The summer months can be uncomfortable and even dangerous for our pets, especially in regions like Texas where temperatures can soar! As responsible pet owners, it’s vital that we provide our furry companions with the necessary essentials, including food, water, and proper shelter. In fact, leaving a dog restrained and unattended outside during extreme temperatures without adequate shelter and access to potable water is not only inhumane but also illegal in Texas.
The Importance of Shelter
In extreme weather conditions- whether it be extreme heat or freezing temperatures, it is necessary for pets to have proper shelter to protect them from harsh weather conditions. A well-designed dog house provides protection from rain, wind, excessive sunlight, and extreme temperatures. It serves as a safe haven where your pets can seek refuge.
How To Build A Dog House
Step 1: What You’ll Need
Opt for sturdy, weather-resistant materials that can withstand the elements and provide durability. Common options include wood or plastic. Wood is a popular choice due to its natural insulation properties and aesthetic appeal. Ensure that the materials used are non-toxic and safe for your pet!
Collect all the necessary materials- including wood, screws, nails, insulation, roofing material, and (optionally) a door flap. For tools, you’ll need a saw, drill, hammer, and measuring tape.
Step 2: Determine Size and Design
When it comes to designing a dog house, it’s important to consider your dog’s size and breed. The house should be spacious enough for your dog to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably. However, it shouldn’t be too large as it may not retain heat effectively during colder months. Research and select an appropriate design that suits your dog’s needs, ensuring proper insulation and ventilation.
Step 3: Prepare and Cut Materials
Measure and mark the wood according to your design. Use the saw to cut out the pieces for the floor, walls, and roof. Sand down any rough edges for a smooth finish!
Step 4: Assemble the Floor and Walls
Start by constructing the floor frame using sturdy wood beams. Attach the floorboards securely to the frame. Remember to create a raised floor to prevent moisture buildup and improve ventilation! Then, assemble the walls by attaching them to the floor, ensuring they are plumb and square.
Step 5: Add Insulation and Roofing
It is important to install a weatherproof roof that effectively diverts rainwater. Attach the roofing material, such as shingles or weatherproof panels, securely to the top of the dog house to protect against rain and snow.
Step 6: Finishing Touches
Inspect the dog house for any sharp edges or protruding nails, and sand them down for safety. Add any desired final touches, such as a door flap or paint/stain to the exterior, to enhance durability and aesthetics!
You can also make the interior cozy by adding bedding, such as straw or a comfortable dog bed, to provide insulation and comfort!
For a free dog house blueprint download, click here!
Picking A Location
Before constructing a dog house, carefully choose the location where it will be placed. Choose an appropriate location in your yard and position the dog house on a flat surface. Use stakes or anchors to secure it to the ground, ensuring stability and preventing movement during strong winds. Consider factors such as shade availability, drainage, and proximity to your home. A shaded area with natural protection from direct sunlight and prevailing winds is ideal. Additionally, ensure that the location allows easy access to the dog house for cleaning and maintenance.
The Safe Outdoor Dogs Act
Thanks to our sister organization, THLN, the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act, signed into law in 2021, aims to improve the conditions for dogs living outside in Texas. It provides common-sense regulations to ensure the welfare of outdoor dogs. The Act defines adequate shelter to protect dogs from extreme temperatures and inclement weather, requires access to drinkable water, and mandates safe restraints. It also removes the 24-hour warning period, allowing immediate action to be taken for tethered dogs in distress. This legislation addresses previous gaps in the law, promoting the well-being of dogs and the communities they reside in!
To learn more, visit www.thln.org/a_brand_new_day!
Here are some more Safe Outdoor Dogs Act resources from THLN that you may find useful –
- What the Safe Outdoor Act Does – English | Spanish
- How to Properly Restrain Your Dog Outdoors – English | Spanish
- Key Exceptions to the Safe Outdoors Act – English | Spanish
*Updated June 2023