Sunday, June 28, 2015
Our house has a pet door so I can come and go as I need. So when it's hot out like it is now, I can stay in the nice air-conditioned house. When it's raining, I can go out just long enough to tend to business, then come right back in. And when it's cold and snowy, I can warm up by the fire after a trip outside.
Outdoor dogs need the same. (Okay, maybe not the fire). But they do nee a place where they can stay cool in the heat of the summer, dry when it's raining, and warm when it's icy and cold. That means it should be waterproof and insulated. And big enough for some bedding in the winter with enough space for your dog to stretch out or stand up and turn around without being cramped.
Now is the time for all owners of outdoor dogs to inspect their dogs' houses and make any necessary repairs. You wouldn't let other members of your family sleep in rundown, leaky, cold houses would you?
If you're not sure what to look for, here are some tips.
Look for any wood that is worn or chewed and replace it. Never use pressure treated wood. This wood contains arsenic which is poisonous.
Check for nails and screws that are sticking out. These could cause an injury.
See if the bedding needs to be replaced. Don't use blankets or rugs. These can get wet when it rains or freeze in the winter. Use wood chips, straw, or even newspaper.
Check the roof for leaks. If it has been raining as much as it has here, that's easy. If not, use a garden hose and spray the roof. Then look for leaks.
Make sure the roof extends at least 8 inches past the doorway to keep rain and snow from blowing inside the house during a storm.
Take a walk around the outside of your dog's house. Is the location suitable? Is it located near shade for the summer? Is the surrounding area safe and clean? If there are problems, remember - dog houses are portable. So move it if necessary.
I love being able to spend most of my time with Mom and Dad. But I know that not every pet owner is able to keep their dogs in the house. So celebrate National Dog House Repairs Month and make sure your best friend has a house that says he is family too!