A dog that stays home when her owner is at work can while away the day indoors or out. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. You’ll have to decide which option offers the most stimulation and the best security for your dog.
The Outdoor Life:
Your first instinct may be to leave your dog outside. After all, if she’s outdoors, she can go to the bathroom whenever she needs to. She can look through the slats of the fence at people passing by. She will also get lots of fresh air, and can chase birds and squirrels that venture into her yard.
This may sound ideal, but there are some hidden problems. “There are many risks to leaving a dog outside all day while you’re away,” says Kovary. “To relieve her boredom, your dog may find a way to escape from your yard; or she could be stolen, teased or harassed by passerby.”
Behavioral problems may also develop. “Some dogs have a tendency to become overly aggressive when left outside all day,” explains Kovary. “They can get very frustrated with people passing by.” Another emotional hazard is fear, which can be brought on by larger dogs, car noises and thunderstorms. “Thunder can be very scary to your dog, and if she is trapped outside while it is going on, she may become so panicked that she will literally claw her way out of the yard,” says Kovary. Be especially careful when fireworks are likely to be let off. Many pets run off in panic and are lost at such times.
The Indoor Life:
Your dog is safer indoors where she can escape from loud noises and other scary things. She will be less likely to develop aggressive behavior, and neighbors won’t be bothered by nuisance barking.
The downside of being indoors is that she won’t able to relieve herself when her bladder if full. Adult dogs can physically cope with this, but it may not be too comfortable. Also, if she is lonely and there’s not to be comfortable. Also, if she is lonely and there’s not a lot stimulating her, it will be the furniture that is likely to bear the brunt of her boredom and frustration.
Preparations and Provisions:
If you choose to chance the great outdoors, there are provisions you will need to make for your dogs, says Connie Cleveland, a dog trainer in Fountain Inn, South Carolina. “It’s important to provide a securely fenced yard to keep her at home, safe from other wandering dogs,” she says.
“A dog should also be able to get out of the wind or rain. Fresh drinking water is a must, too, and make sure if can’t be spilled in your absence.” One way to do this is to attach a bucket to a fence or place an eye bolt on the side of her doghouse to hold the water container. Or use a heavy ceramic water dish. The indoor dog will need water too, and toys to keep her occupied.
Whether indoors or out, dogs should never wear a choke collar while unsupervised because of the risk of it catching on something. Use a flat buckle collar instead, advises Cleveland.