Should dogs sleep outside


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Should dogs sleep outside? Did you find yourself the perfect dog for your family but do not know what to do about its accommodation and sleeping habits?

There is an endless debate among pet lovers on whether dogs should sleep outside at night or not. Unfortunately, opinions differ when it comes to this never-ending topic, and at the end of the day, it is up to the dog owners to decide where their dog will sleep.

This article will discuss why you should let your dog sleep outdoors or inside and how to offer the best conditions no matter what choice you make.

Should You Let Your Puppy Sleep Outside?

Older dogs can sleep outdoors, but little puppies should not. Puppies cannot regulate their body temperature the same way elderly dogs can. You should first let them grow to a certain weight and size and then let them sleep outdoors.

Puppies are more prone to illnesses, diseases, and catching various parasites than grown dogs. However, once they are vaccinated, you can let them sleep outside.

There is no defined time when you can leave your dog outside, but the most suitable time is when the dog is around five months old.

A study conducted also indicated that if a dog has access to their owners to sleep in the same room with, a staggering 86% will chose to sleep with their owners in the same room [source]

Why Not Leave Dogs Sleeping Outside?


Being creatures of nature, they love to roam and wander outdoors. They love exploring, so keeping them outside is suitable for their overall welfare. Letting your pooch outdoors to play is also good for its happiness and make sure you do not leave them unattended for extended periods.

Still, should you leave it to sleep out there? There are many reasons against it.

Dangerous Plants

If you let it out, your dog will try to taste everything it sees on its way. Unfortunately, it could also mean that it will easily get out of your backyard and unluckily find some poisonous plants on its journey.

Sometimes even your yard may have some toxic plants dogs love to taste that you are unaware of. For example, plants such as tomato seeds, aloe, or ivy are poisonous to your pet, and since we know dogs tend to taste everything, take your pooch to sleep indoors to avoid these kinds of accidents.

If your dog sleeps outside, it can be easily bored, and try digging, chewing, or start excessive barking. Since most dogs are social animals, try keeping them inside or at least provide the proper house to keep the dog warm.

Cold Weather

Outdoor dogs have to face different weather conditions. Even if you have a kennel, not all dogs can face outdoor temperatures.

It is recommended to protect your dog from extreme cold, windy weather, snow, or rain. Keeping dogs warm is crucial for their health.

Be careful, especially in winter, because some dogs can freeze due to the extremely cold temperatures. Most frequently, this is the case with older dogs or those who do not have thicker coats to give them protection.


This condition happens when the dog's body temperature drops below the normal. If it is not that serious, the symptoms are weakness and shivering.

Moderate hypothermia is detected when the dog has difficulty breathing, low blood pressure, and muscle stiffness, while severe hypothermia means fixed eye pupils, heartbeat loss, and coma.

An older dog, small dog, or young puppies can more easily be a hypothermia victim due to the fast body heat loss.

Other Dogs and Predators

Cold temperatures and toxic pesticides are not the only reason you should not let your dog sleep outside.

A good night's sleep requires safety, and pet owners should be aware that there are many life-threatening situations that your dog can get itself in.

Your pooch can be the victim of some other adult dog or wild predators if it leaves its dog house at night. Many canines will attack other smaller and weaker ones, no matter if they chew bones or just play among themselves.

Reasons to Let Your Dog Sleep Outside

Still, there are a couple of reasons you can keep dogs outside. 

First of all, a house with a dog outside is one that burglars and criminals avoid. Second, dogs are social creatures who want to group in packs with other dogs living nearby. 

Finally, they will have more freedom and get more exercise which makes them healthier.

Interestingly, there was a study that was conducted - dogs that love the outdoors do tend to wander out into the yard to sleep 70% of the time [source]

What Breed to Choose if You Want to Let Your Dog Sleep Outside?

Remember that your dog can sleep outside in a kennel only if you have provided it with a good quality kennel and heating pads, especially for those without natural insulation and with thin coats.

If you don’t want your pets indoors and want an outdoor dog, these might be the right choices. These breeds require not much more than the regular dog house.

Siberian Huskies 

These are one of the most popular choices for an outside dog. They are relatively low maintenance, and their thick coat keeps them warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Siberian Huskies are also known for being very friendly, which makes them good candidates for families with small children. 

German Shepherds

German Shepherds are another popular choice for an outside dog. They are highly intelligent and trainable, making them good candidates for tasks such as guarding property. They also have a thick coat that protects them from extreme weather conditions. 

Tibetan Mastiffs and Tibetan Terriers

These are two other breeds that make good outside dogs. Both breeds have a thick coat that provides insulation against extreme temperatures. Tibetan Mastiffs are also known for being fiercely loyal, making them excellent guard dogs.

Why is Your Puppy Willing to Sleep Outside?

Some dog breeds are more of the independent kind, so they would insist on sleeping outside at night. It may feel more comfortable and free that way.

Another reason could be its willingness to protect you. Some pooches want to look after the house from the outside.

Sometimes the noises from your household are too much for them, and they want to sleep in peace far from the TV or your phones.

Another study conducted showed that when dogs are not exposed to artificial lights and sounds, they slept far better at night as well [source]

Why Does Your Inside Dog Suddenly Stay Outside at Night?

Outdoors are much more fun and interesting for most of them. However, not for every breed.

If those who used to stay inside suddenly show interest in being out all the time, there might be something going on. However, you can teach them to come inside with proper dog training.

Something in your house may scare the dog and makes it anxious, or it might be depressing. Another thing would be a new dog of the opposite gender in the neighborhood. Then, there may be some physical discomfort.

Dying Pets Want to Stay Outside

If your dog is at the end of its life, it is not uncommon for it wants to stay out and alone. When death approaches, many dogs want solitude and resting spots, away from all the noise and hustle of their previous homes.

Many dog owners state that they try to find a dying spot outside when they are about to die. The separation anxiety makes them isolate themselves.


To conclude, you can choose to keep your dog inside or leave your dog outside at night.

Unless your dog is not toilet trained, there are not many reasons why you should keep it outside. Cold weather and many poisonous plants are the real danger, so you better take your pooch in.

If you still insist on leaving it out, provide the perfect shelter with a dog jacket, blankets, and a suitable kennel.

about the author

Frank Harrigan

Frank loves tacos and dogs - the good, bad and ugly sides of dog ownership.

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