Universally known a dog is a man’s best friend and so deserves a special home in every home. Every dog owner should ensure that his favourite pet gets a place of his/her own in the house. Let us look at some of the options open for designing, building and maintaining a nice dog house for your pet. A dog house or a dog shed that is kept outdoors is generally useful as the dog guards the property of the owner and can keep potential robbers and other strays out of bounds , can draw the attention of the inmates to fend off the intruders. A happy dog kept in a cosy atmosphere is even more affectionate and faithful to its master.
You will have to decide whether you want to build a doghouse (also known as a kennel) or buy a ready-made one. While agricultural animals live in barns and stables, house hold pets are more at home with their own customised houses and many pet lovers devote time and energy for the same in order to provide a safe haven. To protect the pet from the weather and intruding insects, bugs, winds or any form of bad weather is a must. And also make it comfortable for the pet. This also gives a sense of pride to the owner of the pet. A dog lover always will remain loyal to the comforts of his pet. This ensures ample physical protection irrespective of the breed of his pet. Special dog houses are made for the breed of smaller dogs that prefer to be indoors.
A DIY kennel / readymade one
While someone with basic building skills can build a proper dog house made out of inexpensive and recycled basic building materials like plywood and a metal roof top, a lot of things needs to be kept in mind. For instance, if you have bought a very young pup, you might want to take look at the future when he/she grows up and that is when the needs will be different and bigger. In other words, a do-it-yourself dog house cannot be everyone’s cup of tea given the time constraints of the busy office-goer. It might be prudent in this case to go in for a ready-made dog house available from the market.
It is obvious that the kennel should be well-built, durable and strong in order to save the pet from the adverse effects of sun, rain and wind. So apart from just building a dog house or buying a readymade one, the owner should also give thought to keep the place insulated against extreme temperature which will keep the pet cosy and healthy.
There are some points you have to keep in mind before going in for purchasing a dog house.
It should be big enough to allow your pet to move around freely and stretch his limbs while lying inside it
Too large a house might make your pet feel lonely because generally dogs like cosier places. Besides, a large dog house might let too much air to pass inside causing discomfort especially during winter
A paw heat dog tent (portable) is the one with a mesh for indoor and outdoor use. It can be taken when camping or if one has to stay at a friend’s place for the week end. Your pet may not be devoid a resting space.
Among the various varieties of kennels or dog houses available in the market, the following are the more popular ones and depending on one’s budget and size of the pet, one could make an informed choice:
Wood dog house
Dog houses made of mostly wooden material are the preferred choice. One of the main merits of the wood dog house is its durability and it is cost-effective in the long run. You will have to take into account the kind of dog you have, his/her personality, style of the house, size of the dog and the budget. The wooden dog house can be repainted year after year to give it a newer and fancier look.
Plastic dog house
Nowadays, with the increased use of plastic material and the cost factor, some people prefer to have dog houses made of plastic material. One chief merit besides the cost, is that it is light-weight and requires less maintenance in comparison to the wooden variety. They come in a slew of colours, designs and shapes and the buyer has a broad variety to choose from.
Metal dog house
Metal is not a very popular material. However, there are those who prefer metal because of its resistance as the dog cannot chew off the material. These metal dog houses are typically rectangular in shape and the common materials used are either steel or aluminium.
Fibre glass dog house
A fibre glass dog house uses heavy duty fibre glass and is preferred because it does not rot or leak. Though it is not a popular choice, some owners use it for its toughness, comfort and since not much material is used, it is ideal when the space is limited.
A dog tent is a portable and a soft tent that is made of water proof material and since it can be easily dismantled, it can be shifted from place to place without much difficulty. It is easy to assemble and so if the owner wants to take the dog along with the family on tour or for camping, a portable dog tent will serve the need. However, the dog tent will prove useless and disastrous if the dog is aggressive and decides to be temperamental.
Large dog’s Kennel
These kennels are specially made for large dogs and often made of hard tough material. generally they are in wood to accommodate two or more dogs. At times a dog owner prefers a pair of different gender to provide company to the pets.
Soft dog crate
A soft dog crate is a rectangular tent made of nylon mesh and does not use metal or nylon grating. Because it is light weight and portable, it is a good choice for a properly domesticated and well-behaved small dog. Larger ones with an aggressive nature will destroy the crate in no time since hence it is not built to be robust.
Building your own dog house
For those of you who are more enterprising, have a creative talent and can spare the time, a do it a simple yourself dog house plan is given below. You could of course, use a variety of colours and shades and make small changes in designs according to your imagination so that the dog house for your pet will eventually turn out to be a construction of which you will be proud:
Material that you will need: Large pieces of plywood of 8 feet and 10 feet each, a tape measure, a dust mask, a hammer, some nails, a circular saw, goggles, paint brush, ear protection. For the frame, you need to attach the side, front and back panels and start attaching everything together. Before putting the roof, you must ensure that there are no protruding nails as they can potentially harm your pet. Finally, attach the roof to the dog house with the help of wood and nails.
Varieties in dog houses
The igloo shape (insulated) for warmth on wintry nights
The log cabin (summer or tropical climate)
Cosy cottage type (provides a homely look)
Extra large (more than one dog)
Duplex dog house (spacious and comfortable with insulation)
Small dog house in soft foam (smaller dogs)
The intention of the owner is to make his pet feel homely even in the night so that it doesn’t go astray despite being outdoors. Generally a stingy pet owner is a bit sceptic about letting his dog remain in the open for fear of it being killed/kidnapped so he lavishly provides a rug at home “as home “ for the dog. This is ideal if the pet dog is ill or needs medication. But a dog house is a must if the owner’s house is small enough or the owner has a big family, the pet dog need not feel claustrophobic. Special foam or soft mattresses are aesthetically designed and available for your pet’s comfort.
The owner’s house big or small, a dog house (indoor or outdoor) gives your pet adequate resting space and freedom during festivities/ parties or get together when the owner is busy entertaining.
How to keep the dog house clean
Cleanliness and hygiene are a must for a dog house. Pay special attention to the inside corners as debris, faeces and urine can easily collect there. Rinse completely the structure and do not forget to disinfect the dog house regularly with safety standards to protect your pet.
The portable sheds or tents are the ones to be cleaned often as they move from place to place as per the owner‘s movements due to his profession, or those who are trekkers or campers.
All these details will certainly help you to design and build or buy a proper dream house for your pet dog who is your best buddy in good times and bad.