Insulated Doghouse: Keeping Your Friend Warm

by Emanuel Elley

     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 pet owners allow their dogs to live indoors, especially when the weather turns foul. This may give the humans great pleasure, but it's not always what's best for their pets. Some pets, despite their loyalty and love of their people, simply prefer the comfort and independence of their own personal space.

What Makes the Perfect Doghouse?

    Like a human home, a dog house should be a welcoming place of comfort and safety. There are some key factors that must be in place to create the perfect home for your pet.

    Purchase or build an insulated doghouse. Proper insulation is absolutely necessary for your pet's good health and comfort, regardless of the climate. Even the warmest parts of the world can have chilly or wet days, and your dog will need to generate it's own body heat from time to time. Other areas get downright cold during both daytime and nighttime hours. A properly insulated doghouse will keep the cold out and keep the warmth inside.

    On the other hand, an insulated doghouse is also important when temperatures begin to soar. The insulation acts will act in reverse, keeping the interior of the doghouse nice and cool, even during the blistering heat. This is vital to the health of your pet, as extreme heat can cause dehydration and heatstroke. UV rays can also cause irreversible damage to your pet.

    It's not enough to simply insulate your doghouse. The structure must also be waterproof and capable of evaporating inside humidity quickly enough to discourage the formation of mildew. For this purpose, many pet owners prefer to give their dogs an "inner sanctum", or a second entrance placed inside the doghouse that's not directly aligned with the outside entrance. This allows the dog to hide from high winds and inclement weather inside the second room. The capacity of the doghouse will be enhanced, providing even more comfort and protection in both hot and cold weather.

    Build your insulated doghouse to accommodate the full height of an adult dog. Make sure that the structure is as tall as your adult pet, plus no less than 1/3 of his or her size. To calculate the ideal size doghouse for your pet, you will need to measure the dog (or find out how tall he or she will be at full adult size) when standing, and also measure the length of your dog when lying down. Then, add on an additional one-third of these measurements on all sides.

    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 inside the doghouse is an important point that's often overlooked. Build your doghouse on top of stilts or an open foundation, to allow air to circulate beneath the house. This can also ensure that the structure remains warm and dry, and helps to prevent unwanted pests from infiltrating the doghouse.

    Your best friend deserves the best. An insulated doghouse provides the protection and security that your pet needs, whatever the weather.

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