When you are on the search for a new dog kennel, there are a host of things you must consider before making your buying decision.
Below I am going to cover a few different things you should be thinking about before you buy your new dog kennel. This is to make you aware of a few things perhaps you didn’t think of before. Anyway, let’s get into it!
Obviously, size of the kennel is important. You want a kennel where your dog can move around as freely as possible. The kennel should be big enough and wide enough to allow your dog to be able to turn around without touching the sides of the kennel.
Of course, you would presume a bigger kennel is always better but that isn’t always the case. Dogs tend to feel more safe and secure in smaller spaces so choosing a smaller, more appropriately sized kennel is usually a better choice.
2. Backyard Space
Following on from size - your backyard space or space wherever you want to put your kennel is important. Needless to say, wherever you plan to put your kennel I advise to measure your space where the kennel will go in your backyard, for example.
I would recommend if you have a smaller space for the kennel to make sure you leave at least some space left over. Don’t make it a tight fit because this can make installation more difficult, and generally limiting your space overly isn’t a great idea.
This becomes doubly important when you consider that the kennel is going to be where your beloved dog spends a lot of his time. It should not be allowed to develop a damp or musty atmosphere, which can happen if there’s not enough space around it for air and light to enter and circulate.
Air circulation around and through the kennel makes sure that it never becomes musty inside and is well ventilated. Enough direct light will ensure that it stays clean and dry, because sunlight has a natural sterilizing effect against microbes.
Which also brings up the next important point - access. There should be enough space around the kennel for you to be able to access every part of it. Dogs are rather skilled in bringing in all sorts of mud and muck into the house. So, every part of the kennel will definitely need thorough cleaning or maybe even repair at some point.
I don’t want to talk directly about price but a more general consensus because prices are always changing and can vary depending on your chosen provider. What I will say is it’s best to opt for an option that you can both afford and an option that is going to last for the time to come.
I would generally say that it’s better to go for the slightly higher quality option in the long run. This is because a dog kennel that is better quality and built to last will last you longer than a cheaper option which likely won’t last as long and may indeed end up costing you more in the long run.
As you might have guessed a lot of dog kennels can be relatively expensive but it can be seen as a long term investment that should be incorporated into the cost of owning a dog for years to come.
4. Build Material
Of course, there are many different options when it comes to the build material for your dog kennel. Sometimes there are a selection of materials that have been used in combination. There are 3 main options as you might have guessed.
Wood is the first and arguably the best option, that’s because its hefty and substantial and is a great insulator, which helps keep the temperature very well regulated - not too hot or too cold.
Wood harvested from old planks or logs will theoretically serve just as well as wood you buy, but the most sensible option is always to go for wood siding. Wood siding panels like LP may not be as cheap as leftover siding from an old art project, but end up paying for themselves over time.
The manufacturing process impregnates the wood with fungal resistance and anti-termite properties. The interior sides are painted to be a radiant barrier, and the outsides with latex paint that adds water resistance - and gives a nice popping color too, if you prefer one.
Or, if you like a more rustic look, you can always go with board and batten instead. These are made usually from pine and oak, so they are natural wood. The quality varies only slightly from sideboard, but they look much more rustic and folksy, and wood be much more at home in a farm (pun intended!).
Plastic is another option, which when compared with wood, doesn’t absorb odors well. Plastic is also lighter than wood and is easier to clean but simply doesn‘t insulate as well as wood and is more prone to wear especially in more intense weather conditions over time.
The final option is metal. Generally, you don’t find kennels made completely from metal because it isn’t an effective option because it would get too hot in summer and too cold in winter, it is also needlessly expensive and simply doesn’t do as effective a job as wood does.
If you couldn’t tell already wood is the option I would recommend. It will be the best overall option that offers great insulation and will likely be the most durable and last for years to come.
5. Roof Type
Sometimes an overlooked element when buying a dog kennel is the roof type. The roof type should be considered when buying a dog kennel depending on the weather for example.
A sloping roof is better because inside you will have an inner ceiling which will make it snugger inside. Also, some kennels come with a detachable roof which is ideal for summertime and warmer temperatures and it gives you that versatility.
A single roof panel can offer better insulation making it a good choice for colder temperatures. It also makes it more compact which could be better or worse depending on your preferences and needs.
Which prompts the next question - what should be the roof made of? You can always go ahead and have a roof made of wood, but some people find that it does not serve well against rain or in areas with sleet.
Sturdier and longer lasting options for roofing for kennels include shingles and metal sheets, such as corrugated sheets. However, to decide which one suits you better, you have to take your kennel and some factors into account.
Metal roofs are in principle more expensive than shingle roofs. However, in areas that receive large amounts of rain, metal roofs work much better, as they allow immediate run off, especially if gutters have been added to the design.
For areas that receive moderate rainfall, shingle roofs may work just as well because shingles nowadays are designed to handle some rain too.
In areas where snow is common and heavy, shingles end up needing frequent replacing because snow packs onto shingles and does not melt off. Instead, it melts in two layers and ends up refreezing as an ice pack onto the shingles, damaging them. The weight can also cause the roof to collapse.
Shingles don’t conduct heat as well as metal roofs, though. And are also easier on the ears. Metal roofs tend to be very loud for the occupant, when there’s rain.
So, if your kennel is going to be on the smaller side, and/or your budget allows it, a well-chosen roof can be a one-time buy with no fuss in the future.
Of course, there are so many customizations you can make to your dog’s kennel. Colors, textures, lighting, accessories… Such as the fencing, for example. Your dog’s kennel can be extended to include a little fenced in area, which can keep him confined, should the need arise, without making him feel miserable and locked in.
Fences made with 6-gauge welded wire, for example, are practically bite proof. The same goes for galvanized wire or chain link fences. Smaller dogs or those who don’t have the tendency to chew on everything, can even be okay with a vinyl fence.
Fences add a little ‘garden’ to your dog’s kennel home. Should you need to keep him inside for any reason, your dog will still have space to move around in an enclosure. Which definitely makes for a healthier and happier dog!
Buying a dog kennel is really the equivalent of building your dog a little house of his own. So, it may take some thinking and planning before it’s done, but in the end, your dog will definitely have a home-sweet-home!