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A new dog house buying checklist
Depending on your dogs situation not all of these items may apply when purchasing a new dog house or in some cases all of the items may apply.
There are a lot of factors to consider when you are investing in a new dog house, some of them are the climate where you reside, the breed of your dog, the type of doghouse you prefer, just to mention a few.
All of the items listed below are important but given your case some may be more important to you than others.
Some features you may want to learn more about:
#1 Is the dog house elevated off the ground?
This feature is important no matter what type of dog house you purchase or where you reside. The reason you want the house raised off the ground is to allow air flow underneath.
Allowing the air to flow under the house will prevent the house from decaying prematurely because it will not be in contact with the soil.
Another benefit is during hot summer months it will allow the air the move under the house and during winter if the ground freezes an elevated house will stay warmer because it is not in contact with the frozen ground.
There are several ways this option may be available, some dog houses have the house raised permanently (like using 4 x 4’s) others may have an option that allows for adjusting the feet of the house.
Regardless how it is done the end result will be the same.
#2 Does the dog house have insulation or an upgrade option available?
The insulation option can be very important if you reside in a climate that has extreme temperature changes throughout the year.
When a person thinks of insulation it may bring to mind the idea of keeping a house warm, which it will but an insulation option will also keep a doghouse cooler during the hot summer months as well.
If you are fortunate enough to reside in a mild climate year round then insulation may not be that important.
The R rating for the insulation used in a dog house is the same as your current home, so if you are considering the option be sure it is adequate.
#3 Is the roof of the dog house vented?
Having a vented roof usually applies to a gable style dog house because it is needed to allow air to escape that builds up inside a dog house.
This is very important during the summer months; you don’t want a dwelling that has no way of venting built up heat or during winter allowing moisture to accumulate.
If you are purchasing a slanted roof or also called a sloped roof this is not that important or if you are investing in an extra large dog house kennel combination then a vented roof may not apply.
#4 Is the point of entry offset?
The reason you want the door offset is it will give your dog an area to get away from the direct wind, if the door is center of the house there is no place for them to go.
This is extremely important during the winter because when the wind is howling and it is cold outside your dog wants to be able to get out of the direct wind.
Some breeds are very durable (like Siberian Huskies) and in some cases would prefer to sleep in a snow bank.
However the majority of dogs prefer to get out of the wind especially if it is accompanied with rain.
#5 Are the materials used to build the dog house durable and non toxic?
This item falls under the adage you get what you pay for if the house you are investing in is constructed with cheap thin materials more than likely it will not last long.
Mother Nature has a habit of wreaking havoc on cheap building materials and soon your dog will be outside because the house has come apart at the seams.
Not only will the weather challenge a cheap house but also certain dog breeds, if you own an extra large dog when they lie down it is usually with a thud.
If the house is not durable it will only be a matter of time before the side walls start buckling and eventually break.
Quality dog house builders understand the challenges and construct their dog houses to handle the various dog breeds and also whatever the elements may throw at them.
In regards to the non toxic element, it goes without saying that you do not want your dog breathing toxic fumes that may be seeping from the construction materials.
This may be happening if the dog house is in the direct sunlight and heat.
Also some dogs may have a habit of chewing on everything in sight; if this is the case with your dog it is extremely important the house is constructed with non toxic materials.
#6 Is there some type of removal-able roof or is it hinged for easy access?
Having a roof that can be removed or is hinged is not real critical depending on what type of dog you have and the size of the dog house.
Gaining access to the interior may not be that important unless you have a unique situation that requires constant care.
If you are raising puppies or if your female may become pregnant then it would be beneficial to be able to have easy access.
Another reason would be if you own an elderly dog that requires medical attention or some type of special care.
Another reason would be if the dog house is located in an area where there is a lot of bare soil, because when it rains your dog will track in mud.
Having easy access will make it a lot easier to clean the interior of the doghouse.
#7 Does the roof offer an adequate over hang?
The reason for this feature is obvious; you will want the rain to run off properly so that it is not coming into the doghouse.
It will also help get the water away from the entry way so your dog is not walking through water to get into their house.
This brings up another consideration and that is making sure the dog house is positioned in an ideal location where it is not exposed to direct sunlight all day and out of the wind as much as possible.
#8 Has the dog house been properly stained, painted or sealed?
This particular feature applies to certain dog houses; if the dog house is cedar or a similar wood then it is important that the wood is treated to some degree.
If the dog house is made of plywood then it is very important that you paint the dog house, some homes may ship without paint but should be prepped for painting.
Some composite type dog houses have this process already done and are completely hands off.
#9 Does the dog house have a door or an option for one?
Not all dog houses offer a door and depending on your situation you may not require one, again if you reside in a very mild climate it may not be important.
However the dog house should at least have an option or offer a vinyl flap to ward off the wind, this is especially important if the dog house is positioned in an area where it is windy.
In some extreme winter climates it might be a good idea to consider a solid door that will help keep out the extreme cold and preserve body heat.
#10 Is the dog house easy to assemble?
There are certain words that may strike fear in some individuals and that is some assembly required, if your new home is going to require a journeymen carpenter to put it together you may as well have them build it.
Most dog house kits in the marketplace can be assembled easily in less than an hour using basic tools, no special skills required.
Speaking of dog house kits, what are they and what should a dog owner expect?
If you are purchasing a dog house online (see article link below for help) more than likely it will be in kit form.
Most kits are panelized and usually consist of 7 panels which include:
The four walls.
The roof assembly (possibly 2 sides unless it is slated roof type).
The floor assembly.
All the contact points will be pre drilled and the hardware included for assembling the house.
When you are researching the dog house there should be a product description that spells out what the kit includes.
So there you have it we have covered 10 Important Things To Look For When Purchasing A Dog House.
Not all the items may apply to your situation, which is why you have to look at the big picture and decide what things are important for your dogs comfort and safety.
Some of the ideas may be completely Captain Obvious however if you are a new dog owner and have never invested in a dog house some of these ideas could save you a lot of grief.
Here are some other resources that may be helpful with the actual purchasing process.
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