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Is It Cruel to Leave My Dog Outside at Night?

If your home has a big backyard, you may wonder if your pooch can safely and comfortably spend the night outside. While your dog certainly loves to romp and play in the backyard, it doesn’t mean he’s safe to sleep out there. There are many potential threats to a pooch that is left alone outside for long periods of time, including animal attacks, lousy weather conditions, and poisonous plants. While it isn’t cruel to leave your dog outside at night, it certainly isn’t advised.

Here are some reasons why your pup should always sleep inside.

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Weather Conditions

Even if you have some sort of shelter for your dog, you should never leave him alone and outside at night. Different weather conditions can harm your pet and it’s important to protect him from wind, snow, rain, and sunshine. While it’s perfectly fine to let your dog play outside on a hot or snowy day, you should never leave him outside for the night. Without access to your house, your pet can overheat or freeze to death. This is certainly true to short-haired dogs who don’t have the proper insulation from thick coats to protect them from the cold. Even long-haired dogs can suffer if left outside overnight, especially during the hot summer months.

Poisonous Plants

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Image Credit: pixel2013, Pixabay

A bored dog can get into all sorts of trouble. If your pup is bored and left to his own devices overnight, he can easily find a way to sneak out of your backyard. Whether he jumps, digs, or chews through your fence, a loose dog is also a dog in harm’s way.

This is because he can have access to toxic plants. Even if your dog stays in your yard, there are plenty of plants that may be growing in your garden that are poisonous to him, including sago palm, aloe, tomato plants, and ivy. During the day, you can keep a close eye on your pet to ensure he doesn’t eat these plants. But when you’re sleeping, your dog can certainly dine on these dangerous plants.

Wild Animals and Other Dogs

Whether your dog escaped from your backyard and is roaming free or is still confined to your property, he can fall victim to wild predators and even other dogs. Large predators such as coyotes and cougars can injure or even kill your pup. Feral, stray dogs may attack your dog if he comes too close. It’s always best to keep your pooch safe and secure inside of the house.

Loneliness and Boredom

By nature, dogs are pack animals. They do best in the company of others. If you own one dog and leave him outside all night, he may become lonely or bored. These emotions can result in bad behavior, such as excessive barking, chewing, or digging.

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Image Credit: MozartFoto, Flickr

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Is It Cruel to Leave My Dog Outside at Night?

Leaving your dog outside doesn’t make you a monster. But it may make you an irresponsible pet parent. A dog left alone outside for eight hours or more can be adversely affected by a number of things, including weather, predators, and even plants.

While you don’t have to let your dog sleep in the same bed as you, you should always allow him to slumber in the comfort and safety of his own household, which is yours too.

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Featured Image Credit: Vectorxue, Pixabay