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     Dog Kennels and Their Know How   

By: Noah Schettini

Dog kennels are fenced-in enclosures that keep your pet safely contained. Dog kennels may be equipped with a dog house if desired.

A dog kennel is usually situated outdoors. It is ideally an enclosure that keeps your dog confined, secured, and safe. Dog kennels are commonly square or rectangular areas enclosed by a chain link fence, and they keep dogs away from people and people away from dogs.

When building dog kennels, the first consideration should be the size of your dog. Obviously, the bigger your dog, the bigger his kennel needs to be. You'd like a lockable kennel that confines your dog in a certain area, while at the same time preventing him from jumping over or digging under the fence. A low or poorly-built fence defeats the purpose of building a dog kennel in the first place.

Keep in mind that the kennel's doghouse should provide your dog with good protection from the elements. It should be able to keep your dog comfortable and safe no matter the weather. This can be done by heeding the following guidelines:

First of all the doghouse should be well-insulated. It should have a dry and warm floor. It is advisable to cover the floor with wood shavings, sawdust or blankets in order to keep out cold and dampness. Raise the kennel or doghouse a few inches off the ground on a foundation of bricks or boards. This will protect your dog from water or snow going into his house, as well as preventing any water seepage coming from the foundation.

* Locating the kennel near a shady tree will keep your dog from being overheated during the summer months. Heat stroke can be lethal to your dog, so make sure to also keep his water pan full at all times during the summer months.

* Provide a windbreaker during winter to shield or deflect wind from your pet's kennel. During extremely cold weather it is helpful to place a heat lamp in the dog house to keep your dog warm.

Make sure to situate your kennel in an area where there is good drainage. This will keep water from pooling in the kennel, and dogs generally prefer to keep their feet dry. Select an area where natural shade is available, and avoid putting your kennel near the property line to minimize any unforeseen disturbance to your neighbors. Make sure that your kennel can be easily viewed from your house so that you can monitor your pet's condition.

The kennel that you select for your dog should be the biggest dimension you have space for. Dog kennels should be longer than it is wide to promote more exercise and activity - dogs need to keep moving in order to keep happy. Cramped living arrangements may develop resentment in your dog, especially if you don't let him out every once in a while. Measure your dog and try to provide space with a least dimension of about five times his length. Space is especially important if you intend to put more than one dog in the kennel.

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