As a member of the family our fur-babies live in the house with us, but sometimes we leave a dog house in the yard to give our pup options. Whatever way we choose to display our canine companion’s garden suite, it will occasionally need a bit of repair. Luckily, it’s National Dog House Repair Month, and these tips will give that aged eyesore a well-deserved update, fit for a fur-king.
The Outdoor Retreat
The outdoor dog house can often be a snoopy style dog getaway in the shade with a rooftop sunning option or cool rest area in the shade. Because they are outside, these dog houses are the most likely to wear down over time. Roofs can warp and leak. Floors can become dirty and hold mold.
Dog house repair month is a great time to do an overall assessment. We can build a new one, fix this one up, or add finishing touches that make it less of a weathered eye sore and more of an adorable doggy oasis.
The Indoor Hideaway
When we think “doghouse,” we usually think of the outdoor kind. Believe it or not, a lot of people choose to create an indoor space for their pup to retreat to when they need a safe zone from kids or a quiet place. This is especially helpful for elderly dogs, those who suffer from anxiety, and those in a family with young children.
Indoor dog houses are becoming more advanced. All we really need is a crate and a blanket, but the options don’t end there. If repairs aren’t needed, there’s no shortage of inspiration for upgrades. There are motion sensors that will turn on a small fan to keep our pup cool and comfortable while escaping the outdoor heat. There are additions that will quietly play music so our pup can have a little comfort when the family is away. And there are even pedals that can be installed to release a snack when our pooch is feeling peckish.
Pro Tip: If a pup is suffering from anxiety, an indoor dog house that works as a safe zone can help. So can EcoBalance® Calming Extra-Strength Liquid for Dogs & Cats. EcoBalance is a specially formulated remedy that soothes tender dog-nerves. Dog house repair month is the perfect time to consider giving this effective remedy a chance.
Five-Item Checklist for Dog House Repair Month
- Size. Pups should be able to turn themselves around while inside their retreat comfortably. They’ll use it to get away from the heat so they should be able to lay flat without hanging outside the house. It should also be small enough that they can curl up and heat the area with their body heat. The area should be cozy but easily ventilated, so it should be tall enough that they can stand up and there’s air flow, but low enough that it won’t be drafty.
- Location. A dog house is a retreat. We can evaluate the location for all day protection from the sun. Rain and icy cold can penetrate dog houses, but it can be much worse when the wind can blow that icy cold in through the door. This month is the perfect time to build a wind block or change the direction of the dog house. If safety is a concern, cut out the back of the doghouse and place it against the dog door to the main house. That way pups can get in and out of the house without most people realizing there’s an entrance.
- Walls. Plastic, fiberglass, and metal can get too hot, which is why wood is often the material of choice. Just be sure not to use treated wood. It contains arsenic and other chemicals that can be harmful to our pups over time, especially if they choose to chew on the siding. Drilling a few holes in the tops of the walls, under the eaves, will keep rain from getting in, but will allow for ventilation. Doghouses should be waterproof to avoid mold and penetrating cold. They should also be insulated to help keep the heat during cold spells.
Pro Tip: Closely examine the walls and floor for any screws or nails that have worked their way out and could poke or scratch Fido.
- Roof. A flat roof with a little ladder is a crowd pleaser and gives our pups a way to enjoy afternoon breezes in Snoopy-style. If it’s flat, make sure there is some sort of slant, so rain and debris won’t settle. Hinged roofs are a little extra work, but will be worth it. Being able to easily lift the top to clean out the house and replace bedding may not be a daily occurrence, but it sure makes the chores simple and quick. Plus, checking on our canine companion if he becomes sick and decides to retreat to his retreat will be easier than trying to lean through the door.
- Floor. It’s best to make sure the floor is elevated. Sometimes the house will need to be moved to help keep wind and rain from getting in through the door, so adding wheels could be a great way to lift the house. Raised dog houses keep dogs cooler in the summer because air circulates. And a raised floor can stay warmer in cold weather because the floor will stay dry.
Pro Tip: Drill a small hole in the floor at each corner. We don’t want to make the house drafty, but a couple tiny holes will allow moisture to drain away if a leak does happen.
It can be easy to forget about keeping up the dog house because our pups are family and live in the main house with us, but having a dog house as a getaway means it’s clean, comfortable all year-round, and provides a soothing retreat for dogs who suffer from anxiety. This dog house repair month, let’s take a day, a weekend, or just a few hours to give our fur-babies the best possible home away from home.