8 Things Dogs Hate About Kennels—and How to Avoid Them
Dogs have endless love for their owners. They don’t care if you’ve had a bad day, just won the lottery, or forgot to take out the trash (again). Yet for all their forgiveness, there’s one thing that can drive even the best-behaved dogs crazy: a subpar dog kennel!
In exchange for unlimited devotion and a lifetime of companionship, the least you can do is put together a dog kennel your pet will enjoy. Here are the top reasons dogs dislike kennel living:
1. Being vulnerable to attack. Chain link comes in different thicknesses, commonly ranging from eight-gauge to twelve-gauge. The smaller the gauge, the thicker the wire will be. Make sure you choose a gauge that’s strong enough to contain your pet—the larger and more aggressive the dog, the thicker you need. And if there are larger animals roaming the neighborhood, using a stronger wire can protect your dog from attack.
2. Getting cuts or scrapes from metal fencing. The last thing your dog needs is to injure himself on damaged or rusty fencing. Because outdoor kennels need to be able to stand up to the elements, make sure that the finish on the wire you select can resist the effects of weathering. For superior protection against rust, use galvanized metal tubing equipped with a powder coat finish. You should also use bent metal tubing whenever possible to help cut down on potential sharp edges.
3. Too many things to bark at. It’s stressful to your pet to be constantly hounded by distractions. Pick a spot where your dog won’t notice the mailman, people walking by on the street, or neighbors’ pets. Set up your kennel in a quiet part of the backyard without a view of any major intersections to give your dog a relaxing place to stay. Since they’re almost always built in the backyard, dog kennels placed appropriately can help reduce noise in the neighborhood.
4. Walking on hot pavement. The location of your dog kennel is directly tied to an important factor to your dog’s health: exposure to the weather. To prevent prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures, build your kennel on grass or a shaded concrete area. Avoid building on blacktop or any other surface that could easily retain heat to make an uncomfortable floor. If your yard gets its fair share of sun, pick a spot that affords natural shade or construct a roof for your dog kennel.
5. Sitting in a pool of muddy water. Some dogs love to roll in the mud, but even they need a place to dry out every now and then. If possible, build your kennel on a slope to improve drainage. This will not only keep rainfall from pooling on the ground, but it will make cleaning up after your dog easier.
6. Getting constantly rained on. Even if you select the perfect location, rain is still a factor to watch out for. Adding a roof to the kennel will help keep your dog comfortable should it rain, hail or snow. Roofs can be constructed out of many types of materials. Tarps, plywood or canvas make for quick solutions, but for the best protection opt for a corrugated sheet metal roof to provide excellent drainage flow as well as plenty of shade. If you do choose to add a roof to your dog kennel, installing it at an angle will help direct any rainfall away from your dog and give you more control over the draining process.
7. Wallowing in a dirty kennel. Keeping your dog kennel clean is a major step in maintaining good health. Even if your dog is especially neat, bacteria and germs can easily form over time. For a conventional metal kennel, simply spray it with a cleaning solution once a week before hosing it down.
8. The screech of a creaky gate. If it’s annoying to you, think what it sounds like to your dog’s sensitive ears. To keep the gate working smoothly without creaking, spray a silicone-based lubricant on the hinges once a month.
Keep these tips in mind, and your dog will be eternally grateful for his new, comfortable kennel.