Dogs suffer from the cold just like their owners. Some breeds handle cold weather better than others, but dogs can become ill and even die from exposure if left to sleep in a freezing doghouse. Before the cold weather starts, thoroughly check your doghouse to make sure it is weatherproof. A few simple steps can make it dry, warm and draft-free so that man's best friends can spend the winter in relative comfort.
Things You'll Need
- Wooden pallet
- Staple gun
- Straw bales
- Pet door or heavy vinyl flap
- Agility tube (optional)
Check inside the doghouse for any signs of rot or water damage. Pour water on the roof to check that it is waterproof and then check inside after a few minutes for any signs of dampness. Seal any cracks or leaks with caulking.
Place the doghouse in an area protected from the prevailing wind. That could be on a patio or even in the garage. Position it on the south side of a building if possible so it can get more warmth from the sun.
Raise the doghouse off the ground to prevent flooding and to stop cold coming up from the ground. Elevate it using a wooden pallet with straw stuffed through it and under it to give insulation underneath the doghouse.
Insulate the interior so that the heat from the dog’s body is not lost. Tack carpet to the walls and put a piece on the floor, or use foam sheets to line the walls. Staple or glue insulation to the roof so that all interior surfaces will not let heat pass through them easily. Stack straw bales on the outside of the doghouse for even more insulation.
Make a door flap to keep cold wind out. Use heavy vinyl or a flap of carpet to protect the door, or install a pet door that you can remove in the summer. Use agility tubing at the entrance instead of a flap if you have an agility dog.
Provide warm bedding. Use straw instead of blankets if you have snow, as melting snow will run through the straw and leave the blanket cold and soggy. Use an electric floor heating pad for old and arthritic animals, but protect cords from chewing by using PVC tubing. Try microwaveable pads to warm the dog at bedtime as they can hold heat for several hours.
Tips & Warnings
- Provide extra food in cold weather as your dog needs more calories to stay healthy. Bones will keep the dog occupied too.
- Make sure your dog has water that is not iced over.
- Make sure the doghouse is not too large for the dog, or it will be unable to stay warm in the winter.
- Photo Credit WesAbrams/iStock/Getty Images
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