Outdoor Only Pets

Some pets do very well to live outdoors all year long. I am not talking about a discarded house cat. I am referring to wonderful animals like Pheasants, Donkeys, Llamas, Ducks, and Sheep.

For most people, and particularly children, a pet is an animal that lives indoors, one you can cuddle with and watch at any time. When I was younger, although I had interest in many types of pets, birds were one of favorites. I kept finches, and enjoyed them, as an adult though there are reasons to consider outdoor only pets too.

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1.Less Mess. For example with birds, they have dander, which not only may aggravate allergies, but also builds up in your home as sort of a dust layer. Birds are messy eaters, spilling shells of seeds on the floor. So if your bird is a variety that lives outdoors, all the better. Cats and dogs shed all over your home, but in no way am I suggesting you make your cat or dog into an outdoor only pet, rather I am suggesting an alternate pet that can live outdoors only.

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Chickens are excellent outdoor only pets, although they do need shelter at night, they will reward you with eggs.

2.Variety. There are an awful lot of animals you can keep outdoors that you cannot keep inside. Some of these pets have additional perks. Chickens can give eggs, and eat bugs, donkeys and horses can be ridden, llamas serve as pack, or guard animals. Of course with a larger property you can have a larger variety of outdoor pets.

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What child would not love their own pony or miniature horse?

Some concerns with outdoor animals are:
1. Is the animal suited to be outside year long in your climate? Some animals are fine outside in the summer, but cannot live in harsher climates in the winter.
2.Does the animal need more human contact than it would get outside? Dogs, for example, are pack animals, they can live outdoors only, but do much better if kept indoors, with their family, that being you.
3.Do you have a secure place? An escaped animal is your responsibility.
4.Is it legal to have such an animal as a pet in your area?
5.Do you have proper housing and shelter for the animal?
6.How much time and care does the animal need, and will you be able to provide it?
7.Can you provide the animal with a decent amount of space, and an environment that simulates what it would most want if it could design its’ own enclosure?

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Pheasants, like above, Peacocks, Ducks, and other birds are often kept as outdoor only pets, strictly for ornamentation.

Before you get any kind of pet, you should do extensive research on what it needs. Do not get any pet based on looks alone, be sure you can meet the requirements for that animal. Do not get more pets than you can handle from the concern of time, space, and their needs for your attention.
Indoor pets are great, I have several of them too, but outdoor pets are certainly interesting to have and add variety to our lives.

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A zebu is an outdoor pet that I have not ever owned, because I cannot meet their requirement for warm shelter in the winter. Whereas my sheep can do well with a barn, a Zebu needs a heated barn in my climate area, and at this time I do not have one. So until I can meet this requirement a Zebu is strictly on my “in waiting” list. Sometimes you will want an animal, but cannot have it at the time, and that is okay too.

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User Comments
  1. RJ Evans

    On October 28, 2008 at 6:49 am

    I wanna Zebu! I have Central Heating – do they like watching TV and surfing the internet? :-)

    Seriously, great article and fun pictures.

  2. eddiego65

    On October 28, 2008 at 8:57 am

    Nice pet suggestions!

  3. Mark Gordon Brown

    On October 28, 2008 at 10:18 am

    well, I dont know about the Zebu, but my sheep sure did when he was a lamb, he loved the TV, infact we would put him in the kitchen and he would make a break for it and run to the living room just about every time.

  4. Ruby Hawk

    On October 28, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    These all look like wonderful pets. Take care,Ruby

  5. nobert soloria bermosa

    On October 29, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    i like the pheasant,thanks

  6. Brenda Nelson

    On November 2, 2008 at 9:43 pm

    Sometimes outside pets think they should be inside, thats almost a good feeling, except if the outside pet is a 600 pound donkey that wants to live in your house.

  7. sam

    On September 11, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    Hi, great post! I never heard of a zebu before, beautiful animal! We were considering getting chickens because they lay eggs, eat bugs & their manure is good for fertilizer…but we need to do more research on their care. =)

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