While more and more of us consider our dogs as members of our family and give them a comfortable place in our homes, some owners choose to have their dogs sleep in an outdoor Doghouse.
An accessory that suits many dogs perfectly, especially those who are passionate about keeping and entertaining their environment. In this case, the shelter you offer your pet to sleep outside is all the more important, since it must allow him to sleep warm, dry and safe.
Why buy a dog house?
Some dogs are happier outside, either because they have been used to it at a young age or because they are in need of permanent stimulation that only an outdoor environment can offer them.
Indeed, a garden is a dream place for independent dogs who prefer to observe the surroundings, watch the neighbors and sniff the scents carried by the wind rather than sleeping in a silent apartment.
However, it should be noted that not all dogs are made for outdoor life, some breeds having been selected for their ability to live alongside humans for too long to readapt to a rustic, and ultimately solitary, environment.
Small companion dogs in particular have been selected to be very attached to their masters, and their fur has been embellished over the course of reproduction for aesthetic reasons, which does not allow them to resist the cold.
If you plan to have your dog sleep in a Doghouse, he must be an adult, so that he is already able to regulate his body temperature. He should also be in good health, not too old, sick or convalescent. Fragile dogs are likely to suffer from outside temperatures, and need to remain under the vigilance of their master.
A dog that is destined to live outdoors must also have a dense coat with a thick undercoat, otherwise it will have trouble keeping its body warm. Of course, his lifestyle must be adapted to his outdoor life, and it is important that his owner remains constant and does not alternate between outdoor and indoor life, which would make it difficult for the dog to adapt to the climate of his environment.
It is also not recommended to let your dog sleep outside in regions with health risks, especially those where certain types of mosquitoes that transmit fatal diseases to dogs are found.
The same is true for heartworm disease, a condition that is often incurable when detected late. While a dog house is a must for an outdoor dog, it can also be a great accessory for dogs that spend time outdoors but don't sleep in it.
A Doghouse is a perfect place for a dog to rest in the cool of a garden in the summer, or simply to create a little "home" where no one will disturb him. This concept can be a very useful rule of life if you have children: by forbidding them to approach the dog house, you allow the dog to have a place to rest in peace, without any fear of being disturbed.
This type of rule allows the animal to be more serene and reduces the risk of domestic accidents involving children who are a little too prankster and animals. Finally, it is possible to buy an indoor dog house, which allows you to put in place the rules mentioned above and to offer your dog a cozy bed where he feels really at home in your home.
Less expensive, indoor Doghouse are also often smaller and more suitable for small or even medium-sized dogs.
The different types of dog houses
Indoor dog houses
Indoor dog houses are often made of fabric, which makes them look more like dog "tents" than real houses. They don't need to be waterproof, nor are they designed to protect your dog from the cold or heat. Indoor doghouses are primarily designed to provide your dog with a little hiding place, a "home" where no one can bother him.
Most indoor doghouses are made of fabric, but there are also some made of plastic, cardboard or, more rarely, wood. In order not to clutter up your home too much, this type of doghouse is often quite small and is mainly intended for small dogs. However, you can find sizes for larger dogs - or make them yourself if you're a do-it-yourselfer - but you'll need to find enough space to fit a large doghouse in your home.
Outdoor dog houses
More common than indoor doghouses, outdoor doghouses are often the only homes for dogs that sleep outside. They materialize their real territory, a place where nobody disturbs them and where they can go to rest in safety. Most often, outdoor doghouses are made of wood, but they can also be made of PVC or concrete - and then have a more permanent character.
Designed to offer your dog a choice of shelter, doghouses should be well ventilated in warmer regions and, on the contrary, shelter the dog well from the wind in colder regions. If your pet is going to sleep in it, the doghouse must be insulated, both to protect your dog from the cold and from the heat. To allow you to take care of your pet, the doghouse must be easy to access so that it can be easily cleaned and provide a healthy living space.
Finally, each doghouse should be adapted to the size of the dog living in it and to the climate of the region where you live.
Choosing a dog house for your dog?
Dog house sizes
You might think that giving your dog a real villa would be a good way to show your love and make him happy. In reality, dogs need a doghouse that is neither too small nor too big to sleep well and stay warm. In fact, a doghouse that is too small will not allow them to settle properly, and a doghouse that is too large will be very difficult to warm up in winter.
As a general rule, it is estimated that a doghouse should measure between 1.5 and 2 times the length of your pet's body (from the muzzle to the base of the tail). Ideally, the shelter should be a little larger than your dog's height at the withers, and the height should allow your pet to raise its nose in the air without touching the ceiling when standing.
The shapes of dog houses
Traditionally, there are two types of dog houses on the market: sloped roofs and flat roofs. Sloped roofs are best suited for rainy and snowy areas, as water quickly runs off the ground, preventing damage to the roof and leaks. Flat roofs simply save space in areas where pitched roofs are not needed.
Often, a flat roof serves as a terrace for dogs who like to climb on it in good weather to observe the surroundings. For interior fabric doghouses, more creative shapes (like igloos) can be found that are designed to be original and aesthetically pleasing. The choice is then a question of taste of the master, the dog not making - to my knowledge - any difference between an igloo and a teepee.
Materials of dog houses
Outdoor dog houses on the market are usually made of either wood or PVC. PVC is light (so easy to move), inexpensive, easy to clean, durable and offers a wide choice of design and colors. It is, however, a poorly insulating material, which will not be suitable for a dog that sleeps outside in winter and summer, unless you live in a country with a mild climate in all seasons.
Wood is heavier and less practical, but it is just as durable as PVC and has the advantage of insulating against both noise and temperature. It is therefore a material of choice, and one of the most common for owners whose dogs sleep outdoors at all times. Indoor doghouses are often made of fabric, a material that does not insulate and is not particularly strong, but in any case is not intended to protect your dog from the weather or anything else.
Dog house: precautions to take
Before buying or building a dog house, make sure that the materials used are suitable and safe for your dog. Make sure that the shelter is waterproof and has a floor that insulates the animal from the ground to protect it from humidity and cold. Take the time to choose the location where you will place the doghouse. If you live in an area with hot summers, avoid sunny areas.
If you live in a colder area, look for a place that is sheltered from the strongest winds. Finally, be sure that your companion is made to live outside by asking his breeder or the associations specialized in the breed he belongs to. Don't hesitate to get advice from dog experts on the best way to acclimatize your dog to outdoor life and on the precautions to take when sleeping outside.
What material should I choose for my dog's doghouse?
If your dog is going to sleep in its doghouse, the ideal material is wood, which makes an excellent natural insulator. PVC can also make a cozy nest, provided that it is lined with thermal resin, otherwise it will not protect your pet from the cold. Fabric doghouses, on the other hand, are perfect for indoor use only.
Where should I place my dog's doghouse?
If you live in a warm region, try to avoid placing your dog's doghouse in the sun. In cold regions, this is also to be avoided, but it is just as important to look for a place sheltered from the wind, especially if the doghouse of your choice does not have a windbreak.
Why does my dog need a dog house?
If your dog sleeps outside, a doghouse is essential to provide him with shelter from the weather and summer heat. In all other cases, a doghouse is always a very useful accessory to materialize a place where your dog should not be disturbed and where he feels safe. This type of shelter contributes to his well-being and mental balance.
Which dogs can sleep outside in a doghouse?
Not all dogs are equal when it comes to the weather, but also to solitude. Small dogs have become very addicted to their masters, this being the result of long selections made by man to make them docile and faithful pets. Short-haired, wire-haired and curly-haired dogs are generally too sensitive to the cold to sleep outside, as are old, sick, convalescent and young puppies.
Buying a dog house for your dog, whether he sleeps outside or not, is a great gift that will make him happy. Dogs love to have a space of their own where they feel safe and where they know they can rest in peace.
This need for tranquility, more or less present in certain individuals, is unfortunately often neglected by the owners, and in particular those who have children who tend to "tease" the animal permanently... Including in his sleep. Having his own home will only be beneficial for your dog and will contribute to the development of a balanced behavior and a healthy relationship between the master and his dog.