The 10 Best Dog Houses
10. Merry Pet Home
9. Etna Brick House
8. Petsfit Outdoor
7. Pet Squeak Porch Pups
6. Suncast DH350
5. Pet Zone Cozy Cottage
4. Petmate Indigo
3. ASL Deluxe Dog Palace
2. Pet Squeak Arf Frame
1. Northland Climate Master Plus
Not So Far From Home
Just as a person considers their home a place to go for comfort, permanence, and protection from the outdoors, it's natural for them to want to extend that same luxury to every member of the family, including the four-legged ones. Giving Fido the convenience of a well-built dog house to call his very own will ensure his safety, while giving you peace of mind that you always know where he is.
While it may be convenient to think that, like their wolf ancestors, all dogs are den animals and that crating is natural, that is not entirely true. One of the main distinctions between crating and dog houses is that while a crate keeps a dog under control or contained within an enclosed space, the dog house is designed for a pet's comfort, allowing him to come and go as he pleases with the freedom to move around outside.
Because wolves will nurse newborn pups in a maternity den, there may be an evolutionary connection between a canine's affinity for being huddled in a small space and the experience of being nurtured in a den as a vulnerable wolf pup in the wild. However, the dog house modernizes this experience for the canine and his human family so that he can have the best of both worlds, but without feeling confined or locked in a crate. This is not to say that crates are bad, but they should be used in moderation and only when necessary, whereas the dog house is a permanent place for your pet to call home.
The dog house offers additional benefits besides just being a separate place for your pooch to go. It shields him from the hot sun during the summer, protects him from the bitter cold during the winter, and, assuming it's made from sturdy materials, will keep him from getting wet when it rains. It's also important to note that because dogs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, not all dog houses are created equal.
Protect And Pamper Your Pooch Outdoors
Considering the materials for a dog house is one of the most important choices one can make. The most traditional material for construction is wood. Wood is relatively inexpensive, durable, plentiful, and easy to work with. Since a dog house will likely end up outdoors and remain stationary, both cedar and redwood are popular choices to look for, as they resist decay and naturally withstand extreme conditions.
Plastic houses, on the other hand, are lightweight and simple to keep clean, so if Fido happens to be accident-prone, then a plastic dog house can be a good choice. Plastic is also easy to put together and take apart, and is naturally water-resistant. If extreme weather is common where you live, consider an insulated solution, such as one with foam-lined walls to help keep heat out during the summer and in during the winter.
One must make sure to take their dog's measurements into account before deciding on the type or size house to invest in or build from scratch. These include weight, length, width, and height. The weight can help give you a rough idea of the size of house you should get. Length measurements from nose tip to the base of the tail can help determine how long the house needs to be. Typically, a dog house should be slightly longer than the length of your dog's body. Knowing Fido's width will let you know how wide the door opening should be. Openings are often one inch wider than the overall width of the dog. Measuring the height from a dog's feet to the base of his neck will tell you how tall the entrance should be, which should be around seventy-five percent of that value.
The shape of the roof is an important consideration, as well. Most wooden dog houses come in three roof styles, including pitched, flat, and loft. Pitched roofs offer dependable protection from the rain and they resemble many human homes. Flat roofs are more modern in style and make it possible for a pup to lie on top of the house if he chooses to. Loft-style roofs are particularly common on dog houses designed for small canines, giving them a place to hang out or sunbathe on a nice day. Metal houses are practically indestructible and chew-proof, but they may not be as comfortable for extended stays.
Make sure the house you choose is equipped with a raised floor as well. While a pitched roof is great for runoff from above, one must not forget about water's ability to get inside through the door opening.
A Brief History Of The Dog House
Archaeological evidence suggests that dogs were revered as both hunting partners and even messengers of the gods as far back as 4,500 B.C. in ancient Egypt. They were often kept in mud-brick kennels by the wealthy, which are the first known and most rudimentary form of dog houses.
When hunting became a popular sport during the Middle Ages, wealthy hunters used large dog kennels to keep their prized animals safe and well-protected from harm.
The prevalence of the pitched-roof dog house for the elite became even more common by the 1800s when the popularity of dog breeding came into play. Fast forward to World War Two, and we'll find that the U.S. Military would come to use several breeds of dogs as messengers and mine sniffers. During this period of time, dogs were transported in vented wooden boxes that could also be used as houses on the battlefield. Since that period of time, modern dog houses have been mass-produced in factories, thanks to the wide availability of certain materials like plastic, plywood, and foam.
Dogs have become an iconic element of the American family, and so has the popularity, versatility, and usefulness of the dog house for ensuring a pet's comfort. Although the dog house could be perceived as a way to keep the animal separate and apart from the family in its most basic form, those who understand the power of the human-animal bond realize that the dog house represents much more than just a place to keep the pet contained. It has become synonymous with the idea of what a modern family calls home, even if the place for the dog to go isn't technically inside the house.