Dogs need a balance of being inside and outside. Leaving a dog inside for too long can result in physical and mental problems.
If you have your dog inside all day, make sure you take them outside as soon as you can to run around and get fresh air. Exercise is important after being inside all day.
Dogs need to be let outside for their mental and physical health. It makes them happier and healthier. You can see this when a cooped up dog suddenly gets to run around. They release all their pent up energy.
Some dog lovers may think they are protecting their dogs by keeping them inside, but they are actually doing more harm than good. Like children, dogs need to go outside to be exposed to bugs and germs to develop antibodies to fight infections if they get sick.
You will bring in germs from outside, and you need your dog to be able to resist them. You won’t stop your dog from being attacked by fleas, ticks, and heartworm by keeping them inside either. The door isn’t a barrier that stops everything bad from coming inside.
Dogs don’t get the exercise they need when kept inside all day either; they are likely to get obesity and a poor digestive system. They are eating their meals, but don’t get to run the excess calories off.
The most common reason people leave dogs inside all day is because they go to work. So, if you can, try doggie daycare or a form of stimulation that will benefit your dog when you’re not there.
Exercise them as soon as you get home.
Dogs Need Inside and Outside Time
Give your dog the best of both worlds because they do need both. They need a safe and warm inside environment, where theyfeel safe,protected and are near you.
They also need outside time in order to get exercise and be stimulated. Dogs that are inside all the time lack stimulation, and as a result, may develop anxiety or destructive behavior.
An un-stimulated dog that is bored and developing behavioral issues may start to get depressed. All of this is likely to cause discipline and obedience problems.
Dogs Can Be Inside for a Lot of the TimeThere’s absolutely no problem for dogs to be inside for extended periods of time. As long as it’s not all the time, with no stimulation or company, it won’t do them harm.
There are general guidelines on how long you can leave a dog alone inside for. The last thing you want to come home to is damaged property or a disturbed dog.
|Age of Dog||Time Being Alone in the House||Explanation|
|Puppies||2 hours per day maximum||A lonely puppy can develop separation anxiety because they aren’t used to being alone.|
|Over 18 months old||4 to 6 hours per day||These dogs are used to being inside all day and generally sleep when you’re not there.|
|Elderly||2 to 6 hours||Elderly dogs may need extra monitoring for health and toileting issues.|
Of course, if you’re home with them, it’s not as much of a problem. You will still need to allow your dog outside for fresh air, exercise and stimulation. It’s a good excuse for you to get some fresh air and sunshine as well.
Some Breeds do Well Being Left Alone in the House
Keeping dogs inside all the time is usually as a result of owners having to work. Some breeds handle solitude better than others.
Although all dogs have a unique personality, traits do exist where some dogs are better at others at being inside for extended periods of time. They include:
- Basset Hound
- French Bull Dog
- Bull Terrior
- Chow Chow
- Boston Terrior
Dogs Kept Inside Need Stimulation
Keeping a dog inside all the time for whatever reason could be considered cruel by some if you don’t provide the dog with stimulation and things to keep them occupied.
Provide them with chew toys and treats. This keeps them stimulated and it should stop them from feeling like they are being punished by being kept inside.
Some dogs need to have exercise to feel contented. My dog is happy when she has been run ragged all day, playing and charging around.
As soon as you get the chance, you should allow your dog outside to get the exercise that will do it good, both physically and mentally.
This is perfect for two reasons. Your dog will get the outside exercise it craves, and it will let your dog know that regardless of being inside all the time, you will let them out to have fun when you can.
Being In All the Time Can Affect a Dog’s Growth
There is the possibility that being inside all the time may affect your dog’s development and growth. Some people who have kept their dog in all the time notice slight development issues.
This could be because the dog isn’t getting the chance to run around on the ground. The people in apartments with hardwood or marble floors think that their dog’s leg growth isn’t right because of the slippery flooring.
They also noticed that keeping their dog inside made their houses messier from all the dog hair. When their dogs went through the tooth development stage, chew toys weren’t enough and their dogs chewed all the furniture.
Chewing of furniture may also be a sign of a distressed dog being kept inside all the time.
Long Term Crating Isn’t the Answer
Some owners who keep their dogs inside all the time also utilize a crate to keep their dog contained, and house trained.
The problem with that is you shouldn’t keep a dog in a crate for too long. Crates restrict exercise even more than being kept inside all the time.
Puppies can’t hold their bladder very long, and so need to be able to get out to relieve themselves.
Crates have their place for many dogs because they help to train a dog to be ready to be kept inside, for toilet training, and to provide our dog with their own safe space. Incorrect use of a crate can cause physical and mental problems for your dog.
If you use a crate to acclimatize them to being inside, use it only for training not punishment. You want your dog to want to get in, but not fear the crate.
Give Your Dog Activity Outside Often
If you choose to keep your dog inside all the time for any reason, consider hiring a dog walker if it’s feasible for you. Doggie day care is also an option, but that is an additional expense that may be out of many dog owners’ reach.
Dogs can adapt to routine as long as you balance the inside and outside time, so they aren’t stuck inside constantly.
Whether your dog is inside all the time because you work from home, or because you are at work off-site, make sure you meet their physical and psychological needs with plenty of outside time and exercise.
Another option is to introduce a companion for your dog if you’re not home while they are inside. Of course, this isn’t possible for many owners, but it may be suitable for some.
The Bottom Line
Keeping a dog inside all day may not be the best solution, but you can reduce any negative effects with good planning.
Make sure you play with your dog when you get home or after they have been in for a while. Take them out and walk them. Make sure they get to run around and get fresh air.
Give them plenty of activities when they are inside to keep their brains occupied. Chew toys and treats let them know that they aren’t being punished.
Running on the ground outside is necessary for good muscle and bone growth. It will also address any weight issues from being inside all day and not moving as much as if they were outside.
Make sure you keep an eye on any behavior problems that may develop from being inside a lot and address them if they arise.
Most of all, don’t feel guilty if you have to keep your dog inside all day. If you provide all of the things necessary to make it fun and comfortable, your dog will still be living well. Take them out as often and as soon as you can, and you will have the balance that benefits them.
Writer: Craig Taylor