bernese Mountain dogs
  • Newfoundlands
  • Saint Bernards
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Which Dog Breeds Cannot Be Kept Outside?

If you have any small dog breed or medium-sized breed with short coats, you should never keep them outside. Small dogs like Maltese, Yorkshire Terriers, and Chihuahuas may freeze to death when left outside.

Even if you think you have a good kennel, let your little dog stay in the house. If you want to keep these types of dogs outside because you don’t want to stay or interact with them, that isn’t fair. You should not own them.


Keeping your big and sturdy dogs like sled dogs and guard dogs outside is not cruel at all, provided you build them a suitable shelter. However, other small and medium-sized dogs should never be kept outside as they could die of cold.

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