If in theory, any dog can use a indoor dog house, in practice it is better to reserve this accessory for those of a certain age.
Indeed, puppies have a tendency to chew on anything that is within reach of their little teeth: they could therefore be tempted to chew on their shelter, and therefore damage it or even injure themselves with or ingest pieces of it. It is, therefore, better to keep them under surveillance while they are still young and to have them sleep in a more secure place.
Overall, it is recommended to choose a doghouse that is about 1.5 times the length of the dog, and the width is a little more than twice its width. As for the height, it must allow him to enter and stand there without bumping his head, but it would not be relevant either to opt for a model with a roof that is too high. Finally, the door must be wide and high enough for him to enter and exit without difficulty.
Kennels are often made of wood, but there are also some that are made of other materials, including plastic.
The wooden dog houses
The advantage of wood is that it is a good thermal insulator: dog crate furniture made of this material are therefore generally not very cold in winter, and quite cool in summer. In addition, even if it is a matter of taste, they are also generally more aesthetic. Finally, it is not difficult to find ones that are equipped with small accessories, such as a terrace or an elevation.
Their main drawback is that they are often expensive, even when they have a rudimentary form. In addition, they can be inconvenient to clean. Finally, as they are rather heavy, they are difficult to move.
Plastic dog houses
Plenty of plastic kennels stored
Plastic kennels are not always very well thermally insulated: they can therefore be unusable when it is very hot or very cold. In addition, they are generally of the fairly simple constitution: for example, they only rarely have a terrace or even feet allowing them to be raised.
However, they have several advantages: they are easier to wash, easier to transport due to their lightness, and generally less expensive than wooden kennels.
The shape of the roof
A wooden dog house with a sloping roof covered by snow
Most doghouses have either a flat or sloped roof.
If we put aside the aesthetic aspect (some masters may not appreciate square shapes), a flat roof often has the advantage of being removable, which greatly facilitates regular cleaning of the doghouse. This is more rarely the case with those that are sloping, especially those with a V shape.
The advantage of the latter, however, is that they allow better evacuation of rain and snow, which makes the inside of the doghouse less humid. In addition, the slope of the roof makes it possible to better absorb the sun’s rays in winter and to return a good part of them in summer: thus, the temperature is more pleasant throughout the year.
Good insulation of the kennel is essential to protect your dog from cold, humidity, heat, and bad weather. Moreover, if it is poorly insulated, there is a chance that he does not really want to settle there…
It is, therefore, preferable to opt for an insulating material (eg wood) and a raised model, to prevent the floor from being in direct contact with the ground. Placing a blanket or mattress on the ground adds an additional layer of insulation, but if the base is poorly insulated or placed on the ground, chances are that this is not enough.
Some slightly more sophisticated models also have a small door or a curtain, which helps retain heat in winter and prevent the wind from blowing in. If not, it’s quite easy to make your own with a bit of wood, plastic, or fabric. Transparent doors are preferable because they allow the animal to see what is happening outside while remaining warm in its shelter.
Some kennels are equipped with a terrace, that is to say a small platform in front of the door: the dog thus has a little more space, or even can lie down comfortably while remaining outside.
As for the shelter itself, it is preferable that the terrace be raised in order to be isolated from the cold and the humidity of the ground. It is rarely covered; however, when it is, it protects the animal from the rain and the sun, which provides the latter with considerable comfort.
In the case when the wooden dog house is not equipped with a terrace, it is possible to make one by laying out wooden planks on the floor and installing it on it. It’s pretty rudimentary, but it can do the trick.
Can you build a doghouse yourself?
Since a kennel is a fairly expensive investment – especially if you have a very large dog – some people undertake to build a shelter for their animal themselves. This not only saves money, but also allows you to build it to the right size and shape you want.
Making a wooden dog house is actually not very complicated, as long as you are a little handyman and have the right equipment. Probably the most delicate aspect is to succeed in making it perfectly waterproof and insulating it well so that it maintains a pleasant temperature all year round.
Fortunately, if you don’t know how to do it, there are now a number of tutorials on the internet.
Where to install the doghouse?
It is not always measured, but the choice of location is almost as important as that of the doghouse itself since it plays on the propensity of the dog to appreciate or not his shelter.
Care must be taken to place it in a quiet place but not too far from the house, otherwise, the animal will not feel excluded from the family – which it would risk experiencing as a cruel punishment. It is best to position it so that it can see the home, and therefore maintain visual contact with its masters.
It should also be installed so that it is neither too hot nor too cold. For example, it is better to avoid areas with drafts in winter and those that are particularly exposed to the sun in summer, even if it means moving it from one season to another if it is difficult to find a satisfactory location for these two terms.
Finally, in the case where the dog plays the role of guardian, it goes without saying that his kennel must be placed in a strategic place, from where he can observe the comings and goings (for example near an entrance, or with a view overlooking the garden). Conversely, if he does not fulfill this function but tends to bark indiscriminately, it is better not to orient his shelter too much towards a busy street or the neighbor’s house.