Transitioning Puppy from Inside to Outside

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Some dogs are meant to enjoy the outdoors and stay there. They thrive in the yard because they love protecting the property, greeting neighbors, and alerting their owners. 

If you have decided that you want an outside dog, then you must learn about transitioning a puppy from inside to outside.  

This process can be easy if proper socialization, training, and nutrition are provided. 

Find out why dogs should sleep outside, which breeds are best suited for it, and which ones are not.  

Also learn when a puppy can begin to sleep outside and how to transition them from an inside dog to an outside dog. 

It is important to find out about any potential issues that may come up during the process, so you are well prepared to transition your puppy outdoors. 

puppy transition outside

Why A Dog Should Sleep Outside 

Many dog owners like to keep their pets in the house at night. And many dog lovers are divided on this issue. 

Those who think that dogs can sleep outside are often seen as inconsiderate or even cruel.  

But there are some legitimate reasons why a dog might need to sleep outside. 

Barking at Night 

It is common among many dog owners to let their dog outside when they are making too much noise inside.  

Barking, crying, or whining is your dog’s way of communicating. You can’t completely eradicate the behavior, but you can teach them how to stop barking unnecessarily. 

Destructive Dog 

If your dog pees or poops inside, you may consider letting them stay outside. But that’s only if you’ve done everything to house train them. 

Unfortunately, it’s usually the owner’s fault when their pup messes inside the house. It’s often a result of a lack of basic training. 

Older dogs are more difficult to train, but it’s not impossible to do so. All you have to do is be patient with their adjustment period. 

As with other changes, it’s important to keep things gradual and try different methods if something is not working. 

Real Estate Dog Etiquette 

If you rent your home you are bound by the conditions of your lease. 

Landlords need to be clear on their pet rules, and you have to follow them. 

Read the pet policy section of your agreement and see if dogs are allowed to stay inside.  

If your dog is not allowed to sleep inside, build a safe and comfortable space for your pup outside, unless you want to risk a penalty or getting kicked out of your home. 

Your Dog Wants to Stay Outside 

Some breeds are more used to staying outside, especially if they are huge guard dogs whose fur is thick enough to withstand the cold. 

On the other hand, some dogs may suddenly want to stay out more than they used to. This is common among old dogs who feel more comfortable when they are alone. 

They do not want disturbed sleep and restless nights caused by your footsteps or movements in bed.  

Allergic Family Members 

If you have a child or partner who is allergic, it’s completely acceptable to let your furry friend sleep outside. 

Pet allergies are common in the USA. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America states that 25%-30% of all Americans are allergic to dogs. 

Dogs secrete a protein that ends up on their dander, saliva, and urine, which may cause allergic reactions for people with sensitive immune systems. 

Even though we love cuddling our dogs, sleeping with them in bed can lead to allergic reactions, along with fleas and dirt. 

Safety Risks 

If your dog is used to staying inside, they might harm young children. Even the gentlest dog can snap in self-defense when they are awakened or disturbed suddenly. 

If your child is running or playing on the bed where the dog is sleeping, they might unwittingly surprise your pet. 

As long as your dog has a warm and cozy space outside, then they can remain there for the night to keep your kids safe. 

Best Outdoor Dog Breeds 

Here are some of the most common dog breeds that are best suited to outdoor living. 

  • Alaskan Malamute 
  • German Shepherd 
  • Labrador Retriever 
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback 
  • Australian Cattle Dog 
  • Border Collie 
  • Norwegian Elkhound 
  • Great Pyrenees 
  • Rottweiler 
  • Akita 
  • Weimaraner 
  • Bernese Mountain Dog 
  • Anatolian Shepherd 
  • Siberian Husky. 

Take note that the best attributes in an outdoor dog are their large size and their good health. 

Most large-sized dogs can handle the elements, especially if they have thick fur for when it’s cold. But if you live in a warmer climate, short-coated breeds are also suitable. 

You also want to make sure that your dog is of the right age and health to fare better alone outdoors.  

If your dog has a disease and they need to be monitored all the time outdoor living isn’t for them. 

When a Puppy Can Sleep Outside 

A puppy can only sleep outside once they grow into a certain size and weight that will allow them to regulate their body temperature. This usually happens at the age of one. 

They must also be completely up to date with their vaccines because puppies are more prone to diseases, parasites, and illness.  

You also want to spend the early stages of their development establishing a bond that is strong and unbreakable. This is often best done by keeping them inside and close to you. 

Teach them to socialize with your family members and other dogs so they know how to behave well as they grow up.  

Once you’ve completed all these, then your dog is fit to stay outside. Find out the best age for when your puppy can live outside.  

Which Dogs Should Not Sleep Outside? 

While age is an important factor in determining whether your dog can finally sleep outside or not, other factors to consider include their health and breed. 

Here are some types of dogs that shouldn’t be staying outside. 

Sick and Old Dogs 

If you have a senior dog, then you shouldn’t be letting them sleep outside. You need to pay more attention to them, so they should always be close to you. 

Senior dogs can’t regulate their body temperature efficiently. This means their arthritis may worsen when they stay outside during cold winter nights. 

Small Breeds and Short-Haired Breeds 

Some breeds are also not suited to sleeping outside, especially those with short hair or thin coats.  

These include: 

  • American Staffordshire Terrier 
  • Basset Hound 
  • Boston Terrier 
  • French Bulldog 
  • Greyhound 
  • Mastiff 
  • Pug. 

Small toy breeds are also not great at sleeping outside. These include: 

  • Chihuahua 
  • Dachshund 
  • Maltese 
  • Papillon 
  • Shih Tzu 
  • Toy Poodle. 

Transitioning Puppy from Inside to Outside 

Once your dog is of the right size and age, it’s time to transition them from being an indoor dog to an outdoor dog. 

Follow this step-by-step guide for transitioning your puppy from inside to outside. 

Prepare Their Outdoor Space 

Before anything else, you want to build an outdoor pet area that your dog will enjoy. It has to be comfortable and welcoming, starting with a doghouse. 

A great quality dog house, like the PetsFit Store Outdoor Dog House, will be comfortable, weatherproof, and waterproof. It should keep them warm in winter and cool in summer, and protect them from the elements when they need it. 

Petsfit Weatherproof Wooden Outdoor Dog House, Large, 1-Year Warranty

If your dog is used to a certain environment inside, then try to recreate it for them outside. For example, add any blankets, pillows, toys, and other stuff they are used to having around them. 

Make sure you have dedicated food and water bowls and that they always have access to fresh water to keep them hydrated.  

Let your dog see your preparation and get them excited about it so they can prepare themselves. 

Make Gradual Changes 

Get your furry pal ready with gradual changes. If they are used to sleeping on your bed, try moving them to the floor first, then outside the bedroom, then outside the house. 

Remember that sudden changes can make your dog anxious or depressed. Despite their adaptability, dogs can also be clingy beings who require a stable routine.  

Follow these steps: 

  1. If your dog sleeps on the bed, move them to the floor first. The next night, take them out of the room. 
  1. During the day, let your dog sleep in the spot where you want them to sleep. Make sure there is enough shade, and they are well-hydrated. 
  1. For a few more days, take your dog out at night for a few hours but let them sleep in your house outside your bedroom. 
  1. Let your dog sleep outside but spend the first few hours with them.  
  1. If their first outdoor overnight was successful, let them sleep outside again, gradually decreasing the number of hours you accompany them.  
  1. If your dog is still not willing, do not force them. Go back a step or two and take it slower. 

How to Keep a Dog Happy Outside 

If your dog can now stay outside, the next step is to make sure they continue enjoying their new outdoor space.  

They still need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation during the day so make sure to play and interact with them even when they are outside dogs. 

Here are a few ways to keep them happy: 

  1. Continue spending time with them. Because dogs are social animals, they like spending time with you. Staying out alone may make them lonely, so always make time to play with them. 
  1. Exercise. You can play and exercise them at the same time with a game of fetch or simply walking them.  
  1. Maintain their home. Always check their doghouse and make sure that it is safe and secure, clean, and free from leaks and drafts.  
  1. Ensure they always have fresh water and regular feeding times.  
  1. Provide a healthy diet. Look for dog foods that contain natural preservatives like vitamin E, vitamin C, citric acid, and rosemary to keep them healthy. 

Other Tips for Outdoor Dogs 

Here are additional useful tips for transitioning a dog to outside. 

  • Exercise your puppy regularly before training them to stay outdoors. 
  • If the temperature is too high or low, you should consider bringing your dog inside or warming up their house.  
  • If your dog is showing symptoms of depression, it’s important to re-think whether transitioning them outside is the right decision. 
  • Establish a new routine for them by simply saying goodnight or giving them a comforting pat before bedtime. Dogs need consistency, so always make time for them before bedtime so they get a good night’s sleep. 
  • Puppy-proof your yard by fencing it and removing dangerous items. High-quality fences are important, so your dog doesn’t chew on them and escape.  
  • Make sure that any cables in your yard are out of your dog’s reach. 
  • Do not punish your dog if they refuse to obey your commands. Training sessions should be based on positive reinforcement, meaning more rewards through praises and treats. 
  • Your dog’s shelter should be weather-resistant and made of high-quality materials for long-term use. 
  • Above all, make sure your dog feels appreciated, loved, and part of the family! 

Potential Issues When Moving a Dog Outdoors 

Before transitioning your puppy from inside to outside, it’s best to understand the risks first so you can weigh the pros and cons. 

Recognizing the potential issues can also help with prevention. 

Depression 

One potential risk of letting your dog stay outdoors is depression.  

Dogs get depressed as do humans. They get withdrawn, they don’t like playing anymore, and they eat and sleep more often. 

It gets worse when they are always alone outdoors, and you forget to spend time with them. 

Aside from lack of socialization, another reason for your dog’s depression as an outdoor dog is a sudden transition.  

A huge change in their schedule and environment can cause them to become depressed. 

Watch this video for more tips on how to help a depressed dog. 

It is too Cold 

No matter where you live, evenings can still get cold. Good insulation in your dog’s house can help with this.  

Hypothermia is something you will need to look out for if the temperature drops too much during the night. 

The first symptoms of mild hypothermia in dogs are: 

  • heat-seeking 
  • shivering 
  • weakness. 

Severe symptoms include: 

  • shallow breathing 
  • stiff movement 
  • low blood pressure 
  • lethargy 
  • labored breathing 
  • fixed, dilated pupils 
  • slow heartbeat 
  • comatose. 

Newborn and geriatric pets are more susceptible to hypothermia.  

Find out more about how to tell if your dog is cold and what you can do about it.

Extreme Heat 

The dog days of summer can result in sunburn, especially if your dog is short-haired, close-shaven, and light-colored.  

Their nose, ears, and tails can also be exposed to the harmful UV rays of the sun. Keep your dog under the shade and rub sunblock on them. 

Make sure to only use formulas that are intended as sunscreen for dogs. Doggie sunscreen should not have zinc oxide or para-aminobenzoic acid.  

Epi-Pet Sun Protector Spray for Pets

Try Epi-Pet’s Sun Protector Spray. It’s the only doggie sunscreen that is FDA-approved. This non-sticky sunscreen has SPF30+ with a mild vanilla scent. 

Extreme heat also increases the risk of dehydration in dogs. Make sure they have plenty of water all the time and always keep your dog cool in the summer. 

If your dog is experiencing heatstroke, let them drink some water and remove them from the environment. Take them to the vet if it worsens. 

Garbage 

Some dogs love to go dumpster diving.  

Your garbage bin is filled with rotten food, bacteria, and parasites that might damage their stomach and skin. 

There are also items in your trash pile that might have sharp edges. These can injure your dog’s tongue, paws, and snouts.  

Dispose of your garbage properly inside cans with tight-fitting tops. 

Chocolate Mulch 

Chocolate mulch can poison your dog. Because cocoa smells like chocolate, your dog may be attracted to the aroma in your yard.  

A 60-pound dog only needs to eat less than 3 ounces of cocoa mulch to be poisoned. 

If you have already used this in your yard you should soak the mulch or let the rain wash away the smell. Reconsider letting your dog outside until it has broken down enough to not be a danger to your dog. 

Choose other mulch products like pine straw in the future if you want your pets outside. 

Pests 

A pest-free yard is important to keep your dog healthy. Integrated pest management (IPM) helps keep the pests out of your yard without harming them. 

This process targets exactly the type of pest that lives in your yard. You learn their life cycle and how to kill them with their natural enemies rather than harmful chemicals. 

Another way to get rid of pests is with diatomaceous earth, which is also safe for dogs. You can even rub it in their coat to keep the fleas and ticks away. 

However, it is dusty, so you need to wear a mask to avoid inhalation.  

Aside from pest control products, you also want to make your garden dog-friendly by using pet-safe fertilizers and weed killers.  

FAQ Inside and Outside Dogs

Is it Cruel to Let Your Dog Live Outside? 

As long as your dog is given food, water, shade, and exercise, then your dog is fine sleeping outdoors. 

It’s not cruel to keep your dog outside. Just keep them healthy, warm, and comfortable. Most of all, you need to stay affectionate with them. 

Socialize them with the kids and other dogs, play fetch with them, and give them tons of hugs. 

Find out how dogs show their love to humans so you know how to give back that sweetness! 

Can a 9-Week-Old Puppy Sleep Outside? 

A 9-week-old puppy can’t sleep outside yet. 

As mentioned, they have to be complete with vaccinations first. And vaccines usually end at the age of 14 weeks in dogs. 

You also need to train, socialize, and let them grow until they can regulate their body temperature before you let them stay outside for longer periods. 

Learn more about a 9-week-old puppy sleeping outside now! 

Should My Dog Sleep with Me in My Bed? 

That depends on you. 

Some dog owners prefer their pets sleeping in the room, while others provide a space for them outside the bedroom. 

Some even let their pup sleep in the yard! 

If you’re considering letting your dog sleep in your bedroom, you need to train them how to behave in bed. You can do this through commands and rewards.  

You can choose a command like “go to your bed” then give them treats and praise when they follow you. 

Teach your dog to go to bed so you can work around the house in peace while your furry friend is treated to a nice slumber.  

What Should I Put in a Dog House for Bedding? 

Just like us, dogs deserve a nice bed to sleep in, whether you put it indoors or outdoors in their dog house. 

A bed for your dog is essential to keep them comfortable. But you have to make sure that it’s chew-proof, especially if you have a destructive dog. 

Many chew-prof dog beds are made of sturdy nylon backing with a soft surface for comfy sleeping. They are square or rectangular with varying sizes, depths, and comfort levels. 

Find out the best chew-proof dog beds to put in your dog’s bed. 

Why Does My Inside Dog Suddenly Want to Stay Outside? 

There are a lot of possible reasons why your inside dog suddenly wants to stay outside. 

First, there are plenty of interesting things outside to attract your dog’s attention. Kids walking by, dogs running past, soil to dig, and a wide yard to sniff and play in.  

But there may be other underlying causes. 

For example, your dog may be anxious or depressed and they would rather be alone. These mental health issues may be a result of poor socialization or trauma. 

Find out some other reasons why your inside dog might want to suddenly be outside

How Do I Keep an Outside Dog Warm During the Winter? 

No matter how furry your dog is, they will get cold when left outside for a long time during winter. 

Keep your dog warm by providing them cozy bedding with blankets and a heated bed. You also want to give them a coat to help them regulate their body temperature. 

However, the best way to keep them warm is to let them stay inside. 

Keep your dog warm during the winter with these helpful tips! 

Prep Your Pup and Take it Slow! 

Transitioning your dog from an inside to an outside dog is not a simple process. It will take a lot of patience and understanding, especially if they are not yet trained for the situation. 

Proper socialization, complete vaccination, and being the right size and age are critical to your dog’s transition from inside to outside dogs.  

You also want to make sure they are perfectly healthy with a nice thick coat so they can endure cooler nights outside.  

Take it slow when transitioning your dog from outside to inside. Make gradual changes to get them used to their new living arrangement. 

Make sure to keep them comfortable by putting the right bedding in their dog house