Outdoor dogs like to be outside for a reason. They get to exercise, go to the bathroom, and play at their leisure without having to rely on humans. It feels good to know that your dog has the freedom to do whatever it needs to do to live a healthy, happy life.
Still, we get worried about our furry friends when they’re away from us for too long. It’s hard to be certain that your dog is safe and comfortable while it’s outside.
So how do you make the most comfortable outdoor kennel possible for your pup? Making sure your dog has comfortable and safe sleeping space, the area is well fenced in, and the food and water bowls are regularly stocked is a great place to start.
Still, there is a ton more you can do to make your outdoor dog’s kennel the best possible place for it to be spending time. Read on to find out how!
Table of Contents
- What makes outdoor kennels good anyway?
- How do you improve your dog’s sleeping space?
- What kind of fencing should you use?
- How often should you put out and check food and water bowls?
- Adding toys to your dog’s kennel
- Adding music and sound
- What should the floor of the kennel be made out of?
- How long should a dog stay in its kennel?
- Should you bring your dog inside for extreme weather?
- Should dogs stay outside overnight?
What makes outdoor kennels good anyway?
There are a number of reasons allowing your dog to be outdoors is good. It allows them to eat, play, and exercise when and how they want without you having to worry about them being overly active inside of the house. It also allows them the freedom to go to the bathroom without you having to worry about it.
This is especially good for larger and more athletic dogs.
How do you improve your dog’s sleeping space?
The most important part of making an outdoor kennel comfortable is to make sure your dog can sleep there peacefully. Remember, sleeping isn’t just for the nighttime either, as dogs get plenty of sleep while the sun is up as well.
Add blankets, bedding, or dry straw to the floor of parts of the kennel to make them attractive parts to sleep on for your pup. This will give your dog a place to feel safe and relaxed after it expends energy.
What kind of fencing should you use?
There are a number of different kinds of fencing that are used in kennels. You’ll want to use something that your dog can see through (provided the rest of your yard is fenced in as well) so that it doesn’t feel trapped or enclosed. Hardware cloth, chicken wire, and chain link fence are all solid options.
How often should you put out and check food and water bowls?
How quickly your dog drinks water and eats is different for each individual pup. However, there are some good rules to follow as far as how often you should be refreshing the supply.
For food, you can expect your dog’s food consumption to be close to the same as it is indoors, perhaps a little bit more because they are expending more energy. This means you should be refilling your dog’s food two to three times a day, depending on the size and diet of your particular dog.
As far as water is concerned, you should be supplying far more than you do inside. Not only does water evaporate more when it’s outside, but your dog will drink far more of it after running around, playing, and expending energy, especially in the warmer months. Fill up bowls twice the size of your dog’s indoor bowl, and check on them every hour or two.
Adding toys to your dog’s kennel
It’s important to give your dog something fun to do while it’s in the kennel. Contrary to popular belief, your dog does not need you to have fun with its toys. Adding some toys like balls, chew toys, ropes, and other gadgets can keep your dog occupied for hours a day and keep its mind and body active.
It wouldn’t hurt to go out and play with your dog to make sure it is getting the proper exercise as well, but it should play and exercise a bit by itself if it knows there are toys available.
Adding music and sound
In order to make sure your dog isn’t lonely, adding sound or music to its kennel can be a great idea. This will keep your dog feeling relaxed and reduce the stress and anxiety that can come with your dog being alone.
Try to use a low-volume radio with people talking, or soft and relaxing music to keep your dog company. Avoid anything loud, anything with people shouting, or music that is too aggressive, as these can increase your dog’s anxiety rather than relieving it.
What should the floor of the kennel be made out of?
The best material for the floor of your kennel is concrete. It is stable, easy to clean, and won’t be damaged by the dog. However, it is fairly expensive. Gravel is a decent cheap alternative, but it is very difficult to clean up after your dog on gravel.
There are plenty of other alternatives to concrete and gravel, but none are as stable and easy to care for as these two, making them far and away the preferred way to build your kennel’s floor.
How long should a dog stay in its kennel?
As any good dog owner knows, it is irresponsible for you to leave your dog alone for too long. However, how long is too long for outdoor dogs? Well, most experts agree that dogs should not be crated, kenneled, or caged for more than eight hours at a time.
Should you bring your dog inside for extreme weather?
Yes! If it is too hot or too cold, make sure that your dog is with you inside where there is temperature regulation. This means anything below freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit, 0 degrees Celcius), or anything above around 85 or 90 degrees Fahrenheit (around 30 degrees Celcius).
Should dogs stay outside overnight?
Dogs should probably be inside overnight if possible. Not only does night come with a decrease in temperature, but also chances for bad weather that you don’t realize is happening, and nocturnal animals posing a threat to your dog as well. If possible, bring your dog inside to stay the night and let it back outside in the morning.