Pet access, it is a debate that has raged for decades. Should a pet be kept indoors or outdoors and the answer is complex as there are so many factors to consider such as your type of home, the area you live in, or the breed of your dog or cat to name a few. In the article below we take a look at the advantages of the great outdoors versus the safe indoors and what option is right for your pet.
Firstly, it is never healthy for a pet to be kept outside the whole time. While a dog or cat will survive just fine as long as they have food and shelter, the real effects of doing this will be seen in their behaviour. Both dogs and cats need companionship and being allowed to spend time indoors and interact with their humans helps them build a bond.
Often the reasons a pet owner keeps an animal outside are selfish rather than for the good of the pet. Some of the most common reasons include dogs that shed too much hair, or hyperactive animals that damage the interior, and even animals that cause allergies. When you choose a pet it is your responsibility to understand what the dog or cat needs and make sure you can provide this, instead of locking the animal out of the house.
While the decision to keep your pet indoors or outdoors is ultimately yours, there are certain times that dogs shouldn’t be left outside. For example, puppies and older dogs shouldn’t be left outside as well as certain breeds (particularly toy dogs), that don’t have the hardiness or thermal protection needed to survive outside.
While spending time inside with the family is essential for the mental health of your pet, giving them access to the great outdoors is just as, if not more, important. The world beyond your home offers so much to your dog or cat and it is very important for them to experience it.
Being inside not only restricts your pet’s movements in a literal sense, but the boredom and, sometimes, depression that comes along with this can lead to your pet sleeping an unhealthy amount. These factors can all contribute to your pet picking up weight. Being overweight can be just as harmful to the health of dogs and cats as it is for humans. Ensuring your animal gets access to the outside, whether it is on a walk or in the yard is important for their wellbeing.
Unless you live in a heavily polluted area, the only time it is better for your pet to be breathing indoor air is when it is very hot or humid outside. This is because the air inside a home, particularly a poorly ventilated home, is filled with toxins that are harmful to your pet. Look into using green cleaning products and allowing your pet to spend some time outdoors will cut down on the amount of toxins they are exposed to on a daily basis.
Time outside also gives your pet the Vitamin D they need for healthy functioning. Vitamin D is very important for the health of your pet’s bones and ensures that they have an optimal calcium to phosphorous ratio in their body. While a pet that stays indoors will still absorb Vitamin D through windows and ambient sunlight there is no substitute for allowing them to spend enough time in the sun.
Dogs love digging in the earth, and while it can be frustrating if they are digging up your prize flowers, there can be no doubt that it brings them joy and happiness. Both dogs and cats are very sensitive to the myriad electromagnetic fields found in homes, and being able to go outside will allow your animal to reconnect with the earth’s own magnetic fields and help them feel rejuvenated.
Ultimately, letting a pet spend time outside in an enclosed yard or taking the time to ensure they get enough exercise through regular walks helps them avoid boredom, anxiety and depression.
So should your pet be an indoor or outdoor animal? The answer seems to lie somewhere in the middle. The ideal solution is to offer your pet access to the outdoors when they need it. We understand that this isn’t always possible for certain breeds, and in certain living conditions such as apartments or houses without yards. However, if you have a yard or safe space for them to go outside, there are many solutions that allow your pet free access to the outside world such as doggie doors or lockable latches such as PetLatch.
PetLatch is a lockable window or door restrictor and allows you to keep any window or door open but locked. PetLatch also requires very little installation time and know-how, and is a far cheaper alternative to a cat flap or door door!
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