Home is where we go to feel safe, but we don’t always consider the dangers that lurk nearby. Finding the right dog house is hard, but knowing where to put it can be an even bigger challenge! You probably aren’t fully aware of the wildlife that hangs out in your backyard. Snakes, spiders, hornets, rabbits, and other animals also happen to be looking for a cool place to hide from the summer sun. If you want your dog to be at ease in their new luxury house, you’ve got to find a spot that is least likely to allow the outside elements to create a negative impact on your dog’s shelter; no matter what season it is!
Pick a Spot Away From Direct Sunlight
We all know that our dogs love to sunbathe, lying in the grass belly up just so happens to be one of their favorite things to do! However, this is not the case when it comes to their shelter; setting a dog house in direct sunlight can make the inside feel like an oven when you add heat and humidity. A shaded patch of soft ground is great for summer conditions, concrete isn’t recommended since it absorbs heat. When grass isn’t readily available, add an umbrella or overhanging shade to keep the temperature nice and cool.
Cold Wind Can Feel Extreme If It’s Blowing Right at You
For pet owners who live in colder climates and are braving the harsh winters, your dog house obviously needs to be warm, elevated, and insulated. More importantly, your dog needs added protection against painfully cold winds. For situations such as this, put the dog house against your home, or at the bottom of another tall, solid structure. The lower the ground, the better! Then, face the opening of the house in the same direction that the wind happens to be blowing. This way, the secondary structure and the back of your dog house will take all the force of the wind, providing your dog with a warm and safe barrier. L-shaped houses are actually an excellent choice for the cold season because you can place them just about anywhere in your backyard and still get the same results.
Avoid Placing Dog House Close to Exits or Fence Lines
You could live in the best neighborhood, with good, trustworthy people, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that there aren’t others who might be up to no good. Over the past few years, there have been several cases of dog thieves reaching over fences and stealing pets. When a dog house is placed up against a fence line, it gives other people easier access to your dog. Sure, your dog may run over to the fence anyway. However, it’s much harder to grab a dog in motion than it is to pick up a Chihuahua’s dog house and carry the dog away without breaking a sweat. Your pet will be much safer if their shelter is closer to your porch or patio where no one can reach over and take them.
Keep the Dog House Away From Waste Areas
Think about the way your own home is set up, your bathroom is probably a good distance from your kitchen, isn’t it? Well, your dog doesn’t want to eat and sleep with the scent of their own excrement just a few inches away. If your family has a special place in the yard that they like to spend time together, your dog will be happiest there. Not to mention, they’ll have an incentive to keep the area clean!
Beware the Risk of Other Animals Getting Inside
When it’s too hot, too cold, or too rainy outside, most animals are searching for a shelter of their own. Snakes are a prime example, these cold blooded amphibians can’t control their own body temperatures. So, when the environment around them gets too warm, snakes naturally look for a cooler place to go. Most of the time they’ll avoid yards with cats and dogs, but if they’re desperate for somewhere to go, a well-designed dog house might as well have a sign that says “come on in!” If there’s something you definitely don’t want, your dog being bitten by an angry Copperhead is it. Get a lawn ornament or statue of an owl and place it as close to the dog house as possible. Since owls are natural predators for snakes, rabbits, and mice, they’re the perfect deterrent for other animals.
Don’t Put Your Dog House in Tight Corners
Wherever you decide to set up shop, your dog should be able to easily exit their house without bending or twisting to get out of the space. If surrounding walls or objects obstruct the exit of the dog house, it could prevent your dog from being able to get out in an emergency situation. Make sure your pet can safely make their way out of a bad situation quickly and without injury.
Consider Having a Dog Run Built
If you have a big enough yard, a run will make a huge difference in the accessibility of your dog house. Runs generally consist of a large, open space designated for your dog and is surrounded by a tall chain link fence to secure the perimeter. Occasionally, the top of the run is also covered with chain link; this awesome safety feature allows your dog to get plenty of sunlight and fresh air while keeping out unwelcome pests. Partially cover the top with a tarp or some form of shade and place the dog house beneath it for added protection from the sun.
Alternate and Reposition Your Dog House From Time to Time
If you’ve ever played in the woods as a child, you probably remember turning over rocks and pieces of rotting wood. Underneath, you’d find creepy crawlies like centipedes, rollie pollies, spiders, and a number of other underground insects. The same situation is bound to happen if you’ve got a dog house that isn’t elevated, and is placed in grassy areas. For this reason, you’ll want to move the structure a few inches away from the previous spot and allow any remaining pests to disperse. If you’d like, you can put the dog house back in its original place afterward.
Geography Matters, People In the Country Have More Options
Don’t forget, where you put your dog house will be specific to the way your own home is set up. The size of your yard and the population of your town makes a huge difference in finding the appropriate location for it. For those who are living out in the countryside, the guidelines above apply to your situation as well. Luckily, you’ll have quite a bit more space than city people, but you’ll have to work harder to prevent pests. It also tends to be cooler in the country because there aren't as many cars and exhaust fumes to produce heat. A dog house with a patio or a sun roof is the perfect fit for country dogs who love to sit up high, watch the world go by, and enjoy the breeze.
Consider an Indoor Dog House for Smaller Pets
While large breeds fair pretty well without supervision, the same rules don’t apply with smaller dogs. Toy breeds especially are viewed as prey by foxes, coyotes, snakes, large birds, and other forms of hungry wildlife. Something as simple as a small dog door for your pet to quickly run out, relieve themselves, and come back inside to their dog house can make a big difference in their safety and well-being.
Don’t Forget to Interact with Your Dog
Even if your dog has the most prestigious dog house in existence, they still want to spend time with their human. Dog houses are convenient, especially when you’re busy with work, family, and don’t always have time to take your pet exploring in the park. Now your pup can run and play at their own leisure, but don’t forget to play fetch with them and remind your dog they’re still part of the pack, and the family.
Think of your new dog house as an investment. As long as you take care of it, clean it, and repair it when necessary it will last for years. Since it’s probably going to be outside for the majority of the time that you own your dog house, take heed to the weather warnings. Yes, plastic houses are more durable against extreme cases of moisture like flooding or snow. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t take damage from hail, or heavy debris when harsh winds are present.
Keep an eye on your local new station and plan ahead if bad weather is coming your direction. Place your dog house in a garage or an enclosed space within the home, you don’t want your dog to be outside if the situation becomes critical! If you aren’t sure which house would be best for both indoor and outdoor locations, just try our Wooden Indoor Outdoor Dog House for small pets. It’s got a cozy cubby for them to sleep in, and as an added bonus we’ve included a luxurious balcony for sun bathing and nature watching!