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Tips on Purchasing a Dog House

Updated on February 21, 2010

There are many reasons to consider purchasing a dog house. Do you have a dog that spends a lot of time outside?

Or maybe the new puppy just isn't working out too well inside, so he's going to be seeing more of the yard for the foreseeable future. If there is any chance that he might be outside in the cold or rain, or you just want to give him a nice, personal place to sleep, he'll need the protection of an outdoor dog house.

Pre-Built Dog Houses

The vast majority of dog owners nowadays generally opt for a pre-built model. The style that seems to be popping up like mushrooms in everyone's yard is the igloo dog house.

Although these may look similar to each other, they are often built by different manufacturers, and so may be very different depending on the needs of the pet. Some are designed for more heat retention than others.

In some areas, an insulated dog house is used to keep in the warmth in the colder months. In areas where it can get very cold, very fast, a heated dog house can be a necessity, especially for older dogs. There are even mats available that will act as a heater.

Important Purchasing Tips

  • Is it for a puppy or an adult size dog? If your dog is still growing. Some breeds, especially larger ones, will continue growing for up to two years. It's much better to have a large dog house rather than a smaller, useless one.
  • Size of your dog or dogs and if they will be sharing this new home.
  • Consider all the important features and accessories available for your outdoor dog house before making a final decision.
  • Will it need to be insulated if you live in an extremely cold or hot climate?
  • Will you need a dog pen? If so, how tall does it need to be and will it need a top to keep your pooch safely contained?

Old Weathered Dog House
Old Weathered Dog House
A Perfect Size Dog House for Every Dog! Flickr image by Brandongreer
A Perfect Size Dog House for Every Dog! Flickr image by Brandongreer
Flickr image by Dan Harrelson
Flickr image by Dan Harrelson

There's a Perfect Size for Every Dog or Multiple Dogs!

Also, if you have multiple dogs, see if you can observe their sleeping habits before you purchase.

How Do Your Dogs Sleep?

  • Do they tend to sleep piled one on top of the other? If so, you’ll want to get a size that they can all fit into at once, because, rest assured, they will try. And you don’t want them to end up struggling for a spot if they don’t all fit.
  • Do they sleep across the yard from each other? In this case, you might consider more than one in your yard. But don't discount the possibility that they may decide to curl up together when it gets particularly cold. Too big is still better than too small.

Are Dog Houses Expensive?

When you consider how much life you are likely to get out of one, dog houses really are not very expensive. Even if it costs a bit more, it is worth it to buy the model you really need as opposed to one that will just let you get by for a little while.

Besides, pets don't like change, so give them an outside dog house that they can be happy with for a long time.

3 Basic Types Dog Houses

  • Pre-Built: all assembled and ready to move in.
  • Dog House Kit: ready to assemble with some basic tools required.
  • DIY from Dog House Plans: requires the highest level of skill and you will need access to all the required carpentry tools.

Flickr image by LaRuth
Flickr image by LaRuth

DIY with Dog House Plans

Some dog owners decide to make a project out of it and build a wooden dog house themselves. If you decide on this option, you can either purchase some dog house plans or draw up your own. These can easily be found on the web, or purchased at some of the larger hardware stores.

Will building it yourself save you money? Probably not, unless you plan on building one for a small dog. Wood is not particularly cheap these days, and neither are the tools to put one together. But, it could be a really fun thing for the family to do together as a project. Especially, if you are handy and already own the more expensive tools.

Visit Dog Supplies Advisor for more great information on caring for your dog.


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    • infoguider profile image


      9 years ago

      I bought a doghouse, but for my next project, I think I'm going to build one.

    • jecrawlipp profile image


      9 years ago

      This is what I needed - Info on dog houses for my new Yorkaneese puppy


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