Can Your American Bully Live Outside?

oso guarding outside

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For one reason or another, you might be thinking about keeping your dog outside all year round. If you’re choosing to keep your pet outside through summer and winter, you need to know if they can handle the temperature and weather.

So, can an American Bully live outside?

As a general rule, american bullies shouldn’t live outside or remain outdoors for long periods. American Bullies are a shorthair breed, they’re more likely to develop hypothermia in cold weather. They’re also prone to overheating in the heat if left without shade and water.

Let’s take a closer look at American Bullies and their tolerance for outdoor living.

Why People Put Their Dogs Outside All Year

For many people, it’s not an option for their dogs to live outside all year long, and they can’t understand why people would do it. Sometimes, it’s not so simple, and it can be heartbreaking for pet owners.

Often, when a dog is living outside, it’s because someone in the home is allergic to them. Many people feel that if that’s the case, the dog shouldn’t be with that family. 

However, some allergies can develop later on in life. Usually, people will outgrow their allergies by the time they’re in their 20s. But unfortunately, increased exposure to a dog’s dander can cause new allergies to develop later.

This new development could happen years after both the dog and the family have bonded. While many still feel the dog should be rehomed, that can be a difficult and painful decision to make. This often results in the dog living outside all year long. 

How Living Outside Affects Your Dog

so eating grass outside

Some believe that since a dog is an animal whose ancestors lived outside, their pet can also endure the elements. However, this isn’t always the case. 

Today’s breeds of dogs, including the American Bully, have been bred and nurtured out of the conditions their ancestors once survived in. They don’t have those natural instincts needed to thrive outside, even with you providing them food daily.

Modern dog breeds crave attention and love from their human companions. In many cases, leaving them outside can lead to destructive behavior as they fight for your attention. Behaviors such as digging, chewing, barking, and even biting are all ways for them to get attention from you.

In addition to behavioral issues, there are other risks with leaving your dog outside all year. Snakes, cats, and other animals can find their way into your yard, even if it’s completely fenced in. These animals could fight with your dog and cause a lot of harm. And your dog could damage your yard further by trying to either get away from the animal or attack the animal.

American Bullies Handle Warm Weather Best

American Bullies will be fine with spending a lot of their time outside in the spring and summer. However, it shouldn’t be 24/7. That’s because American Bullies, like other dogs, aren’t capable of sweating the way humans do. Your dog will pant in order to cool itself down, but sometimes that just isn’t going to cut it.

When the weather is too hot, your American Bully needs shade and plenty of water. If the temperature is too hot, you risk your Bully getting overheated. After all, American Bullies are active dogs and can exhaust themself more quickly in the heat. 

As a pet owner, watch out for signs that your dog is overheated. 

These signs include excessive panting, deep red gums, and an increase in drooling. If you think your dog is getting too hot, provide them with water, but don’t give them too much all at once, or they may throw it back up. Try to cool your dog down by wetting their fur but not dumping cold water on them at once. Don’t forget to do it gradually, or you could put them into shock. 

If nothing is helping cool your pup down, you may need to take them to the hospital. Always call your vet if you suspect your dog may be overheated or experiencing a heat stroke. 

Cold Weather Is Difficult for American Bullies

Cold weather is where American Bullies suffer the most when living outside because they are short-haired animals. This means they don’t have the necessary protection from the cold weather that they need. When the temperature starts to drop, it’s best to keep them inside where it’s noticeably warmer. 

If you plan to have your American Bully outside in the cold weather, especially for long periods, it’s recommended they wear a sweater or jacket to keep them warm. When temperatures start to drop below 53°F (11.66°C), it’s best just to bring them inside.

If exposed to freezing weather, your American Bully could eventually develop hypothermia. Wrap them in blankets and make sure they’re warm by placing them in front of a heater. But if you think your dog has hypothermia, it’s best to take them to the hospital.

Signs that your dog is suffering from hypothermia are excessive and uncontrollable shivering, no coordination, and lethargy. Hypothermia is deadly for dogs, so the best response is to warm them up when you suspect they have this condition.

Alternatives to Keeping Your American Bully Outside All Year Round

If you’re unsure about moving your dog permanently outside, there are alternatives to keeping your American Bully outside all year round. There are plenty of ways to keep all of your family members happy and comfortable from January to December!

Keep Your Dog Inside at Night

If you have a dog that doesn’t bark excessively—which could disturb your neighbors—and enjoys being outside for long stretches of time all year long, consider keeping your dog inside at night. This will ensure they have a safe, warm, and comfortable place to sleep every evening, which is especially good for highly active dogs, such as the American Bully.

Build a Heated and Cooled Dog House

If you live in an area that has both extreme heat and extreme cold weather at various times a year, consider building your American Bully a heated and cooled dog house. You can buy one already equipped with the heating and cooling elements, or you can attach them to an already existing building you want to use.

Sheds make excellent dog houses and shelters for your pets. Just ensure that it’s heated in the winter and cooled in the summer to give your American Bully a safe and comfortable place to go when the weather gets too bad.

Take Allergy Medicine

If you’re considering putting your dog outside full time because of a newly developed allergy, try taking allergy medicine. Talk to your doctor about an allergy medication that is safe to take daily. Try a few different brands to find the one that works best for you.

Work With a Behaviorist To Socialize Your American Bully

If your American Bully has behaviors that are destroying your home and disrupting your household, you might be considering putting your dog outside full time. However, some specialists will work with your dog to break those habits. Talk to your vet about finding a highly skilled pet behavioral specialist.

Sometimes, pet stores will have programs to help socialize and train your dog. They’re occasionally breed-specific, so make sure your American Bully is on the list.


Keeping a dog outside can be a heartbreaking and challenging decision for many pet owners. For most experts, it’s not recommended and can be dangerous to keep your dog outside full time. Hopefully, this article has proven that American Bullies, like other breeds, shouldn’t live outside, but can if there are no other options.


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