How to Build an Outdoor Dog Kennel

All dogs originally lived outdoors and even today as breeds have developed there are large sections of the dog population that would actually prefer to be kept outside.

Whilst some perhaps view this negatively the facts are that some breeds prefer outdoor conditions as many houses are too warm for many breeds particularly the longer coat breeds.

Certainly working dogs as a guide do benefit from the outdoor environment and their coats are healthier than those kept indoors. For those that are reading this thinking this is cruel a working dog just likes plenty of exercise during the day a good meal and then they want to curl up and sleep.

Some of the latest innovations in kennels means that dogs can sleep in an environment that is temperature controlled but with the added benefit of some ventilation.  It is the ventilation that is the key here as dogs breath emits moisture into the air and the air circulation prevents a build up which could cause certain health issues.

A room in a house has very little ventilation and during winter when the heating is on it is just too warm for some dogs and they can struggle with skin complaints.

To create an outdoor kennel ideally you need a sleeping area and a run area to contain the dog whilst they are out. This should also have a covered roof over it to protect the dogs from the elements and to ensure they can escape from the rain and strong sunshine. The roof will offer shade so if the dog gets too hot they have an area to retreat to.

Your run area needs to be large enough to allow your dog to stretch and move around and obviously the larger the better if you have space permitting. For a commercial kennel then there are guidelines to adhere to but this depends on the size and weight of the dog.

If you are contemplating putting your dog in an outdoor kennel then please think long and hard about the materials used for the kennel. There are a wide variety of materials used from wood kennels to plastic and GRP kennels.

Many companies tend to promise you the earth on their performance so be careful what you go for and do your homework before deciding what works best for you. For those customers that are confused then just drop us a line and we will gladly give you our independent views on these.

The sleeping areas also need to be large enough for a dog to turn around in without touching the sides and bear in mind that if your door opens inwards this will reduce the available space. Particularly if your looking to put a fixed size bed in there then make sure again that this will not foul on the door.

Cold often permeates through the ground so a raised shelf or sleeping area or a raised bed is a great idea and this lifts the dog up off the cold damp floor.

All outdoor kennels should have the option of putting a heat source in for the very cold nights that we occasionally get, you should be trying to maintain a minimum of 10 degrees in a kennel so a kennel heater working on a thermostat is a great idea. This way you can dial in the required temperature and the thermostat will keep topping it up, there are radiant heaters out there that are very efficient to run just a few pence per hour.

Should you be planning your outdoor dog kennel and need any advice then just email us at

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