Owning a dog is a rewarding experience! They are your best friend, there throughout all your major life events, and always happy to greet you when you return home from a long day. However, being a dog owner also comes with a lot of responsibility. One of those responsibilities is ensuring your pet has a safe and comfortable living environment. Outdoor dog houses or kennels can be a great way to keep your pets safe and happy year-round, especially a custom structure built with your dog’s needs in mind. Once you have your kennel, you want to keep it as safe as possible so your pet can enjoy it for years.
At Sun Rise Sheds, we’ve been building custom structures like sheds and chicken coops for customers with all kinds of structure requirements, so we understand the importance of having the right building for your needs. Here are some dog kennel safety tips you might want to consider to provide the best home for your furry friend after you’ve purchased your kennel from us!
1. Choose the Right Size Kennel
Selecting the right size kennel is crucial for your dog’s comfort and safety. A kennel that is too small will restrict movement and cause stress, while a kennel that is too large may give the dog more room to hurt itself or get anxious. When measuring for your dog’s perfect fit space, you will want to measure your dog’s height, length, and width, and choose a kennel that gives them the room to stand up, lie down, and turn around comfortably.
If you have multiple dogs, you want to keep your pets safe by providing them enough space to maneuver around one another without aggression but not so much space that they will feel anxious and overwhelmed by how much room they have. Dogs prefer smaller, den-like areas to seek comfort, and you want your kennel to be homey for them, not a space that causes them to become upset.
2. Ensure Proper Ventilation and Temperature Control
A well-ventilated kennel ensures your dog gets fresh air and avoids breathing in harmful fumes or odors. Ensure the kennel has enough open space, windows, and doors for good airflow. Keep the kennel in an area with a stable temperature, away from direct sunlight, and protected from extreme temperatures, to prevent heatstroke or hypothermia.
3. Regularly Clean and Maintain the Kennel
A third dog kennel safety tip is keeping your dog’s kennel clean is essential for their health and well-being. Regularly remove any waste, food, and water spills to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. Wash the kennel with mild soap and water and disinfect it regularly to eliminate germs and prevent your dogs from getting sick. Inspect the kennel for any signs of wear and tear, such as sharp edges, broken wires, or loose screws, and repair or replace damaged parts immediately.
4. Provide Comfortable Bedding and Toys
To make the kennel feel more like home, provide comfortable bedding for your dog to use, such as a soft blanket or a cushioned mat. Choose bedding materials that are easy to clean and dry quickly, as being outdoors means more chances for exposure to rain or other types of moisture.
Selecting safe and durable toys for your dog to play with and chew on while staying in a kennel is crucial for their mental and emotional well-being. High-quality toys can provide mental stimulation, physical exercise, and a sense of comfort, which can help alleviate boredom and anxiety during their time outside in their kennel. When choosing toys, opt for those made from non-toxic materials that are designed to withstand vigorous chewing, as this ensures your dog’s safety and prevents ingestion of harmful substances or choking hazards.
Interactive toys, such as puzzle feeders or treat-dispensing toys, can engage your dog’s problem-solving skills and keep them occupied for extended periods. Durable chew toys, like rubber or nylon bones, can satisfy their natural chewing instincts while promoting dental health and discouraging them from chewing on the walls of their shed. Soft, plush toys can offer a sense of companionship and comfort, especially if they carry your scent, helping your dog feel more at ease, especially in a newer kennel where they haven’t established their scent yet.
5. Train Your Dog to Love Their Kennel
Lastly, our final dog kennel safety tip is to use positive reinforcement techniques to help your dog associate their kennel with positive experiences. Introduce your dog to the kennel gradually, and reward them with praise, treats, and affection when they enter the kennel willingly. Never use the kennel as a punishment, and avoid forcing your dog into it, as this can create fear and anxiety.
A dog’s anxiety can be dangerous because it may lead to harmful behaviors such as excessive chewing, scratching, or self-biting, potentially causing injury or damage to its skin and coat. Additionally, they are more likely to exhibit aggressive behavior towards other animals or humans, posing a risk to their safety and that of others. If left unaddressed, long-term anxiety in dogs can reduce their overall quality of life, leading to long-term physical and mental health issues.
Do You Need a New Space for Your Pet After Reading Our Dog Kennel Safety Tips?
By utilizing these five dog kennel safety tips, you can ensure that your dog’s kennel is a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable space where they can feel secure and at ease. But you need a space to start with! That’s where we come in. When you’re ready to upgrade your dog’s outdoor home or build a custom structure for your furry best friend, you can contact us to get started!