What is the difference between indoor dogs and outdoor dogs?


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In the past, dogs were raised for the sole purpose of guarding their masters. As a result, they were restricted to the outdoors. They usually had a kennel in the backyard. But, with changing times, dogs found their way into the homes and beds of their owners.

With owners considering dogs as part of their families, it makes sense for them to bring the pets into their lives and lifestyle as well.

So, is your dog an indoor dog or an outdoor pet? How do you know the difference? Here are some ways to be informed:

Environmental Behavior

It is possible for dogs to adapt to an outdoor or indoor environment. But some dogs are more suited to an indoor or outdoor environment. If your dog is happy staying indoors always, then it could be that your dog is an indoor being.

Indoor dogs are at their happiest when they are inside. They love spending time in your air-conditioned room and may hate rains or going outdoors frequently. Some examples of indoor dogs are French Bulldog, Pug, Shih Tzu, and Dachshund.

Outdoor dogs, on the other hand, love spending time under the sun and moon. They do not mind the rain or winter and are happiest and most comfortable when they are amidst nature.

Australian Shepherd, Labrador Retriever, Bernese Mountain Dog, Mastiff, and German Shepherd are some examples of outdoor dogs.

Physical Adaptability

It is important to know if your dog has the physical capability to be an outdoor or indoor dog. For example, breeds such as pugs, poodles, poms, and short-haired beagles, are usually bred to be indoor pets. Training them to be outdoor pets is not recommended at all. Poms, for example, cannot tolerate hot weather, while breeds such as chihuahuas can freeze to death in extremely cold temperatures.

Breeds such as Mastiffs, Border Collie, Rough Collie, and Shepherds, are capable of tolerating harsh climates. Their bodies are pre-built with a thin layer of fat, which insulates them from colder temperatures.

What can you do?

Be it an outdoor dog or indoor; there are a few things that you as a dog owner can do to keep them happy. By doing so, you'll help them thrive in their respective environments.

  • Give outdoor dogs a cool place during hot summer days. They also need grooming to shed their thick hair built as a defense against winter.
  • Indoor dogs, including small breeds and those with thin coats, should not be allowed outside in the hot sun to keep them safe from sunburns. The lack of hair also makes them vulnerable to bug bites.
  • Outdoor dogs may need warm shelter during colder months. This is because despite their heavy top winter coat, these dogs have paws and ears that are sensitive to winters. Their paws and ears can freeze in winters.
  • Ensure that dog shelters have comfortable bedding. You could use several layers of straw, or a heated pad covered by a blanket for bedding purposes.
  • Indoor and outdoor dogs need social interaction for mental health. Spend as much time as possible with them. An indoor is best if you live in a city. If you live in a ranch, farm or any such expansive outdoors, then an outdoor dog can be your reliable companion.
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