When winter is coming, it is time to make sure your dog house is ready. Our dogs are susceptible to winter's winds and cold just as we are. If your dog is of a breed that can withstand winter weather outdoors and you plan to let him stay outside, protect him and make him as comfortable as possible in a dog house by following these steps.
Step 1 -- Purchasing a Dog House
If you are purchasing a house for your dog, be sure to measure the dog. A dog house should be large enough for the dog to stand up and turn around only. Extra space means extra area to heat. If you are installing a utility light, you will want the house a bit taller to keep the light away from the dog's skin when he stands.
Step 2 -- Selecting a Location for the Dog House
Where you choose to place the dog house on your property can have a huge effect upon how warm it stays. Position the dog house so your house or garage breaks the winds from hitting it. Since most winter winds come from the north or northwest, position your dog house on the south or southeast side of the larger building to break the wind. Positioning the dog house on the south side of a building will also allow it to soak in the southern sun all day, adding to the warmth inside.
Step 3 -- Raising the Dog House
It is wise to have the dog house at least 4 inches off the ground on a wooden pallet foundation. First, cut the vapor barrier to fit the entire size of the pallet or foundation and spread it on the ground. Put insulation on top of the vapor barrier and then set the pallet on top of the insulation. The dog house will then be positioned and nailed down to the pallet.
Step 4 -- Add Straw for Warmth
Straw as bedding and insulation has long been a favorite product among pet owners. Put a very thick layer of straw inside the house for the dog to snuggle into. Be sure to change the straw at least every two weeks so it is fluffy and will still hold heat.
Step 5 -- Add Extra Heating
In very cold areas, some people add heaters to their dog houses. These can be purchased at pet stores and, as they are also sometimes used for animals other than pets, at farmers' supply stores. You can also heat the dog house by putting a utility light, which is the type with the large, circular shade, inside the house with a 40- or 60-watt bulb in it. Be sure there is enough room that the dog won't get against it and get burned.
Step 6 -- Cover the Doorway
Every dog house needs an opening so the dog can enter. However, there needs to be something over this opening so cold air and snow won't come in. A piece of carpeting cut at least 4 inches larger than the opening on all sides will seal the cold air out. Place the carpet over the opening and, at the top, staple it with the staple gun or nail it in place.