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Does My Dog Need a Dog House? Facts, Benefits & FAQ

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on April 30, 2024 by Dogster Team

fluffy dog resting on the grass in front of dog house

Does My Dog Need a Dog House? Facts, Benefits & FAQ

As dog owners, we want to provide our companions with the best care. It is also hard for us to always be around, so we must ensure that our dogs are happy and safe if they need to be left alone.

A doghouse can provide your dog with shelter, comfort, and safety when you are not around and is an important item to have if your dog enjoys being outdoors, but generally shouldn’t serve as a permanent shelter. A doghouse won’t serve as a permanent shelter, but it will provide the shelter and protection it needs when the outside elements suddenly hit.

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Should Dogs be Kept Outside?

Dogs are highly social animals whose ancestors, the wolves, would hunt, sleep, and play together. Dogs today don’t have packs, but they have their human family. Dogs are domesticated, and keeping them outside can deprive them of the companionship and security that they get from their humans.

If your dog is left outside for long periods, it can be exposed to dangers such as weather conditions, poisonous plants or chemicals, or the chance of being attacked by another animal. There are also many cases of dog owners who have to be away for work during the day and can only leave their dogs outside during that time. That is understandable, but it’s vital that your dog is made to feel comfortable, safe, and protected from the elements. This is where a doghouse becomes essential.

A dog-themed TV show (which is, of course, a favorite of ours) has some of its characters exploring dog homeownership in an episode, and how essential it is for them.

Honey and Chief from Housebroken on FOX in their mansion

Honey and Chief become status-obsessed when their human, Jill, buys them a fancy new dog mansion. You can watch HouseBroken Sundays on FOX and stream the next day on Hulu to see how Honey and Chief end up, and hopefully, you will enjoy the show as much as we do.

Dogster_Website dividers_v1_Jan 18 2024-03 The Main Benefits of a Doghouse

One of the most significant benefits of a doghouse is protection from the outside elements, which can range from cold wind and snow to humid, unbearable heat. Many dogs are sensitive to changes in weather, so having a doghouse is always a good idea. As a dog owner, you are not always home and available to shelter your dog inside your home if the weather suddenly changes.

1. Winter Benefits

Winter can bring extreme weather conditions, such as wind, snow, and frost, and the combination of some of these conditions can be painful and dangerous to your dog. A doghouse can protect your dog and help to reduce the chances of hypothermia.

A doghouse can be a space of safety for your dog when the weather suddenly changes and perhaps you are not home to allow it inside. You may also leave for work in the early morning hours when temperatures are still low, and if your dog stays outdoors while you are away, they will have that space of safety, warmth, and comfort.

2. Summer Benefits

A doghouse can be a cooler place for your dog to hide from the harsh and intense summer sun. The heat will also tire your dog out quicker during a game of fetch or running around the garden, and a dog house will serve as a resting spot for your dog to cool down and catch its breath.

Air-conditioned dog houses are available for those unbearable summer days, but in this case, it is usually advisable to bring your dog indoors.

dog house
Image Credit: Ángel Garcia, Pixabay

dogster paw dividerHow to Choose the Best Doghouse

A doghouse is essential and provides your dog with security and comfort when you are not home, and that’s why the quality of the product should not be overlooked.

Common materials used to construct dog houses include wood and plastic. Plastic may be a better option if your dog is a chewer. It also doesn’t attract insects and is easier to clean and disinfect. Wood is a great option as it is usually warmer, but because of its porous surface, it is hard to clean and treat and will need to be treated. Your dog’s house will need to be cleaned and sanitized regularly, and that includes cleaning the inside, removing any debris and grass, and scrubbing every crack and corner. Therefore, it is essential to consider this aspect and what may be an easy cleaning option.

When choosing a doghouse, you must know your dog’s size. Your dog should be able to stretch out and stand up inside its house to be comfortable. Ventilation is also important; ensure the house has adequate airflow, and choose a lighter color that can reflect the light and keep it cooler. Some manufacturers construct their doghouses with insulation, and an insulated doghouse will stay cool in summer and warm in winter.

The door of your dog’s house should be big enough for your dog to enter and exit easily. Also, check that the roof drains water quickly, so water won’t get in or pool up once it’s assembled.

german shepherd leaving the dog house
Image By: pryzmat, Shutterstock

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Top 7 Tips for Keeping Your Dog Safe Outdoors

Sometimes we have to keep our dogs outdoors for longer than we would like to, but there are things you can do to keep them safe.

  • Make sure your dog always has access to water, especially in the heat. Make sure the bowl cannot be easily knocked over.
  • Make sure your dog has enough shade. Dogs can get sunburnt, so they must be protected from the harsh rays of the sun.
  • When temperatures are frigid, ensure your dog has an insulated doghouse. If it is not insulated, make sure it has extra blankets or warming lamps.
  • During the winter, keep your dog away from any de-icer or rock salt. These can irritate your dog’s paws and mucous membranes and can also be fatally poisonous.
  • If snow is thick, shovel a walkway so your dog can leave its doghouse to go potty. If the snow is neck-deep, do not leave your dog at home alone.
  • If you need to leave your dog for long periods regularly, consider putting up a fence to keep out other animals and prevent your dog from wandering.
  • Make sure any sharp tools or chemicals are out of your dog’s reach while you are away from home.

beagle dog drinking water from a bowl
Image By: Przemek Iciak, Shutterstock

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While most dog owners keep their dogs inside with them, and rightly so, a doghouse may seem like a wasted investment. On the contrary, they can be an essential item to provide shelter from the elements and safety and comfort when you are away. Weather can change in a matter of seconds, and if your dog is outside and doesn’t have a way to get into your home, it will need a shelter of its own, especially if weather conditions are extreme. Investing in a quality doghouse for your dog will never be money wasted.

Featured Image Credit: Diana Baliuk, Shutterstock

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