In a perfect world, you will be able to keep your dog inside. But sometimes that just is not possible. Perhaps your dog has outgrown your house, or you have a new baby or an elderly relative moving in that you are worried about your dog being around. In either case, the solution is not to simply cast your dog out into the backyard without any shelter. If your dog has to be outside most of the time, it is important to provide a dog house so your dog can continue to live safely and comfortably. Indeed, even if your dog is allowed in the house, a dog house can still be a good idea if your dog will be spending extended periods outside during the day. In such cases, a dog house will provide shade on sunny days, and warmth on cold days.
Choosing the Perfect Dog House
The most obvious factor to consider when choosing a dog house is the size of your dog. It should be spacious enough for your dog to stretch or to turn around. Do not buy one that is too large for your pet. Your dog will not be comfortable in a large empty space. Think about the places in your house where your dog likes to sleep and try to match that size; these places will usually be nestled into corners, or on landings, or curled up in a dog bed. Try to find the size that will make your dog as comfortable as possible.
The next important consideration is climate. If you live in a very hot place, get a dog house that is well ventilated. Some manufactures offer raised dog houses to allow for an even greater air flow around and through the dog house. Alternately, if the heat is really bad, you can even purchase dog houses with air conditioning. If you choose to go this route, be sure that it has a door with a good seal to help keep the electricity bills down. If you are more concerned about snow than heat waves, choose a dog house that is waterproof and well insulated. As a bonus for your pet, you can purchase a heated pet bed.
Portable Dog Houses
If you only need a dog house on a temporary basis, you should consider purchasing a portable dog house. Resembling a small tent, they are collapsible and, as the name indicates, light and easy to transport. While not designed to withstand a winter storm, they are usually made of very breathable materials and can provided a convenient and comfortable home away from home when traveling with your dog. If you plan to use a portable dog house while on the road, however, you should get your dog used to using it at home first before trying it in a new place where your dog may feel ill at ease.
Building Your Own Dog House
As a final consideration, if you are particularly handy with tools, consider building the dog house yourself. A number of basic plans are available on the internet for you to choose from. Keep in mind, however, that depending how competent you are with woodwork, this may turn out to be a more expensive option. Additionally, ensure that the dog house you've made is stable and will withstand the elements before placing your dog in it for the night.