A bulldog sleeping on a bed with his mouth open, wondering what temperature is OK for dogs to sleep outside.

Can Dogs Sleep Outside?

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If you have a new dog or puppy, or are plotting to get one soon, you may be wondering if dogs can sleep outside. Are you debating whether dogs sleeping inside is better? Wondering what temperature is OK for dogs to sleep outside? These are great questions for existing, new and prospective pet parents.

Many pet parents prefer having their dog sleep outdoors. It means that pooch will be more immersed in his or her surroundings and can sound the alarm on intruders easily and effectively. And of course, having them sleep outside means they can also pee and poop without you needing to let them out.

On the other hand, many dog parents prefer cuddling up with pup in their bed. Or at the very least having them under the same roof at night. Of course, there are those adorable pleading puppy eyes that can sway us so easily…

But does one really trump the other in terms of issues like safety or forming a bond with your new pet? Let’s find out.

Should puppies and dogs sleep inside or outside?

Should puppies and dogs sleep outside? Will they be OK in their furry outfits, will they be safe, and will they miss us (or will we miss them) way too much?

Dogs are our best friends, and as it turns out we’ve co-evolved. Basically, this means our lives are a whole lot better – and more successful – thanks to our canine counterparts. And while your pup may have fur and be physically able to get sleep outside at night, it’s actually better to bring him or her in.

Wolves and dogs share DNA (read about it in the history of dogs). And if you think about it even wolves try to get under shelter at night, whether that’s an underground den or a cave. Even wolves do their best to create make-shift indoor environments.

Your domesticated pup long ago lost those skills. Therefore, the safest and easiest way to keep them protected and happy at night is for them to be indoors.

Tan puppy sleeps peacefully on its owner's bed.

Here are three reasons why puppies and dogs should sleep inside with you at night.

1.What temperature is ok for dogs to sleep outside?

Australian temperature fluctuations can be severe at the best of times. When it’s hot it’s really hot. Likewise, our rain, hail and general stormy weather can take the mercury aaalll the way to the other end of the spectrum. Not to mention all the water build up.

Although your pooch is equipped with fur, which is good for the cold, it can still be unpleasant for your dog to sleep outside. Sometimes it can be dangerous too. This is why it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Dogs struggle to regulate their temperature. Unlike us peeps they don’t sweat. As a result, it’s easy for them to suffer from heat exhaustion in the summer months. And it’s important to understand that heat stroke in pets can quickly become life-threatening. Find out how a pet cooling mat to help keep your pet cool in hot weather.

Do dogs feel cold?

Dogs were the first animals to ever have been domesticated. Just like we do, they feel the cold as the winter sets in. Read some great tips to keep your pet warm this winter here.

Dogs, like this tan dog napping, should sleep indoors rather than outside at night.

2. Dogs need supervision with outdoor safety hazards

Gardens are great for dogs. They’re the perfect place to let your puppy play their favourite games and are key for toilet training a puppy too. But having your dog or puppy sleep outside at night can change this harmless environment into a hazardous one.

Without supervision, your patio, pool or plants that are toxic to pets can be dangerous pup at any age. Common daytime toys can be a choking hazard at any time. (Read about what to do if your dog or cat is choking). Without you there to keep a watchful eye at night, your dog could be at higher risk.

Another danger that most of us would prefer not to think about is stolen dogs. Since the pandemic, dog theft is on the rise, with more expensive dog breeds often being at most risk. Unfortunately, this has become a vast underground industry that’s rampant and difficult to police.

Tip: If having pup inside at night seems tricky because they have too much energy or bark a lot then fear not. With tips on puppy sleep training and how to stop a dog from barking you possibly won’t want your dog or puppy to sleep outside. These are golden tools. Use them and both you and pooch can get some great indoor shuteye! 😊

Yorkshire Terrier peeks at the camera as it naps on a bed.

3. Dogs are evolved to be social – needing humans

It’s no coincidence that dogs have been our besties for the longest period of evolution. Dogs are highly sociable creatures, much like we are. In fact, it’s the wolves with the most sociable traits that are thought to have first crossed over to being human companions.

That’s yet another reason dogs should sleep indoors rather than outside at night. Is there really a reason to argue with evolution? Dogs have been part of our families and slept near or in our beds for thousands of years.

In fact, sleeping with your dog in your bed has several health benefits. Having pooch indoors at night means more time to cuddle, bond and simply share the same space.

Besides, what could be cuter than being woken up like the woman in this video:

Tips to ensure your dog sleeps safely outside

Sometimes you might need your dog to sleep outside. Perhaps, for example, you have visitors with children and your dog isn’t used to kids. If this is the case, read about teaching boundaries between kids and dogs. Then…

Whatever the reason, you’ll want to ensure your pup is well taken care of under the (hopefully) starry skies. If your dog is going to be sleeping outside, here are some tips to get it right:

  • Keep the period your dog must sleep outside as short as possible
  • Make sure there’s ample shelter from the elements
  • Give them a comfy outside ‘bedroom’ with blankets, bedding and a toy, and perhaps one of your clothing items to keep them calm (you could even make your own dog kennel)
  • Make sure your dog has ready access to fresh water
  • Check in on them and interact with them regularly to make sure they don’t get frustrated, bored, anxious or destructive

If you know separation anxiety in pets could be a problem for your dog sleeping outside, consider alternatives. Maybe they can have a sleepover with a dog godparent on nights you’ll be away. Or perhaps a boarding kennel is the best solution because there will be other pups to spend time with.

You know your pet best; choose wisely based on their pet personality and needs.

What temperature is OK for dogs to sleep outside?

So you want your dog to sleep outside; fair enough. Some of us don’t want the dog smell or fur invading our turf at all hours. Or we don’t want to be woken up in the middle of the night for various doggy reasons.

So what temperature is OK for dogs to sleep outside? Our research is showing that once you get to 10ºC you need to really monitor your canine companion and consider bringing them inside until the temperature warms up again.

Once it gets to 7ºC get your protective parenting gear into action and take them out of that low temp.

More responsible pet parenting tips

The ultimate goal of every pawrent is to make their pet as comfortable as possible. Check out our articles below for tips on how to make your pet feel safe and happy:

  1. How To Keep Your Dog Cool This Summer
  2. Why Are Dogs Scared of Thunder? How to Help
  3. Doggy Daycare Dangers and Safety Tips
  4. Dog Pool Training: Your Need to Knows
  5. Can Your Pup Get Sunburn? How to Protect Them
  6. All About Dogs, Marijuana and CBD Oil
  7. Compare Pet Insurance for Your Dog Like a Pro

Pet insurance for inside and out

Pet insurance is a way to invest a little for great returns on peace of mind for your dog’s healthcare needs.

Because even if you’re a model pet parent and your dog sleeps in the lap of luxury rather than outside, accidents, injuries, allergies and other health issues are always possible. It’s great to know that if you suddenly need an unexpected trip to the vet your costs won’t break the bank.

That’s because dog insurance helps with all kinds of unexpected costs, like tests, hospital stayovers, surgery and medication plus a whole lot more. Plus, you’ll get one (or more) months of FREE pet insurance when you sign up with PD Insurance online.

Click below to get a quick quote today. Our pet care cover is fast, affordable, reliable and you can access your account 24/7 for easy claims. 😊

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