Every dog needs a place of its own to call home. For some, that might mean a large wooden structure in your backyard, and for others, it might mean a smaller plastic house that's more portable. But how do you know which type of house is right for your dog?
CHOOSING THE RIGHT DOGHOUSE: THINGS TO CONSIDER
When you're searching for the right house for your dog, you might be overwhelmed by the number of options that are available. A few of the biggest things to consider when looking for the perfect doghouse are size and material.
IS BIGGER ALWAYS BETTER?
While you might assume that a bigger doghouse is better than a smaller one, that isn't necessarily true. Too much space won't provide warmth during the colder months, so if you live in a climate that experiences chillier weather, you may want to look at smaller doghouse options. One measuring guide to follow is that the top of the house's roof should be at least 25% taller than your dog but no more than 50% taller. This should allow plenty of space without too much extra room that could compromise the insulation.
Your dog will enter his house head first, turn around, and then lie down facing the door. He will need enough space to do this, but he doesn't need much more room than that. A good measuring guide for this is that the doghouse door should be 75% of your dog's shoulder to ground height. Why this measurement? Dogs do not need a door that is as tall as they are to enter. Your dog will lower his head to get into a kennel or crate, so they are used to entering doors this way. Also, a smaller door means that less outside air will get in, helping to keep the doghouse at a warmer temperature, especially when it's cold outside.
WHAT MATERIAL IS BEST?
Doghouses are usually constructed of either wood or plastic. If you're having a hard time deciding which is the better option to go with, here are some of the pros and cons of each:
WOODEN DOG HOUSES
Wood has been a popular choice of material for doghouses for many years and is probably the most common material that doghouses are constructed with.
Shapes: Wooden dog houses also come in a variety of shapes. The most common is the slanted/sloped roof and the gable roof. A slanted or sloped roof is often hinged and can open at the top. This is ideal for pets who may need a bit of extra care or attention while they are in their house as it allows pet parents easier access to the inside. It also makes them easier to clean. A gable roof is more of the "classic" doghouse shape and is best for larger dogs or in areas that experience a lot of rain or snow, so that rain and snow won't gather and get stuck on the top.
PLASTIC DOG HOUSES
Plastic doghouses have grown in popularity over the years, mostly due to the fact that they last so long and are easy to move around when needed.
Shapes: Most plastic doghouses come in one general shape. The igloo shape. As the name implies, this type of house is shaped like an igloo and has widely become popular due to the fact that they last so long and come mostly assembled. The igloo shape also makes these doghouses sturdier than wooden dog houses and provides decent temperature control, both during the winter and summer.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR DOG'S HOUSE MORE COMFORTABLE
After you've chosen the perfect dwelling place for your dog, don't forget to keep these things in mind to help them stay comfortable!
Just like humans, dogs need a place to retreat to when they're stressed, over-excited, or just need to cool off. Giving your dog a shelter in the backyard is a great way to give your dog its own space. While wooden doghouses are easier on the eye, plastic doghouses hold up better to harsh weather elements. Remember, you know your dog best, so be sure to choose what you know will work best for your specific dog.