What are they and do they make sense for you?
If you are considering a new house for your dog there are a lot of choices, you can make a stop at your local big box stores and see what they have on the shelves or if you are handy and have the right tools you could build your own.
However when you consider the cost of materials, your time (unless you have lots of free time) and the tools necessary to do the job right it may not be cost effective to build your own.
If you reside in a large market you may be lucky enough to have a local builder that specializes in doghouses who can construct a custom home for you.
Generally these craftsmen will make an excellent product and deliver it to your front door completely assembled, and the advantage is you may have some say in the design features, the downside is they are usually expensive.
Another option you may look into is ordering a dog house kit online, this is often an excellent option because the competitiveness of the various manufacturers nationwide will keep the cost reasonable and most ship free to your front door, given the size and weight of a completely assembled custom dog house that can be costly to ship.
How does it arrive at your house?
Most kits are paneled, packaged in reinforced boxes and require very little skill and minimum tools to assemble. Most manufacturers offer kits for the small breeds as well as the extra large breeds like a Great Dane or Saint Bernard.
Some builders will offer extra features like insulation, upgraded doors or other extras that will make it more comfortable for your pet, depending on the weather where you reside insulation can be a real bonus for extreme temperature hot or cold.
There are a variety of materials used for these homes including composite material, plywood, firwood and one very popular cedar wood.
Okay at this point you may be considering a dog house kit but what are the important things that make up a good home?
There are several things you should consider when deciding on a new shelter for your dog:
1. Make sure the home is elevated off the ground by raised feet so it allows air to flow underneath the dwelling so you do not have premature decay especially if it is going to be sitting on the soil. If you are going to provide a concrete base or place the home on skids this is not as important.
2. Depending on the size of the home it is ideal to have a vented ridge cap so the heat can escape in extreme high temperatures in the summer months. Think of the heat that is generated in a closed car in the summertime, the same can be true of the doghouse even if it is positioned in the shade.
3. Look for homes that offer some type of insulation option whether it is configured within the panels or as an add on option, this will keep your pet comfortable in cold months or in the heat of summer.
4. Consider the assembly process when you are looking at a new home because if it is complicated and requires special skills the new house will end up being only as good as the assembly. If you have gaps in the walls you may end up with air leaks that will not provide warmth in the winter.