Now Who's in the Dog House?

Our dogs like being outside as much as we do. When the weather is hot think sunbathing in a fur coat. Dogs can’t release heat by sweating the way humans do. Heat and humidity can raise a dog's body temperatures to dangerous levels.
For that reason, an outdoor dog house or ‘kennel’ is the perfect place for a dog to cool down and relax when all that running around gets too much.  Structures in the shape of small houses with a large entrance are available in many designs for any type of dog. The stereotypical ‘snoopy’ style dog house remains the most popular. Even ancient Egyptian nobility kept their dogs in houses and dog houses are still in high production today. Some dog houses are designed to complement their environments.  Live in a log cabin style house? I'll bet you can buy a log cabin style dog house to match!

A dog house doesn’t have to be a permanent structure. There has been a dramatic rise in plastic houses that can be collapsed and transported, including pop-up doggy tents or igloo styled units with an external water bowl. The list is endless. In fact, there is almost no limit. Whatever the size, shape or need of your dog, there is guaranteed to be a house made from various materials to fit the bill.  Creating a special, shady place in your yard can also be a nice refuge for your pet.

If you are considering a dog house, however, wood is still the most used material for the crafting of dog houses due to its natural insulation, durability, and availability. Red cedar is often used in making dog houses as its own resins shield the wood from water damage and repel insects such as fleas, ticks, and mites. Wood can also be specially treated to give the wood extra defense against extreme elements.  Another good dog house material is Cedar wood. It has low temperature conducting properties which do not lose or gain heat easily. Cedar wood structures will help keep a dog cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

Living in Colorado, winter is sure to return. Of course, winter months bring a new set of challenges. Modern dog kennels can be insulated, particularly in the roof if it is peaked. Many dog houses are fitted with a self-closing door to keep in the heat. Often these doors have a UV ray filter and can be removed.  A kennel that is raised above the ground is further away from damp and insects so that a pet is kept dry and safe whatever the weather.

Dogs adore the outdoors and they can explore for hours, but at the end of the day, the little guys need their rest, and what better way to relax than in their own perfectly sized doggie palace!

What ways have you found to keep your dog cool outdoors? Add a comment

Common Misconceptions About Missing Pets & Other Options

Just like having children, there’s nothing like the horror of losing a pet - one minute they’re there - the next they’re gone. Perhaps we’ve returned from work or school and they’re not there waiting for us when we arrive home.
In any event, I’m sure we’ve all done what’s expected as responsible pet owners, they’re properly licensed with a collar and ID tags, maybe they even have a microchip implanted, but there’s other options available and some common misconceptions out there when it comes to missing pets. 

Pet Tattoo for indentification

Getting Ink & Photos

Everyone’s getting tattoos nowadays and this is also an option for identifying your precious pet. Usually located on the ear or inner thigh, this may or may not be the best choice. On the upside, it’s a permanent marking, but on the downslope it’s painful for the dog and usually requires anesthesia for the application process. Similar to dog tags, they can fade or become distorted with age and they can become illegible.  
Speaking of age, be sure you have current pictures of your pet in case they do go missing. This probably goes without saying for most pet owners nowadays, especially those carrying smartphones and posting on social media, but it’s still worth mentioning.  
The Name Game
Here’s an interesting concept many pet owners don’t realize when it comes identifying their pet using a collar and ID tag. Almost all of these list the pet’s name on them. This is a big mistake and here’s why. Face it, not everyone is a good samaritan and just because they find your missing animal, that doesn’t mean they will return it to you or take them to a shelter.  
Let’s say a stranger finds your missing dog, who is wearing a collar and ID tag engraved with their name and your contact information. Here’s a cute, friendly, well-cared for pooch, who is licensed and trained. Perhaps this well-meaning stranger intended to return your pet, but after calling it by name and becoming attached to it, maybe they’ll change their mind and keep it for themselves.  
Many Are Returned Myth
This is perhaps the biggest misconception when it comes to lost animals, many people believe most of them are returned to their rightful owners, but the truth couldn’t be further from this myth. If they were in fact reunited to their masters, there wouldn’t be such a tremendous problem with overpopulation in pet shelters across the country and around the world. 

Missing Pets 2

In fact, according to recent figures from a 2015 Research Symposium from the National Council on Pet Population, numbers are dismal for dogs and even worse for cats. Of the over 7.6 million companion animals that enter shelters annually in the United States:
●DOGS: 26% are returned to their owners, 35% are adopted and 31% are euthanized.
●CATS: Only 5% of felines are returned to their owners, 37% are adopted and 41% are euthanized.  
While there are no statistics available for people helping people, those who return lost animals from information found on flyers, posters and ID tags, the number of animals put down still outweighs the amount returned to their rightful owners. Perhaps the best news in this equation, at least the combination of those adopted exceed (for dogs) and come close (for cats) to those that are put to sleep due to a lack of a good, loving home. 

Amber Kingsley

Amber Kingsley
is a freelance writer whom has donated countless hours to supporting her local shelter within operations snd outreach.  She has spent most of her research with writing about animals; food, health and training related.  Plus, she has tried numerous methods of training with local Southern California trainers. Add a comment