It’s only recently that dogs have largely ceased sleeping outside. People are moving into smaller residences, like townhouses or apartments, which don’t have a yard as a primary cause. While it may appear to be better to let a dog begin sleeping outside at a young age, the key question is whether or not they should. Is it safe to leave pups outside to sleep? What do you need to consider before letting your puppy sleep outside?
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Yes, dogs can sleep outside, to address the first question. However, most veterinarians and specialists advise against it, especially if it is still young. Allowing a puppy to sleep outside can be hazardous and lethal for a variety of reasons.
Consider your puppy’s breed and coat feature before allowing it to sleep outside. Canine breed with shorter coats will find it difficult to keep a comfortable body temperature, especially during the winter. On the other hand, their coat may be too long, causing them difficulty during the hot and humid season. You must allow your puppy to mature to the size and weight required to withstand the rigors of the season.
Puppies are also more susceptible to illness, diseases, and parasites compared to adult dogs when they still have vaccination to complete. Additionally, allowing your puppy to sleep outside can have a negative psychological and social impact on your puppy.
Let us go into a more in-depth discussion of why it is highly recommended not to let pups outside to sleep. We have included additional information on when it is appropriate to allow your puppy to sleep outdoors, how to train a puppy to sleep outside, and other topics that will be beneficial for this specific topic.
Why can’t puppies sleep outside right away?
- Puppies need help regulating their body temperature
Puppies lack the ability to regulate their body temperature in the same way as adult dogs do. Depending on the season or weather, whether it’s too hot and humid or too cold and snowy, you’ll need to let your puppy mature to size and weight that will allow him to withstand the demands of the season.
- Puppies are susceptible to diseases and parasites
Your puppy, like human babies, is more vulnerable to a variety of illnesses and parasites than fully grown canines. Because of this, it is not safe to let puppies sleep outside if they have not completed their immunization yet.
Your veterinarian will administer vaccinations every 6 to 8 weeks, 10 to 12 weeks, and 14 to 16 weeks, depending on your pet’s age. Afterwards, you can start transitioning your dog from sleeping inside the house to the yard.
- Puppies can’t withstand certain weather conditions
Consider how cold it really gets where you live. This is important for all kinds of puppies. The majority of dogs can’t stand being outside when the temperature drops below 10 degrees Celsius. How much more for a puppy?
Puppies left outside in freezing areas with snow are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia.
- Puppies need extra comfort and love
Puppies require additional comfort and love. You must assume the job of a puppy’s parent as soon as you adopt it. That means you’ll have to fill in for the comfort your puppy used to get from its mother and littermates when it was younger.
Puppies need to be socialized. It is critical for their mental development to instill confidence in them to interact with others, whether human or canine. Behavioral problems such as stress, anxiety, and aggression are common in puppies who are kept outside for extended periods of time.
When should a puppy start sleeping outside instead of inside?
While the exact age at which puppies can sleep outside varies depending on the pet owner, puppies can normally start sleeping outside between four and six months after all vaccinations have been completed.
Important Note: When preparing your dog for the outside world, keep in mind that an older dog is more difficult to teach than a puppy.
What is the Best Place for My Puppy to Sleep?
Puppies should sleep indoors for the first four to six months of their lives. Purchase a puppy crate that is appropriate for indoor use and keep it close to your bed. During the first few nights, it is ideal to raise the crate so that it is at the same height as your bed. The crate can be moved to the floor next to your bed after a few nights.
How Do You Get Your Puppy to Sleep Outside?
- Keep your Dog Warm
Your dog needs a warm, heated shelter, so either build a doghouse or buy an outside dog cage somewhat larger than your pet. It should be made of water- and wind-resistant materials. To ensure the safety of your dog, the dog house should not leak in the rain and shield your canine from the cold. The roof should be angled away from the entryway. This is especially important during the winter months to keep your dog warm and protected from the sun’s rays.
In the case of a little dog or one with a thin coat, it may be necessary to provide your dog with a jacket for additional heat. Allow the coat to remain on your dog for a little longer in the winter to provide additional warmth.
TIP: If the temperature has dropped significantly, your dog may need to increase the number of calories in its diet. Dogs require additional energy to keep warm.
- Let Them Find Their “Spot
Bring the dog outside during the day and let it find a peaceful location to rest. Place your puppy’s dog house near to that area. Allow your dog to play in the area where you intend for them to sleep every day to help him feel comfortable. Leave them alone but keep a tight eye on them. Repeat this process every day, increasing the amount of time they are left alone.
- Establish the “Spot” as a Safe Space
Bring your dog outside for supervised daytime naps – set up a chair and read a book while your dog sleeps. Once you feel like they are already comfortable taking daytime naps outside, it’s time to transition to evening naps.
Bring your puppy to the “Spot” they’ve grown accustomed to over the course of a week and let them get comfortable during the night. Read them a book to help them sleep. It would be great if they sleep outside all throughout the night during their first try but it’s okay if they don’t either. Repeat this practice every day until they are comfortable sleeping outside alone.
Remember, the “Spot” must be a positive environment, not a place where you send your dog when he is in trouble. This is important to make your puppy comfortable with its new sleeping quarters and for him not to resent the area.
- Use Familiar Items to Inspire Comfort
Organize the dog’s belongings from the house (such as its sleeping pillow, water bowl, play toy, and so on) and transfer them to the new dog house. Allow them to see what you’re up to as you work. Make sure everything is in the right place for your dog’s “spot” and allow them to get comfortable.
- Provide enough water and treats
Provide your dog with more water than usual. Otherwise, your dog may scratch and whine in the middle of the night because he or she is thirsty. Avoid using metal water bowls especially during the snow season as the water may freeze overnight.
TIP: Dig a shallow hole for a bucket in the ground. Fill it with water and ice cubes after that. The ground will keep the water cool.
Leave treats near your dog’s bedding in the evenings before bedtime to tempt them to stay outside.
- Establish a routine
Establishing a routine is another approach to ease your dog into its new sleeping quarters. Saying goodnight and giving them a reassuring stroke before bed, and greeting them with a good morning and a snuggle when you wake up, can help to provide comfort for your puppy. Your canine will be delighted to know that you are there before bed and in the mornings.
Additionally, check on your dog regularly during the night during the initial transition time. They’ll feel safer knowing you’re still nearby if they see you.