If your dog lives outside then he deserves to have a comfortable place to sleep and get out of harsh weather. The need to buy a doghouse is essential.
These can range from budget buys which are little more than a wooden or plastic shell, to hugely extravagant constructions complete with a porch and stairs to make their kennel into a luxury home.
Obviously, the cost rises proportionately to the quality of the doghouse.
The most common material used is plywood, or a compressed wood product. Wood materials are usually fairly inexpensive to use and allow for easy customization and climate control.
Cement dog houses have proven to be very cold during winter while aluminum and plastic dog houses can get extremely hot in the sunny weather, making those options potentially uncomfortable for your canine friend.
We are going to assume you’ve decided on plywood as the preferred material. There are a few things to remember when deciding on your doghouse.
The first is to ensure that the doghouse is raised from the floor slightly to prevent moisture from seeping into the wood.
The second is to ensure that the plywood is exterior grade plywood and not pressure treated plywood. The latter is treated with chemicals which may be harmful to your dog if they chew it.
It is suggested that the dog house roof should be removable or at least hinged. This makes it easier for you to clean out your dog’s home. (You should clean the dog’s house as often as you give your dog a bath).
The house should be insulated in some fashion (even if it’s just some of the silver radiant barrier material available in home stores), but you should not paint the inside unless it’s a special non-toxic paint intended for the purpose.
3. Sizing Your Dog House
Humans enjoy having about 2 feet of air above us in a room in order to live without feeling claustrophobic. Your dog will probably also enjoy having that much room. The comfort zone for both humans and dogs is about 1/3 of their standing height.
To figure out how much room the dog will need get out a tape measure and measure your dog. Measure him standing straight up, sitting on his haunches and above all measure the full dimension of the dog when he is the most comfortable, relaxed and stretched out position he can get into.
Your dog should be able to look out the front entrance while both standing up and sitting. So the dog will not have to significantly lover his front shoulders or scrape his belly make sure that entrance is high enough.
Stand over the dog and measure the width of the widest point of the animal’s shoulders.
4. Installing Your Dog House
Remember that the dog house should be raised several inches from the ground to allow air and water to flow underneath.
To avoid rain coming into the dog house make the floor just a bit slanted toward the doorway and, if possible, make sure the roof is a little bit slanted.
In the United States most storms come from the south and west so make sure the dog house faces a different direction. Most dog house plans suggest that the dog house door faces east. The cold air will not be able to whip through the entryway then.
5. Other Ideas
To dissuade pests from invading the dog house and taking your dog’s health into consideration remember how important ventilation is. Put in a few nickel-sized holes in the walls under the eaves.
Install a wind block inside the house so the dog can use the heat of its own body to warm up the area if it is really cold or windy outside.
Consider adding a partial wall which will allow your dog to escape the bad weather. Your animal can choose to just sleep in the entry room or go around the inner archway maze wall into the inner sanctum.
Your beloved pet would probably love having a pillow or some sort of bedding to sleep on.
Custom Dog Houses
The available offering of custom features is immense and they range from actual wall paper, window covering, interior and exterior special wall painting, specific dog furniture – including beds, sofas and even some design pieces that serve also as dog toys – to lighting and air conditioning.
The outside of the luxury dog houses have not been forgotten. You can even build your dog his own private dog house garden, with his own lawn , sand boxes and even a pool . The possibilities are truly virtually infinite.
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