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The Advantages of outdoor kennels

Here at Garden and Animal structures we wholeheartedly believe that an outside kennel boasts an array of benefits, not just for your dog but also for yourself. From providing extra security when you pop to the shops, to helping with training. An outdoor kennel can offer more than you originally thought, and we’re here to tell you why. 

We’ve broken down the appeal of an outdoor kennel into five sections, however as specialists in this, we could talk about this for hours. Please feel free to contact us if you have any outdoor kennel related questions, there isn’t a question we won’t find an answer for! 

Let’s explore how an outdoor kennel could be right for you: 

Security

A major factor when considering a kennel, if you leave your dog simply in your garden or yard when you leave the house we highly recommend investing in a kennel. The amount of stories we have heard of dogs squeezing through fence holes, digging out of the garden or even jumping the fences (there are no limits with the most athletic breeds). By leaving your dog in a kennel you are in fact providing extra security and peace of mind. A kennel can offer a safe, secure place where even the most adventurous of dogs can be comfortable. 

Training 

It’s a fact that kennels help with training your pups. It can be used to mark a clear ‘time out’ to manage bad behaviour and allow your dog to appreciate time alone. It’s key to establish boundaries, so that the kennel is seen as a place to relax and calm down, rather than a punishment, so they feel safe and content when they visit their kennel. This also useful for toilet training, as your dog becomes used to living in their kennel and being outside, they will naturally associate the outdoors with the toilet. 

Your dog’s welfare

Think of the kennel as a ‘safe space’ for your dog, Whilst they are notoriously friendly animals, sometimes your dog may need some alone time (particularly useful for older dogs and younger children). Creating this space is also beneficial for your interiors, particularly if your pet has a loveable yet frustrating habit of destroying furniture! In a way the kennel serves as a bedroom for your dog, and man’s best friend is similar to us humans in the fact that sometimes they too need to get away from it all. You personally know your dogs character, but trust us, many of the pups we meet show how grateful they are with their moods.

Manage separation anxiety

Think of the kennel as a way to manage any stress your pup may feel when alone. Usually, this manifests into chewing and scratching of your beloved items when they are left alone. It’s a classic case of toilet paper shredding turning into your sofa shredding! An outdoor kennel signifies individual safe space for your dog, calming the nerves and training them to relax on their own. 

Garden aesthetics 

If you like to keep a neat and tidy garden, a kennel is a great option for you. As every dog breed is territorial, giving them their own space in the garden avoids any stress and is generally welcomed by all dogs. This also avoids them dismantling your garden displays and digging up your shrubs. 

How to choose the right outdoor kennel?

We want to make sure both you and your dog feel comfortable, safe and secure. From dog kennel blocks for multiple dogs and specific breeding needs to premium single dog cabins. our hand-built kennels are all made in the UK with a full focus on the detail.

We’ll work with you to find the right kennel for your and your dog’s needs, after all, once you have selected the right design, you and your dog are in it for the long term. We’re a small team and we understand the importance of collaboration and guidance. 

When browsing our designs, keep in mind that all of our kennels are made with longevity in mind. We use tongue and groove cladding for the entire structure, making each kennel robust on both the walls and roof. For this, we use A Grade Scandinavian Redwood, it’s sturdy, elegant and classic, which also is designed to complement the greenery of your garden. To ensure the kennels are long-lived we treat the wood with a TanalithE pressure treatment, this stops any rot or decay in its tracks, allowing for your kennel to last for much longer and promotes less upkeep and damage. 

We believe investing in a kennel with Garden and Animal Structures is a smart option. 

Winter Care for Your Dog

Whether your best friend lives at home with you or outside in kennels, the cold winter months can be quite harsh on our dogs.  Here we have 10 Top Tips on how to make the cold season more comfortable for your pets and working dogs.

  1. Wrap up on walks
It may be cosy indoors, but your dog needs regular walks regardless of the weather. When out on walks it’s important to make sure your four-legged friends are wrapped up warm. Put a dog coat on them when you go out, especially if you have a fine-coated dog, such as a Greyhound or Staffie.
  1. Check for snow between their toes
Check your dog’s paws and dry them thoroughly after they’ve been outside. This is especially important with long-haired dogs as they are prone to snow compacting between their toes and turning into ice balls which can prove very painful. If they are agreeable, you could trim the long hair between your dog’s toes to help prevent this.
  1. Check for salt and grit between their toes
Clean their paws at the end of your walk as salt and grit from roads and pavements can also get lodged between their toes.
  1. Keep them warm and dry
Dry off wet and muddy dogs after walks and make sure they have a cosy bed or kennel to return to which is away from any cold draughts.
  1. Keep them active indoors
Some dogs can be very reluctant to venture out into the cold. If this is the case, do not force them out but make sure you provide them with lots of toys for them to play and keep them occupied while indoors.
  1. Adjust their food if necessary
If you do find that your dog is less active in the winter months, make sure you adjust the amount of food you give them accordingly to avoid weight gain.
  1. Make sure they have good recall
Cold weather often brings reduced visibility in foggy or snowy weather conditions. If you’re letting them off the lead, make sure your dog has good recall to avoid them getting lost and, as always, make sure their microchip details are up to date with your correct contact information.
  1. Make them visible
As the nights draw in earlier and the sun rises later, attach a small light to your dog’s collar so they can be seen when out on walks in reduced visibility.
  1. Never leave your dog in the car unattended
Just as cars can become fatally hot in summer months, temperatures can drop very quickly in cold weather. Always take your dog with you rather than leaving them in the car for any length of time.
  1. Stay away from frozen lakes and rivers
Keep your dog away from stretches of frozen water as it’s impossible to tell how secure the surface is. Keep them on a lead if you think they’ll be tempted to jump in.  

Dog Kennel – How to Beat the Cold

How to beat the cold and keep draughts away in your dog kennel and runs

A dog kennel and run will usually provide ample protection from the cold and bad weather.  But if your dog kennel and run is located in an open area with little or no shelter, there are things that you can do to help.

Here, we give some examples of what you can add to your new dog kennel and run to make sure that it provides enough warmth and comfort for your dog during the winter months.

PVC clear draught screen excluder draught flaps PVC draught excluder, or draught screen

We provide clear plastic flaps over the dog kennel pop hole (dog entry) to prevent wind from blowing into the bed area.  Your dog can still go in and out of the kennel as desired.

internal draught board draft excluder Internal draught board

An internal draught board is a solid upright board which your dog can lie behind in the kennel.  It acts as a wind barrier, therefore keeping the kennel warmer and draught free.

dog kennel and run sliding hatch Sliding hatch over dog pop hole

A sliding hatch closes down over the pop hole, acting as a complete barrier for wind and cold air.  The sliding hatch is obnly recommended to be closed for short periods of time – maybe overnight – as your dog cannot access the run while shut.

draught dog run panel 3/4 mix dog kennel 3/4 mix dog run panel, also known as draught panel

A 3/4 mix dog run panel is solid metal from the bottom to three quarters of the way up.  We have used these before on run ends to again provide protection from winds and rain.

insulated dog kennel PVC lined insulation to kennel bed area

We fill framework with polystyrene board and line with white PVC sheets.  The insulation retains the heat in the kennel sleep (and can also keep it cool in the summer!)  The wipe-clean plastic stays at an even temperature, therefore won’t have a condensation build-up.  This is in contrast to materials such as metal which heat and cool quickly – especially when using a kennel heater.

dog sleeping bench raised dog bed for kennel run Raised dog bed, or sleeping bench

A raised dog bed is also useful as it keeps your dog away from the floor.  Most dog runs have a concrete base, which can get icy cold in winter frosts, as well as hold water.  Our aised dog benches sit on a timber frame, allowing airflow underneath.  This in turn keeps your dog warmer and more confortable.

Caring for your dog in hot weather

The summer sun has finally got his hat on!  And while we can stretch out and soak up the rays, our dogs may not be so keen.  Heat stroke in a dog is a real and dangerous thing – read about heat stroke in dogs from the RSPCA.  So we have compiled a list of ways to help your best friend stay cool and happy when the temperature rises.
  • Walk early or late. Avoid walking your dog in the hottest part of the day – early mornings and evenings will be much more comfortable for you both.
  • Set an easy pace. Even if your dog loves a good run, they need some encouragement to take it slow on hot days. They can’t plan ahead so they won’t realise they might get too hot. Encourage them to slow down by setting a slower pace and giving them plenty of time to sniff and explore.
  • Hot pavements and roads. Be aware that pavements and roads can become so hot they can burn your dog’s paw pads. Check the temperature of the road and pavements before you take your dog for a walk.
  • Keep to shady areas. Plan your walks and try to include places where there is shade and natural paths.
  • Short and sweet. Try taking two or three short walks throughout the day, instead of one long one.
  • New exercises. If it’s too hot for long walks, do a shorter one and mix up your dog’s exercise with some extra training or playtime in the shade. It’ll keep them occupied and active but you can take regular breaks so they don’t overheat.
  • Keep hydrated. It’s important that your dog drinks enough in hot weather so they don’t get dehydrated. Take a look at our tips on helping them keep up their fluids.
  • Stick to the shade. Does your dog love to spend time in the garden? Make sure they have a shady spot to lounge in. Trees and shrubs create natural shade but you can also hang a tarpaulin or put up a gazebo to give your dog somewhere cool to mooch about.
  • A paddling pool for paws. A shallow paddling pool or washing up bowl filled with cool water can give your dog a chance to cool off their paws. Keep a close eye on them around water to make sure they’re safe.
  • Create a cool room. Some dogs will seek out a tiled floor on hot days as they’re nice and cool to lie down on. You could also set up a fan for them or an area with some cool, damp towels for your dog to lie on.
  • Ice packs and cool pads. You may be able to buy cooling beds and mats from your local pet shop for your dog to lie on. If you can’t find them, an alternative is to wrap ice packs in a towel and pop that in your dog’s bed to cool it down.
    Caring for your dog in hot weather