Best Outdoor Dog Kennels
Dogs enjoy being outdoors where they run around while playing, and their safety and well-being should be a top priority. All dog owners who do not live in a fenced and secure yard opt for outdoor dog kennels to keep their pets safe. A kennel is a popular choice with pet owners as they provide the dogs with the freedom of being outside in the sun while still keeping them safe. It is important to choose the right kennel for your dog because that is where he will spend most of his time. Comfort and safety should be the driving factors that should be considered first. Building a kennel or a dog fence outside from scratch is also an option for those who are into DIY projects, and this could be a cheaper option if all the materials and tools are readily available.
What is a Dog Kennel?
A dog kennel is a structure used to house dogs when they are outdoors. Only quality material should be used to manufacture kennels. The idea is to make them sturdy, low-maintenance, comfortable, and safe to ensure their well-being because they thrive in comfortable and safe environments.
Outdoor dog kennels are available in either plastic or galvanized steel. Some are made of both, and they are designed to withstand scratches or chewing. When choosing the right size and design of the kennel, factors like the breed, size, and age of the dog should inform that decision. This is because extreme weather conditions are harmful to dogs whose kennels are too open.
There are different types of dog kennels that one can choose from, and they include:
- Wire Kennels: Wire or metal outdoor dog kennels are made of a metal structure with wire mesh used to fill in the area between the metal bars. The frame is typically rectangular, and the wire mesh is used for the inside panels. Manufacturers of these kennels use pre-assembled flexible panels that can be re-done by the user who may want to make changes to the structure. They provide good ventilation and sunlight to the dog when it is set up outdoors. If the weather gets extreme, the top can be covered with tarp shade to prevent the dog from heat, rain, or snow. These kennels are available with cover and without, and they come in different sizes to suit the dog.
- Wood Kennels: Wood kennels are a common choice for dog lovers who may prefer to construct one from scratch with available material. They are enclosed outdoor kennels which are vintage, homely, and very stylish. Dogs tend to be at ease in these kennels as they give a vibe of being in the house. There are ready-made kennels in the market which are wholly made of wood. Buying disassembled wood kennels is not a problem as the procedure of assembling one is relatively easy and straight to the point with available tools. For dogs that like ventilation and light, these kennels may not be ideal because wood blocks the free flow of air. Thinner wood panels are not advisable as they are weak and won't last for long.
- Brick Kennels: These are more permanent kennels because they are made of brick walls that have boundaries. The walls keep the air cool during summertime as excessive heat cannot get in. It can also get a bit dark if the roof is cemented too. Due to the permanent nature of these kennels, it is advisable to construct them in a place that is set aside.
How to choose the Best Kennel
It is always essential to get the right kennel for your dog, and winging it might not be a good idea. Depending on how to use it, whether it's for transporting the dog, a playpen, or a crate bed for making a bedroom for the dog, a few things must be considered when choosing one.
- According to Use: Wire kennels are preferable for training especially new dogs, their ventilation is better than a plastic kennel, and they offer visibility for the dog. They are foldable hence easy to store away whenever they are not in use. Some come with a removable pan that is leak-proof for easier potty training and cleaning. For traveling, portable outdoor dog kennels made of plastic are known to cultivate the feeling of a secure and private space in dogs. They are the safest kind with good ventilation and built-in spots for food and water. An open kennel is suitable for a playpen which gives the dog freedom when playing and running around. If you have a compound, outdoor kennels are a great choice. Indoor kennels can be used to control the dog in the house in one section.
- According to Size: Always get the perfect size. You might think it’s best to get a big-sized kennel, but the downside to this is the extra room will not be warm enough during cold weather, and it might cause anxiety to the dog, making it feel unsafe. A smaller kennel will not be comfortable for the dog to move around in it on the other hand. Measure the dog from the top of the head to the floor for its height and from the tip of its nose to the base of its tail for the length. The kennel height should be around 3-4 inches taller and longer than the dog.
- Pick a Size Bigger for Smaller Dogs: Every manufacturer of kennels differs in their lengths and size. Small outside dog kennel can measure about 24 inches long for small dogs, and the larger ones can be up to 30 inches long, give or take a few inches on both sizes. These kennels can fit the smaller breed of dogs, including puppies, weighing approximately 30-40 pounds.
- Pick suitable Sizes for Medium and Large Dogs: Big dog kennels for outside that are about 37 inches long can comfortably house dogs that weigh 40-70 pounds. Large dogs weighing up to 90 pounds can be accommodated in kennels as long as 42 inches.
- A Metal Kennel for a Big Dog: Extra-large outdoor dog kennels made of metal are more suitable for big dogs weighing over 90 pounds. If the dog gets excited and pushes against the kennel, it will remain sturdy and will not suffer damage. There are extra-large kennels for much heavier dogs that weigh over 100 pounds.
What to Consider When Buying a Dog Kennel
A dog should be safe and secure in its outdoor kennel. The kennel should withstand the harsh weather conditions, wear and tear from the dogs. The following are factors and characteristics to look for when buying your dog an outdoor kennel:
- The size: Just as dogs come in different sizes, outdoor kennels should also be of varied sizes to comfortably accommodate them. Kennels should be spacious enough to allow the dog to move around while maintaining the feeling of an outdoor environment. Also, consider that dogs will need a place to relieve themselves without creating a mess. The kennel’s dimensions will depend on the number of dogs and their sizes. Sufficient space to play and exercise is a huge consideration when going for size.
- Material: Aside from brick and wood kennels, most dog kennels are made of heavy-duty material, either galvanized or stainless steel, and these materials wear off differently over time. Durability is an essential factor to be considered because dogs are known to bite and scratch kennels while playing. Depending on the weather conditions, there are those that withstand harsh weather well, while others deteriorate much faster. Other materials may be added to prolong the lifetime of the kennel, such as heavy-duty plastic, chain-link, or metal.
- Weather Resistant Covers: Rain, snow, and excessive sunlight are unpleasant to dogs. Materials like tarp or canvas on the kennel roof are advisable to offer protection against these harsh weather conditions. If they are weather-resistant, the better because of their durability.
- Number of Doors: If there are several dogs in the kennel, multiple doors are advisable to keep them from stamping on each other when they are going in or coming out. The size of the door is also crucial with big dogs.
- Floor: Dogs can dig through the dirt floor if the kennel does not have a bottom mesh or protection. When considering the flooring for outdoor dog kennels, it is better to have a sturdy kennel with a supportive base that will not easily topple over if pushed by bigger dogs.
- Comfort: The key feature of a kennel is comfort, and a kennel should have enough space to allow sleep and rest. Soft bedding placed on the floor or the grass is a good idea, and it enhances relaxation. Access to clean water is vital to keep the dog well hydrated. A dog can be active in a different kennel area and use the relaxation spot for resting. To maintain the cleanliness of the kennel, a drainage system should be installed so that water and moisture are not trapped inside. Lighting at night is a good addition.
- Security system: Some kennels’ locking systems are a child’s play to dogs. Ensure that it will be hard for the dog to unlock the kennel by using padlocks or installing dog-proof doors.
- Budget: Kennels differ in prices, and you would want to shop for one which is within your budget while still giving your dog the freedom and space to play outdoors. If you have materials and tools for building a kennel, it would be a cheaper option compared to the pricier alternatives in the market.
Dog owners, or if you are thinking of getting one in the future, the thought of buying a dog kennel must have crossed your mind. Contrary to the belief and notion that kennels are restricting, they are a safe shelter that offers security whenever the dog is outside. They also have space to store food and water for the dog. The confines of the house throughout are not a good idea for a dog. Freedom, air, sunlight, play, and exercise are just what a dog needs to live a wholesome life.
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