Is It Okay to Let My Dog Sleep Outside?

By Bethany Tate

It is okay to let your dog sleep outside. Just make sure your dog won’t run away at night, the temperature outside isn’t too extreme, and that there is no threat from wild animals. 

Does your dog love being outdoors and want to sleep outside? If so that’s completely okay! While there are some necessary precautions pet parents should take, for the most part it’s perfectly fine to let a dog sleep outside of the house. 

Here are some tips for anyone looking to let their dog sleep outside. 

Be mindful of the outside temperature 

If you live somewhere that experiences very cold or very hot temperatures then you should use caution when letting your dog outside during extreme weather conditions. 

Keep in mind that your dog’s age, breed, and overall health will affect how well he or she does in cold or hot weather. When in doubt about the safety of outside temperatures consult your vet. 

How hot is too hot for a dog to sleep outside?

If the temperature outside is above 75 degrees F make sure your dog has plenty of water to drink and a shady spot to lay down in. It’s okay to step out of the house and check up on them to see how they’re doing every once and awhile.

If the temperature is above 85 degrees, then you should think twice about leaving your dog outside for long periods of time. 

How cold is too cold for a dog to sleep outside?

In general when the temperature outside drops below 32 degrees fahrenheit, small dogs, older, dogs, and breeds with short hair shouldn’t be left outside alone for long stretches. If the temperature drops below 20 degrees then you put your dog at risk for cold related health problems regardless of breed. At these temperatures dogs shouldn’t sleep outside. 

Tips for letting your dog sleep outside

Remember that time spent outside isn’t a substitute for socialization

We all know the stereotypical dog owner who ties their dog up outside all day and night and does little else to train or care for their canine. Dogs raised like this are often ill behaved and can even become aggressive. Don’t think that by letting your dog sleep outside you don’t have to socialize them with other people and other dogs. 

Make sure your dog has a safe place to practice denning 

If your dog is going to sleep outside make sure they have a safe place to make a den and sleep in shelter. This can be as simple as a dog house or elaborate as an outside kennel. Your dog has a natural instinct to cozy up in a safe place, so make sure you provide that place for them. 

Be aware of wild animals

If you live in an area that has wild animals then you should exercise caution when letting your dog sleep outside. Wild animals that could pose a threat to your dog include venomous reptiles, bears, coyotes, wolves, racoons, and possums.  

Don’t treat sleeping outside as a solution for behavioral problems

If your dog is barking all night, growling at your husband in bed, or whining in their crate, don’t treat sleeping outside as a solution for these behavioral problems. Sleeping outside isn’t a substitute for training.  

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Bethany Tate
Writing and analyzing data are her superpowers. Dogs, nature, and trail running are her oxygen. Bethany passionately believes pets make the world a better place. Her world is made better by Nemo, her pet dachshund.