Friday, August 21, 2009


Any dog that spends any amount of time outside should be provided a place of shelter to protect him from the elements. There are so many different dog houses available to the pet owner. Depending upon your dog’s needs, size, climate of the area you live in, and the price you want to pay, the choice is almost endless. I have had a couple of different houses for my dogs. One was the homemade type made from wood and the other is the plastic type.

The different types of dog houses to choose from can be anything from portable, insulated, igloo, dogloo, collapsible, cedar, wood, tents, a-frames, you name it, someone is selling it.

The things you should be looking for in a dog house are the obvious…….shelter, insulation, durability, and construction. These things will dictate the price of the dog house as well.

I have found with the homemade type of dog house (you can find detailed instructions on the internet) if they are made from wood that they don’t last as long as other types. They end up rotting and they’re not as easy to clean and take care of. This is not the type of house you want with a dog that loves to chew. However, that being said, when you build your own dog house, you can pretty much customize it to your dogs needs. The dog house that we made from wood had a special panel inside that if the dog laid on the other side would prevent him from drafts and the cold. We also used insulation in between the walls and floor of the house. Watch out if you use shingles on the dog house as some dogs like to lie on the top of the house. This can become very hot.

Whether building a dog house or buying one, make sure that the floor is elevated off the ground to prevent it from getting too cold, but more importantly to help keep it from getting wet. Also make sure the house is well ventilated. Dog houses can become very hot or not provide enough warmth in the winter if they are not insulated. This should be a MUST when looking for the proper shelter for your dog. The dog house should provide warmth in the colder weather and protection from the heat in the hotter weather. This is why insulation is so important.

Some dog houses have a hinged top that you can lift open to clean it inside. We made this type of roof for our wooden dog house as well. It’s also convenient for when you want to add some type of bedding like hay or shavings to help keep your dog warm.

My dogs now use an igloo type of dog house with an extended opening in the front for rain resistance. I’ve had it for over 20 years. It is definitely a heavy duty constructed plastic house. You can hose it out to clean it because it has a hole on the bottom for drainage. It’s nearly destructible although when my dogs were a little younger, I found them trying to chew on the opening edges of the entryway. Their teeth marks are still there, but the house never had any pieces chewed off of it. It was too heavily constructed for even the young determined strong jaws of a German Shepherd to pull apart.

You can purchase your dog house over the internet if you want. There are many manufacturers to choose from. Some feed stores carry them as well as some of the larger pet stores like Petsmart or Petco.

Prices can vary greatly on the dog house depending on the manufacturer and the style and type of house you desire. I’ve found houses selling from $99 to $400! If you’re building your own dog house, expect it to be at least $100 or more. So shop around and get your best price but make sure it meets the requirements of your dog’s needs.

My rating: wood houses: durability: (2), construction: (3), protection: (4)
Plastic houses: durability: (4), construction (4), protection: (4)

1 comment:

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