The season for maintaining your kennel

Wooden-KennelNow is the perfect time to consider thoroughly checking your dog kennel and ensuring it can stand up to what is forecast to be a very harsh winter ahead. With wind, rain and snow forecast this year it is best to prepare now before the weather changes and get your kennel ready in advance.
Firstly consider how all the different weather conditions will affect your kennel and whether your kennel is weather proof. Strong winds we have already experienced are more than likely going to come again and you will need to make sure your kennel is secure enough in these winds. Are all screws and bolts fitted tightly and is the roof secure enough to survive the extreme winds.
We are used to rain all year round however in the winter sometimes we have extreme rainfall than can lead to flooding. You must ensure your kennel system is water tight as any gaps letting in water will leave your dog cold, damp and putting them at risk of getting ill. You need to look at the surrounding areas of the kennel, is it liable to flooding or is the entrance to the kennel very close to the ground. If possible look to raise your kennel off the floor as this will ensure your dog has a dry area to rest and will lessen the drafts coming off the cold ground also making the kennel a more comfortable living area.
If we have snow fall you will need to establish whether your kennel could support the weight of the snowfall on top of the kennel. To do this try to slightly push and rock your kennel to see if there is any movement throughout the kennel. If there is then it isn’t as structurally sound as it would need to be as you may need to consider changing some of the bolts and perhaps just tightening a few. Keep repeating the rocking motion and tightening bolts until you are happy it is secure. Once you are happy that your kennel is now weather proof it is prepared for all eventualities then you  should move on to cleaning it for the winter period.
Working top to bottom clean the roof and walls of any germs or dirt and rinse well. Now clean the floor of kennel as this easier gets moss attaching to it which can become slippery and dangerous. Once the inside is clean ensuring the outside is clean also as this may be the last time it is cleaned throughout the winter months. Check the guttering on your kennel and empty any moss or leaves from them to ensure they will be working as this extremely important with the increase of rain forecast.
If you are looking to house your dog outside in the kennel for some or all of the time then you will need to heat the kennel. By law the kennel must maintain a constant temperature of 10 degrees at all times. Research kennel heaters and insulation as the most important issue would be retaining the heat once heated. Lastly, purchase a warm and comfortable dog bed that your dog can be cosy in and sleep well in. We would recommend a raised dog bed as they lift your dog up off of the damp cold floor which will keep them warmer and more importantly, dry. They are great as can be power washed clean and dry in seconds however if your dog loves their current bed or you would rather them have a high walled bed for the winter, you can place it on top of the raised bed and gain all the benefits from both of them.
Whilst we hope we don’t have a winter as harsh as predicted it is always best to be prepared and winter proof your kennel.

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