Dog houses, a good place for your dogs to be these days!

In the classic children’s story, Peter Pan, the Darling’s darling Nana was sent to her dog house as punishment. Oh, if only dog’s today could be punished so.

Dog houses are unlike those from days of old. Sure, you can still whip together a basic dog house of old boards and leftover nails with the kids. But why not give old Fido or Fifi a home that is on a par with your own.

Of course, dog houses are a little simpler to build. You don’t need running water (unless you want a never ending water bowl) or electricity. But outside of that, dog houses can be pretty fancy affairs.

If you haven’t built one before, a good place to start is with dog houses that are already manufactured. They range from very simple unfinished wood styles to dog houses that look just like your home. Most of these dog houses come in kit forms or with plans that you can work from, if you’re handy with tools.

The importance of having proper dog houses for your best friends can’t be emphasized enough. In temperate climates, they provide much needed shade for your dog so they don’t overheat. In colder climes, dog houses keep your pet out of the wind, rain, sleet and snow.

Of course, this may be obvious if your dog is an outdoor dog. But even indoor dogs can use dog houses in their yard for shelter, protection and security. Dog houses give them a place to call their own and it helps them feel safer in the yard.

When considering dog houses for your own home, you want to make sure that it is weather proof, is easy to keep clean, doesn’t have any dangerous protrusions, and is big enough that your dog can come and go with ease. Dog houses that are too big for the family pet aren’t a bad thing. Dog houses that are too small either won’t get used or will make you pet’s life miserable.

This is particularly true if you have a puppy. When selecting dog houses for puppies, be sure that you get one that is big enough for them when they become adults. It’s tempting to buy or build a cute little house, but the puppy will grow out of puppy-sized dog houses quickly and you’re back to square one.

Here’s a few sizing tips:

* The door should be at least three quarters of your dog’s shoulder height.

* The length and width should be ¼ larger than the length of your dog from its nose to the start of its tail. This gives the dog plenty of space to turn around in the house.

* The height should be 25% taller than the dog, but not more than 50% taller than its height when the dog is erect.

For ease of cleaning, most dog houses are built with removable roofs or bottom panels. This allows you to do a thorough cleaning of your dog houses so your dog isn’t exposed to illnesses that come from living in an unclean environment day in and day out.