Have you inspected your dog’s outdoor home recently? Legislators in many states have passed laws that explain the minimum requirements any dog owner needs to provide for their pup’s doghouse. July has been designated as “National Doghouse Repairs Month” making this month the perfect time to check your dog’s house to see if it meets the basic requirements.
Your dog’s house should:
→ Give your pet adequate room to stand, turn about, and lie down with legs extended.
→ Shelter him or her from inclement weather – both summer heat and winter cold. If your dog spends a good deal of time in the doghouse, consider adding ventilation that allows air to circulate in the summer and can be closed up in the winter. During winter, avoid using blankets or rugs on the floor as they can get wet and freeze. Use wood chips, straw, or newspaper instead.
→ Provide a secure roof that doesn’t leak. Grab the garden hose and give the roof a good watering if you’re not sure the inside will remain dry. Take a moment to measure how far the roof extends over the entryway. You’ll need eight-inches or more on a moderate sized doghouse to keep rain or snow from blowing into the house during a storm.
Take a moment this week to take your pet outside for a walk-around the doghouse to see if you can find something to make your dog’s life outside safer and more comfortable. If you decide doghouse repairs or improvements are in order, avoid using pressure treated wood in areas where your dog could chew. Specialty lumbers may have been treated with inorganic arsenic or other poisonous chemicals, according to the EPA. If your pet spends part of the day indoors with you, consider adding a pet door to your home. It will give Fido free access to go outdoors and chase squirrels, or to come indoors and lay at your feet.