A Groomer's Guide: How to Build Dog Houses for Outdoors Wet Conditions

A kid building cute wooden house for his puppy

As the seasons shift and rain clouds loom, ensuring your furry friend has a cozy retreat from the wet weather becomes a top priority. In this dog grooming guide, we'll delve into the art of crafting the perfect dog houses for outdoors designed specifically to keep your canine companion dry and warm during rainy days.

From the best materials to weather-resistant designs and essential features, discover how to build a dog house that not only provides shelter but also becomes your pup's haven during inclement weather. Let's embark on the journey to create a snug sanctuary for your four-legged friend amidst the raindrops.

Why Wet Weather Can Be Harmful for Your Dog’s Health and Comfort

Dogs are not immune to the effects of cold and wet weather. When they are exposed to low temperatures and moisture, they can lose body heat and become vulnerable to hypothermia, which is a condition where the body temperature drops below normal. Hypothermia can cause shivering, lethargy, weakness, and even death if not treated promptly.

Rainy season can also increase the risk of dogs frostbite, which is damage to the skin and tissues caused by freezing. Frostbite can affect the ears, tail, paws, and other extremities of your dog, and can lead to pain, swelling, blisters, and necrosis. To help protect your dog's legs and paws from the wet and cold, consider getting them the best waterproof dog coat with legs to keep them dry and warm.

Every dog owner must know that wet weather can also affect a dog’s skin and coat, as it can create a favorable environment for bacteria, fungi, and parasites to grow and multiply. This can result in skin infections, such as dermatitis, pyoderma, and ringworm, which can cause itching, inflammation, redness, and hair loss. Wet weather can also make your dog more prone to fleas, ticks, and other pests, which can transmit diseases and cause allergies and anemia.

Moreover, wet weather can also affect your dog’s comfort and mood, as it can make them feel cold, wet, and miserable. Your dog may lose their appetite, energy, and enthusiasm, and may become depressed, anxious, or restless. It can also interfere with your dog’s sense of smell, hearing, and vision, and can make them more susceptible to accidents and injuries.

Choosing the Right Place & Size for Building an Outdoor Dog House

In the same way that learning dog grooming skills is important, it is essential to build a dog house kennel that is suitable for wet weather by choosing the right location and size. You want to make sure that your dog's house is placed in a safe, dry, and sheltered spot, away from direct sunlight, strong winds, and flooding.

You also want to make sure that your dog house for outdoor is elevated from the ground, to prevent water from seeping through the floor and to allow air circulation underneath. You can use bricks, blocks, or wooden pallets to raise your dog house from the ground.

The size of your dog's house should be relative to the size of your dog. You want to make sure that your dog house is big enough for your dog to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably, but not too big that it loses heat and becomes drafty. A good rule of thumb is to measure your dog’s length, height, and width, and then add 12 inches to each dimension.

For example, if your dog is 36 inches long, 24 inches high, and 18 inches wide, dog houses for outdoors should be 48 inches long, 36 inches high, and 30 inches wide. You can also adjust the size of your dog house according to the number of dogs that will use it, and the amount of bedding and insulation that you will add.

The Finest Materials for Building a Waterproof Dog House

The next step in building a dog house for outdoor wet conditions is to choose the best materials for your dog house. You want to use materials that are durable, waterproof, and easy to work with. Some of the best materials to build the dog houses for outdoors:

  •  Plywood: Plywood consists of thin layers of wood bonded together, forming a composite material. Plywood is strong, sturdy, and resistant to warping and cracking. Plywood is also relatively cheap and easy to cut and shape. You can use plywood for the floor, walls, and roof of your dog house.
    However, plywood is not waterproof by itself, so you need to seal it with paint, stain, or varnish, and cover it with other materials, such as tar paper, shingles, or vinyl siding, to make it waterproof.
  •  Tar paper: Tar paper is a type of paper that is coated with tar, asphalt, or bitumen. Tar paper is waterproof, flexible, and easy to apply. Tar paper is a good material for covering the roof of your dog house, as it can prevent water from leaking through the plywood.

You can also use tar paper to cover the walls of your dog house, but you need to add another layer of material, such as vinyl siding, to protect it from damage and to make it more attractive.

  •  Roofing shingles: Roofing shingles are thin pieces of material, such as asphalt, wood, or metal, that are used to cover the roof of a building. Roofing shingles are waterproof, durable, and aesthetically pleasing.
    Roofing shingles are good material for covering the roof of your dog house, as they can provide an extra layer of protection and insulation over the tar paper. You can choose from different colors, shapes, and styles of roofing shingles, depending on your preference and budget.
  •  Vinyl siding: Vinyl siding is a type of plastic that is used to cover the exterior walls of a building. Vinyl siding is waterproof, weather-resistant, and easy to clean. Vinyl siding is a good material for covering the walls of your dog house, as it can provide an extra layer of protection and insulation over the plywood and tar paper. You can also choose from different colors, patterns, and textures of vinyl siding, depending on your preference and budget.

Design Tips: Creating a Well-Ventilated and Insulated Dog House

Attention beginner dog groomers! When it comes to building dog houses for outdoor rain shelters requires a design with good ventilation and insulation. Ventilation is important for an insulated dog house, as it can prevent the buildup of moisture, heat, and odors, and can provide fresh air for your dog. Insulated dog houses can prevent heat loss and keep your dog warm and cozy. Some of the best ways to design a dog house kennel that provides good ventilation and insulation are:

  •  Cut an opening for the door that is at least 6 inches above the floor and 6 inches wider than your dog. This will allow your dog to enter and exit easily and will prevent water and snow from entering the dog's house. You can also add a flap or a curtain to the door, to keep out the wind and rain, and to retain heat.
  •  Cut one or two small holes near the top of the back wall, to allow air to escape. This will create a natural ventilation system, as the warm air will rise and exit through the holes, and the cool air will enter through the door. You can also add a vent or a fan to the holes, to increase the airflow and to control the temperature.
  •  Cut a hole in the roof, to allow light and air to enter. This will make your dog house brighter and more spacious, and will also provide a natural ventilation system. You can also add a skylight or a window to the hole, to make it more attractive and to prevent water from entering.
  •  Add insulation to the floor, walls, and roof of your dog house, to keep your dog warm and comfortable. You can use foam insulation boards, fiberglass batts, or spray foam insulation, depending on the type and thickness of insulation that you need. You can also add a layer of plywood over the insulation, to make it more secure and durable.

Must-Have Features for Added Protection in a Dog House Kennel

The next step in building a dog house for wet weather is to add some features to your outdoor dog house kennel that can provide extra protection and convenience for your dog. Some of the best features to add to your outdoor dog house are:

  1. A heated mat or a heating pad, to provide warmth and comfort for your dog. You can place the heated mat or the heating pad on the floor of your dog house, and plug it into an outlet or a battery. You can also use a thermostat or a timer, to control the temperature and the duration of the heating. However, you need to make sure that the cord is safely secured and hidden, to prevent your dog from chewing it or tripping over it.
  2. A water bowl or a water dispenser, to provide fresh and clean water for your dog. You can place the water bowl or the water dispenser inside or outside your dog's house, depending on the space and the accessibility. You can also use a heated water bowl or a heated water dispenser, to prevent the water from freezing in cold weather. However, you need to make sure that the water bowl or the water dispenser is regularly refilled and cleaned, to prevent dehydration and contamination.
  3. A food bowl or a food dispenser, to provide food and treats for your dog. You can place the food bowl or the food dispenser inside or outside your dog's house, depending on the space and the accessibility. You can also use a timed food bowl or a timed food dispenser, to control the amount and the frequency of the food. However, you need to make sure that the food bowl or the food dispenser is regularly refilled and cleaned, to prevent hunger and spoilage.

How to Maintain and Clean Your Dog House Regularly

As all professional dog groomers know regular dog grooming is important for your dog's health. You need to maintain and clean your waterproof dog house regularly after you have built the best waterproof dog house for the outdoor rainy season. This will ensure that your dog's house stays in good condition and provides a healthy and comfortable environment for your dog. Here are some tips on how to maintain and clean your dog house regularly:

  •  Check your dog's house for any signs of damage, such as cracks, holes, leaks, or mold. Repair or replace any damaged parts as soon as possible, to prevent further deterioration and potential health hazards.
  •  Cleanse the dog house by eliminating any dirt, debris, or waste present. You can use a broom, a vacuum, or a hose to sweep out or wash away any unwanted materials. You can also use a scraper or a knife to remove any stuck-on substances, such as mud, feces, or food.
  •  Clean the dog's outdoor house with a mild and non-toxic detergent. You can use a mixture of baking soda and water or a commercial cleaner that is safe for pets. You can also add some vinegar or lemon juice to the solution, to help disinfect and deodorize the dog house. Use a scrub brush or a sponge to apply the solution to the dog house kennel, and rinse thoroughly with water. You can also use a spray bottle to spray the solution on hard-to-reach areas, such as the roof or the corners.
  •  Dry the dog house completely. You can use a towel, a cloth, or a paper towel to wipe off any excess water from the dog house. You can also use a fan, a heater, or a hair dryer to speed up the drying process. Make sure that the dog house is completely dry before you put back any bedding, toys, or other items, to prevent mold and mildew growth.
  •  Replace or wash any bedding, toys, or other items that you removed from the dog house kennel. You can use the same detergent solution that you used for the dog house or a different one that is suitable for the specific item. You can also use a washing machine or a dryer if the item is machine-washable and machine-dryable. Make sure that the item is completely dry before you put it back in the dog house, to prevent dampness and odor.
  •  Repeat the cleaning process as often as needed, depending on the weather conditions and your dog’s habits. You can also use a dog house cover, to protect your dog house from rain, snow, dust, and UV rays. A dog house cover can also help keep your dog house warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. However, you still need to clean the dog house and the cover regularly, to prevent dirt and bacteria buildup.

Well, That’s a Wrap

​​Building a dog house for wet weather is a labor of love that pays off in the form of a snug retreat for your furry friend. By choosing the right materials, incorporating weather-resistant designs, and adding essential features, you can create an outdoor shelter that stands up to the rainy season and keeps your dog dry and warm.

With your DIY dog house kennel in place, you've not only provided practical protection but also bestowed upon your pup a comforting haven during stormy days. Whether you're a novice or have undergone professional dog grooming training school, enjoy the satisfaction of knowing you've mastered the art of constructing the ultimate wet-weather outdoor house for your beloved dog.

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