A lot of thought should go into determining the location of a fixed doghouse in the yard. If the structure is in the wrong place, you may find your dog reluctant to spend time in it, or it may adversely affect the health of the dog.
Whether you are planning to buy a pre-fabricated doghouse or building one from scratch or from knockdown kits, scout for the right location well in advance.
The lie of the land
Land should ideally slope away from the area where the doghouse is to be located. This ensures quick draining of rainwater and snow melt run off.
Low lying areas within the property are not suitable for a doghouse as they may flood during rains. Water logging should be strictly avoided even if the doghouse is having a raised base. The humidity can make the bedding damp and promote mold, respiratory and fungal diseases.
Direction of sun and wind
A location too exposed to either the sun or constant drafts can make the doghouse quite uncomfortable for the dog. Summer sun and winter winds are the most to be avoided. If the doghouse can be located in such a way that the house or the garage shields it from the sun and the wind, it would be ideal. Otherwise, a north or northeast facing should be preferred.
A shaded area prevents overheating during sunny days. Dogs usually prefer to lie in the shade at the foot of trees, but it may not always be the best location for the doghouse, especially if your area is prone to storms and the tree branches falling on the structure is a possibility. It will also pose a problem when you want to trim the branches. The water dripping from the branches above may keep the damp for longer periods too. Shade from a building is more preferable, which makes building the doghouse against the wall of the house or garage a better option. If the doghouse is standing independent under a tree, the dog needs to be brought indoors in foul weather.
Easy access and visibility
For practical purposes, a doghouse easily accessed from the house either by the front door or the backdoor is best. If you need to tether the dog or lock it in the doghouse, it is better to have it as close to the house as possible as you can easily release it and bring it in during bad weather. Dogs are like children. It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on them at all times. Dogs are known to lie low and keep to themselves when they are injured or in pain. A direct view from a window of the house would be great. Better still, if you can communicate with the dog from there.
Proximity to streets or the house
When you invest in a pretty-looking doghouse, it is tempting to put it up in the front yard. It is not a bad idea either since many people keep dogs for protection against intruders as well. But if the front yard is not sufficiently large, the doghouse may end up being too close to street, and the dog barking at every passerby, irritating your neighbors as well. If it’s too close to the front door, it will be a headache to deliverymen.
Proximity to fences/neighbor’s yard
If your dog has a free run of the yard, a doghouse close to the fence is an invitation to jump it. The view from a flat roofed doghouse may be all too tempting for a dog to test the boundaries, but it can endanger others as well as the dog itself. A good view of the neighbor’s yard may make the dog bark at everything that moves in there too. Not all people may love dogs as much as you do, and the constant barking as well as the characteristic dog odor may be offending to others.
A beautiful doghouse in the middle of a lawn or flowerbeds may be picture perfect, but such a location may not be the healthiest for the dog. Dampness is one concern; use of chemicals such as fertilizers, pesticides and weed controllers is another. Even if you’re not using such chemicals, the high insect population among the vegetation may trouble the dog. A gravelly area is more suitable. Or, you can consider paving the area around the doghouse.
Unless the doghouse is specially designed to go with the architecture of the house, it can be an eyesore. If that’s the case, a less obtrusive location at the back or side of the house can be considered, provided it meets the other criteria.
Right location for an indoor doghouse
Most doghouses used indoors are portable; hence their location can be tweaked to suit the dog and your convenience. But if you’re constructing a fixed structure in the garage or basement, make sure it is not in the way of constant traffic. Take necessary precautions regarding proper ventilation, electrical appliances, heating equipment, exhaust outlets etc.
The space under the stairs can be easily converted to a cozy doghouse, but you should have access for cleaning the area.