Tips To Keep Your Dog Tick-Free This Summer

dogs in grass

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Summer and fall are great time for your dog to get out and enjoy the great outdoors—however, it is also a great time for ticks. It is a tick’s main goal to find another animal, or host, to latch on to and if your dog is spending a lot of time outdoors—they are going to be a major target.

Ticks aren’t just annoying and gross to remove, they can also cause serious health complications and spread diseases like Lyme or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

However, while serious, ticks are almost impossible to spot outside, because of their size. Many ticks are the size of a grain of sand, and you won’t even notice them until they have been engorged on blood and multiplied in size. At this point is where you are most likely to find them on your canine companion.

If a tick has reached this point, they may already be passing on diseases to your dog. With this in mind, there are a few tips on how to keep your dog tick-free and healthy whenever they spend time out in your yard.

Preventatives to Keep Ticks Off Your Dog

dog with towel

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One of the first and most important lines of defense against ticks is a preventative treatment. There are a few different options out there that you can apply right at home to ultimately help keep your pet safe.

  • Spot On Treatments: These can be purchased over-the-counter or from your veterinarian, which can control both fleas and ticks. Typically, you need to apply these treatments every month, but sometimes they can fade or wash away with time.
  • Oral Medications: Monthly oral medications can also be used to kill ticks that get on your dog’s skin. Typically, most dogs will eat these medications on their own, or they can be mixed in with other treats.
  • Shampoos: Bathing your dog with a shampoo that has medicated ingredients in it will kill ticks on contact and protect your dog from further tick infestations. However, the shampoo treatment does not last as long as topical treatments and will need to be done every two weeks.
  • Tick Collars: Your dog can wear a special collar during tick season that will help repel fleas and ticks. You need to make sure that your dog (or another dog) isn’t chewing on that collar, and that it isn’t causing an allergic reaction on the skin.
  • Sprays and Collars: These treatments can be used in between baths and are most effective when applied right before your dog is going into an area that is heavily occupied with ticks. Make sure to keep these treatments away from their face and eyes.

Checking For Ticks On Your Pet

dog getting groomed

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Even with a diligent preventative regimen, sometimes dogs can still get ticks. It just happens. This is why it is so important to regularly check your pet for ticks to make sure that they don’t have any ticks you’re your dog has thick fur or hair you will need a fine tooth comb to search for ticks. Here are the primary areas to check on your pet:

  • Head and Ear: With so many crevices in the head and ears, meaning there are lots of places for the ticks to hide. Make sure to look inside and outside the ears and pay particularly close attention if your dog is profusely scratching their ears.
  • Groin: Roll your dog onto his belly and make sure that you check his groin—it’s a dark, moist area where ticks love to hide.
  • Under the Collar: Most owners don’t remove their dog’s collar very often, so when you are checking for ticks, make sure to look underneath their collar.
  • Toes: Many times, ticks will be found crawling between your dog’s toes or the bottom of their feet, but this is a commonly overlooked area.
  • Tail: Underneath the tail is a dark, moist area that provides a desirable place for ticks to call “home.” Make sure to check near the base of the tail and to comb through your dog’s thick fur around their tail with a fine comb.
  • Under Their Front Legs: Make sure to run your hand under your dog’s armpits, or where their front legs meet the body and feel for ticks.

Chances are, you may accidentally think a mole or skin tag is a tick, but make sure to double check every bump or lump you feel. A tick is black, brown or tan and have eight legs. The more blood they consume, the larger they will get.

If you do happen to find a tick, you want to quickly remove that tick in the right way.

Grab a pair of gloves and a clean tweezers. Grasp the tick as close as possible to your dog’s skin and slowly pull it out in a steady, straight motion. Drop the tick into some alcohol and clean your pet’s wounds with antiseptic.

Make sure to keep an eye on your dog and the place you found the tick. Monitor your dog for infections in the area and look out for symptoms of illness, fever, joint pain, loss of appetite or neurological problems in your dog. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your vet right away.

Keeping Your Dog’s Outdoor Space Clean and Safe

Dogs get ticks when they are outside, plain and simple. But it doesn’t mean that there aren’t things hat you can do to keep your dogs safe from these ticks. Here are a few tips on how to keep your dog tick-free by keeping their outdoor space clean, safe, and (mostly) free from ticks.

If you have a large yard filled with trees, shrubs and plenty of green spaces, then you can try a natural, safe, outdoor spray for your yard. You can also try mixing apple cider vinegar with water to create a tick repellant spray. Always make sure that you read the label or check with your vet before spraying anything in your yard.

If your yard backs up to a wooded area, place a buffer between your lawn and these wooded areas using mulch, rock beds or woodchips.

dog in yard with kid

If you have a lot of plants, flowers or trees around your dog’s outdoor kennel, you can also try to spray some Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth, a dog-safe product that you can buy on Amazon or other home improvement stores. This product can be sprayed in grass and on these plants to dehydrate bugs and will keep both ticks and fleas away.

In addition to treating your yard, it is also important to make sure that your dog’s outdoor kennel is staying clean and healthy. Otherwise, you are giving ticks plenty of spaces to live and hide. Regular cleaning and spraying their kennel will help keep ticks away from your dog when they are trying to sleep.

dogs in kennel

Here at Horizon Structures, we know just how important it is for your dog to have a safe and welcoming place to call “home.” This is why we create durable, easy-to-clean outdoor kennels for dogs that are easy to keep safe and sanitary.

Together with the right outdoor kennel and the right cleaning and preventative approaches, you can keep your dog tick-free and healthy all season long!

dog kennel

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Summer Grooming Tips for Your Canine Companion

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For most pet owners, grooming isn’t necessarily their favorite part of dog ownership. Most dogs understandably don’t love the process of being bathed, brushed, clipped and groomed and would rather spend their time doing, well, anything else!

However, regular grooming is important for dogs of all different sizes and breeds. Proper grooming can help pet maintain a healthy, shiny coat and prevent tangles in knots in longer-haired breeds. It also gives you the opportunity to check for fleas and parasites to get ahead of infestations or potential skin issues. Regular grooming will improve overall hygiene as well so dogs can stay happy and healthy.

We know that grooming time can be stressful for both pets and their owners, but this doesn’t mean that you should avoid grooming all together. In fact, there are a few easy summer dog grooming tips you can keep in mind that will help you with the process and help make grooming more enjoyable for the whole family.

  1. Regular Brushing is Key

One of the easiest and most important ways you can maintain your dog’s coat is through regular brushing. Brushing is the cornerstone of proper grooming and not only helps keep their coat clean and healthy but helps with shedding as well.

Make sure that you are using a stiff-bristled brush meant for grooming dogs and designed to get to your pet’s undercoat.

The frequency of your brushing per week depends on the type of coat your dog has, as well as its length and texture. For example, breeds like collies and golden retrievers need regular brushing a few times per week, where a shorthaired dog like a terrier may only need to be brushed twice a month.

For short haired dogs, brushing is a great way to remove dirt, dander and loose hair from your dog’s coat and will extend the time between baths. Dirt and dander, when left unattended, can lead to other issues even in short-haired dogs.

Brushing is important because badly matted hair can cause pain, specifically in longhaired dogs. When dogs have matted hair, they may bite or lick at the matted hair where it’s irritated which can ultimately lead to skin infections. If foreign objects get into these areas, they can burrow into the skin and cause abscesses. Regular brushing can prevent this matting.

2. Carefully Trim Your Dog’s Hair

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Regular trimming is another easy way to keep your dog well groomed. In between professional grooming appointments, trim overgrown hair around your dog’s eyes or paws or areas where their hair gets overgrown. This will not only help keep your dog looking their best but keep them clean and healthy as well.

We recommend getting a pair of professional-grade electric trimmers when doing any significant trimming of your dog’s hair.  Scissors will work for trimming around the eyes. Trimming the hair inside the ears can also prevent ear infections and help encourage proper air movement inside your dog’s ears.

When it comes to doing any type of trimming of your dog’s hair, make sure that they are comfortable and relaxed. Don’t rush or overwhelm your dog, especially when using electric clippers. When you’re done—make sure that you reward your dog’s calm behavior with a treat or other reward to keep the experience as positive as possible.

3. Perform a Skin Check On Your Dog

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Another pet grooming tip is to check for allergic reactions and skin conditions. which are very common in dogs and can cause serious discomfort in your canine companion. Many dogs will develop rashes, skin allergies and deal with parasites like mites and fleas. This can make your dog extremely uncomfortable and cause your dog to scratch, chew or lick their skin, making the irritation even worse.

Grooming time should be an opportunity to check your dog’s skin and make sure you aren’t seeing any of these issues. Run your fingers through their coat, feeling for lumps and bumps. This is also a time to look for small growths on your dog’s skin.

Part the coat in different areas to examine the skin more closely for redness sores, rashes or bald spots. This is a time to also look for sores, rashes, bald spots, parasites, or redness. If your dog happens to have fleas, which can be common in pets who spend a great deal of time outdoors—you may notice them jumping off the skin when you perform this type of inspection.

4. Set Yourself Up For Success

The most important thing to remember with summer dog grooming is that consistency is key. Small, regular grooming sessions are much easier to handle than long, arduous grooming appointments. And part of making that possible is setting yourself up for success.

This is why here are Horizon Structures, we offer a number of kennel upgrades designed specifically with grooming in mind. We want to help make regular grooming easy for pet owners, especially those with multiple dogs to care for.

Some of our potential grooming upgrades include options to add hoses, sinks or shower stations inside your kennel along with proper drainage so that you can perform baths right on site inside your kennel. We also have kennels with storage solutions so you can store all of your pet grooming supplies, towels, shampoos and accessories.

At Horizon Structures, our goal is always to create premium, quality kennels that will work for you and your canine companions. This not only means making durable kennels that will provide your dog with a safe place to call “home” but kennels that will work for pet owners too.

We are always happy to walk you through all of the potential upgrades we offer, so that we can help you create a kennel with water access, electrical outlets, storage, separate grooming rooms, or anything else you may need in order to make regular grooming a part of your current care routine.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Buying Your Perfect Dog Kennel

A quality outdoor kennel is a must have for many pet owners. It can provide a safe, comfortable and secure place for dogs of all sizes to call “home.” However, when it comes to shopping for a new dog kennel, there is no shortage of different options out there, making it difficult for some dog owners to find the right structure for their home.

While there are plenty of options out there when it comes to dog kennels for outside, there are certain “dos” and “don’ts” that should be considered when finding a new home for your dogs. It isn’t just about finding the right color and a roof for over their heads. Keeping these tips in mind can help anyone searching for a new perfect kennel to narrow down their options and find the perfect structure for their property.

These simple tips will help make certain you are making a smart investment and finding a new home for your canine companion that truly checks all of the boxes.

Dog House Buying “Do’s”

If you are looking for a new dog kennel for outside your home here are a few “dos” that you should keep in mind that will help keep your pet as happy and healthy as possible.

dog kennel

  • Always buy a dog kennel made out of wood. Wood is the best insulator known to man. Pet owners should always choose a kennel made out of wood frame to insure it’s a high-quality, durable addition to their property. In fact, the materials used in your dog’s kennel shouldn’t differ much from those used to make your home.
  • Buy a structure that has a shingled roof to reduce the sun’s heat in the summer and maintain adequate heat retention in the winter. Metal is also another great upgraded option for your roof. Of course, the right roof not only helps with the interior temperature of your kennel, but will help keep water out of your dog’s kennel as well.
  • Pay close attention to the dog door. There should be a door from the kennel to a wood dog box so your pet can sleep in a warm space during the colder months. Your pet should always be able to get in and out of this door on their own. The dog door should have a flap that prevents warm air from escaping and a durable, stainless steel frame that discourages chewing.
  • Make sure that your kennel can be raised off the ground for better climate control. This will not only help with the temperature of your structure, but a raised dog house will actually deter flea infestations as well and help keep the interior dry and comfortable.
  • Make sure there is a roof or awning over your dog’s exterior run. This way, when they spend time outdoors getting fresh air, they still have access to extra shade and protection from the elements.

Dog Kennel Buying “Don’ts”

dog plastic house

  • Don’t put your dog in a plastic house. While plastic may be a more economical option, it is not an insulating material. A plastic dog structure will be too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer. Materials like this are also more susceptible to weather damage.
  • Don’t buy a house that doesn’t have separate designated areas for your pet. Your dog kennel should have an outdoor run and an interior box. If you are buying a structure for multiple pets, you should also make sure there are separated runs inside and a designated eating spot for each pet.
  • Don’t forget about cleaning. One of the most difficult components of maintaining a large dog kennel is keeping it clean. Investing in a dog kennel that also has water hook ups can make all of the difference in the ease of use of your kennel. Whether you are hosing out your kennel or need water for grooming and bathing—your kennel should either have a built-in water hookup or one nearby.
  • Don’t choose a dog kennel made of toxic materials. Pay close attention to the materials used to construct this dog kennel. Unfortunately, sometimes dogs tend to chew on their kennel. You want to make sure that they aren’t chewing on, or breathing in, any type of toxic chemicals.
  • Don’t skip on ventilation. Make sure there are windows in your dog kennel so you can open up the windows when necessary to allow fresh air in and air out your space. A simple window with a screen can work wonders in helping ventilate the space.
  • Don’t forget about electricity. This is one of the most popular additions to dog kennels and can allow you to add lighting, heating, AC and other features. When your structure comes outfitted with an electrical package, it makes it easy for a certified electrician to come in and bring power to your structure.

The right dog kennel is an important addition to your property and should not only work for your pets, but work for you as well. This is why it is important to find a structure that is functional for your pets and for your everyday life. Whether you have an individual family pet, or if you are running a commercial kennel, the right structure is paramount to your dog’s day-to-day life.

Here at Horizon Structures, we’re not just here to create quality dog kennels, we’re here to make sure that you are finding the right and perfect kennel for your home. This is why we not only have premium structures made out of the same materials that you would find in your own home—but we also offer plenty of upgrades so you can customize your structure perfectly to fit your needs.

Our Horizon Structures kennels will ensure that you not only can find a kennel that checks all of the “do” boxes on your list—but that you have plenty of optional upgrades available that will help you create the perfect structure for your pets.

6 Easy Spring Cleaning Tips For Your Outdoor Kennel

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Spring is the perfect time to reorganize, clean and refresh your home while getting rid of the dust and clutter that tends to accumulate over the winter.  However, spring cleaning doesn’t just have to be for your home, it can also be for your dog’s home as well.

There is no better time than the spring to get in and deep clean your dog’s outdoor kennel. Whether you have a single dog in your home’s kennel, or operate a commercial kennel, keeping a clean space is of the utmost importance.

Here are our top 6 easy quick and clean kennel spring cleaning tips that can keep your pet’s home clean, sanitary and healthy for your dogs.

1. Start With a Deep Clean

If you really want to deep clean your dog’s outdoor kennel for spring, the first thing you should do is to get everything out of their kennel. This means everything. Cots, supplies, extra leashes, beds. Take each individual item out and clean it. Sometimes, when it comes to dog kennels, owners only pay attention to the big areas.

However, small items, sleeping surfaces and other products in the kennel can get dirty, hold bacteria and smells or they may become unsafe. Plus, when you remove everything from the kennel, it makes it much easier to hose down these spaces.

Once you have everything out of the kennel, you also have the opportunity to check your space for cracks, chipped paint or any other small repairs you may need to make.

Images Courtesy of Pixabay

2. Organize and Your Dog Supplies

Everything out of the kennel? This not only makes it a great time to clean all of these items, but it also gives you the opportunity to clean our and organize everything that is in your kennel. Whether you are storing leashes, food, grooming supplies, or anything in between—this is a great time to reorganize everything in the kennel.

This will help you take inventory of what you have (or don’t have) in your kennel so you can keep this outdoor space well-organized and as functional as possible.

 

3. Check Your Concrete

A lot of kennels are placed on or around concrete slabs. When you are cleaning your kennel, make sure to inspect any of the concrete that may be around your kennel. Damage from freeze-thaw cycles can cause concrete to expand and eventually crack. If you use salt to melt ice around the concrete, it can also attract water and cause cracks.

If you have a lot of cracks in any cement around your kennel, it can actually be an open invitation for insect and rodent problems. This is why it is so important to repair cracks in any cement around your kennel.

Just use a scraper to put epoxy in any damaged areas and seal up holes and cracks which will prevent additional damage.

 

4. Disinfect Thoroughly

Real cleaning isn’t just about sweeping out dust, debris and dog hair. It is also about disinfecting your kennel space so it stays safe and healthy for dogs. Organic materials such as soil and urine can actually decrease the effectiveness of many products, so it is important to use the right cleaning product.

Bleach is an effective disinfectant, but make sure to not overdo it. The best cleaning agent will be a diluted bleach (1 cup of bleach per 5 gallons of water). However, once you use this mixture to clean your dog’s kennel, make sure to rinse completely with water This is because bleach can be corrosive to your dog’s skin and paw pads.

5. Double Check Your Dog Doors

The dog doors on your kennel are an important part of your structure. However, because they get a lot of use, dog doors tend to show wear and tear. A lot of dog doors aren’t chew-proof or resilient.

Check on your dog doors, make sure there aren’t cracks or gaps that could injure your dog. While you are checking these doors, make sure that you are using a disinfectant spray to keep the doors super clean—it will only help them stay sanitary and last even longer.

Of course, this is also why we offer upgraded dog doors with stainless steel edging that can withstand the efforts of even the most aggressive chewers.

 

6. Check Your Grooming Tubs and Sinks

 If you have an upgraded kennel with a grooming tub or sink, make sure to pay close attention to this area. Grooming is such an important component of housing multiple dogs, which is why we have this upgrade available for our commercial kennels.

Check the piping and the faucet and under the tub to make sure that there are no leaks that need to be repaired. Leave the water running to make sure that there isn’t so much dog hair in the drain that it has created a clog. This way you will know if you need to snake the drain or call a plumber so it doesn’t cause a more serious issue.

After giving your sink or tub a good deep clean, use caulking to seal the edges of your tub to keep it in tip-top shape.

Here at Horizon Structures, we know that there is a lot that goes into cleaning your dog’s kennel, but that it all starts with the right structure. This is why we have created kennels made with premium materials designed with easy cleaning in mind. We know that in addition to having a functional kennel, a clean and sanitary structure is just as important.

We hope you keep these cleaning tips in mind so you can continue to keep your dog’s home the safe and healthy space it was designed to be.

How to Safely Rodent-Proof Your Dog’s Outdoor Kennel

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Whether you have an outdoor kennel for your dog, are managing a boarding or training facility or just have an outdoor area for your pet, when you have animals outside—rodents tend to be an issue. While many people think of mice and rats as a problem for dirty on unkempt spaces only, rodents can actually be a problem in any outdoor space, even clean and safe ones.

Simply put, when you have pets, animal feces and food outdoors, it is going to attract rodents. While your pets may not be particularly phased by these critters or may even try to catch the rodents they find wandering around your property, it doesn’t mean they are safe.

Plus, pests like this can carry a number of diseases that aren’t good for dogs and may cause some serious health issues. Mice and rats also cause an estimated $20 billion in property and agricultural damages every year. They can not only cause disease and consume food, but they can chew through and destroy property as well.

Mice in particular are also great multipliers; these critters can survive and reproduce in temperatures as low as 24 degrees if they have a nesting space and food. Plus, a single mouse couple can create more than 15,000 offspring. This means, even if you think you only see a mouse or two in your outdoor kennels, it won’t take long for those two mice to turn into a serious problem.

Why Do Outdoor Dog Kennels Attract Rodents?

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Dog food is the primary reasons hungry rodents find their way into dog kennels. Rats specifically known for devouring dog food when you aren’t looking. The average rat can eat up to 61 pounds of dog food per year. That not only takes away from your canine companion but can result in a lot of wasted money every year.

In addition to food, dog droppings are also a big attractant for these pests. Add this to the fact that kennels provide warmth and protection from the elements, and it is easy to see why many outdoor kennels can be a living (and breeding) hub for mice and rats.

At the end of the day, your dog’s outdoor kennel can seem like a free luxury resort for mice and rats and they won’t take kindly to getting the boot. This is why you need a safe and effective plan to get your unwanted rodents to leave your dog’s kennel in a way that is bad for the rodents but won’t harm your dog. And unfortunately, this can be easier said than done.

This is why we have complied a list of some of the best tips to keeping your dog’s outdoor kennel safe, healthy and rodent-free.

How To Keep Your Dog’s Kennel Rodent-Free

Whether you suspect you have a rodent problem or know for sure that you are trying to evacuate your dog’s kennel from unwanted mice and rats—having a plan is paramount. Here are some of the best ways to safeguard your dog’s kennel shed from harmful rats.

1. Keep An Eye On Popular Nesting Areas

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When rats and mice infiltrate your dog’s kennel area, they are looking for two things: food and a place to nest. Rodents will move on when food runs out, but nesting space is what gets them to stay and multiply.

You should always be on the lookout for areas that serve as nesting spots for rodents, and thoroughly check your outdoor kennel for holes, covered, warm dark places, crawl spaces and other areas where rodents can nest and stay protected. Holes and large cracks should be fixed and filled, and the kennel should be thoroughly clean and inspected regularly.

Meters and electric panels are also popular nesting sites for rodents, so if you have any outdoors or nearby your dog’s kennel, make sure they are thoroughly investigated for possible rodent infestations.

2. Pay Close Attention to Utility Lines

Did you know that utility lines are actually a popular way for rodents to get from place to place? You may have sealed off all of the ground entrances to your dog’s kennel, but rodents are great climbers and have sharp claws that allow them to run along ropes, poles and electric wires.

When sealing your dog’s kennel or treating possible points of entry, do not forget to look up to the sky and see if your rodents may be coming in from the roof.

3. Keep The Kennel Clean

Cleaning your dog’s kennel regularly is one of the best methods for preventing rodent issues. Dog feces are a huge draw for rats and mice and is seen as a food source for them. So, keeping your dog’s droppings cleaned up is a great place to start.

Also keeping any spilled food or treats will help keep things clean and give rodents fewer reasons to burrow their way into your dog’s space.

4. Protect Your Pet’s Food

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Your dog’s food is typically the number one reason that rats and mice find their way into your dog’s kennel in the first place. If you store your dog’s food outside, make sure that it is in an airtight container. Do not leave your dog’s food out for open feeding. Feed your dog at a certain time of day and then remove the food when you are done.

Make sure to quickly clean up your dog’s feeding area when they are done as well. Less food means less temptation for unwanted rodents.

5. Try Dog-Safe Rodent Treatments

When it comes to keeping kennels rodent-free, prevention is only half the battle. This is especially true if you’ve seen active rodents scurrying around your dog’s kennel. You never want to use any type of rat poison around your dog’s kennel as it can lead to secondary pet poisoning.

Rodenticides are some of the most common reasons for dog poisoning cases. Your dog may not only ingest the pesticide itself, but it can get in the grass around the area, or your dog may eat the deceased rodent and ingest the pesticide in that way.

The best solution is to use an outdoor bait and trap rat trap. These non-toxic traps will lure rodents in via a small hole that is too small for a dog, and trap them inside. This type of “live trap” is safer than sticky or snap traps when you are using it outdoors or around pets.

6. Invest in the Right Kennel

Mice and rats are going to do everything that they can to get into a warm and well-protected kennel. However, if you have the right quality kennel to begin with, the chances of you having a rodent problem will become significantly lower.

A high-quality outdoor shed made with premium materials and that isn’t filled with holes, cracks or crevices that welcome rodents in, is one of the best ways for you to keep your dog safe and keep rodents out of the way.

Here at Horizon Structures, we know that your first and best line of defense when it comes to unwanted pests is a quality structure that will safely and naturally keep rodents out. This is why we put so much attention to detail into our kennels and outdoor sheds so that you and your canine companions can stay as safe as possible under our watch.

Is Your Dog’s Kennel Ready for Winter?

 

Whether we feel ready or not, winter is right around the corner. And for many dog owners that means making sure their canine companion has a warm and winterized kennel. Your dog’s kennel is their home, and just like your home, there are a few things you will want to do to get it ready for winter.

If your pet has their own outdoor structure—it is important that you winterize it for when cold weather hits. The good news is, this is a fairly easy practice, but one that can make all the difference to your pet.

While most structures will provide coverage from wind, snow, and rain, not all outdoor kennels are durable enough to keep cold out as well. This is why winterizing is so important. Here are some dog kennel ideas for winter to get started.

 

Inspecting Your Dog’s Kennel

Before you get to work winterizing your kennel, you should perform a quick inspection of the structure. Here are some things to look for.

  • Start by making sure you have the right kennel. The interior space of the kennel should be big enough for your pet to move around in, but not so big that their body heat can’t help warm the space.
  • Determine if your kennel is in the right spot. Ideally, kennels should be placed against a shed or house to protect it from wind. If you have a particularly wet yard, make sure the kennel is raised off the ground.
  • Use a flashlight to inspect the inside of the structure, paying close attention to the seams to make sure you can’t see water, ice or wind coming through.
  • Check the roof for leaks. Pour water or run a hose over the roof to reveal leaks inside the kennel. Repair as needed.
  • Utilize weatherstripping to keep drafts at bay. You can use the same weatherstripping materials you use on your home.
  • Put the right bedding inside your kennel. This includes hay, cedar ships or wood shavings. This thick bedding should be at least six inches deep.
  • Use pea gravel in outdoor run areas to promote proper drainage. It can also be used as a trench surrounding their kennel to prevent flooding.

After you perform this inspection, it is time to get to work to make these changes so your dog’s home is ready for those cooler days. The smallest changes can make the biggest difference in your dog’s kennel and how warm and dry it stays.

 

Tips Keeping Your Dog Warm When the Weather Cools

 

Once your dog’s kennel is all winterized, you can feel good knowing that your dog has a safe space to call home. However, there are even more things you should be doing to make sure your dog stays safe.

Remember, not all dogs love the cold. While certain breeds like huskies, collies and labs love the cold and can tolerate these conditions relatively well, not all dogs can. Yorkies, chihuahua and boxers tend to notoriously get cold and may not handle freezing temperatures as well.

Set your dog up for success and keep them comfortable with a winterized kennel, and by following these tips on how to keep a dog kennel warm throughout the winter to keep them happy.

 

Fix The Position of Your Dog’s Bed

If you dog has a bed inside their kennel box, make sure you position it in the optimal spot and try to keep it away from the door or any other particularly drafty areas.


Check Your Dog

When it’s really, really cold out, make sure you are checking your dog for symptoms. Dogs show similar symptoms of being cold as people do. If your dog has a runny nose, is lethargic, shivers, has watery eyes or is showing signs of a fever— he may be too cold. This means you will either need to move your dog inside or adapt their kennel accordingly.

Keep Chemicals Out of the Kennel

Chemicals can really irritate your dog’s delicate paws, especially in the winter. Make sure that you aren’t using harsh chemicals inside your dog’s kennel. If there is ice around your dog’s kennel or in their outdoor space, do not use de-icing chemicals that can irritate your dog even more.

Add Heaters for Comfort

There are several different doghouse heaters and heated bed options for your pet. You shouldn’t always have heaters on, but if it is particularly cold certain nights, then it may be time to add a heating element.

 

Check The Kennel’s Bedding

You should be checking on and cleaning your dog’s bedding throughout the winter. In addition to cleaning the bedding, you should make sure there is enough bedding for your dog to make at least six inches of bedding to snuggle up in.

 

Little efforts like this, along with proper winterization can make all the difference for your dog this winter.

While it’s always important to start with winterization, the best way to make sure that your pet is safe, warm, and comfortable all winter long, is to make sure you have the right kennel. All the winterizing in the world won’t replace a high-quality kennel.

Here at Horizon Structures, we know just how important quality is when it comes to your pet. This is why Horizon uses premium materials to create warm and safe shelters that you and your dog can rely on.

A Horizon Structures outdoor dog kennel keeps your dogs warm, dry, and cozy all winter long.  Our Standard Features include a 4” pressure-treated wood foundation that keeps the entire kennel structure out of direct contact with the ground, R-13 batten insulation in the walls and ceiling and R-13 closed cell spray foam insulation in the floor.  The natural insulating properties of our wood siding and shingle roofing offers additional protection against the elements for the canine occupants.

8×16 / 2-dog ‘Traditional’ kennel with metal siding and roofing upgrade

 

Creating a Safe Space for Nursing Dog Moms

Photo by Oliver Keitel on Unsplash

If you are responsible for caring for a nursing dog mom, then there are several things you will want to do in order to keep your dog mom as healthy and as happy as possible. After all, the healthier the mother dog is, the better off the puppies will be.

It is also important that your dog mom has a safe space of her own during this time so that she can focus on nursing and caring for her new pups.

The biggest thing to keep in mind when choosing a space for your nursing dog mom, is that you need to find an area where she can be comfortable, protected and separate from other animals in, or on, your property. This space should also be separated from any major traffic flow of people as well. Even the most friendly and playful of dogs can start to get agitated or overly protected when they are nursing puppies.

In order to keep your dog, other people, and other animals as safe as possible, finding this protected area is of the utmost importance. Here are a few other tips that will help you create the right safe space for any nursing dog mom, so she can focus on feeding, caring for and raising her new pups in comfort.

Creating The Right Environment

Photo courtesy of @sophiakunkel via Unsplash.

It should come as no surprise to you that caring for newborns can be stressful, even for puppies. This is why a quiet and secluded space is so important. Your nursing dog’s area should feel like a quiet sanctuary for your dog and should be completely private.

Experts recommend that you set up your dog’s whelping box before birth in an area that is separate from busy household traffic. The whelping box is important for the early dog nursing days. Here’s what to keep in mind when establishing a whelping box:

  • The whelping box should have low sides between 12-18 inches and have a cut-out portion for the mom dog to easily enter and exit. It can be made out of cardboard or wood
  • The whelping box should be large enough for the mother dog to turn around in without potentially stepping on or harming her pups.
  • The whelping box should be big enough for a mom dog to lie on her side too nurse, but not too big, otherwise it may prevent little pups from getting the extra body heat they need.

Once you have the right whelping box inside a covered kennel or room in your home, make sure you outfit it with towels and blankets. You will likely need to clean and refresh these towels and blankets frequently to keep the area comfortable and sanitary.

Make Sure Your Mom Dog Has Plenty of Food and Water

Photo by Chewy on Unsplash

This safe space for your nursing dog should have an allocated area for food and water, where they can conveniently access these extra nutrients without having to go far from the whelping box. As puppies start to get older, you will want to make sure that this food and water is in a tall bowl that puppies will stay out of.

Remember, your nursing dog is going to be expelling a lot more energy than normal to feed her new puppies, so she will need more food and water than normal to keep up. According to the American Kennel Club, your dog will need about two times her normal amount of food before and immediately after the whelping. Between weeks 4-6, she will need even more—plan on feeding her three times her usual amount during this two-week period.

If you have questions about how much more to feed your nursing dog, make sure to ask your vet. Dehydration is also common among nursing moms, so check her water even more regularly to make sure that she can stay super hydrated during this time in her life.

Help Your Nursing Mom Get Some Space

Photo by Steve Sewell on Unsplash

For the first two weeks, your nursing mom is going to be all hands-on deck when taking care of her new pups. During this time, you should let your mom stay in her own space undisturbed and take care of business. Check in on your dog mom to make sure she looks happy and healthy and plenty of food and water. Other than that, she is going to take care of business.

However, after those first two weeks, your nursing pup will need a little more time to herself. Either remove the pups and leave your dog mom in her space or let your dog mom out for some fresh air. When the mom dog is ready to get back to nursing and her puppies, she will let you know.

During this time when you are letting your nursing dog out, make sure that you are checking on her overall condition, weight and energy levels. You should also check on her nipples. If they are chapped and sore than you can try putting petroleum jelly on them. If they look pussy or infected, then you should take your dog to the vet for a prescription antibiotic cream.

This is a great opportunity to give your nursing dog some extra care and attention or some companionship. After all, your dog may miss spending this extra time with their owner. This little bit of time away can really do wonders for your dog and help them during their nursing experience.

Of course, the key to creating any type of safe space for a nursing dog or any pup that needs some peace and quiet—is the right structure. Whether this is a large outdoor kennel with an enclosed dog bog, a doghouse or a secure cage, the right structure is paramount.

Here are Horizon Structures, we are truly passionate about caring for all animals that need a safe space to call their own. This is why you will find our structures are made entirely out of premium-grade materials and durable designs that are meant to last. After all, your new dog mom has a lot to worry about with her new puppies. A safe space to stay protected from the elements, should be the last thing she has to worry about.