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Choosing a Dog Kennel

Choosing a dog kennel is a lot like the problem that Goldilocks had.  It shouldn’t be too big, or too small.  It has to be just right.  When visiting a Better Pets and Gardens store to choose a kennel, bring along your friendly dog or measure their height and length so that you can make a wise decision.

CHOOSING A DOG KENNEL
It might seem a good idea to give your dog a lot of room in their kennel but in fact, the extra space can cause a dog to feel anxious and the increased area just won’t warm up enough from the dog’s body heat. On the other hand, a kennel that is too small will make your dog feel cramped and they won’t feel comfortable walking into it.

A kennel that is ‘just right’ will allow your dog to walk in (with head stooped), stand inside at full height and turn around to go back out.  Dogs also want to be able to circle several times before laying down comfortably to sleep.

Of course, the old fashioned timber kennels are still available but there are other options to choose from.  Plastic kennels are well ventilated, tough wearing and the removable rooves make them easy to clean and disinfect.  Timber kennels come in a variety of shapes and designs including side entry, treated and untreated wood and the choice of removable Colorbond® or timber lap roof.

Some dogs chew the timber on their kennel. “Stop Chew” sprays that taste terrible will help discourage this and we stock timber kennels that are treated with a safe, non-toxic product.

Collapsible canvas kennels are now available that look great in the backyard and have a soft, comfortable base raised off the ground. These have the added bonus of being able to be folded up so that a dog has their own place when camping with the rest of the family.

LOCATION! LOCATION! LOCATION!
Like all good real estate, location is the key.  Place the kennel in a position where the dog can see the back door and everything that is going on in the backyard.  They hate to miss out on what is going on around them and are often serious about their role in the family as “watch dog”.

Choose a spot that is sheltered from the weather.  Shade is important in summer as although kennels are ventilated, these small spaces can heat up very quickly.  Conversely, shelter from wind and rain is also important.  Plastic and hardwood kennels will keep the rain out but soft wood and canvas kennels must be placed under the patio or other waterproof cover.

Kennels are great at keeping a dog warm at night, but in winter a dog jacket will help protect them against dampness and the very chilly evenings.

Preferably the kennel should be a few centimetres off the ground so that the area under the floor is ventilated but keep in mind the length of the dog’s legs.  Dogs with long legs might appreciate a bit of a step up where as little dogs may struggle to get in.

ENCOURAGING A DOG INTO A KENNEL
Dogs that are already used to kennels will have no problem moving into their new home, especially if it has some of their old bedding and a treat or two.  Dogs that have never been into a kennel before may feel a bit reluctant.  Imagine how it must seem to be told to get into a small space that only has one way in or out.  To make the transition a little easier, follow these simple tips: