The den represents safety, the place to hide when threats are perceived, in which to rest without fear of interference and a sheltered area in which to stop, without suffering the elements. But the den above all the place where the animal knows it has its home and this creates a right balance in its psychological state, helping it to grow healthy and happy. For this reason, when we decide whether to host our dog at home or outside, opting for the suitable type of this indispensable accessory becomes very important. If the choice of a kennel, to be placed inside an apartment, depends more on an organizational and aesthetic factor, dictated by the spaces we have available, our personal tastes and how much we like to spoil our dog, to the external houses the question becomes complicated and involves considerations that must be carefully evaluated. There are all types of solutions on the market, from classic prefabricated wooden buildings, comfortable and ecological, to luxurious outbuildings and miniature castles, mountain chalets and scale reproductions of the manor house, specially built by specialized companies, for pets. belonging to famous people and known for being particularly eccentric. However, unbridled luxury is not the only thing that determines the comfort that a dog box considered to be state of the art can offer. Some, among the most technologically advanced models, offer electrical systems, exhaust systems, infrared heating and trays for food and water placed inside, usually on a wall and easily refillable from the outside. What, however, every loving and responsible owner takes seriously into consideration, not so much the aesthetics or the technological options, as the actual suitability of the product. A poorly insulated kennel will create considerable health problems for our furry friend and will not serve the purpose for which it was purchased, a box with dimensions not suitable for the size of the dog, will almost certainly be rejected. Therefore, a dog house, which is considered optimal, must be comfortable not only for the animal, but also for those who take care of it, giving both the right satisfaction.
The classic typology foresees a more or less parallelepiped structure, with a sloping roof and front opening. The common characteristics, present in any type of dog house, should be: at least five centimeters raised from the ground, thermal insulation, sloping or pitched roof, for the drainage of rainwater, suitable ventilation, having been built with materials non-toxic, no sharp edges or protruding hardware, such as nails, screws or sheet metal residues and rigid plastic burrs. A second opening, which allows us to comfortably access the interior, in order to facilitate cleaning and make the space dedicated to the dog hygienic, already provided in many models on the market. Another important factor is the size of the kennel, which is adequate to the size of our four-legged friend. A small or medium-sized dog will have no problem accommodating in a large dog house, but, conversely, a large dog will have serious difficulties in being able to use a tight and uncomfortable accommodation. An example of suitable size foresees, for a dog 50cm tall at the withers (this is the most common height for an animal of medium size), a depth of 70cm, a width and a height of about 90cm. In this way you will be sure that your dog can find the inside of the kennel comfortable and will not have problems standing up and turning around as he pleases. Various types are available on the market suitable to satisfy all tastes and budgets, also providing alternative solutions, which can combine modules with different functions, suitable for those who want, for example, to combine a storage room for tools, a dressing room or a greenhouse. to the dog house, in a single structure. Multifunctional structures are especially recommended for those who do not have much space available, but do not want to give up the practicality they can offer.
The plastic material is easier to manage, it is better sanitized and, if equipped with the necessary ventilation, it solves many thermal-insulating problems. Negative factors are found over time, since plastic tends to turn gray or yellow if placed outside and the wear of the material itself, in the long run, makes the structure porous and aesthetically unpleasant. Wood would be preferable to both plastic and metal, as the latter becomes cold in winter and transmits excessive heat in summer, as well as being uncomfortable for the animal. However, wood needs a state-of-the-art insulation, otherwise it tends to become impregnated during rains or snowfall, with the risk of creating humid areas or, even worse, infesting fungi and molds that can cause bronchial infections, other respiratory diseases, various dermatitis and offer the ground for the appearance of parasites. For DIY enthusiasts there are already prepared assembly kits on the market, which give the possibility to build the little house for Fido in a nice and economical way. A few screws, dowels and panels can create the basic structure, to which the insulating materials and waterproofing of the roof will then be applied. For those wishing to add an extra, it is also possible to mount a plate powered at 12 volts to be inserted into the floor, which can be combined with a timer suitable for programming the hours of heat supplied during the day. Some leading companies have included, in the catalog of their products, also mounting systems that do not require any use of nails or screws, but interlocking combinations that facilitate the construction of the structure, ensuring a safer environment for the dog.
If you want to do it yourself, it might be useful to know that pine wood is the most suitable for the structure you want to build and 3 cm panels are recommended, with an insulation gap already prepared. Paint the material with outdoor primers, making sure they are non-toxic. If you equip the opening, through which the dog passes, with a waxed curtain, make sure that it is light, but waterproof at the same time. In this way you will protect the animal from drafts and rain, when it falls sideways, without however preventing it from passing. On the market there are kennels already equipped with a tilting panel, which replaces the curtain. A comfortable soft pillow will certainly make him feel more at ease and if you want to express your creativity, create a veranda, built directly on the front or on the side of the house, allowing the dog to enjoy a cool place in the shade during the summer. . Customize the kennel by applying plaques or other decorations, but always on the outside and taking care that they are not easily accessible and consequently chewable by Fido. To make the structure more pleasant, the external walls can be repainted with bright colors or themed paints, so as to satisfy your personal tastes and any aesthetic needs, dictated by the environmental context. It is also possible to cover the roof and for those who are experts in the field of construction materials, the choice is quite varied and ranges from bituminous shingles to gneiss slabs. Above all, place the structure as close as possible to the front door, so that you do not have to take an umbrella every time, in case of rain, when the time comes to bring your faithful friend his food.