Every dog regardless of size or age craves fresh air and sunshine, but just letting them off the leash or out into your open garden might not be the best idea for some. Keeping your beloved pooch safe should always be your first priority, and kennels and dog pens for outside are the best way of ensuring this.
Perhaps, you want to be able to leave them out in the garden and know they’re safe while you nip to the shops? Fences provide a certain measure of protection from the outside world by keeping your dog enclosed in the garden, however some big athletic dogs may see the fence as a fun challenge!
So, what are your options for keeping your dog safe?
Six Advantages Of Outdoor Kennels
So you’ve had a serious think about getting an outdoor kennel but you’re still not sure of the benefits? Here are a few advantages that our customers seem to enjoy.
1) Kennels Keep Your Garden Looking Good
Dogs are typically territorial, which is why giving them their own space like this normally goes over well with the dog. This will also keep them preoccupied, stopping them being mischievous and ripping up the rest of the garden!
2) Keeps Your Home Safe From Damage
If your dog is young or has separation anxiety, then they may start to chew up or scratch items from around the house when alone or bored. This might include the odd toilet paper or the latest best selling book you’re reading, but it can turn costly when they’re targeting your sofa or walls.
3) Kennels Aid With Toilet Training
If your pet becomes used to living/being in their dog house, then they over time associate this with the toilet. As they are generally living outside they will ‘do their business’ out there too and will link the outdoors with going to the toilet. Having an outdoor dog kennel should help you to toilet train your dog and also help your dog to enjoy being outside and want to do their business there.
4) Mental Stimulation and Excess Energy
Dogs love being outdoors! When your dog is outside they use up all of their expendable energy, meaning they’re less likely to keep you up at 11pm for ‘playtime’. The most exhausting exercise for a dog is mental, although a huge 20-mile hike will do a great job burning off some of that energy. The mental stimulation of being outdoors regularly will also help to control this. Outdoor kennels allow this visual stimulation and aid in calming and reducing excess energy.
5) Kennels Can Help With Training
Investing in a dog kennel can also help train your dog. An outdoor dog kennel can be used as a time out space to manage behaviour. You want your dog to enjoy being in their kennel, so rather than treating it like a punishment, teach them that when they’re inside the kennel it means they need to chill out and relax.
6) Safety and Security
A kennel acts much like a bedroom for your dog – it’s their own place to stay and becomes their own place. It’s essentially a place where they can go to get away from things (The children mainly!), they can then sleep, play or just rest in private without a commotion. A kennel also keeps your dog safe from your belongings and your belongings safely tucked away from the dog. If the dog is in his/her kennel then it is much harder for them to make the impulse decision to eat your sofa cushions.
The Benefit of Portable Dog Kennels
Portable dog kennels are for quick temporary use, for example, to pop up in your garden in the summer, or to take on holiday with you. Remember, portable dog pens and kennels aren’t supposed to house a dog for a long period of time so we would always recommend investing in the best dog kennel you can. Saying this, portable kennels and pens are an excellent temporary solution for protecting and containing your dog.
Here are a few of the benefits of choosing a portable dog kennel :
- Some portable kennels come with the parts already attached together, with hinges for easy folding down and setting up, whereas others are simply metal panels that can be easily fixed together.
- Some models of temporary kennels even allow you to attach more than one together in order to make a dog pen for larger dogs!
- Cleaning a portable dog kennel is often easy because it is usually made up of metal sheets that can be wiped. Often dog pens for outside have no metal sheeting on the floor meaning it is usually open to the ground or floor it has been placed on.
- Portable dog kennels can come in a number of dimensions to accommodate dogs of all shapes and sizes. Both large or small outdoor dog kennels can usually be found in a portable version.
It’s worth noting that most temporary kennels don’t come with a roof, or if they do, they’re usually not as high quality as those found on a permanent kennel.
If you are looking for a large outdoor dog pen that will not be used on a permanent basis, why not consider a portable dog pen or kennel instead?
The Advantages of Permanent Dog Kennels
Although there are many advantages to portable pens, you may be looking for something more reliable and long term that will keep your dog safe for longer periods of time. Here are some of the key things you need to know about permanent dog kennels.
- Permanent dog kennels can be used as either a long term housing solution for your dog, or as a secondary place for them to relax and shelter when outdoors.
- Most permanent kennels require actual construction (get your drill ready!) and are made of better quality materials, such as heavy-duty metal meshing/gates and wood.
- A lot of dog pens for outside are now so big that they come with individual sleeping rooms for your dog. The interior often includes storage areas and one or more rooms/pens.
- Unlike portable dog kennels, most outdoor permanent kennels come with a roof to keep your dog out of bad weather such as rain and snow, as well as adequate insulation to keep them warm during the colder days.
- Permanent kennels are also available in a huge variety of sizes and can even be custom made to accommodate any dog.
Cleaning permanent kennels can often be harder than temporary ones due to the floor being a better material, usually made of concrete or waterproofed wood. Large outdoor dog pens are always going to be harder to clean than small outdoor kennels.
Despite this, it is always worth investing in a permanent outdoor dog pen for long term protection and comfort for your dog.
Whether you are looking for a small outdoor dog kennel or a pen for a larger dog, there are many permanent solutions available.
How To Keep Your Outdoor Dog Kennel Warm
An outdoor dog kennel should always be insulated correctly in order to keep your dog warm during the winter and cool during the summer. Many dog kennels now come with optional extras such as heated rooms, lamps etc.
Our Top Tip: Check out the Kingsley Dog Kennel & Storage – not only does it offer a huge space but also comes with multiple optional extras such as heat lamps, and even room for storing your gardening tools!
Where Should You Put Your Dog’s Kennel?
The placement of your kennel, whether temporary or permanent, is important to ensure your dog is comfortable, happy and secure!
Temporary and Portable Dog Kennels
- Temporary kennels without floors should be placed somewhere away from water and on a level surface so that any rainwater doesn’t collect or make the ground in and around the kennel making it soggy and unstable.
- Due to temporary kennels not having a roof, it’s important to keep the kennel and your dog out of direct sunlight.
Permanent Dog Kennels
- The placement of a permanent kennel is perhaps even more important. It will be where your dog sleeps and spends their time when not around you. Avoid putting the kennel against/near your house. If you do this, you’ll hear every bark and smell every smell.
- Situating the kennel under trees is also a bad idea as falling branches and debris can damage the roofing and potentially injure your dog.
- The best place you can establish your outdoor dog kennel might be up against a garage or stable outdoor structure, meaning if you have a particularly destructive dog they will be unable to dig out or create a hole in the back of the kennel!
Our Top Tip: Ensure you check the dog kennel thoroughly when cleaning to spot any warning signs of attempted escapes such holes or scratch marks!
Choosing The Best Dog Kennel
The purpose of any outdoor dog kennel, regardless of size or whether it’s permanent or temporary, is to house a dog for a period of time. This might be a few hours whilst you run an errand, or for the majority of the day while you are at work. So, how do you know that you are choosing the best dog kennel for your beloved canine?
The key thing to consider here is size.
The size of a kennel should reflect a few things, firstly the size of your dog – if you have a huge Great Dane, a kennel designed for a Chihuahua is not going to be suitable. You should look specifically for a large outdoor dog pen that will allow your pet with enough space to live comfortably.
Also, the size of your kennel should reflect the amount of time the dog will be spending inside it. A small outdoor dog kennel that just allows the dog to move and turn around won’t be adequate if you plan on leaving them more than an hour or two. Make sure that if you are leaving your dog in a kennel for a workday they have more than enough space to walk around and a place to urinate etc.
What Size Kennel Do I Need?
Always ensure your outdoor kennel is the correct size for your dog. In order to estimate this, you should take the following measurements of your dog for a rough idea of the size for a temporary kennel/crate:
- Length = Length of the dog from nose to the tail tip + Height of dog from the ground to the elbow joints
- Width = Width across the shoulders of the dog + 3cm x 2
- Height = Height of dog from the tip of the ears or head to the ground + 7cm
It is worth noting that outdoor dog kennels can be made using a number of materials, including wood, plastic, and metal. Each material has its pros and cons, as well as a number of different care tips for looking after and maintaining the kennel.
If you are getting a permanent kennel that will be used for play, sleep and more, then guidelines aren’t 100% necessary and it’s more down to ensuring there is adequate room and your budget allows. So before investing what can be thousands in the top quality best dog kennel on the market, be sure to take measurements and buy the correct size for your dog!
When choosing a kennel for your dog you also need to take the following things into consideration:
- Where do you live? – What is the climate like? If the climate is often cool then a wooden, heated kennel is probably the safest bet, but if the climate is already quite warm, then a metal or open kennel is best.
- Consider the placement of the kennel. You should ensure there is enough room for the kennel and that it isn’t in direct sunlight if you’re living in a warm climate
- Is the roof of the kennel hinged or removable or can you easily fit inside the kennel? You’re going to have to clean the kennel out and so you should always ensure you are able to clean it correctly without injuring yourself.
‘Dos and Don’ts’
Don’t forget that when buying a kennel for your dog, whether permanent or temporary, that the kennel should not:
- Be used for punishment of a dog – kennels are not meant to be used when your dog is ‘bad’ and needs ‘locking away’, they’re for housing a dog for a period of time, as a kind of time out zone.
- Be an excuse to just shut your dog away and forget about them, all dogs regardless of whether or not they have a kennel require social interaction with humans and other animals.
- Be a place to tease the dog and make them uncomfortable and scared. This will make them fear the kennel and refuse to use it.
- Be a place for children to play – a kennel is supposed to be a place for the dog to relax and this becomes impossible if children are always crawling inside. As well as this, some dogs may become protective over their kennel and might bite children that are crawling in and out.
Do check the following when purchasing a dog kennel for outside. You should always ensure your dog’s kennel or pen is :
- The correct size for your dog, allowing him/her room to move, lie down and stand up as well as being able to run when needed.
- Cleaned as often as possible – They should never be left with ‘business’ inside as this can cause many problems as well as being unsanitary.
- A place of protection when outside – Any kennel for outside should be correctly insulated and provide protection from the elements when outdoors. It should also keep your dog away from toxic plants and other dangerous garden items.
- Correctly assembled – An outdoor kennel is supposed to protect your dog and so should be assembled correctly, if you have to do this yourself, be sure to follow all instructions and use the correct tools in order to prevent injury to your dog or yourself. If the kennel is pre-assembled, check that everything is tight and secure.
- Comfortable and adequately ‘furnished’ – a kennel should have sufficient bedding, water, and feeding bowls as well as some toys within. The kennel should be a place of comfort for your dog. The best bedding to use is cedar clippings as they are a bug and flea repellant (although they shouldn’t be used for puppies or pregnant bitches). You could also get some old blankets and allow your dog to use those.
- Correctly positioned – the kennel should not be placed in direct sunlight, under trees etc where branches can fall. Outdoor kennels should be kept off the ground a few inches if possible to avoid the floor rotting.
Now you know all of the ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ of choosing and using an outdoor dog kennel or temporary dog pen, why not take a look at kennels to suit your dog’s needs?