A dog kennel is an enclosure used to keep your dog confined, safe, and comfortable. They can be made from many different materials and designed to be used indoors, outdoors, or when travelling. However, it’s important to choose both the right size for your dog and the right type for your needs.
An Indoor Dog Kennel Keeps Your Pet Feeling Secure and Out of Trouble
Indoor dog kennels are typically made from either wire or plastic and are much smaller than kennels used outdoors because they serve a slightly different purpose. Kennels used indoors are made to provide a space for your dog which it feels is its own, yet it can also keep it secure and out of trouble if the need be as well. They are also great for when you have guests who don’t like dogs, or when having a dog running around the house just isn’t convenient or appropriate. Because in the wild dogs are den living animals, having a space where they can go when stressed, anxious, or just looking for a snooze makes them feel more comfortable, confident, and happy. And of course an indoor kennel is great for keeping a naughty dog or a young puppy that is not yet housetrained or just loves to chew on everything it can, in a place where it can’t do any damage or create any mess when you are out.
Wire Dog Kennels:
Also called a crate, a wire dog kennel is a more permanent solution for keeping your dog secure. Made from heavy duty wire they are the strongest and most durable indoor option. Most have a powder coated finish which prevents rust and are made to easily fold down and store, or setup with no tools. Some even have more than one door so you can feed your dog or clean the inside of the kennel without having to let your dog out. Wire dog kennels also have a removable bottom pan for easy cleaning of the floor. They are the most durable option for inside your home and unlike other types of kennels, they allow you to see your dog at all times when it is inside. While they are heavier than plastic kennels they are still portable enough to be good for traveling with your dog in the car and can be folded down and taken with you on a trip.
Plastic Dog Kennels:
Sometimes called travel crates, plastic dog kennels were originally designed to provide a lightweight and portable kennel that is tough enough for traveling. However they make great indoor kennels as well. They have a durable plastic shell and a wire door and windows. Depending on the model many snap or lock together while others require you to simply tighten a few nuts and bolts. Another great feature of many plastic dog kennels is a moat around the perimeter of the floor. This serves to draw and hold water or urine away from your dog so it does not end up lying or sitting in it. The main advantage of a plastic dog kennel is that it is portable, so you can use it in your home, and then take it in the car or an airplane without having to buy another kennel for travelling. And because they are so light you can easily move them to whatever room in your home it is convenient to keep your dog at the time.
Luxury Dog Kennels:
Another option for the dog owner who is looking for beauty as well as function is a luxury dog kennel. These kennels are made to match the interior of your home and often function as an end table as well. Sometimes they are made up of a wire kennel which is enclosed inside of a wooden cover, can be all wood, and some models are faux-wood. All of which look very elegant.
Choosing the Right Size Indoor Dog Kennel
Similar to purchasing dog houses, when buying a kennel it doesn’t need to be enormous, it just need to have enough room so your dog can stand up turn around and lie down. Dogs actually feel much more secure when in a snug space. So you don’t need to buy a large dog kennel for a small dog thinking it will be happier and more comfortable with the extra space. In fact if it is too big your dog will most likely have trouble with crate training and end up going to the bathroom inside of it. A good way to estimate the size dog kennel you need no matter what material is to:
2) Measure the length of your dog from the tip of its nose to the base of the tail and add 3”, this will be a good minimum length for the kennel.
*If you are purchasing a wire kennel for a puppy, buying a crate divider panel is a smart idea. Simply purchase the right size divider for the model of kennel you have and place it so your puppy has only as much room as needed to turn around and lie down. And then simply move the divider further and further back as your puppy grows larger.*
Accessories for Your Indoor Kennel
To make your dog more comfortable in its kennel there are a few simple accessories which work very well to do so.
Crate Mats or Pads are perfect for making the hard floor of a kennel soft and comfy. They also make great lightweight and inexpensive dog beds that you can place anywhere in the house and you can even wash them in the washing machine.
Snap or Lock on Food and Water Bowls which attach to your dogs kennel to prevent spilling are another inexpensive accessory which keeps your pet pampered even when in its kennel. These are especially convenient when travelling allowing your dog to stay hydrated and of course full.
Dog Kennel Covers are usually made from lightweight polyester and attach using Velcro tabs making them a cinch to put on or take off. They are an excellent way to make your dog feel even more safe and secure in its kennel as the added privacy makes it even more den-like.
Other Indoor Options
While it is a good idea for all dogs to have a kennel, some dog owners are looking to confine their dog while they are out, but want more space than wire or plastic kennels. In this case some people use an outdoor kennel indoors; however this can take up a lot of space. A more common solution is to use dog gates to close off a space or room giving your dog a large area to walk around but not access to the whole house. Another option for small dog breeds are dog play pens. These are usually made from plastic or heavy gauge wire and resemble large dog kennels just on a smaller scale. These are a good idea for keeping your small dog restricted while you are out and can be used indoors or out to form a circular fence around your dog so it has room to run and play but can’t get out.
Outdoor Dog Kennels Keep Your Dog Safe and Provide Space
While an indoor dog kennel provides a space for your dog which is safe, secure, and also snug, kennels designed for the outdoors provide one with much more room. Outdoor dog kennels are meant to function as a place where your dog can be kept for long periods of time, but with enough space for it to play, walk, run around, and relieve itself while still being totally enclosed. An outdoor kennel is the best option for outdoor dogs as it is much safer and more secure than tying your dog up. Many owners use them for indoor dogs (especially ones which like to chew on things) to get some fresh air and sunshine while they are at work or out. Outdoor dog kennels keep your dog safe so you don’t have to worry about it getting loose and: getting lost, being hit by a car, damaging property, biting someone, getting bitten, or being stolen. Not only do they keep your pet safely in, but kennels also keep other animals, predators, and stray dogs out. An outdoor kennels is also a good option if you own multiple dogs and keeping them indoors is not really realistic.
Different Types of Outdoor Dog Kennels
Outdoor dog kennels need to be durable, strong, and of course able to handle all types of weather. Typically there are 2 types of kennels those made with chain link and the type which use welded wire. Almost every single dog kennel on the market both chain link and welded wire, are advertised as DIY dog kennels or box kennels. This simply means you put it together yourself and everything you need to do so comes in one box. While some require a few hand tools like a screw driver most actually don’t. Depending on the material you choose they either come with a few rolls of chain link, or simple to connect wire panels, along with a pre-assembled gate and a frame that is easy to fit together.
Most DIY/box kennels take around an hour to put together for the average person and don’t require any special skill whatsoever. Some even take as little as 10-20 minutes. So don’t worry if you don’t know how to build a dog kennel off hand, the instructions provided will show step by step and usually is a matter of just clamping panels together.
Chain Link Dog Kennels:
Kennels made with chain link fencing are the most commonly seen and used type of outdoor dog kennel. This is because they are durable, weather resistant and also fairly inexpensive. The chain link as well as the frame of this type of kennel is made from galvanized steel which is extremely strong and also rust-proof. When purchasing one it’s a smart idea to buy one that uses all steel tie wires which connect the chain link to the frame for extra strength. If your dog is a good climber make sure you choose one with mesh that is not so big that your dog can fit its feet inside and climb up, or consider a kennel made from welded wire instead.
Welded Wire Dog Kennels:
Higher end dog kennels have a steel frame but use welded wire instead of chain link. These are more attractive than the chain link variety because they have a black shiny powder-coated finish. Because they have such small spaces usually around 2”x4” welded wire kennels are impossible to climb out of and don’t have any “give” like some chain link models do. However, the extra quality and good looks means they are more expensive than chain link dog kennels.
Luxury Outdoor Dog Kennels:
These are the most expensive type of outdoor kennels and made to be extra tough and weatherproof. They can cost thousands of dollars and have such features as a double canopied vented roof and even a water misting system with timers to keep your dog cool in the hottest weather.
Choosing the Right Size and Shape Kennel for Your Dog
Depending on the size of your dog and your outdoor space, there are quite a few different sizes and shapes to choose from. It’s up to you how much space you want to provide for your dog just make sure to select a height that your dog can not jump out of. Outdoor kennels are usually square or rectangular in shape but some are also circular.
The most common sizes for square kennels being: 4’x 4’, 5’x 5’, 7.5’ x 7.5’, and 10’ x 10’ and range from 4-6 feet tall. A 10’x 10’ dog kennel is an excellent choice for large dog breeds.
Common rectangular sizes are: 8’ long x 4’ wide and 15’ long x 5’ wide. They also range from 4-6 feet tall.
* If you would like one larger than these sizes most brands offer dog kennel panels which you can add on to your kennel to make it longer, wider, or both. There are also circular and octagonal gazebo style kennels as well, of various sizes.*
Outdoor Dog Kennel Accessories Make Your Dog More Comfortable
Dog Kennel Covers:
Adding a cover to your dog’s kennel is the best way to keep your dog cool on a hot summer’s day and protected from the rain and snow. There are also windscreens you can buy that attach to the side of the kennel which block out even more Sun, rain, snow, and of course the wind. Roof kits are also another option which are easy to install onto the top of your dog kennel and allow your dog to be much more comfortable in all types of weather and also discourages them from trying to climb out.
Dog Kennel Flooring:
A great way to keep your dog off of the wet, muddy, or rough ground is by using flooring. The best options are kennel decks and rubber tiles. Kennel decks are made from plastic resin slats which keep your dog off the ground. They are comfortable for your dog to lay and stand on, allow for increased air flow, and easy cleaning and drainage as water drains between the slats. Rubber tiles are another excellent option because they are soft, easy to clean, are slip-proof, and allow water to drain right through the tile itself so the surface of the tile remains dry. They also interlock for easy installation. Both of these are an easy way to keep your dog clean and comfortable and are also a very good idea for to deter your dog from digging its way out of the kennel.
A dog house adds another way for your dog to be protected from the elements especially the heat and the cold. Like an indoor kennel dog houses also provide a den-like space for your dog to retreat to and feel safe in. There many varieties to choose from such as classic wooden houses, plastic houses, insulated houses, and even heated dog houses.
*** Dog Kennel Tips***
-You can use your house as a way to block the wind and even the Sun by placing your dog kennel on the side with the least wind and the most shade.
-Always buy a quality kennel. Buying one which is not high quality might save you a few dollars but if your dog escapes even once, you’ll probably end up losing a lot more.
-If you are going to put a dog house in your outdoor kennel it would be a smart idea to place it near the entrance, as most dogs will go to the bathroom as far away from their house as possible. This should ensure that you don’t end up stepping in something you don’t want to when you enter the kennel.
-When purchasing an outdoor dog kennel an important feature for the kennel to have is an extended leg under the kennel, usually around 1″, for easy cleaning.
-If you have a dog that likes to chew on things and are using a wire dog kennel, make sure to keep the kennel at least a few inches from anything that could be pulled inside by your dog and chewed on.
-If you are purchasing a wire kennel for a puppy, many models actually come with a free divider, finding one that does will save you a few bucks.
-Outdoor dog beds which are made to be durable enough for the weather are an excellent addition to any outdoor kennel.
-You can often find kennels for dirt cheap and sometimes even free when people are moving, at garage sales, and in your local paper advertised as “dog kennel for sale.”
-Indoor dog kennels are a good idea for dogs who are afraid of thunder, as it gives them what they feel is a safe place to retreat to.
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