If your dog spends much time outdoors, it’s possible that you’ve invested in a dog house–whether by purchasing one or building it yourself. If so, that’s fantastic! A dog house is a great shelter to keep your pup not only dry from nasty weather, but also safe from extreme temperatures. Many people will get a dog house with snow in mind, thinking it will help keep dogs warm during winter seasons. While this is true, a dog house can actually play a more important role in keeping your pup from overheating during the spring and summer.
During warmer months, the ground quickly heats up, making it difficult for dogs to cool down even when lying in the shade. Dogs are quite sensitive to the heat, since they lack the ability to sweat, so providing them with ways to reduce their body temperature is critical. A good dog house will do just that! Some people worry that dog houses can actually be dangerous in the summer, but if you go with the right design, you can keep your pup comfortable outdoors all year round.
When considering a dog house, choose a model that is elevated a few inches off the ground. This keeps ambient heat from soaking directly into the frame and warming it up (which defeats the whole purpose). A raised dog house platform will also keep the shelter dry during rainy weather or other wet conditions. You should to look for a dog house that provides adequate ventilation. Both the floor and ceiling should have ventilation openings that allows air to travel through the interior to avoid trapping the heat inside. Without this ventilation, the dog house could become hazardous to your pet’s health.
Finally, consider the size of the dog house your pup will need. It doesn’t need to be that big. In fact, if you draw a space around your dog that allows for three to six inches on all sides, that should be more than adequate. No need to build a “dog palace.” During winter months, the dog’s body temperature will keep their house perfectly comfortable without adding in outside heating sources. The door to the house should be just large enough to allow the dog comfortable entry, but not so large as to make it too drafty.
Have you bought or built a dog house before? How did your dog(s) respond? Do they use it frequently, whether to cool down in hot weather or stay warm in the winter?
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