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By Mick, Oct 23 2018 12:00PM

The elements of weather can be harsh and having a roof over your head is something very important. The dogs that we have in our homes also need shelter. Even though they may be furry, their coat of fur does not provide sufficient protection from the elements. To ensure a dog lives comfortably, they need to have a good house that is of the right size.


BUILDING A DOG HOUSE


Tools


• Circular saw or hand saw

• Electric jig saw

• Power drill and bits

• Carpenters square

• Claw hammer

• Measuring tape or ruler and pencil

• Caulking gun

• Exterior grade plywood sheets

• Treated pine

• Silicone sealant and construction grade adhesive

• Galvanized nails and bolts

• Steel Colourbond roofing,

• clout nails and insulation (optional)


STEPS TO FOLLOW WHEN CONSTRUCTING A DOG HOUSE


1. Have a plan


Dog houses come in various sizes and you need to construct a house that will perfectly fit your dog. It should not be too small as the dog will face difficulties when making simple movements standing up or even curling up for a nap. On the other hand, if the house is too big, the dog may feel insecure. Getting the size right is therefore very crucial.


2. Start at the bottom


Building a dog house should be systematic and the ideal approach is to start from the bottom. Construct the floor and then work up. As per the recommended standards, the floor should be raised 100mm from the ground. This is to allow for air circulation and prevent runoff water from entering the kennel.


Materials


The sub-floor frame should be built using 100 x 50mm frames of treated pine. Pine is ideal for use in this case as it is resistant to rotting. Precision is very important at this stage and measurements should be made using a pencil and a carpenter's square on the pieces of timber to be used. When cutting the ends of the timber, they should be square in shape to ensure that the joints are strong. The Centre subfloor timber frame piece should then be cut and nailed to the outside piece at an angle.


The same process should then be repeated for the other two small cross pieces. Holes should then be drilled through the subfloor frame to allow for ventilation and also facilitate the runoff of water from the floor of the kennel. To finalize on the base, measure and cut a 12mm piece of plywood and attach it to the frame by using a combination of adhesive and fixing the sides of the cross pieces with galvanized nails.




3. Construction of the door and walls


Before constructing the door, one needs to establish the position and size of the door before the walls are set up. In our mitri plan, one can get exact measurements of the various door sizes.


Walling


The sides wood pieces should be measured and cut in such a manner that they flush with the frame edge. The ends of the walls should have strong butt joints. As per the design, the front and back walls should overhang and flush with the plywood. The construction should be done using adhesives and 40mm by 2mm galvanized nails with bullet heads.


4. Roofing

Roofing should only be done after walling is complete. The roof should be made of plywood. Waterproofing should be done by adding a layer of iron sheet, paint or even Astroturf on top of the plywood. As a safety precaution when using corrugated iron, all the edges and corners should always be rounded.



Roof installation and finishes


The mitre plan provides all the relevant information that one requires when cutting the gable, procedures for holding up the roof panel and the ideal height of the apex. The back wall should always be measured from the outside.


For a start, one can temporally attach the gable by nailing in a scrap bit of plywood to the gable using nails. This will make the gable ready for installation of the roof panels


Roof sheets should always be cut in such a manner that they are 12mm longer than each other. This will allow enough thickness of the plywood and create the perfect butt joint at the ridge. The extra length will also make the roof overhang over the plywood and prevent water from spilling over the door. The ideal length of overhang for the kennel should be 125mm. To keep the joints watertight, silicon should be used.


Even with the right set of tools and an elaborate instruction to guide you, constructing a dog house can prove to be a daunting task especially when one is not conversant with carpentry works. Hiring a handyman to do the job for you in such situations is a wise idea. It may cost you financially but save you time and the hustle of pinning the pieces of timber together.




By Mick, Aug 7 2017 03:08AM

Children are by no means easy to look after, and neither are puppies, or dogs in general! However, many of us remember the joy of growing up with a loving companion in the form of a dog by our side - and want the same for our little ones. So how do you go about the hectic life of managing kids and doggies all in one household? Here are a couple of tips to help you out!

Training Is Oh So Important!


People often think they can skimp on training, and their dog will ‘adjust’ or ‘mature’ - this is definitely not the case! When you own a pet, and are simultaneously raising children, safety is of utmost importance. The only way you’re going to get that is by investing proper time in training your dog, or having someone do it for you. It might be a pain at the start, but it’ll save you lots of annoyances and disturbances down the line.


Don’t Leave Your Kids Alone With Your Pupper


Yes, many dogs are lovely, family-friendly creatures. But the thing about an animal is that, just like us, they have a mind of their own, and may simply be in a bad mood or be having an off-day. To avoid horrible mishappenings taking place, refrain from leaving your little ones completely along with the household dog for long periods of time. This is definitely the case when they are very young, and you may relax a little on these rules as they grow up.


Multitask As Often As Possible


Both your kids and your pet need attention - and it’s great for both to get outdoors for fresh air. So why not kill two birds with one stone? Take the kids for a walk in their pram and have your Golden Retriever or German Shepherd on a leash for their daily walk. (It’s actually three birds with one stone, as you get a nice brisk walk for a workout as well). Having a dog is a great way to make sure your kids get plenty of time outside the house. Invest in climbing frames, and other outdoor play equipment - so your four-legged friend can bound around while you and your kids hang out and play!


Make Sure Your Dog Has Their Own Special Area


Look - young children can be annoying! We know it, and every parent in the world knows it. Your dog will most definitely grow to love your child, but they may occasionally find them to be a pain in the neck. Especially little children who may try and pull their tail, and just generally harass them. Make sure your pet has an area of their own where they can escape to, when they need a kid-free moment (because doesn’t everyone need a break from time to time)!


By no means should you be discouraged from getting a dog when you have kids, or are planning to. In fact, there are numerous benefits your children will gain from this relationship - including the fact that it’s a fantastic way to raise active children! Follow these tips, and you’ll be able to smoothly and successfully run a household with both kids and dogs!


By Monisha Iswaran


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