A dog is supposed to be “mans best friend”, so why do we continually treat our pets like the enemy? We expect them to stay in hot plastic bunkers in summer and endure cold temperatures in wood or tin structures in winter. Just imagine the discomfort that your pet may feel when left to brave the elements inside an un-insulated doghouse.
Most pet owners allow their dogs to live indoors, especially when the weather turns foul. This may give the humans great pleasure, but it’s not always what’s best for their pets. Some pets, despite their loyalty and love of their people, simply prefer the comfort and independence of their own personal space.
What Makes the Perfect Doghouse?
A dog house is just like a human home, and should instill a sense of comfort and safety. A few critical factors are required to create the perfect home for your pet.
Purchase or build an insulated doghouse. Proper insulation is absolutely necessary for your pet’s good health and comfort, regardless of the climate. Even the warmest parts of the world can have chilly or wet days, and your dog will need to generate it’s own body heat from time to time. Other areas get downright cold during both daytime and nighttime hours. A properly insulated doghouse will keep the cold out and keep the warmth inside.
On the other hand, an insulated doghouse is also important when temperatures begin to soar. The insulation acts will act in reverse, keeping the interior of the doghouse nice and cool, even during the blistering heat. This is vital to the health of your pet, as extreme heat can cause dehydration and heatstroke. UV rays can also cause irreversible damage to your pet.
Lining the doghouse with plain insulation is not enough to ensure complete comfort and protection. Be sure that the structure is completely waterproof, and that any inside humidity can quickly evaporate. This will discourage the formation of harmful mildew. Many pet owners choose to create an “inner sanctum” for their dogs. It’s a second entrance, placed inside the doghouse, but not directly aligned with the outside entrance. This additional entrance enables the dog to hide inside the second room, away from high winds and inclement weather. Be sure to allow enough capacity for optimal comfort and protection in both hot and cold weather.
When building an insulated doghouse, be sure that it can accommodate the full standing height of an adult dog. The structure must be as tall as your adult pet, plus no less than 1/3 of his or her size. To calculate the ideal size doghouse for your pet, you will need to measure the dog when standing, and also measure the length of your dog when lying down. Then, add on an additional one-third of these measurements on all four sides. If you own a puppy, find out how tall he or she will be at full adult size, add one-third, and use that for your calculations.
For your dog’s security, make sure that he or she can see the opening to the doghouse while standing and sitting. The opening must also be large enough for your pet to use without effort.
Proper air circulation inside the doghouse is an important point that’s often overlooked. Build your doghouse on top of stilts or an open foundation, to allow air to circulate beneath the house. This can also ensure that the structure remains warm and dry, and helps to prevent unwanted pests from infiltrating the doghouse.
Your dog is your best friend, and you can’t deny that he or she deserves the best. An insulated doghouse is the only way to provide the protection and security your pet needs, whatever the weather.