Have you ever been in a situation where you needed to keep your dog outside, but had no safe shelter for her? Most dog lovers are generally happy to keep their dog indoors with them, the problem is that not all dogs really appreciate sitting inside the house all day. Some pets are pleased to spend a little more time outside after their usual exercise routine. Even after you’ve let them use the bathroom, sniff around, and run to their hearts content, they still want to be out in the fresh air! If you’ve got a dog who loves to be out on a large patch of land or a big backyard most of the day, get a dog house so they’ll have extra shelter and a second place of their own to call home. A durable, weather proof, quality dog house will last for years, so take your time before making a purchase.
1. How Does Your Dog House Material Respond to the Elements?
One major area of concern when it comes to buying your dog house is how durable it will be against weathering and other forms of deterioration. Pet owners who live in states such as Washington and Florida see rain on an almost everyday basis. White cedar wood is often recommended as a humidity resistant and water repellent material. With less resilient varieties, you’ll see early signs of fungus and mold growth after excessive exposure to moisture. The last thing you want is for your dog to become ill after inhaling or eating fungal spores.
Although they aren’t environmentally friendly, plastic dog houses have their benefits as well. They’re easier to move and reposition since plastic is generally light weight; not to mention, termites won’t be able to chow down on your dog house if there isn’t any wood to eat. However, both wood and plastic are susceptible to canine teeth, so make sure whatever you get is able to withstand a good chewing. You should also keep in mind that dry climates that receive copious amounts of direct sunlight can warp and crack cheap plastics, while producing too much heat from the inside of the dog house.
When picking out the right dog house for your pet, you should think about how clean they are. Most dogs prefer to use the bathroom, eat, and sleep in separate areas; however, if you’ve got a particularly dirty pup who soils his own special house frequently, plastic is much easier to clean and dry. If your dog happens to track mud into a plastic dog house, it can be hosed down without a problem. Wood on the other hand does absorb some moisture, but more importantly it absorbs the smell of urine and other forms of waste. Plastic is also less likely to stain or leave an unpleasant yellow tint.
For extra protection, you can always buy a rubber mat specifically designed for dogs! Matting will help to shield the floor of your dog house while giving our senior pets and those with hip dysplasia more grip so they’re less likely to slip and fall.
3. How Big Is Your Dog?
It really isn’t enough to do a “guesstimation” when building or buying a dog house. You need to give your dog an added 24 to 36 inches of space to turn around and lie down comfortably. If you plan on adding a dog bed, bowls, toys, or any other special amenities, plan accordingly for the extra room needed. You don’t want your dog house to be cramped, but there shouldn’t be too much space available either. A cozy spot with lots of extra room can easily draw unwanted attention to all kinds of pests from rabbits, to snakes, to insects. All your dog needs is enough room to move comfortably, and to get in and out without getting stuck in an awkward position.
4. Get a House with a Raised Floor
So, you’ve gone through your checklist and found a dog house that is built to the right size and can withstand the weather in your area. What’s the next step? Well, believe it or not the structure of the flooring is also incredibly important if you want the best house for your dog. Elevated floors offer more protection during times of heavy rain and snowfall since liquid won’t be able to accumulate and become stagnant. A raised floor also creates something called “dead air space.” This helps to keep the bottom of your dog house from rotting away over long time periods, and it provides extra insulation.
5. What Does the Inside Feel Like?
Obviously you want to buy a dog house that can survive through the seasons, but this isn’t just for structural purposes. Set your dog house outside for a couple of hours, then come back out and stick your hand, or head inside. Of course, you won’t want your dog to be hanging out in here when you do this; you may give them the wrong impression. Once you’ve experienced the inside temperature for a few minutes, ask yourself how it feels compared to the temperature outside? Is it a few degrees warmer, colder, or about the same? If you live in colder climates, a dog house with insulated walls and a lacquer wood finishing could make a huge difference in your pet’s safety and comfort. In southern states, heat is a major concern for pets; a hot dog house can feel a lot like a hot vehicle if it hasn’t been designed properly.
You can easily purchase a small, portable air conditioning unit that only requires a two-hose connection and doesn’t take up very much electricity. While outdoor heating units are also available, do not use space heaters inside the dog house at any time. Space heaters run the risk of causing fires on their own, the last thing you want is for your dog to become trapped inside if there is a fire.
Since we’ve covered the major topics like weather, temperature, and structure, what else is there to think about when you’re purchasing a dog house? Just like the rooms in our own houses, you can add extra amenities and features to help your dog feel more at home. One thing nearly every dog loves is having a window to look out of. Have you ever walked by a fence, and noticed a strange clear, plastic bubble jutting out, and wondered what it was for? Well, think of it has a peep hole for dogs! Bubble windows are becoming more and more popular among pet owners with plenty of positive outcomes. A dog that can see their surroundings is less likely to become destructive, a window added to a fence can help to prevent chewing and digging. Sometimes pet owners buy expensive, top of the line dog houses, but for some reason their dog just won’t use it! Adding a window can easily solve this problem.
Some other options for comfort are blankets, bedding, and pillows. Don’t get the same kind you would for the inside of your own home, buy a bed that’s heavy duty and won’t absorb pollen, moisture, and dirt. Find a bed or pillow that has a protective PVC covering and a polyfill lining, this way when it gets dirty (and it will get dirty) you can remove the cover and wash it without destroying the inner stuffing.
For pet owners with smaller dogs, pamper your pet with the luxury of their own deck! This way they’ll have the option of hanging out in their house, or sunbathing on a smooth wooden deck.
What Are Your Other Options?
The canine niche has expanded monumentally over the years, and people love to get creative when it comes to their fur kids. Now, you’ll even find indoor dog houses on the market! Seems silly, right? The truth is, regular wire cages have the potential to be quite dangerous and have been the cause of many tragic accidents. It’s not unheard of for pets to pinch and break their toes between wiring, catch their teeth, or become hung due to their collar becoming caught.
We offer indoor dog houses that come in all kinds of adorable shapes, sizes and designs. Our wood and wire dog crate offers the same open view that a full wire crate does. The difference is, there aren’t any jagged ends or hooks where your pet might be able to injure themselves. The wiring goes straight through the wood, and leaves little space between each connection so your dog won’t get a paw stuck in between them.
The Opportunities for a Great Dog House Are Endless
We love your dogs as much as we love our own, and wish only to provide a safe, relaxed environment for your pet while you’re at work, school, or out with your friends and family. You deserve to be able to leave home knowing that your fur kid will come running excitedly to greet you with lots of wet kisses when you get back. Try out one of our premium dog houses and see what you think!