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Do Dogs Like Being Outside? 11 Vet-Verified Reasons to Love the Outdoors

Written by: Chantelle Fowler

Last Updated on July 9, 2024 by Dogster Team

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Do Dogs Like Being Outside? 11 Vet-Verified Reasons to Love the Outdoors

VET APPROVED

Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Paola Cuevas

Veterinarian, MVZ

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Spending time in the fresh air provides countless benefits for humans and dogs alike. Dogs love being outside so if your pup spends more time begging to go outside than enjoying the comforts of being inside, you’re probably wondering why. What is it about your yard or the dog park that appeals to your pup? Read on to find 11 potential reasons your dog is waiting impatiently by the door and whining to go outside.

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The 11 Reasons Dogs Like Being Outside

1. It Provides a Space to Burn Off Excess Energy

Playful senior German shepherd dog playing in the grass

Sure, your dog can run laps around your house when they have the zoomies or feel the need to burn off some excess energy, but nothing beats the great outdoors. Dogs require a fair amount of exercise (at least in comparison to other common domesticated pets) to stay healthy and happy. When you take them outside for walks, to the dog park, or let them run free in your yard, they’re afforded the opportunity to be physically active and experience the unadulterated joy that comes with being in the fresh air. Dogs without enough daily activity are prone to developing problem behaviors (e.g., barking and digging) due to boredom.


2. It Means Spending Time With You

Your dog loves spending time with you, and adventuring outdoors is a fun activity you and your pup can do together to boost your relationship. The more the two of you spend time together outside, the more your dog will begin to associate outdoor time with bonding time.


3. It Provides Freedom

three happy dogs playing outdoors

When your pup is allowed to go outside, they’re given freedom out of the confinement of your home’s walls, and they can enjoy the feeling of the breeze on their vibrissae or running a sprint. Remember, your dog’s ancestors were wild, so their natural behavior would, at times, resemble that of wild animals, not domesticated ones. It’s only natural that your dog feels that same freedom as their undomesticated ancestors.


4. There’s a Lot to Do

You can provide your pup with interactive toys, puzzle feeders, and all the enrichment toys that money can buy, but there’s only so much they can do inside. Dogs are naturally curious animals that love to be engaged in new and exciting ways. Taking them outside, where the world is their oyster, is a fantastic way to keep them entertained and stimulated.


5. Sensorial Stimulation

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Dogs get to see, feel, and sometimes even taste new things outside, but nothing satisfies your dog’s nature as much as the opportunity to use their sniffers. A dog’s sense of smell is incredibly developed, and the information that their brains can receive from the extensive respiratory epithelium can only compare to the joy we feel when reading a book or watching a movie. Every new scent has a trail and a story to explore! This is why allowing our dogs to sniff and enjoy the infinite variety of novel smells that only the great outdoors can provide is a must!


6. It Provides a Different Temperature

Like humans, many dogs experience a sense of relaxation and joy when they lie in the sun. Dogs often have an instinct to seek the warmth and comfort that only the sun can provide.

On the flip side, if your home is excessively warm, your dog may prefer spending time outside so they can cool off in the shade or play in the water.


7. It Satisfies Their Curiosity

jack-russel-terrier-dog-stand-near-a-tree

We’ve all heard the phrase “curiosity killed the cat,” but a cat’s canine counterpart is just as inquisitive. Dogs are curious by nature, especially when they’re young and are exploring their world for the first time. Being that your dog likely spends most of their time inside, any time spent outdoors means a whole new world to explore.


8. It’s Relaxing

Dogs can feel anxiety and stress just like us. And, as with us, spending time in the great outdoors can promote relaxation and reduce their stress levels. The fresh air, coupled with the mental and physical stimulation that dogs experience when spending time outside, can produce a sense of calm and reduce their anxiety.


9. It Provides Opportunities and Space to Eliminate

Dog pooping in the meadow

Dogs sometimes enjoy going outside as it provides them with a place to pee and poop. Housebroken dogs don’t like eliminating indoors, as they avoid soiling in their living space and because they’ve inherited instincts from their wolf ancestors who do their business in the wild.


10. It Provides Opportunities Social Interaction

Dogs are social creatures who enjoy the company of their peers. Well-socialized pups are comfortable around humans and other dogs and can adapt to a variety of new social settings. While dogs are happy spending time with their humans, they’re more likely to initiate play and seek the company provided by other dogs.

If you don’t have other dogs in the home, getting outside for walks and visits to the dog park is a great way to promote social activity.


11.They Enjoy It

Sometimes, there’s no other reason for a dog’s love of the outdoors other than the fact that they simply enjoy it.

border collie dog lying down on the grass

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Final Thoughts

The list of reasons why dogs enjoy spending time outside could go on forever. Here at Dogster, we believe that being in the great outdoors is beneficial not only for your pup but for you as well. There are countless physical, emotional, and mental benefits to be derived from unplugging and spending time out in nature with your dog.


Featured Image Credit: AliakseiZAN, Shutterstock

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