* A special guest post by CPC Cares – ‘Provider of Pet Cremation Services for bereaved pet owners with sensitivity and respect’.
We’ve come a long way from our pets just being working animals. Now it’s more like we treat our pets like people!
Here in the UK it’s common practice to keep your pets indoors, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s your only option as a pet owner. There is no right or wrong way but a lot needs to be considered before making a decision.
There are pros and cons to both and we think it very much depends on your particular circumstance, lifestyle choices and type of pet.
Legally, it is your duty to ensure your pet’s welfare needs are met.
So as long as they are still receiving the best possible care and attention a dog or cat can be kept inside or outside.
Keeping a dog Outside
If keeping your dog outside is something you’re considering or even if it’s just for when you’re out or at work, there are some musts:
- Dogs will need a large enough space allowing separate sleeping and activity areas. Each dog must be able to walk, run and wag their tail without touching the kennel sides; to play, stand on their hind limbs and stretch/lie down without touching another animal/kennel.
- Shelter to protect from rain, wind and direct sunlight. Dogs should be able to move where they feel more comfortable, away from direct sunlight. Dog crates are not a suitable permanent environment.
- Heating and/or automatic cooling/ventilation, if necessary, so temperatures remain above 10°C and below 26°C.Heating/cooling systems used must be safe and not pose a risk, e.g. no trailing cables, risk of burning. Temperature must be monitored daily to ensure these requirements are met.
- Dogs must not be tethered/chained, except for very short periods, as it can lead to injuries and restricts normal behaviour.
- You must provide access to clean drinking water and a well-balanced diet. (these must be cleaned)
- Provide an opportunity for daily exercise, play and interactions with people and other animals.
- Check daily for injury and illness. Take safety precautions and be alert to risks that may affect them.
Your dog has more stimuli
Gives dog a sense of nature
Bonds are harder to form
Risk of fleas and ticks
Dogs are social animals and love attention. So whether they are inside or out, the same level of attention must be given to them for them to thrive.
Old English Sheepdog
Keeping a dog Inside
Depending on the size and breed of the dog will give an insight on how well they’ll develop inside the home. Some smaller ‘toy’ dogs are lower maintenance and require less exercise, grooming and larger dogs do better when they have the opportunity to run and exercise to exert some of their energy.
Consider if you’re going to be home frequently and can provide regular attention.
Increase risk in Zoonotic disease which is transferred from dog to human and vice versa.
May encounter aggressive tendencies if dog isn’t receiving enough exercise
Toilet training will be a MUST
Cavalier King Charles
For cats it’s ideal for them to have access to both indoor and outdoor environments, but cats are individuals. So wherever your cat spend his/her time, make sure they’re safe and happy. If you’re planning to have an indoor cat additional considerations should be taken in the home to keep your cat mentally stimulated.
Risks & benefits of Outdoor only cats
Being outdoors gives your cat variety to their environment.
They’re able to express their natural behaviour – this includes hunting so may in fact be a con.
They can help with unwanted rodents
Outdoor environment provides a mix of smells, sights and tastes.
An escape from the household if necessary.
Loss – going missing, being stolen or getting lost
They are able to express their natural hunting instinct – yes this is either a benefit or a risk depending upon your view.
*There are ways to minimize the risk and keep your fur baby safe!
Try keeping them indoors at night.
Collar fitted tracker devices are becoming more popular to help owners keep track of their pet.
Regularly giving your cat flea and worm treatments.
American Bobtail (longhair)
Asian – Burmilla
Risks & benefits of Indoor only cats
Lower risks of disease, parasites, fleas and ticks
Won’t get hit by a car
They will not BE predators
Every high bookcase, shelf will become a perch
American Bobtail (short hair)
British shorthair – Bicolour
Oriental – Shaded
Whatever you decide:
Experts will go back and forth with reasons behind each side but it really does boil down to the pet, owner and their environment. Whatever you decide STICK TO IT!
Comment and share below. What do you think of the pros and cons of keeping a pet indoors/outdoors? Is there anything you would add?
You can check out more tips for learning how to care for your pets as well as how to handle final preparations by visiting CPC Cares!