Can You Keep A Pug Outside? And Is It Really Safe?

Can you keep a Pug outside? I’ve seen this question asked so many times online, by people who are considering getting a Pug. I’ll share my opinion about it as well as why this breed makes a better indoor pet. You’ll also find out which dogs are best as outside dogs.

Can You Keep A Pug Outside?

The short answer is this breed will do a lot better indoors due to them being a brachycephalic breed. This breed loves being a part of the family and may not do well if left outside.

However, I’ve seen some people keep their Pug outside when the temperatures are NOT extremely hot or cold. It really depends on the region or country you live in. Read this article to learn how to protect your Pug in the Summer heat.

can you keep a pug outside

Personally, we NEVER kept Mindy our black Pug outside. The only time she was outside is if we were outside with her or she went out through the pet door to do her business.

I realize there are people who want a dog but don’t believe they should live indoors. When I was younger, my mom NEVER allowed dog or cats indoors, she believed that animals should live outside.

My neighbor has a large dog and she leaves them outside in the backyard. It can get annoying listening to the continuous barking of her dog being ignored.

Maybe you’re looking for a family pet and don’t want them in your house, because you don’t want to deal with pet hair, dirt, or dealing with dogs on the furniture.

If this is how you feel, you should understand that Pugs can be trained. You can train them to stay off the furniture, sleep on their own dog bed, use the potty outdoors, and etc. I’ve put together a list of some dog beds your Pug will absolutely love sleeping on.

Some pet owners also believe that outside dogs get more exercise, are happier, and make better guard dogs.

Is It Ok To Keep A Pug Outside?

Regardless of why you’re thinking about keeping your Pug outside, let’s look at why this breed makes a better inside pet.

Pet Health

Pugs are highly sensitive to humidity, and both the heat and cold temperatures.

This brachycephalic breed is prone to respiratory problems due to their cute “squished face.” They literally have a hard time breathing in heat and can die from heat exhaustion.

All dogs sweat, but Pugs struggle to regulate their body temperature. They can’t cool down as fast as other dogs.

This is why it makes it dangerous to keep your Pug outdoors.


Pugs were bred to be companion dogs and will do best in a loving family that involves them as a part of the family.

If left outside, your Pug may become stressed and develop behavior problems such as digging, barking, crying, and possibly even aggression.


Believe it or not, there are people who steal dogs. It happens all over the world and can happen in your neighborhood. The theft occurs because people will either resell the dog or use them for breeding and sell the puppies.

A Pug puppy is more likely to be stolen than an older Pug. Pugs are expensive dogs and have a high value if sold to a new owner.

This breed also makes an easy target because they don’t bark at strangers as much as other breeds, due to their human loving nature.

Due to their love of food, people can easily lure them with food.


Puppies and dogs can be mischievous when not being watched properly. If your Pug is left outside they may find a hole in your fenced in yard and escape.

This puts them at risk of running away or getting hit by traffic. Someone may call animal control on your loose dog and he/she can end up in the animal shelter.

There are a lot of dangers for a dog that escapes from the backyard and runs away.


Malicious poisoning is rare, but it can happen. If you and your neighbor have bad blood, you put your pet at risk without even knowing it.

There are stories on the Internet and social media where people say their neighbor poisoned their dog. Of course, it will be hard to prove that your neighbor poisoned your dog.

You probably won’t even notice it until your Pug starts becoming sick or dies one-day suddenly. (I hope that never happens to anyone)

Neighbor Complaints

If your dog starts barking in the early morning hours or late at night, you’re likely to get some complaints from your neighbors.

No one wants to listen to your dog whining, barking, or just making loud noises in the early morning hours or late at night.

There are many states that have local laws on barking. For example, Massachusetts laws allow neighbors to make a formal complaint about a dog that is being a nuisance due to excessive barking.

Allergens and Wildlife

As a breed, Pugs are more prone to allergies than other dogs. They can be extremely sensitive to environmental allergens such as dust, mold, and pollen.

These allergens can cause allergic reactions or atopic dermatitis in Pugs. This breed is known to have sensitive skin and is prone to several skin conditions that can cause irritation and itchiness.

Most of these allergens are seasonal, and the most commonly affected areas on your pooch are their paws, ears. However, canines also experience allergic reactions on their ankles, wrists, underarms, groin, muzzle and in between their eyes.

Mindy my black Pug suffered from allergies in the Spring. She was allergic to pollen and we had to clean her paws after being outdoors.

You may not even realize it, but bees, spiders, and wasps can also trigger allergic reactions in canines.

Most insect bites or stings will be irritating or painful for your dog, but if they are bitten or stung multiple times, it can be fatal.

Pugs will do a lot better indoors unless they are trained to be outside dogs from a young age. Even then, you risk shortening their lifespan or possibly even dying due to extreme temperatures. Here are the signs of a dying dog.

If you live on a farm or spend more of your time outdoors and are thinking about adding a Pug to your family, I would highly suggest some these other breeds, which make better outside dogs.

Outdoor Hazards

There are several outdoor hazards like swimming pools, backyard fences, toxic plants, pesticides, sticks and etc. Most people have no clue what can be hazardous for their pooch or not.

If you have a backyard pool, you need to ensure you take all precautions to protect your Pug from drowning. This article will explain everything you need to know about keeping your Pug safe around your swimming pool.

Best Outside Dogs

Regardless of what type of dog you get for your backyard, you still want to take your area’s climate into consideration. You’ll also want to provide them with plenty of fresh water, warmth in the winter and plenty of shade in the summer.

A responsible pet owner won’t just leave their dog on a leash and ignore them. Your dog is a member of the family and should never be left outside on a chain year-round.

Here is a list of the best large breeds that do better outdoors:

  • German Shepherds
  • Siberian Husky
  • Rottweiler
  • Mastiff
  • Australian Shepherd
  • Irish Wolfhound
  • American Fox Hound
  • Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

These are just a few of the breeds that will do much better in an outdoor environment.

Should You Change Your Pug’s Environment?

It is possible to bring an outdoor dog indoors, although, it will take some time to get him trained and used to being indoors.

You should never make your indoor dog an outside dog. Imagine how you would feel if you lost the keys to your house and you can’t get back in.

Trying to keep your Pug outside after raising them indoors can be considered as a form of abandonment and cruelty. Your Pug won’t understand what’s going on and their health will certainly suffer.

Final Word On Can Pugs Be Kept Outside

Pugs are NOT meant to be outside dogs. This toy dog breed will be happier and healthier being indoors close to their human family.

They are loyal dogs that can be easily trained. Before getting any dog, it’s important to do your due diligence to find the right breed that will fit your lifestyle.

If you still plan on keeping your Pug outdoors after reading this, make sure that you NEVER use a leash and a collar to tie them up.

You should also invest in a microchip with your contact details, in case they run away.

References and Further Reading

Everyday Health – Does Your Pet Belong Indoors or Outdoors?

Pet Health Network – Can I Leave My Dog Outside All of The Time?

Purrfect Dog Training – Best Outdoor Dog Breeds

Tony Johnson, DVM, DACVECC – My Neighbor Poisoned My Dog!

NOLO – Barking Dogs: State and Local Laws That Can Help


Black Pug Site