Should dogs be indoor or outdoor pets? – Part 3

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines pet, in terms of an animal, as the following “a domesticated animal kept for pleasure rather than utility” and under this definition, I would say pets should be indoors. Mind you, no matter what type of dog (or other pet) you have, if you are keeping them indoors, I would still suggest you give them plenty of outside time.

Let me first say, I write this opinion as someone who believes all animals have feelings and should be treated with respect. I also believe that all creators are on this planet for a reason and whether we as humans fully understand that reason, it needs to be acknowledged and respected. All animals need basics similar to humans. They all need shelter at least at some times. They all need food and water. They all need clean air and sunshine for the beneficial purposes of its UV rays. Animals that have been domesticated as pets rely on humans to satisfy all of their needs and that includes taking them outside for some fresh air and playtime.

I believe dogs being kept as pets need to be inside as part of the family. Dogs in general crave a human’s attention and love. Dogs aim to please us and want to be with us as much as possible. Look how excited they get when you come home after being at work all day. A pet’s owner is its best friendreally its only friend. Even many animals out in the wild crave companionship of some sort, but humans have bred dogs to be companions. Why buy a dog just to let it sit outside in the yard? Yes, there are many breeds that are working dogs by nature but they are not the kind that should be purchased to be a pet and that gets to be a whole other topic.

As much as I believe a pet dog should be kept inside, I can’t stress enough how much I believe they need plenty of outside time. I believe this time should consist of both play time and relaxation time. Time to fetch the ball or Frisbee and also just time to lay in the cool grass on a sunny day. All animals are creatures of the outdoors and therefore when you make an animal an indoor pet, you still need to provide them with the outdoor exposure which is needed just as is food and water. Same as humans need exercise to keep their bodies healthy and lets’ face it, most of us do not get enough, dogs need exercise for their wellbeing too. I’ve heard a cute saying and I can’t quote where it started, if there is one specific origin, but it goes “If your dog is overweight, you aren’t getting enough exercise.”

I do fear that many people obtain pets for the wrong reasons or without fully understanding just how much care and time they need. A dog is one of the neediest pets there is and in my opinion, very similar to having a child. OK, you might think that is a bit extreme and I guess it kind of is since no, you can’t leave a child in a crate for the day while you go to work. I also don’t think you should do that to your dog. Furthermore I believe that when a human makes a decision to own a pet, they need to stick to that decision even if times get tough. Giving up a pet should be the very, very last resort. Deciding to own a pet is a vow, a promise that you are going to do what’s best for them. That you are going to take care for them. You wouldn’t adopt a child and then if times became tough, just toss it out on the street would you? It should be regarded the same.

Merriam makes it much shorter, but this is my extended definition of owning an indoor dog. It’s not a black or white answer, but neither is owning a pet.

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