Dog houses are convenient and practical designs that solve the problem of placing a pet in a city apartment. The structures simultaneously play the role of a bed and a shelter.
Pros and cons
The high consumer demand for home houses and the large number of accolades from owners of large and small dogs are due to a number of important advantages of these practical and functional designs. These include the following:
- the aesthetics of the pet placement is important for most city apartment owners; the use of the house allows you to make the place of the dog's rest aesthetic and neat, harmoniously fit it into the surrounding space;
- the house serves as a kind of shelter for the pet and effectively protects it from the intrusive attention of adults and the obsessive entertainment of children; as soon as the dog gets tired of communicating with the household or their guests, it can always go into its possession and rest;
- the house can be used not only at home: you can take it with you on vacation or to a country house; most structures are rather small in size and easily fit in the cabin or trunk of a car;
- your own home is often a salvation for a whelped dog, helps her to hide at least for a short while from matured puppies who begin to pester her with their games and fussing;
- for cold apartments, the house is also an irreplaceable thing and allows the animal to comfortably settle in a warm and soft structure that reliably protects it from cold and drafts;
- own home makes your pet more disciplined and allows you to quickly accustom him to the command "place"; the execution of this command by the dog makes it easier to clean the apartment, when the pet that interferes under the feet can always be sent to the kennel;
- for dogs of especially small breeds, your own house is a must; such animals have a mobile psyche, so they really need a calm and reliable shelter.
Among the disadvantages of using apartment houses for dogs, one can note the need for thorough and timely care, which consists in systematic washing, washing and sanitizing the structure. The disadvantages include the too high cost of purchased models. However, this minus is not critical and is successfully leveled by the hand-made manufacture of the house.
Dimensions and shapes
The modern pet market presents dog houses in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Structures can have the appearance of a real house with windows, a roof and a door, or they can be made in a futuristic style and resemble an alien ship. Two-storey buildings made in the form of ancient palaces and castles look very interesting, but such a choir requires a large space; it will hardly be possible to place it in a standard city apartment. Therefore, large-scale exclusive designs constitute the smallest group of products, and the most popular is the category of mink houses, cradles and wooden booths.
Roofed houses are ideal for dogs of small and dwarf breeds, while for medium and large pets, open structures with high walls , but without a roof, are more often acquired , in appearance more like sunbeds. The installation of a house in its classical sense, that is, with four walls and a roof, is not practical for large breed dogs in an apartment. The exception is exclusive booths made of natural wood. However, it can be very hot for a large, and especially long-haired animal, in the house, besides, large dogs have a more stable psyche and, as a rule, do not need a “shelter”.
As for the size of the "home", it is selected individually and depends on the size of the dog. So, if a house is purchased for a puppy, then you need to familiarize yourself with the characteristics of its breed and find out how much it will grow. The dimensions of the house should be such that the dog in it can freely turn around, sit without bending its head, and lie with its legs extended. So, for dogs of small breeds, the recommended dimensions of the structure should be on average 70x55x60 cm with the size of the entrance hole (manhole) - 30x40 cm.Dwarf breeds such as Chihuahua, Yorkshire Terrier and Miniature Pinscher can be placed in houses measuring 44x35x39 cm.
For animals with a special body structure, for example, for dachshunds, there are specialized elongated structures with dimensions of 38x60x36 cm.
For the manufacture of factory houses, wood, chipboard, a metal frame, foam rubber and fabric are used, while any improvised materials are used for homemade structures, including cardboard, plywood and plastic pipes.
Cardboard is the cheapest building material and is very often used by craftsmen. The advantage of cardboard houses is their low weight, lack of noticeable cash costs and the ability to implement any design solutions. The disadvantages of cardboard houses include low mechanical strength and fear of moisture. In addition, the pet can simply chew on its home. Such models are well suited for calm small dogs, and are completely unsuitable for medium and large breeds.
Wood is a beautiful and noble material. Of the advantages of wooden structures, one can note their high strength, durability and environmental friendliness, and the disadvantages include excessive bulkiness and relatively large weight. It is not very convenient to move such a structure around the apartment during cleaning, in addition, the tree gnaws well and is especially liked by puppies. Suffice it to recall the gnawed legs of chairs and beds, as well as the eaten corners of wooden cabinet furniture. Wooden models are versatile and are equally suitable for both mini-breeds and medium-sized dogs. These houses are often equipped with a staircase leading to a flat roof. There, the dog can watch what is happening or rest if it suddenly becomes hot in the house.
Foam rubber is considered the most common material and is most often used in the manufacture of houses. Constructions made from it are soft and comfortable. They are ideal for dwarf and small breeds. One of the main advantages of foam rubber models is considered the possibility of washing and convenience during transportation, which allows you to take it with you to nature or on long trips without worrying about the mental comfort of the pet. In his home, the dog will feel comfortable under any external conditions and will not cause trouble for the owners.
The disadvantage of most of these products is a frameless design, where a rigid fabric edging plays the role of a frame. In this regard, after frequent washes, the houses lose their original shape.
The fabric is also used to make kennels. The classic version of the fabric models are exhibition tents, consisting of an aluminum frame and equipped with a door and a side window. However, such models are more suitable for temporary placement of an animal, while something more reliable is required for permanent residence. The reason for the fragility of fabric houses is their vulnerability to dog claws and teeth:in the absence of owners, an overly active pet can simply tear up its home. Models made in the form of an Indian wigwam dwelling look very interesting. Attached to each corner of the square base are sticks that serve as a frame for pulling the awning and are tied at their top with a strong rope. This also includes dwellings made in the form of a yurt, consisting of a wire frame and durable fabric.
The advantages of frame-tent houses include good ventilation of the structure , provided that natural materials are used for its manufacture. There is also a low weight of the structure, which, in combination with a folding structure, is the best option for long trips with an animal. The disadvantages include a tendency to quickly get dirty and absorb unpleasant odors, as well as the likelihood of damage to the skin and thin frame by too playful pets. This makes the fabric models difficult to maintain and not very convenient for keeping active dogs. The way out can be the use of leatherette. It is much easier to clean and will last much longer than a regular cloth.
How to choose?
There are a number of important things to consider when buying a home dog house .
- If you decide to buy a soft house, then it is better to opt for a model with removable covers. This will greatly simplify the care of the product, eliminate the need to frequently wash the foam rubber and preserve the original appearance of the home for a long time. The mattress should also have a removable cover and wash more often than the body of the house.
- When choosing a fabric house, you must focus on the quality of the material. It is better to choose natural fabric, as synthetic materials can cause allergies in the pet. The best option for a summer house is cotton and linen, and for a winter one - woolen fabrics.
- If the pet often walks in the forest or on the lawn, and also has contact with other animals, then it is better for him to purchase a house with a buckwheat husk mattress. It is not a flea-friendly habitat when compared to foam rubber.
- When determining the size of the structure, it is important to take into account not only the height of the dog at the withers and the distance from the tail to the tip of the nose, but also the habits of the pet. So, if the animal prefers to sleep curled up in a ball, then a wider house of a triangular or oval shape should be chosen. If the dog sleeps on its side or on its back, while stretching out to its full length, then a rectangular elongated house will be the best option.
- When buying a model for a long-haired animal, you should not choose models that are upholstered or sheathed with fleecy materials. Such products look, of course, beautiful, but extremely impractical for shaggy dogs. The wool will constantly clog into the pile and serve as a favorable environment for the development of pathogenic bacteria. For such pets, a wooden house with a hard and smooth mattress is better suited.
How to do it?
To date, a large number of models are presented in stores, among which there are both an exclusive transforming house and very simple budget models with a semicircular shark-type roof. However, buying a finished product is optional. You can make a house for your four-legged friend with your own hands, using both traditional and rather unexpected old things and materials.
From an old suitcase
An old suitcase house is the simplest type of home-made construction and requires almost no material costs. To make a home, you just need an old suitcase, a pillow and a little imagination. The manufacturing process is as follows:
- a pillow of such a size is placed on the bottom so that it fits snugly into the suitcase; for its sewing, a synthetic winterizer from an old jacket and any covering fabric are used;
- the lid of the suitcase is left open and securely fixed - this is necessary so that it does not suddenly close and does not frighten the pet;
- from the inside, it can be decorated with an applique or a patch pocket for dog accessories;
- to ensure greater stability, the structure is equipped with low legs from old furniture, which are screwed to the bottom with self-tapping screws.
A carrier house also requires a minimum of construction costs and is very convenient for small dogs. The manufacturing process includes the following steps:
- initially make a pattern for the outer cover for the back, two side and top walls, while leaving allowances for the seams of 1 centimeter;
- draw a similar pattern for the inside of the cover;
- further, both parts of the cover are sewn, turned to the right side and the free edge is sewn up;
- then the cover is put on the carrier, strings are sewn on the sides to fix it on the body of the house, and on top they are decorated with appliqués or bows;
- a mattress, a low ottoman or foam rubber covered with fabric is placed on the bottom of the carrier.
Out of the box
Even a teenager can build a house out of the box, the main thing is to adhere to the following step-by-step instructions exactly and do not forget to improvise:
- to begin with, select a box that is suitable in size;
- a roof is formed from the top covers of the box, using additional cardboard sheets for this; roof construction is performed with a stapler and wide tape;
- after the roof is formed, a round or rectangular inlet is cut in the side wall;
- when forming a round manhole, it is necessary to retreat from the bottom of the sidewall at least 7–8 cm, otherwise the animal will quickly break the thin isthmus that plays the role of a nut; a rectangular hole can be made without a nut, cutting straight from the bottom;
- the walls of the house, at their discretion, are draped with a beautiful fabric, using a furniture stapler for this, and the bottom is covered with a mattress.
Where to place?
When placing a home house , the following points should be considered:
- the structure should be located in a quiet and impassable place so that the animal can rest in it calmly; in small apartments, you can place the house under the table, where it will not interfere with anyone;
- the place for the house should not be in a draft, as well as at the front or balcony door; the best option would be to install the structure at the opposite wall to the window;
- if the pet is a representative of a long-haired breed, then it is prohibited to place its home near heating radiators; the animal will be hot next to a hot radiator, which can lead to an acute rejection of the new home;
- if the floor is too cold in the apartment, then it is recommended to use a stand to install the house, which will ensure the creation of an air gap between the bottom and the floor;
- the entrance to the booth should not be blocked by furniture or other items;
- you need to make sure that the location of the booth does not intersect with the play area of small children, otherwise the poor dog will not rest.
How to care?
Given the specifics of keeping dogs in city apartments, their house requires particularly careful care.
- First of all, it is necessary to check the structure daily for the presence of small foreign objects, which the animal could pick up somewhere and bring it to its home. The mattress should be free of bones, food debris and small toys recklessly thrown to the dog by young children. In addition, it is necessary to remove and empty the bedding or pillow every few days, and wash it once every 2 weeks.
- Disinfection of the booth is carried out a little less often. Once a month in the summer is sufficient. In winter, the house can be processed once every 3 months. To disinfect soft booths, all removable covers and the mattress are washed with antibacterial soap, after which the fabric elements are ironed with an iron. Wooden and plastic carrier houses are treated with a 3% solution of "Lizol" or "Formalin" diluted with warm water.
Home dog houses amaze with a variety of shapes and designs. Below are the most unusual designs.
- A house made of natural dark wood is ideal for a classic style.
- House-pedestal for your beloved pet - stylish and functional.
- A house from a suitcase - a new life of old things.
- A soft and cozy home is the best gift for a small pet.
- Dog wigwam - aesthetically pleasing and creative.
To learn how to make a house for a dog in an apartment, see the video below.