The best materials for dog house construction
In the article "How to Choose a Dog House - Part 1" we focused on the basic questions you should ask before buying a dog house. This article discusses the material to be used or the type of material used for the construction of the doghouse. To ensure your dog has the right conditions for a happy and healthy life read the following article.
The health of the dog comes first, not the price of the doghouse
Buying a good dog house is an investment. I do not intentionally use the word expense. In fact, by buying a good doghouse you are investing mainly in the health and safety of your dog. Veterinary treatments are often more expensive than a quality dog house.
Do not worry! A good doghouse is a good investment over several years. If you buy a good doghouse for your dog from the start and take care of it properly, it will last for decades. “Inexpensive” doghouses generally do not survive the warranty period.
Do you think about the nature?
By buying a dog, you show that you are a nature lover. To take him for a walk into the nature says it 😉
If you are a nature lover, you should definitely take nature into account. Even when you buy something like a dog house. This means, for example, that you don't even consider buying a plastic dog house. It is one of the main environmental themes today. Therefore, I certainly do not recommend this material.
What is the correct material for building a dog house?
We come to the choice of material. What material is needed for a suitable dog house? We have the choice in general:
- metal (iron, sheet metal, aluminum, etc.)
- masonry (stone, brick, precast concrete, etc.)
- wood (and products derived from wood)
Metal is not a suitable material for dog house construction
Metal, iron, etc. are not suitable for a doghouse construction. The main reason is its minimal insulating power. In addition, metal is a good conductor of temperature. That is, the temperature of one side of the metal sheet, is at the same temperature of the other side, in a very short time. In the summer, the sun heats the metal, even if you use additional insulation - there is a risk of getting burned.
Brick house for a dog
Yes why not! Just keep in mind that a brick house for your dog is essentially a house. It's not enough to lay one brick on top of the other, you have to think about insulation, ventilation and heating for the winter, etc. It may happen that your dog lives in humidity, mold and in winter it freezes. When building a brick doghouse, you should follow the same principles as when building a family house. It will require experts, experienced builders!
The wooden dog house is the optimal solution
The oldest building material is undoubtedly wood. It has many advantages and disadvantages. For our purposes, it is above all its advantages that make wood the material best suited to the construction of doghouses.
There is wood and wood
Today we have a variety of wooden materials for the construction of doghouses. Solid wood, glued chipboard, OSB panels, plywood, laminate panels etc. The choice is really huge and the point of this article is not to focus on every type. However, I want to help you orient yourself better. So that you can buy or build a really good doghouse for your dog, without having to regret it later.
If you think about it, you will find that these are basically two groups. Solid wood and products made from wood or its waste during the process of its treatment. This material consists of sawdust, grafts and other residues treated afterwards chemically and mechanically. By adding a binder, an adhesive, they are then pressed into sheets of different sizes and thicknesses.
Whereas, as these panels are made from wood residue, the price is usually lower than the price of solid wood. You may think that this is a good argument for the choice of materials for dog house construction. In this case, beware of the mentioned adhesive! Is it respectful of the environment and health? What about its vapors, aren't they toxic? What will happen in the summer, when the sun shines and warms your dog's house? Won't the vapors be more intense?
Water and humidity are the weak points of chipboard
Another disadvantage of these panels is their resistance to water and humidity. You can also buy moisture resistant chipboard at specialty stores. Typically, these panels are not as strong when it comes to cutting. Think about how to protect the cup from moisture or water.
Water and humidity are weak points of chipboard panels, OSB panels, etc. If you don't protect the panels and its cuts, and don't allow them to ventilate constantly, you risk mold growth and many construction problems.
You also cannot help yourself by using the plates exclusively inside the dog house. Your dog will enter wet in his house and this water will be rich enough to cause some troubles. Likewise, humidity in the air causes these problems as well.
If you decide to use this material to build a doghouse for your dog, you should definitely consult an expert to avoid these problems. You will have to use the technology used to build modern log houses, which will certainly be reflected in the price of a dog house and the complexity of its construction.
New OSB panel on the left, after a year outside on the right
Moisture and mold a bad example of installing OSB panels
Solid wood - the obvious choice
If you have thought about the previous text until here, it will be clear to you that a solid wood doghouse will be probably the best choice.
The wood itself already has basic insulation abilities. Of course, it depends on its thickness. Wood is a material that "lives", functions on the basis of temperature and humidity - nature has arranged it. Therefore, it is necessary to follow certain working rules during the construction of the dog house.
There are different types of wood that we can use and are available in our conditions. It is primarily spruce or pine wood. Hardwoods such as beech, oak, etc., as well as exotic woods, are already too expensive. To use hardwood to make a doghouse seems to me unsuitable for our nature. Quite simply, because these species of trees have been growing for decades and their wood is scarce.
On the other hand, spruces and pines are trees that grow quite quickly. Plus, if we choose PEFC labeled wood, we know we're not harming our nature.
What is PEFC?
This abbreviation refers to wood and wood products from significantly managed forests. PEFC stands for "Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Systems".
One of the main goals of PEFC forest certification is to preserve and expand forests. So that future generations and ourselves can profit the environmental, social and economic benefits of forests while maintaining a responsible approach to forest ecosystems and respect for nature.
Wood paneling is easier to use
For solid wood doghouses, wooden planks and wood paneling are best suited. They are attractive and easy to use.
The wood paneling is already planed in the factory and has tongue and groove locks. This allows the wood to function while preventing wind penetration and heat loss.
Wood planks which do not have tongue-and-groove locks you must layer them or sew them to prevent the penetration of wind and water. Plus, you need to sand them down or plan. You don't want your dog to be hurt.
The thickness of the paneling or wooden planks should be at least 18MM. All this offers basic protection against wind and cold. Of course, the stronger the boards, the better the insulation in your doghouse.
We place the paneling and planks horizontally to prevent water from entering the doghouse!
Tongue and groove boards
How to insulate a doghouse
Wood planks or paneling alone are not sufficient for optimal insulation of the doghouse in cold weather. Then, your dog will not be able to heat his house well. The solution is insulation. In this case, it will be a so-called sandwich structure, that is to say wood-insulation-wood (see the following images).
Example of insulation
If you use an insulating material, the thickness of the paneling or planks may be smaller. The wall thickness thus formed must be at least 50 mm (eg 10 mm paneling / 30 mm insulation / 10 mm paneling).
Extruded polystyrene is the most suitable insulation for dog house insulation. It's a bit more expensive than standard polystyrene, but the mouses won't make its home in this type of insulation :-). In addition, it offers much better thermal insulation, with the same thickness, than standard polystyrene.
Related articles :
- How to Choose a Doghouse - Part 1. Everything You Should Know Before Buying a Dog Kennel
- How to Choose a Dog House - Part 2. Build a Dog House
If you have any questions, comments or experiences, don't hesitate and share them with us in the comments! 😉