Summer is approaching and that typically means warmer temperatures are on the way—although the thermometer’s schedule is quite unpredictable these days!

It’s true that animals can naturally cope with heat and cold—but only to a point. Our furry friends rely on us to help keep them cool when the mercury rises. Dogs are especially more sensitive to heat than they are of cooler temperatures. Here are some things to keep in mind to help keep your pet structures cool this summer:

Add ventilation – if your structure’s roof already does not have air vents—whether an actual vent or just small holes—be sure to add some. Adequate air is crucial to animals staying cool. If your structure is rather large and you have the capability, consider adding a fan.

Elevate the floor – put your structure on a foundation or even on an old wooden pallet. The ground retains heat (or cold) and this extra breathing room can significantly lower the temperature inside.

Keep out of sunlight – if your structure is directly in the sun it can get quite hot—and fast. Consider moving it to a shaded location. (An analogy would be leaving an animal in the car with windows rolled up.)

Mind the size – if your dog has outgrown its structure, purchase or build a larger dog house. Too small of an area can be unhealthy—even deadly—for animals.

Install a pool – OK. We’re not talking an Olympic-size or kidney-shaped in-ground variety, but a baby wading pool kept near the dog house or pet structure can allow dogs to dip when they get too hot.

Aside from these four tips to keep your pet structure cool this summer, always be sure your furry friends have adequate water supply at all times, that they’re groomed for the season (if their breed requires), and that they don’t play too hard!

If your dog spends a significant amount of time outside, he or she might need a dog house or kennel to provide protection from the elements (snow, rain, etc.), escape from the cold, shade from the sun and, in general, a place to feel safe and secure—like a den.

A quality dog house can last a long time when properly maintained. Here are some tips to keep your best friend’s shelter up to par as well as some ideas for improvements:

  • Check the roof for leaks—replace shingles as needed—and make sure nails do not go through roof! Eventually, you may have to repair the roof.
  • Replace any worn wood, or repaint any areas that are faded/chipped.
  • Check the ground; make sure the dog house is still on a flat surface. Consider adding a foundation (or even place atop a pallet) to give some room between the floor and hot or cold ground.
  • If you live in a colder climate, consider adding a vinyl flap to the door to help keep cool air and elements out. Insulation or waterproofing are two other ways to help keep the dog house comfortable and dry.
  • Check every week or so to make sure straw and/or bedding is clean and dry; while not technically a repair, the living conditions are important to monitor regularly.
  • Monitor your dog’s growth—if you got your dog house when he was just a puppy, chances are he could’ve outgrown his cozy shelter. You might need to upgrade to a bigger dog house or even a kennel.
  • Trim weeds around your dog house, and be sure to use pet-friendly pesticides for any landscaping/gardening near your dog house.

In today’s busy era, it’s easy to “set it and forget it”, but when it comes to your dog’s health and safety, you should keep up with his outdoor accommodations and address any repair needs as soon as possible.

Remember! Dog houses provide great shelter, but pups also look to their people for companionship and fun—they’re social by nature. 

Your backyard provides you and your family respite—and chances are your family includes a furry friend or two.

If your property includes outdoor structures, such as sheds, gazebos, or playhouses, have you thought about making those pet-friendly? Here are a few things to consider:

  • Add a pet door to structures to allow dogs or outdoor cats to go inside (where appropriate, of course).
  • Attach food or water bowls to the outside wall of structures to provide a permanent place for feeding time outside.
  • Add insulation and/or pet-safe flooring to structures if you’re planning for them to double as a place for your pets to seek shelter.
  • Don’t just think about lawn chairs for people! Add a pet bed or play structure or two inside your gazebo so your cats and dogs have a place to lounge with you. You could do the same for inside sheds, workshops and playhouses.
  • Hardscape the edges of your structure with rocks to prevent digging along the edges of the foundation. This also adds a nice aesthetic element!

Of course, outdoor structures may be made specifically FOR pets too—we offer a variety of dog houses and kennels. 

Another new addition to our lineup this Spring is our Dog Kennel. Over the years we have had many requests for these units. We build these with the same quality and attention to detail as all of our other storage structures and as always, you are free to choose the color and size to complement your home and lawn.  The standard options on each kennel will depend on size, but options offered include single door, dog door, dog boxes, chainlink fence, and composite floor. 

A kennel allows you to keep your pet contained without having it on a chain while at the same time protect them from the dangers of the neighborhood. It also will keep the dog from running in to a busy road or encountering other potentially dangerous animals. It allows the dog to spend time outdoors while providing a source of shade and shelter when necessary. If constructed to suit the needs of the dog, it keeps the dog safely secured on the property while providing area for exercise.

Our kennels are already proving to be a customer favorite. Stop by and take a look to see how we might be able to suit your needs!