Before you get an outside dog, consider whether the breed you’re interested in is well-suited to living outdoors. Some species, such as Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes, are bred for cold climates and may thrive outside in cooler weather. However, other breeds, such as Chihuahuas and Greyhounds, may not do well outdoors and may be better suited to living indoors. It’s also essential to think about the climate where you live. If you live in hot or humid weather, your dog may be at risk for heatstroke if left outside for extended periods.
Another important consideration is the amount of time your dog will spend outside. If you work long hours or travel frequently, an outside dog may not be your best choice. Once you’ve decided that an outdoor dog is the right choice for you, there are several necessities you’ll need to ensure your dog stays safe and healthy. Here are eight things you’ll need for your outside dog:
- Fencing: A secure fence is essential for keeping your dog contained and preventing them from wandering off. The type of fence you choose will depend on your dog’s size and budget. Some popular fencing options include chain-link, wood, vinyl, and wire welded. It’s essential to ensure that your fence is at least six feet tall and that there are no gaps or holes that your dog can escape through.
- Shelter: Your dog will need a cover to protect them from the elements. A doghouse or other type of shelter can provide shade in the summer and protection from the wind and cold in the winter. Ensure the top is large enough for your dog to stand up and turn around and that it’s well-ventilated.
- Water: Your dog, just like all living things, will always need access to fresh, clean water. A water bowl or automatic waterer can give your dog a constant water supply. Make sure to check the water regularly to ensure it’s clean and to refill it as needed.
- Food: Your dog will need a balanced and nutritious diet to stay healthy. Talk to your veterinarian to determine the best food for your dog’s breed and age. Feeding your dog regularly and ensuring they have access to food at all times is essential. Depending on your dog they may favor one type of food more than another, therefore you will need to monitor or change your dog’s diet regularly to see what they like.
- Toys: Dogs need mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. Providing your dog with toys can help prevent boredom and destructive behavior. Some fun toy options include balls, Frisbees, and chew toys. There are even puzzles your dog can play with in today’s time that can turn into more fun options that also stimulate the doggy brain.
- Flea and tick prevention: Fleas and ticks can cause a host of health problems for your dog. Talk to your veterinarian about the best flea and tick prevention products for your dog’s breed and age. Some products may include a specific collar, dog shampoo or conditioner, and even powder you can spread around your yard or dog living area.
- Medical care: Your dog will need regular medical care to stay healthy. This includes vaccinations, regular check-ups, and treatment for any medical conditions that arise. Make sure to choose a veterinarian experienced in treating dogs and whom you trust.
- Exercise: Exercise is essential for your dog’s physical and mental well-being. Dogs need regular exercise to burn off energy, maintain a healthy weight, and prevent boredom. Depending on your dog’s breed and age, they may need anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours of exercise daily. Fun exercise options include walking, playing fetch, and going on hikes.
While these eight necessities are essential for keeping your outside dog healthy and happy, there are also some fun ideas you can incorporate into your yard to make it a fun and stimulating environment for your dog. Here are some ideas:
- Agility course: Setting up an agility course in your yard can give your dog a fun and challenging activity. You can purchase pre-made agility equipment or build your own using PVC pipes and other materials.
- Sandpit: If your dog loves to dig, consider creating a designated sandpit for them to play in. Fill a large container with sand and bury toys and treats for your dog to find.
- Water feature: If your dog loves water, consider adding a water feature to your yard, such as a small pool or fountain. Just make sure to supervise your dog around water to ensure their safety.
- Obstacle course: Setting up an obstacle course in your yard can provide your dog with a fun and challenging activity. You can use materials such as hula hoops, cones, and tunnels to create a course.
- Dog-friendly plants: Adding some dog-friendly plants to your yard can provide your dog with a sensory experience. Some dog-friendly plants include lavender, rosemary, and sunflowers.
- Shade trees: If your yard doesn’t have natural shade, consider planting some trees to provide your dog with a shady spot to rest.
- Digging pit: If your dog loves to dig but doesn’t want them digging up your yard, consider creating a designated hole for them. Fill a large container with soil and bury toys and treats for your dog to find.
- Play area: Designate a specific area of your yard as a play area for your dog. You can add toys, a sandbox, and other fun elements to make it a fun and stimulating environment for your dog.
In conclusion, getting an outside dog is a significant decision that requires careful consideration. Before getting an outdoor dog, it’s essential to consider the breed, the climate where you live, and the amount of time the dog will spend outside. Your outside dog can live a healthy and happy life with proper care and attention.
Written by Taylor McKnight, Author for Blue Stone Supply
Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/IEn8f-eFwc8
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