Have you ever considered buying or building a dog home for your dog? Dogs are important members of our families and the least we can do is provide them with a space that is enjoyable and comfortable. It’s actually much easier than it sounds and we’ll walk you through it.
A. How big is your dog?
If you own a tiny chihuahua there’s no point in building him a huge dog home, it’s an unnecessary expense and it may intimidate the small animal. Also, during colder months the dog will probably go there for warmth and too large of a home will make it hard to retain bodyheat and stay warm.
Conversely, if you have a big Rottweiler please don’t build him a tiny home that he has to cram into, it just won’t work. Your pet will be miserable anytime and might even run away. The door dimensions are one of the first things to consider. You could measure your dogs height and make it that big, but keep in mind that they can lower their heads to walk through the door if you need to make it smaller for some reason. In terms of the width, you just need to make it wide enough to accomodate your dog and maybe a few inches of extra space.
The next thing to consider is how spacious should the home be? Well, it needs to be tall enough for your dog to stand upright and it needs to be open enough for him to walk around and lie down.
B. What type of climate do you live in?
Climate plays an important role in choosing certain features of the dog house. If it gets really cold often where you live, you can look into getting a dog house with a roof that lowers. This allows your dog to retain more heat and stay warmer during the winter. If you live somewhere hot, you may want to look at ones with a roof that you can raise. This creates better air circulation and allows the cool air to push out warm air, keeping Fido nice and refreshed. You should definitely look into a slanted roof if you live somewhere rainy and no matter where you live you should avoid peak style roofs because wasps are attracted to spaces like those and you may end up with wasp nests in your dog house.
You might also want to look at other features like wind walls which you install to break the wind and keep the space warmer. Keep in mind which materials you use for things like shingles; certain materials like asphalt should only be used if you have some kind of insulation barrier between the roof and main house area.
C. What kind of door?
Most people don’t pay much mind to things like these but it makes a real difference for your pet. You don’t want a door right in the middle because that will leave your dog directly exposed to any rough weather. Instead, you want it on one side so he can hide behind the wall if the weather gets nasty. Some dog houses are made with doors that you can remove and others are doorless. You can add accessories to the door like an awning or some kind of cover that will provide a nice shady area.
D. How much maintenance can you handle?
Remember you are responsible for keeping the dog house clean and inhabitable. What good is a beautiful dog house if your dog won’t use it because its never clean? Removable roofs are really convenient for maintenance because you can just clean from above rather than cleaning through the tiny door. The more open it is inside the easier it is to clean, as partitions make it easier for things to accumulate. It’s a good idea to use water sealer to prevent any water damage but don’t use it on the inside of the house as it can be harmful to your pet. From time to time you may need to replace parts that get water damage and if you choose to paint the outside be prepared to repaint it from time to time when it starts to fade.
E. Plastic? Metal? Wood?
In general we recommend choosing wood over plastic or metal. Metal gets too hot during the summer and plastic is too cold during the winter months, so use wood for a happy medium. Research has shown that red cedar wood is actually the best choice because it insulates during winter and cools during summer. Of course its not the cheapest option but they also sell cedar wood oil which has some of the same properties plus its a natural insect repellant. One additional benefit is that red cedar wood dog houses are a beautiful red color already and don’t require any painting unless you want to match it to your backyard.
F. Where do I put it?
You might consider putting it underneath shade if you have a large tree or something similar. More importantly, you should always keep a doghouse elevated to prevent it from flooding during rain. If the house isn’t elevated you also have to worry about flea eggs which hatch in the soil. You can use bricks or stones to elevate the house and it will allow air to flow better underneath the house and it will stop any moisture from being retained at the bottom.