For some dog owners keeping the dog in the house is not an option but nor would any decent dog owner leave their animal out in the cold or unprotected from the weather. Therefore you may be looking at building a dog house yourself. This article gives you some helpful advice when building a dog house, from materials, to planning, to heating. The joy of building a dog house yourself is the love you can put into the project for your best friend, as well as being able to add touches to personalize it to suit your dog’s personality and needs.
Plans For Building A Dog House
You can try and plan the build yourself if you have some experience or knowledge, or you can find free plans online, in books, at shelters or pet stores or in publications. A good plan has plenty of room for the dog to be able to turn and lie down, but should not be too big as then it will lose heat.
What Should Your Dog House Include?
There are some key things a good dog house should include such as;
• A platform. The dog house should be built on a platform so that it is off the ground. This keeps the cold from seeping in and the damp.
• A ramp. If you have it on a platform then of course you need a ramp so that it is easy for your dog to get in and out.
• Insulation. Just as our houses have insulation, so should theirs!
• Ventilation. Air vents that are closeable are a nice feature because it means in the summer it allows the air to circulate and keeps it fresh and stops your dog from over heating, but as they are closeable in the winter they can be shut to keep out the cold air.
• A doorway that is covered. Something should be hung over the doorway to keep out the cold and wind – carpet, burlap that is waterproof or heavy plastic for example. Something that the dog can push through still when they need to.
• A comfortable place to sleep. Put in something for the dog to sleep on that is comfortable and will keep them warm but that wont get wet and freeze. Straw for example is better than blankets. Whatever you choose should be changed every week or two.
Some dog houses are made from plastic but these are not ideal. Wood is better as it is warmer in winter but cool in the summer. Use a wood that is durable, and resists rot and insects. Do not use pressure-treated wood as it is toxic for the dog.
If it gets very cold your pets should be indoors with you, a dog house is not suitable for a dog to stay in when it gets too cold, and what levels of cold they can tolerate depends on their breed. If they cannot stay in the house for the whole of the winter, for nights that are not extreme there is the option of putting heating into the dog house. Electric blankets, heaters, and heater boxes are an option but there are safety issues with such things. Make sure cords are not chewable. Or you could install a solar panel making it environmentally friendly.