By Miles Hurley, The House Designers’ Contributing Writer
Dogs have always been, and continue to be, one of our most loyal companions, providing help and comfort in so many ways. In many places, they are hunters, tracking through forests with the keenest senses. Other places, dogs are rescue and guard animals, by the sides of police officers, firemen and EMS members. In some places, they have even been sled dogs, pulling people and cargo through cold wintry terrain. But most often, dogs are a loving and loyal addition to families everywhere. Considering how much they do for us, it is only fitting that we return the favor in providing them with a great space to call their own!
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History of Doghouses
For the longest time, domesticated dogs simply inhabited the outdoor elements. The earliest known structures were kennels made out of mud. Doghouses would not become a commodity for people until well into the nineteenth century, but even at that point, design would remain extremely crude, as they were made out of whatever material owners could scrape together.
Eventually, canine homes started becoming mass-producible in factories, which allowed for better materials such as framing lumber and plywood that resisted weather and proved sturdier over time. But a dog’s place of rest and retreat was still arguably very uncomfortable and not completely protective yet. By the 1960s, companies began switching over to making plastic doghouses, the style of which became a much more popular way to go, and things were looking up for the canines.
In the past couple decades DIY doghouses have become a growing trend as owners focus on keeping their dogs safe and comfortable when outdoors. There really is much to consider in giving our beloved pets the best possible home away home, but with today’s modern offerings, keeping them comfortable and protected can be easy, stylish and even environmentally friendly.
When one thinks ‘doghouse’ the classic, pointed house like ‘Snoopy’ lived in comes to mind first. But there are all kinds of variations for what would be the perfect space in or around your home for your pet. It could be a simple pen area for sleeping or house training if your pup is young and learning. A separate, sectioned off room in your house might be your dog’s personal place. It could be something mobile, such as a fold-up that you carry from place to place. Whatever route you and your dog go, you want to make sure it’s the best choice for both of you, and there are a number of factors to keep in mind.
The changing seasons, depending on where you live, can test the suitability of a doghouse all year round with different kinds of weather. For one, a dog’s space is a shady refuge for your pet from the summer heat. Yet some features can really enhance this luxury for them, such as ventilators that can be closed in the winter months, or fans with quiet motors that won’t disturb the animal when sleeping.
If having your dog stay in their home during the colder winter months becomes a necessity, you can fret less by getting insulated materials, such as JamesHardie siding that both resists weather and prevents rotting over long periods of time. Doggie doors can also be made of insulated and durable material, and to truly keep the structure toasty warm you might also consider pet heaters, which can be weather-resistant and thermostat regulated.
Other factors, like wind, rain, temperature, and even surrounding activity like outdoor work or play in the yard are factors that could equally measure the ability and durability of where your pet spends their time. For instance, plastic doghouses are still a very popular choice, and have their practical advantages over other types. Yet a wooden structure could be sturdier and longer lasting.
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A happy dog owner can even be an environmentally conscious one today if they want, with many new improvements available for sustainability and durability.
Doghouses can be built with better and more earth-friendly materials. EcoStar sustainable roofing shingles can make for trendy but also energy efficient doghouse coverings. There are options for recyclable material for both roofing and flooring that still look great and resist scratching and molding.
Solar power is becoming increasingly available for doghouses as well. Those nifty heaters and fans can keep your pet cozy any time of year. They can be completely solar powered, charging up in the daytime and working capably at night. Lighting might be another important factor for your pet’s space, so consider solar powered and LED options.
Of course, the look of your dog’s space or house can be just as vital a step in the process to giving them the best possible personal home. If one fancies that classic feel of an actual dog ‘house’, they can come in a variety models that would match the very style of your own home, from rustic to ranch to even Greek-revival! Or perhaps you’d like a customized space or structure to match the unique personality of your pet. How big is your doggie’s space? What goes along with it? A doggie bed suited just for them? Everything, from the construction to accessories to coloring can be chosen today, with limitless options, to get the exact look and feel both you and your companion adore.
So, having your beloved companion stay in an abode that is both protective and comfortable is much easier these days. If you’d like to see a sample of a modern canine home with such features as these, take a look at Doghouse Plan 9590, our modern doghouse that also doubles as a children’s playhouse on top!
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