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It's A Dog's Life In An Insulated Doghouse

Jan 17, 2008
If dogs are indeed "mans best friends", why do we continually treat them like the enemy? We house them in hot plastic bunkers in summer and frigid wood or tin structures in winter. When you think about it, you can only begin to imagine the discomfort that pets feel when left to brave the elements inside an un-insulated doghouse.

Most people choose to have their pets live with them inside their homes, especially when the weather turns foul. While this may give the humans great pleasure, it's not always what's best for their pets. Some pets, regardless of how much the love their people, simply prefer the comfort and independence of their own personal space.

The Perfect Doghouse

Not unlike a human home, a doghouse should instill a sense of comfort and safety. There are a few critical factors that are essential in making this happen:

The most important point is to choose or build an insulated doghouse. The health and safety of your dog depends on having proper insulation, no matter where you live. Even the mildest climates will have wet days and chilly nights, and all pets need to generate their own body heat from time to time. In other parts of the world, it gets downright cold during both daytime and nighttime hours. A properly insulated doghouse keeps the cold outside and the warmth inside.

An insulated doghouse will also protect your best friend when temperatures begin to soar. The insulation kicks into reverse and keeps the interior of the doghouse nice and cool during the most blistering heat wave. This cooling insulation is vital to the health of your pet, as extreme heat can cause dehydration and heatstroke. Protection from the sun is also important, because like humans, pets can suffer irreversible damage from UV rays.

Lining the doghouse with plain insulation is not enough to ensure complete comfort and protection. Be sure that the structure is completely waterproof, and that any inside humidity can quickly evaporate. This will discourage the formation of harmful mildew. Many pet owners choose to create an "inner sanctum" for their dogs. It's a second entrance, placed inside the doghouse, but not directly aligned with the outside entrance. This additional entrance enables the dog to hide inside the second room, away from high winds and inclement weather. Be sure to allow enough capacity for optimal comfort and protection in both hot and cold weather.

When building your pet's insulated home, be sure that it will accommodate the full standing height of an adult dog. The structure must be as tall, as long and as wide as your adult pet, plus no less than 1/3 of his or her size. You can calculate the size by measuring your dog when he or she is standing, and also when lying down. Then, add an additional one-third of these measurements on all sides. If your pet is still a puppy, determine how big he or she will be at full adult size and add one-third to all calculations.

For your dog's security, make sure that he or she can see the opening to the doghouse while standing and sitting. The opening must also be large enough for your pet to use without effort.

Proper air circulation within the doghouse is an important aspect that's often overlooked. Building the doghouse on top of stilts or an open foundation is a good way to allow air to circulate beneath the house. This can also prevent unwanted pests from infiltrating the doghouse, and will ensure that the structure remains warm and dry.

If your dog is indeed your best friend, then you can't deny that he or she deserves the best. An insulated doghouse will provide the protection and security your pet needs, whatever the weather.
About the Author
Columnist Emanuel Elley writes for a variety of Internet sites, on family and my family subjects.
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