There are two kinds of dogs: those that spend most of their time indoors and those that spend most of their time outdoors. If you have the latter, in particular, you’ll want to invest in their open-air comfort and security.
After all, an indoor dog is as safe as you are. Dogs spend most of their time behind closed doors in a warm, controlled space. This isn’t the case for dogs that spend most of their lives outdoors. Temperature fluctuations, wild and stray animals, and a natural penchant for curiosity in large uncontained spaces can pose numerous problems.
If you plan to keep (or already keep) a dog outdoors, here are some tips and suggestions to help ensure that your four-legged friend remains as safe and cozy as possible.
Create a safe space: Build a dog house
One of the greatest comforts you can provide for an outdoor dog is a dog house that they can call their own. There are multiple ways you can go about this, including:
Purchase a predesigned dog house
You can get a predesigned home for your pup at a local pet store or even order it online. This option can be more expensive, but it cuts out most sweat equity. You don’t need to spend much time creating a dog house for your dog because it’s already predesigned. For example, some plastic molded dog houses, for instance, can be ordered in a few seconds and assembled in minutes!
Before choosing a predesigned dog house for your pooch, browse through some options online and consider your dog’s size, your pet’s habits, and the need for any other accessories.
Build a dog house yourself
This frees you to be either elaborate in your designs or minimalistic to keep the costs down. There are many free plans online that offer various dog house options. Make sure that you choose a design that is the right size for your pooch once they’re fully grown. Dogs are den animals, so their dog houses should be fairly small, typically around 25% taller and longer than the animal.
As you go about building or buying your dog house, remember that this is a typical cost of having a dog that spends most of its time outdoors. If you’re going to commit to raising an animal, it’s crucial to provide them with a safe, secure space that they can make their own.
If you live in an area with cold temperatures, it’s critical to provide your pup with a winter dog house to protect him from frigid winds, ice, and snow. In that case, make sure the dog house is properly insulated so they won’t feel uncomfortable with the extreme weather conditions associated with winter.
A good dog house gives your animal a place of respite. If they show fearfulness as fireworks light up the sky on the 4th of July, having a dog house will provide them with a place to retreat and hide until the loud noises cease. Also, if they’re tired of playing outside, a dog house in your backyard can provide them with a safe space to sleep and rest until they get their energy back.
Create an ample space: Make a run
Along with a good dog house, it’s essential to provide your furry friend with a way to stretch their legs properly. While taking your dog for walks should be a regular occurrence, providing a dog run or even opening up the entire yard for them to play in is also a good idea.
For instance, you can create a dog-friendly backyard with artificial grass where they can walk, run, and play around safely. Instead of using natural grass, having artificial grass on your pooch’s running and playing space outside is beneficial in various ways. It can protect your pet from the harmful chemicals in pesticides and fertilizers used in natural grass, avoid digging problems that can make your dog and your backyard look dirty and minimize the need for maintenance.
Build a chain link kennel
One way to do this is by building a chain link kennel. While it requires a bit of investment, a chain link kennel is an excellent way to keep your dog safe from any unwanted visitors. In other words, while a dog house allows your pup to rest at ease, a strong chain link kennel allows you to do so too. It also helps you stay compliant with your area’s local leash laws, and it enables you to move your pooch to another area of your backward for safety reasons.
If you don’t like the idea of a giant fenced-in box in your backyard, you can also use metal or wood fencing, although you’ll want to make sure your dog can’t jump out. In addition, if your dog is small, you want to ensure that any larger birds of prey can’t carry them off.
Pet containment system
Another option is to set up a pet containment system—commonly known as a dog fence. Installing a wireless dog fence avoids a lot of the grunt work associated with creating a run. Some pet containment systems require you to bury a wire in your yard, but there are modern wireless systems you can easily set up and run from within your house.
However you choose to go about it, setting up a dog fence can open up your entire yard for canine adventures. It gives them room to run and can provide easier access to shady places to rest. If you go this route, make sure that your yard is dog-friendly and stripped of any toxic plants or grasses.
Create a clean space: Set up a wash station
Finally, you may want to consider setting up an outdoor dog washing station while doing your canine-inspired renovations. There are many ways to incorporate a washing station into your outdoor setup. You can use:
- An old bathtub.
- A kiddie pool.
- A small fenced-in area.
- PVC piping with holes.
Bathing your dog outside is a great way to avoid having a wet animal soaking your house regularly and help keep your drains from getting clogged with dog hair.
Create an outdoor paradise for your dog
If you’re going to leave your dog outside, you must provide them with everything they need to be comfortable and safe. A dog house provides a sense of security, a run or dog fence helps your dog stretch their legs and exercise, and a wash station allows you to keep them clean without tracking all of that outdoor filth into the house.
If you can set up these three items in your backyard, you’ll be able to keep your pooch happy and healthy for years to come.