4 Things to Look for When Buying a Dog Kennel

A kennel lets a dog enjoy the outside air when you’re not at home and when you are

If you want your indoor dog to enjoy the fresh air and healthy lifestyle of an outdoor dog, then a kennel is the solution you’ve been looking for. Kennels offer plenty of security and stop Fido from running off to explore the neighborhood. Instead kennels let pets play outside without getting into trouble.

Kennels are larger than dog pens and although they can be moved, generally once they’ve been setup they are left in position as permanent structures. With the addition of a doghouse they can also be used as a dog’s permanent living environment for those people who don’t want their dog in the home for allergy or other reasons.

1. Sizing Up the Options – The Right Size Kennel

The first thing to do is make sure the kennel will be the right size for your dog. Obviously the bigger the kennel the better, but if you have a small yard you might be limited for space. The kennel should be large enough for your dog to scamper around in and it certainly needs to be high enough to prevent him from jumping over the top (assuming you have a model with no screen or cover).

2. Gimme Shelter – Will the Kennel Protect Against the Elements?

If your dogs are going to spend long periods of time outside in the kennel you should get one that has a screen cover, like the Hi-Rise Box Kennel, to shade them from the sun and offer protection from rain. If the model you like most doesn’t come with a cover, then chances are that one is available as an additional option.

3. Stronger the Better – How the Kennel is Made is Important

The Midwest Outdoor Kennel features rounded corners and a sunscreen

You need to be sure the kennel is escape-proof. If you have a large or boisterous dog you might need an extra strong or heavy kennel so he can’t move it or get it to tip over when playing or challenging its security. Ground anchors will also help keep the kennel securely planted to the floor.

Smaller sized chain links, larger tube framing and thicker gauge wire links all help determine how strong and durable a kennel will be. Also, make sure the frame has been galvanized after the welding process to prevent rust from developing, and although it has little bearing on the strength of the kennel, rounded corners are safer than right-angled corners.

4. Ease of Setup – Make Life Simpler for Yourself

Lucky Dog’s Boxed Kennel has a weather guard roof system to protect your pooch

Just like IKEA furniture, dog kennels come flat-packed and are easy to put together, although some are a bit easier than others. You will be required to use pliers or a wrench but setting up a kennel should take less than an hour.

Once assembled, most kennels will not need to be touched again, but they can be disassembled and moved should you wish to change the location to a shadier spot in the backyard. Some people prefer to simply pick up the complete kennel and move it as one piece.

Follow these four tips and you’ll have a kennel that your pooch will take pleasure being in. And don’t forget; when leaving your dogs outside in a kennel give them plenty of fresh water to drink and some toys to play with.

Finally, remember that a kennel is a nice place for your dog to enjoy an outdoor lifestyle, but he stills need proper exercise to remain fit and healthy. You will still have to take him for walks and runs on a regular basis.

By John Bone
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