How to Find a Cool Dog House
Keeping a dog in your own house is not an ideal solution for everybody. Some members of the family might suffer from allergies or might not be too keen on having an animal occasionally cause a mess, even if it’s house trained. If there’s a yard to put it in, then the best solution will most often be to have your dog sleep in his own house especially as most animals prefer to be closer to nature then to your kitchen and bathroom appliances anyways.
There are a few things to consider when choosing a good dog house, however, most of which relative to your particular needs. The best dog houses for winter might not offer an ideal solution for hot weather, for example, so if you’re living in a place like Florida you might want to strike out models that feature thermal insulation and a door when browsing through what’s available for sale. A house with a removable roof, or something that allows your pet to comfortably sleep on top of it, away from the warm dust, will make far better choices in this case.
How we chose the coolest dog houses
We’ve taken a look through some dog house reviews to get an idea of what are the things to look for when purchasing a home for your pet. The ones we found most important are detailed below.
First and foremost, don’t look for the largest model you can find, but use the size of your dog as a guide. Canines have a natural need to burrow and tend to enjoy close fit spaces, so in their case, more room doesn’t necessarily equate to more comfort.
Most dog houses are designed to resemble a wolf barrow, with a fairly small opening and space inside to fit a bitch and her litter of pups. If the dog has just enough space to turn around without leaving the confines of his house then it has space enough not to feel constrained.
The size of the dog house also affects how warm it will feel during the winter or how cool during summer. Small dog houses will be faster to heat up since there will be less air to warm, especially if they also feature a covering to keep the heat from escaping. Most manufacturers also provide special winter kits for added insulation and it’s highly recommended to purchase this option if cold is expected to be a problem.
Another option provided is additional heating pads, which are particularly useful for small dogs, who don’t let out enough body heat to keep their room warm by themselves.
All dog houses should provide good shade and good airflow during the summer months, provided that they are big enough for the dog to find a space that’s guarded against the sun. A small main opening might help with this but it’s highly recommended for an additional ventilation hole to be provided.
You can do this by removing a plank from one of the walls and putting it back in place when the weather gets colder, and it’s always a good idea to purchase units that you can tinker with in any case.
A damp dog house will be a serious health hazard for its inhabitant, as well as a source of great discomfort, so water insulation is fairly important. The standard A-frame design will handle most downpours fairly well, with its sloped roof from which water and snow slide fairly easily. You should take care however that there aren’t any spaces for the water to sip through.
A thing to look for when purchasing a dog house straight from the store is that is slightly lifted from the ground, to better protect the inside space against mud and water puddles, but also to keep the wooden floor away from the damp soil, which might increase the risk of rotting.
A flat roof can allow space for water to form into puddles, and besides affecting the dog houses permeability, this will also increase the risk of the wood rotting, or the plastic losing its properties, as it might be the case.
It is a good idea to cover a flat or a gently sloped roof in tile material, either metal or ceramic, as you would with a human house. Flat roof designs make for the best dog houses for hot weather, however, since the relatively large interior space they allow for will provide better air circulation during the summer.
Another, less obvious advantage has to do with dog behavior, with some species finding great enjoyment in using the roof of their houses as a porch during summer months.
Resilience and material
No dog products comparison will be complete without taking into account resilience. While in the case of chew toys and collars the animal’s overly sanguine temperament is to be taken into account, the dog house has to mostly put up with the elements.
Most dog houses are made of wood, which has to be treated with a layer of lacquer or paint to hold up against rot and other pests such as ants or nits. Tar and other store-bought specialized products might be used for waterproofing.
If you’re building your own doghouse or adding to a commercial product, make sure that you apply the appropriate coating both on the outside and inside of the structure (if the plans don’t allow for this to be done comfortably, paint it BEFORE assembly).
Plastic models are not as popular but they can make for some cool pieces of furniture to have around the yard. Since the synthetic material is easier to shape, designers are allowed to use their imaginations and come up with all sorts of novelty items.
These have to be specially treated against UV rays, since exposure to the sun won’t just cause some “innocent” discoloration, but will also affect the chemical structure of the material, making it more brittle and easy to break when exposed to physical forces.