Dog Kennels: A Buyer’s Guide

There are many reasons every dog owner should consider buying a kennel for their own furry companion. Not only is it a neat addition to your backyard that your dog will grow to love, but it also provides shelter for your pet, shielding it from the harsh sun during the summer months and cold winds and rain during winter. But just like when purchasing real estate for yourself, it's important for you to consider the options. Not every kennel is suitable for every dog, and there are a number of factors to think about when both shopping around and eventually setting up your kennel. 

Size matters

While at first thought, it might seem like the extra room of a bigger kennel is the best option for any dog, in reality, a kennel that's too big can cause problems. Oftentimes if there is too much space within a kennel, a dog can start feeling anxious. The surplus area also means that your dog's limited body heat won't be enough to heat up the entire kennel, a significant problem during the colder days of the year when discomfort and even illness are greater risks. At the extreme opposite end, a kennel that's too small and cramped is obviously also bound to be severely uncomfortable for your pet.

The right option balances out both space and comfort. Your dog should have enough room to be able to walk into the kennel with his or her head stooped and stand upright when inside. The kennel's width should account for the fact that most dogs like to circle around a few times before curling up to sleep. Whatever you choose, the kennel should also be raised slightly so that water can't seep in when it rains.

Material to use

Dog kennels can be made from a variety of materials ranging from old-fashioned timber, metals or a mixture of both to newer plastic models. While a timber kennel is often the more sturdy and aesthetically appealing option, it can be quite difficult to clean and reposition. Many dogs also enjoy chewing on timber, although certain bad-tasting sprays exist to discourage this behaviour. In any case, plastic kennels are the smarter choice these days. Not only are plastic kennels lightweight but strong and therefore easy to move around, but they are also well insulated, well ventilated and a lot easier to keep hygienic. 

Positioning for your kennel

Finally, where you place your kennel in your backyard is an important consideration and may be different during summer and winter. For added protection from the elements, the kennel should be out of direct sunlight and positioned facing away from the direction of the wind. Furthermore, your dog will appreciate having the backdoor in the line of sight when inside of his or her kennel. Nobody wants to feel left out.

All in all, whatever kennel you choose should have your dog's comfort as its first priority. In many way, a dog's kennel is their second home.