For many pet owners, one of the first purchases that comes along with a new dog is a kennel to keep them safe outdoors. Unfortunately, all kennels are not created equally, and it's not as simple as setting it up and sitting the dog inside. Here's a look at some of the most common mistakes people make when purchasing a kennel for their dog, and what you can do instead.
Mistake #1: Not accounting for the weather
Sure, a little rain never hurt a dog, but constant exposure to the elements can be very problematic. Having a kennel with an exposed top can leave your pet open to dangerous heat, rain, or other types of weather. Even if you have a dog house in the unit, it's likely that your pet won't want to stay cooped up in it all the time. Your kennel will need some kind of protective covering over it, preferably canvas or metal. All dogs need shade from the heat. Dogs do not sweat like humans, so it's much more difficult for them to cool off when they become overheated.
Mistake #2: Not accounting for growth
As you're shopping for a kennel, you'll no doubt notice that there's a direct correlation between size and price. If you've got a new puppy, it can be very tempting to save a little money and spring for the smaller unit. After all, they don't need that much space, right?
But you'll want a kennel allows for future expansion. Your dog will grow of course, but you may even find that your own needs change. You may move to a new home that needs a different setup, or you may find that you need a multiple dog kennel down the road. In the end, it will be much more expensive to purchase a smaller unit now, then a larger one later. In general, you'll want the largest setup your budget and space allows from the start.
Mistake #3: Not properly providing food and water
This mistake isn't so much about the fact that food and water is supplied, but how it's provided. Likely the most common method, simply placing a bowl of food and a bowl of water in the kennel, is likely the worst method. Doing this makes it incredibly easy for the dog to tip over the bowls. When this happens, it not only causes a mess and causes lost money, but it means your dog doesn't have the food and water they need. Make sure your kennel has side attachments for food and water, or is constructed so that these can be added.
Of course, even if you take these mistakes into account, there are still times when your dog needs a little something more. If you can't be a home with your dog during the day, there's a great chance your dog could benefit from doggy day care. They'll have the chance to run and play, socializing with other dogs and getting the exercise they need in a safe, controlled environment. Contact a local kennel, like Alpha K-9 Kennels, for more information.