Even though they protect us from vermin and varmints and love us no matter what, pets can also force us into a more intense relationship with our cleaning equipment than we’re willing to commit to. But there are a number of ways to keep that relationship platonic.
If Benji and Fluffy are a part of the picture and look like they’re going to stick around for a while, it’s a good idea to get them used to spending more time outdoors.
There’s no reason why a dog can’t live contentedly outside, especially if he does so from the start. Dogs are generally more stimulated, happier, and healthier where they’re free to run and soak up the sun and fresh air, he maintains. An outdoor dog is also less likely to shed year-round, since sunlight stimulates a natural yearly, or twice yearly, molt.
A dog kept inside can become bored and destructive, since there are no new smells, sounds, and all the things they get outdoors.
An outside dog just needs to be hardy, and should have an enclosed yard or run and a soundly constructed pet house to keep him protected from the elements.
A good house should:
– be big enough to stretch and stand in, but small enough to be snug
– be built a few inches off the ground
– be placed in a protected, tree- or screen-shaded area, faced out of the wind
– be close to the house, since that’s where he most wants to be
– have soft, cushy, and washable bedding – rubber matting works great for this.
– be well sealed and insulated against hot, cold, and wet weather (bubble pack makes a cheap, clean, and effective insulation)
Cats also do well outdoors. Our Frisky has her own cat house, naps on the lawn furniture, prowls the perimeter of the house for mice, and uses trees, not table legs, to sharpen her claws.