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?