Dog Kennels & Houses
Wooden dogs’ kennels can be particularly attractive and are available in a wide range of designs.
These range from traditional basic ‘dog house’ constructions to more elaborate designs with porches and decking for your dog to bask in the sun. Some dog houses even have two levels, so your dog can climb up on top and sunbathe on the roof! This suits dogs who like to keep a look-out over their surroundings.
Many wooden kennels are available to purchase ready for use. Some ready-made kennels may require some basic assembly, or be treated with a wood-protecting agent.
Always ensure any product or paint used on a kennel is non-toxic to dogs.
Dogs may well chew on wooded kennels and may become ill if toxic wood preservatives or other coatings have been used. Most dog kennels come ready-treated with dog-safe wood-preserver but do check product details if you are unsure.
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Dog kennels usually fair better if raised off the ground.
Some pre-fabricated kennels have their own feet attached. This kind of design not only helps with air circulation but also makes it less of a problem if your dog urinates up the side of the kennel – as most male dogs will do.
If a dog pees on a kennel sat directly on the ground, the liquid is likely to seep under and soak into the base. Rainwater will do the same. As such, wooden kennels sat directly on the ground are likely to rot more quickly than those raised up slightly.
Kennels that do not have their own feet can be easily raised on wooden blocks or bricks – do ensure the kennel is secured in a stable position.
Plastic Dog Houses
Alternatively, plastic dog kennels are often more durable than wooden models.
Many well-designed, attractive plastic dog kennels are available. Basic Plastic Dog Kennels of standard ‘dog-house’ design can provide a less expensive option than many wooden kennels. Plastic dog kennels may be preferable for dogs who like to chew. Although they may be damaged by determined chewers, they will not splinter in your dog’s mouth like wood can.
Dog Igloos are a popular choice of plastic kennel. They provide good protection from the weather and are more durable than a lot of wooden designs. Dog Igloos can also make a good indoor home for your dog, providing a nice cozy den inside the house.
Build Your Own Dog House
As an alternative to buying a kennel or dog house, you can make your own with relative ease.
You can make such as project as simple or involved as you wish. Simple, easy-to-follow ‘dog box’ designs are available online and can be produced using relatively small amounts of wood and little time.
You can also adapt other objects for use as kennels.
Old whiskey barrels make wonderful dog-houses. Many companies will ship used barrels to you at a reasonable cost. A simple wooden frame for the barrel to lie on is all that is required. Simply cut one end out and lay the barrel on its side. You can also create a flat base for your dog to lie on inside the barrel by inserting a flat piece of thick board.
As with all DIY projects, make sure any dog kennels you acquire or create are safe for your dog. Ensure there are no exposed nails or screws, splinters, or sharp edges that may cause harm.
If you are considering designing and building your own dog house, the following books may be useful.
Dog Kennel Security
You must make sure your dog’s kennel or run is safe and secure.
Many owners leave their dogs in outdoor kennels and run whilst they are out and about. Do be aware that dogs often surprise us in their abilities to escape, and a bored dog left for several hours can become very determined and destructive.
More worryingly, dogs are sometimes stolen from garden kennels or runs.
There have been reported cases of dog thieves cutting weld-mesh fencing or breaking off padlocks to gain access to dogs left unattended. Make sure your dog’s run is as secure as possible if you are planning to leave your dog alone for any length of time.
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