How to Winterize a Dog House

Winterize a Dog House
Winterize a Dog House (Image: microsoft office clip gallery)

When the weather becomes colder or inclement weather increases, which can be as early as September depending on what part of the country you reside in, do not forget your dogs when you winterize, especially if your dog spend time indoors in the evenings or at night. It is a common misconception that dogs won't freeze and that nature made them better able to handle extreme weather conditions because their coats become heavier, etc. during the winter. Here are some tips for ensuring that your dog house is warm and that your pet will be protected.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubber mat the size of the dog house doorway
  • sealant, roof tiles, and/or siding
  • Wood shavings, hay, or straw for bedding material
  • Dog house

Where you place your dog house can make the difference in how cold it gets inside. You want to make sure that the opening or doorway to your dog house is facing the south or west (preferably the south), as the coldest air and wind typically comes in from the north and northeast during the winter.

Also consider attaching a thick rubber flap to the top of the doorway on your doghouse and that hangs close to the bottom so your dog can go in and out easily and to help protect them from the cold winter winds or conditions like snow or sleet that could blow into the structure.

Check every few days to make sure the bedding in your doghouse is clean and dry. You want to use wood shavings, straw and hay for bedding.

According to the Salem Animal Rescue League, you should avoid using old blankets, rugs, or newspapers for bedding in your doghouse as these items pack down easily, becoming less comfortable for your dog and therefor providing less warmth.

If you have a wooden garage or outdoor shed, you might consider having a doggie door installed so that your dog can go into the garage at night to keep warm and sleep. You could close off a small area so that when if your dog went inside they would be contained to a specific area and be unable to wander all over the place.

Make sure your dog house is as airtight as you can make it on the outside to keep cold air and wind drafts from getting inside where your dog will be sleeping. You can purchase liquid sealants to paint on the outside of your dog house with a paintbrush or roller.

You can even purchase standard roof tiles, which come in a variety of colors, and nail them onto the outside of your dog house and on the roof, or measure your dog house for siding. Both roof tiles and siding will help insulate your dog house as well as helping keep out cold air and inclement weather.

Make sure that the interior space in your dog house is the right size, since according to the Salem Animal Rescue Foundation, the size of your dog house should allow your dog to sit completely up and to stretch out when lying down. .

Tips & Warnings

  • If you put roof tiles on the roof of your dog house, remember to over lap the tiles about two to three inches before nailing them down. The same rule applies for putting tiles on the outside walls, or you can put them end to end on the walls and then put caulking along the adjoining edge to seal them. According to the Salem Animal Rescue League, there should be enough interior space in your dog house for your pet to sit up completely and to stretch out all the way to sleep. Of course, you could also consider letting your dogs indoors at night and confining them to a kitchen, enclosed porch or basement and then putting them back outdoors during the day and evening.
  • Too much interior space in a dog house can cause your pet to lose its body heat and too little space to allow for easy movement could drive your dog outside to sleep, even in frigid weather.

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