New England Outdoor Blog

What To Consider Before Purchasing a Doghouse

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Owning a dog can be both rewarding and challenging. Pets offer comfort, companionship and protection, especially for people that live alone. Taking care of a pet though can also be a costly experience, especially in regards to time and money. One way that you can cut down costs for your pet this summer is by fully researching and strategically planning your next pet purchase. In the event that purchase is a doghouse, here are a few important questions to keep in mind.


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What material should be used to construct my doghouse?


The main purpose of a doghouse is to protect your pet from the extreme weather elements, such as strong winds and harsh rainstorms. The type of material you use can greatly impact the temporal feeling for your dog. Plastic is an affordable material to use for doghouses, and is convenient for cleaning. However wood doghouses last longer and provide more design options than plastic. Wood also serves as a better protectant and insulator against uncomfortable weather elements. Metal is another option, however it’s typically used for creating transportable “dog boxes”.  Although they are durable, metal doghouses are often expensive and poor insulators.


What size should the doghouse be?


How large your doghouse should be will first be dependent upon the size of your dog. You want to make sure that your doghouse is large enough for your pet to comfortably walk into without bowing its head, lie down in, and turn around in. The height of the doghouse door should be equivalent to the height of your dog’s shoulder.  You should also consider your dog’s weight as well when it comes to purchasing a doghouse that will be strong enough for your pet. Refrain from purchasing an oversized doghouse. It may be tempting to create a “palace” for your pet, however you need to remember that pets are more secure in smaller areas. Also, an oversized doghouse doesn’t provide enough protection from the wind and can make your pet feel like he or she is indoors.


Will the doghouse be ventilated?


A doghouse without proper ventilation will become a scorching hot box for your pet during the summer. This creates a dangerous environment for your dog, and could result in overheating or exhaustion.  Also, during the winter a poorly ventilated doghouse can build up with moisture, creating a space conducive for mold and unfriendly bacteria. To ensure that your doghouse is properly ventilated, include a properly sized doorway for your pet to exit through. Avoid door flaps, as they restrict ventilation. Also, be sure to drill quarter-sized holes at the top of your doghouse to help hot air escape as it rises. You may want to consider adding a small window to your doghouse as well.


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Where should the doghouse be placed?


During hot weather, you will want to make sure that your pet’s doghouse is placed in the shade. Homes exposed to direct sunlight, particularly those made of plastic, can internally exceed temperatures well over 100 degrees. During cooler months, you will want to position your doghouse in a way that does not face the direction in which strong, cold winter winds flow.


Thinking about building your own doghouse to save money? Here are some great resources to help you!



photo credit: ClicPhoto Studio via photopin cc

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