How Long Should You Leave Your Dog Outside?
If there’s one thing our dogs love, it’s spending some time soaking up the sun in the backyard. In fact, there are times when it’s hard to convince our canine companions to come back inside once you let them out. So you let them stay out just a few minutes longer until you wonder, how long is too long?
Of course, there isn’t a single answer to the question of how long you should leave your dog outside. In some cases, a few hours is fine, while in others, you shouldn’t leave them out for longer than 15 minutes. When you’re deciding what’s right for your dog, consider these factors.
The weather is one of the most important things to consider before leaving your dog out for more than a few minutes. If the temperature is between 60 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, then most dogs should be fine staying out for a few hours. For temperatures above 90 or below 32, consider limiting the time to a maximum of 15 minutes.
Your Dog’s Breed
Some dogs are built to race through snowdrifts; others thrive in the blazing sun. Because of this, your dog’s breed will likely determine how well it will do when left outside, depending on the time of year.
For instance, larger dogs with more hair, such as huskies and Akitas, are typically suited to staying out for up to an hour in the cold and are more resistant to rain. However, when the temperature gets hot, you’ll want to limit time outside when possible. The opposite is true for short-haired and smaller dogs in the winter months.
There are also environmental factors to consider when it comes to how long a dog can stay outside. For instance, a husky let outside on a hot summer day will do much better in a grassy yard with shade and a kiddie pool full of water than it would on an unshaded patio.
If you want to increase the amount of time your dog can stay outside comfortably, consider buying a doghouse to give them added shelter from the elements. Even if your dog already has a doghouse, you may need to consider restoring it if it’s no longer fully keeping out the sun, wind, or rain.
So how long should you leave your dog outside? Once you have considered all these factors, you should be able to make a judgment call depending on your pet. And if you aren’t sure, your local veterinarian may be able to give you valuable insight to help you and your dog fully enjoy the great outdoors.