When adopting a dog, it’s important to decide whether your new pet is going to be a new pet or it’s going to be a part of your family. There’s a big difference between getting a dog that stays outside and one that snuggles in your bed with you every night. It’s important to get everyone in your household’s input before deciding what kind of pet your new dog is going to be.

Inside or outside?

In many places in the United States and abroad, having an outside dog is not feasible year round, but people do it. Whether it’s harsh winters, harsh summers, or rain, keeping your dog outside can be a challenge. Setting your new pup up with the right outdoor gear is important to ensure it has a long, healthy life.

Outside dogs require a proper shelter. Unlike inside dogs, who often have temperature regulation, outside dogs will require a somewhat insulated space and a lot of maintenance in that space to ensure the dog survives the environment. Dogs are naturally resilient to outside conditions and adapt quickly if that’s the route you choose. Keeping up the dog’s outside space with a proper bed, regular grooming, and good food is an easy way to ensure that your outside dog makes it to an old age.

If you choose an inside dog, the care is the same, but the feelings can be different. A dog that greets you when you arrive home, sits on your lap while you watch tv, sleeps in your bed or bedroom, and is generally around you most of the time you are in your home ends up looking more like a child than a pet. We treat our inside dogs like we treat our family members, so making the decision as to whether your dog is going to be an inside or outside dog before you go to adopt is critical to ensure that you emotionally understand what you’re getting into.


The emotional costs of a dog as family member are high. Your ups and downs coincide with his. He’s there to lick you and make you happy at a moment’s notice, and you get down and sad when he has a problem. These emotional costs can lead us to making irrational financial decisions concerning our pets who are family members. It’s part of the burden of being a dog owner. You have to make hard choices and decide what kind of life you and your dog will lead together.

Knowing upfront about the emotional and financial costs of having an outside or inside dog and whether you’re going to treat your dog like your child or like your pet, are critical to ensuring you don’t go bankrupt saving your dog’s leg. There are real costs associated with owning a furry little friend, and anticipating those costs can be a real challenge. Doing your best to understand these costs will save you a lot of financial and emotional turmoil in the long run.