Dogs are social animals and living outside is really not their natural element. So while staying outside in a kennel for a few hours might be fine for your puppy, you shouldn't just leave him out and away from the rest of the family all the time. This is especially true for puppies, who can be in higher danger outside because of their size and age.
Are Puppies Safe in an Outdoor Kennel?
Check the Weather
Young puppies -- under 4 weeks old -- cannot maintain body temperature properly, so staying outside in cold weather could be very dangerous. Newborn puppies are especially susceptible to cold weather because they lose body heat faster than adult dogs. If the temperature outside is 75 degrees Fahrenheit or cooler, it's not safe for young puppies to be outside.
Look for Potential Dangers
If you have an open kennel with no fence around it the puppy will be able to roam free. Since puppies are prone to getting into all kinds of trouble because they're curious, there's always a chance they can escape your yard, end up eating a poisonous plant or climb somewhere and then fall, injuring themselves. So unless the kennel is fenced-in and protected, the outdoors might present too many dangers.
Think About Predators
Depending on the area where you live, your outside dog could be exposed to a number of dangers -- from coyotes to snakes to scorpions. While a kennel is designed to offer protection from the elements, it won't keep your puppy safe from a determined, hungry predator. Even worse, many puppies are naturally curious about other living things and might choose to come out to investigate during the night rather than hiding away when they see or hear a predator.
Heat and Daytime
Daytime can be just as dangerous for puppies left alone in a kennel. That's because kennels can get excessively hot, especially if there's no shade or the pup doesn't have enough access to water. You can make the kennel safer by adding some shade in the form of trees or by moving it to an area where it's better protected from the elements. And always make sure there's enough water so the pup won't dehydrate.
By Tammy Dray
About the Author
Tammy Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life and Self. She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.