In The Dog House



This post was provided to Pet Guardian Angels of America by Noah Rue


Photo by Pixabay

 

Tips for Making a Shelter for Your Dog

Even humans tend to feel most comfortable in their own space. It’s where we can feel safe and happy – where we can relax and unwind. Many dogs feel the same way about their own space.  A shelter for your dog can provide that feeling of safety and comfort for them.

However, everyone looks for something different in a dog shelter. Whether you choose a large outdoor sanctuary or a little indoor nook, you’ll want to decide where you want their shelter to be. Be sure to ask for help if you need it, and be aware of the hazards involved in an outdoor shelter. Finally, there are plenty of extras you can implement to make their shelter as efficient
and homey as possible for your furry family members.

The Perks of a Dog Shelter

There are a lot of reasons to make a shelter for your dog, and each dog may benefit from them in different ways depending on their age and temperament. Though a dog’s shelter shouldn’t be something they are confined to for long periods of time, it can be beneficial when you’re away,
when they sleep, when they are outside, or when they are scared or nervous. The perks of having a safe place for you dog include:

  • Providing an escape:Crate training can help with potty training, but it can also help create an environment like a den for them to escape to when they are anxious. A crate-trained dog will seek out their crate to feel safe if they are made anxious by fireworks, visitors, thunderstorms, and other triggers. A bigger, outdoor shelter can provide that escape when they need space.
  • Containing a temperamental dog: Not all dogs love visitors, children, other pets, or changes in their routine and environment. For families who have a temperamental dog who is triggered by certain events, a shelter can keep them contained until everything goes back to normal in order to keep everyone safer. When they associate their shelter with happiness and safety, they will feel better being kept in it during these breaks in routine.
  • Keeping them safe: A shelter can also help keep your dog safer. Keeping them in their shelter at night or when you’re away from home during the day can ensure they don’t run away or get into something dangerous for them. However, you should still practice caution by making your home dog-friendly in case they get out of their shelter. Also make sure you’re not having them use their shelter or crate excessively, as dogs still need plenty of room to stretch, exercise, use the bathroom, and to spend time with their family.
  • Protection from the elements: If your dog spends time outside, a shelter can help keep them safe from the sun, rain, snow, and wind. Make sure their area has plenty of food and water, and that you’re not keeping your dog outside in adverse weather conditions.

Decide on Location

If you’ve decided that making a shelter is a good idea for your pet, decide on a location for it. If you have a lot of land, a large outdoor dog run and shelter may be perfect for them. If you have a smaller yard, a simple dog house may be best. If you have an apartment, an indoor crate will make the most sense. However, also consider your pet’s size and their personality. Some dogs will be content with a small area with a bed and blankets that isn’t enclosed. Once you’ve decided on the location, you can decide on the type of shelter they need and what elements you should include. The idea is to give them a space that will make them relaxed and happy, so don’t choose a location that will work against this goal.

Ask for Help

A larger outdoor shelter may require more work, know-how, and hands. Make sure you’reclearing your land correctly, even if you’re using the space for a shelter for your dog and not for a home. You may need to hire a contractor if you’re not sure about constructing the fencing or the building for the shelter. If you need an indoor crate, know that you can have one made, buy one, or look up a tutorial and make one yourself. If you’re not sure how big it should be, how to construct it, or what materials to use, ask for help.

Outdoor Shelter Hazards

An indoor area or crate should be kept clean and remain free of any hazards that can harm your pet, but an outdoor shelter may have more hazards you should keep in mind when making a shelter for them.

  • Keep their shelter raised: This will allow airflow under the shelter and water flow to help keep their home dry.
  • Build the roof and floor so they’re slanted: This will ensure water can run instead of allowing it to pool. This is good for rain and melting snow, as well as easy cleanup. Using a hose or a pressure washer on the shelter every now and again can help to remove bacteria and buildup .
  • Install roof hingesTo make for easy cleaning.
  • Provide insulation and ventilation: Insulation can help keep them warm, and ventilation can help allow air to move to keep their shelter comfortable.

Making Shelter Upgrades

Your dog’s shelter, dog house, crate, or area can be made even more practical and comfortable with some upgrades. A nice area for dogs may help your property value rise, and installing something like solar panels on the structure may even offer tax breaks for you. Don’t be afraid to spring for some upgrades like a nice coat of paint (only on the outside) or a small pool to keep your pups cool. You can buy a lot of items for your dog’s area for happiness, comfort, and enrichment. Memory foam beds, challenging toys to keep them busy, and a sound machine can help them to stay calm and relaxed.

There are a lot of different ways to make a shelter for your dog, but all of them should include comfort, enrichment, and safety. Your dog’s shelter should be their own safe space filled with all the things they love. Whether your shelter is outside, indoors, a crate, or just a bed, make it theirs so that they know it’s a place where they can escape to in order to relax. Everyone
deserves a place to call their own.

Noah Yarnol Rue is always looking where his next trip will take him . When he’s not traveling the world, he’s writing articles on the new things he learns. Noah also enjoys a good meme from time to time. You can find Noah on LinkedIn.