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Can Goldendoodles Live Outside? (A Veterinarian’s Opinion)

By Dr. Merliza Cabriles, D.V.M.

“Outside dogs” have become less common over the years—and for a good reason!

Pets that live outside the home can be exposed to extreme environmental conditions that will place them at high risk of developing severe and, sometimes, life-threatening issues. 

While some canine breeds may be physically and mentally capable of being outdoors most of the time, Goldendoodles are not.

For their physical and mental well-being, Goldendoodles should not live outside.  A Goldendoodle’s coat isn’t designed to handle extreme temperatures, and this breed is prone to separation anxiety.

In this article, we’ll discuss why living outdoors could be particularly difficult for some Goldendoodles and discuss the potential dangers of keeping your Goldendoodle outside.

Before we begin, please know that our goal isn’t to shame anybody. Instead, we want to inform and empower you to make the best decisions for your family—including your dog!

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Can Goldendoodles Live Outside?

Spending time outdoors can be lots of fun and provide both physical exercise and mental stimulation for Goldendoodles. Leash walks, a day at the beach, a game of fetch in the backyard, or a visit to the dog park are outdoor activities that your Goldendoodle will surely look forward to.

Related: Goldendoodle Exercise Needs by Age & Size

That said, spending time outdoors and living outside the home are two very different situations for a Goldendoodle. While some dog breeds have inherent physical characteristics that can protect them from adverse weather conditions,  Goldendoodles do not.

Coat Texture

The texture of the Goldendoodle’s hair coat is inherited from the Poodle side of their lineage. Their fluffy coats keep them comfortable when spending some time outdoors, but unlike their parents, the Goldendoodle’s hair coat is not as efficient in protecting them from adverse weather conditions.

Their hair coat is not well-suited to keeping them comfortably warm and protected when the weather is wet, cold, and freezing. 

Related: Do Goldendoodles Like Snow? (+Cold Weather Safety Tips!)

Additionally, the hair coat of Goldendoodles also easily attracts debris, mud, and dirt. This would mean spending extra time and effort grooming your pet to keep their coat clean and free from dirt, mats, and tangles.

If your Goldendoodle lives outside, you’d have to pour extra time into your pet’s daily grooming sessions,  or else the dog’s hair coat could become a horrific mess of mats, debris, tangles, and dirt.

Related: How Often Should You Bathe a Goldendoodle?

Coat Color

Dark-colored coats tend to absorb more heat from the sunlight. If your Goldendoodle has black or dark brown hair, they will more quickly develop hyperthermia or heat stroke compared to cream or apricot-colored Goldendoodles

Related: 13 Incredible Goldendoodle Colors You Never Knew Existed!

Many Goldendoodles tend to have lighter hair coats as they age. This is also one reason why senior Goldendoodles are vulnerable to temperature extremes.

Separation Anxiety

Goldendoodles are very social creatures, so much so that it can often make them clingy. They want to be with and around their humans to such a degree that they may suffer from separation anxiety if they’re forced to spend too much time alone. 

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Body Size

The size of your Goldendoodle can affect how well they tolerate cold weather.  Smaller Goldendoodle sizes, like the mini or micro Goldendoodle, aren’t as efficient in conserving body heat.

Thus, the smaller your Goldendoodle, the quicker it will be for your pet to lose heat quickly and develop hypothermia.

Related: Mini Goldendoodle vs Goldendoodle: Which Size is Best? (QUIZ)

Age & Health Status

Goldendoodle puppies and senior dogs are more susceptible to adverse environmental conditions than healthy and active adults. The thermoregulatory mechanism of puppies is still developing, while the wear and tear through the years have rendered senior Goldendoodles inefficient in regulating their body temperature.

Senior dogs also suffer from age-related health issues that make them more vulnerable to cold or hot environmental conditions.

Related: Goldendoodle Lifespan: How Long Do Goldendoodles Live?

Are Goldendoodles Typically Outside Dogs?

While both the Poodle and the Golden Retriever parent breeds are working dogs, Goldendoodles are not bred for working outdoors.  Instead, they’re primarily companion animals. 

Even though their thick, dense, and long coat provides some insulation advantage, exposure to rain, wind, snow, or the sun’s scorching rays can reduce their coat’s protective function. 

Separation anxiety is also an important issue when a Goldendoodle lives outside, away from the rest of the pack. Anxiety can be potent fuel for the development of undesirable behaviors such as persistent barking, destructiveness, inappropriate elimination, etc. 

Goldendoodles thrive when they live indoors with the human members of their family. When your work takes you outside your home for most of the day, you might want to consider hiring a pet sitter or dog walker. Doggy daycare is also an excellent way to socialize with other dogs and keep your Goldendoodle happy and busy. 

Don’t have a go-to dog sitter? Try giving a shot! This site takes care of doing background checks and vetting all their pet sitters, so you can have peace of mind knowing that your dog is in good hands!

Popular Doodle readers can get $30 off your first booking by clicking here!

Why Goldendoodles SHOULD Live Inside

Prolonged exposure to cold or hot temperatures can critically increase a Goldendoodle’s risk of hypothermia, frostbite, heatstroke, and other environmental-related concerns.  Your Goldendoodle is not suited to living outside, even in a comfortable kennel.

Your pet loves to be with you inside your home, away from the unfriendly environmental conditions outside.

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Hypothermia and Frostbite

Your Goldendoodle may still love outdoor excursions during colder or warmer weather, but exposure to these extremes for long periods can have undesirable consequences. When the weather is frigid, your dog is at risk of developing frostbite and hypothermia.

While the coat of a Goldendoodle protects most of their body, their nose, ears, tail, and toes are exposed and can be severely affected by the cold. Prolonged exposure could result in your dog getting severe frostbite.

Without prompt medical intervention, these problems can lead to the death of skin tissues, cardiac and respiratory failure, damage to the brain, coma, and even death. 

Hyperthermia or Heatstroke

A Goldendoodle could easily suffer from heat stress (hyperthermia) or heatstroke when it’s very hot outside. These conditions lead to serious issues that warrant prompt veterinary attention and intervention. Affected dogs can develop multiple organ dysfunction, coma, and eventually death.    

The Verdict: Are Goldendoodles Inside or Outside Dogs?

Goldendoodles are inside dogs. They thrive best in the presence of their human family. A Goldendoodle that’s housed outdoors is not only vulnerable to environmental conditions but is also prone to suffer from separation anxiety. 

Hyperthermia, heatstroke, frostbite, and hypothermia are potentially life-threatening conditions that can be avoided when you choose to have your Goldendoodle live inside your home.

Dr. Merliza Cabriles, D.V.M.

Contributing Professional

Dr. Merliza Cabriles is a licensed veterinarian and university professor with many years of experience in food animal and pet companion medicine. Her passion for writing as well as pet parent education and support is echoed in the articles and ebooks she has written.

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