Which Dog House Is the Right Choice for Your Pet?

The Petsfit Outdoor Dog House sells for around $100 on Amazon. You could also make your own.

In general, your dog should sleep with you in your room at night. However, you may still want to provide shelter, etc. if you leave the dog outside while you are gone, for example.

Dog Houses

A variety are available, and you can make your own. Look for an elevated floor and sturdy construction. The dog house should be placed where it will be cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Be sure it is not placed so as to allow escape over the fence.

Many dogs, particularly larger ones, appreciate a flat roof (make sure it has a slight slope for drainage) that they can lie on when the weather is hot. Do not be surprised if your dog does not use the dog house.

If you place bedding in the dog house, be sure to clean it frequently; otherwise, pests such as fleas will take up residence.

Kennels

You may want to construct a kennel or a dog run. Use concrete or pea gravel for the floor to improve drainage. Make sure the run includes a roofed over area for shelter from the elements.

Clean out the pen daily to prevent worms and disease. Secure the water supply so that the dog can’t tip it over (try a galvanized bucket with a double-ended hook to fasten it to the wall.

If you use chain link fencing, be sure to put runners through it if you will keep a female dog in season in it to prevent mismating. The height should be sufficient to prevent jumping or climbing; some breeds are better at this than others.

Barriers

Even if you keep your dog inside, you will want to restrain them from certain areas of the house. A common way to do this is to use a child barrier. Pet stores stock barriers sturdy enough for bigger dogs.

Examples of restraint might include: keeping puppies in the kitchen or in areas where there is linoleum, keeping young dogs in a specific room when going through the teething stage, keeping your dog downstairs or in the basement, etc.

A common barrier used in dog shows is the x-pen. This is an eight-sectioned, foldable heavy-gauge wire fence. The ends are clipped together to form an approximate 4-by-4-foot square area; or several x-pens may be clipped together for a larger area. Do not leave a dog alone in an x-pen; another person should always supervise a dog in an x-pen. The exception is that this can be suitable to restrain a small puppy with, especially if the x-pen is propped so that it cannot fall over.

A crate is another restraint — see our article on dog car restraints.

Bedding

You should give your dog their own bed. Try folded-up towels for young puppies. There are a variety of beds for the fully grown dog — try any of them.

Be careful with cedar-filled beds. There are reports that cedar reacts with urine to produce poisonous fumes.

You should not let your dog sleep on the bed with you; instead, insist that they sleep on the floor next to their own bed.

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