Pet Houses for dogs come with a lot of controversy, as many people argue that it is cruel to keep a dog outside. Agreed it is cruel to leave a dog outside for its entire life, but the pet houses we’re discussing are meant as a temporary place for the dogs to be, and where they are both safe and happy.
There are many reasons why you may need to leave your dog in its pet house, such as you need to leave the house very quickly but for no more than an hour, and there’s no-one available to dogsit for you, or you’re having a big party and the atmosphere upsets your dog.
Whatever the reason, introducing your pet to its new little house isn’t always easy, as I experienced first hand. Your dog may not be as awkward as mine, but if he is, then you’ll need to read on.
My dog is a lovely Husky called Wolfie, as the kids insisted on it. I wanted to go for Fred or Sam, but Wolfie was the desired name. When I first introduced Wolfie to his new house, I thought it would be simple, but Wolfie was having none of it. He really didn’t like the idea of going into the pet house. It took me a lot of persuading to get him to go in, and I did resort to treats to persuade (cough bribe cough) him to give it a go. Not my best tactic, I know, but I was desperate and just didn’t understand his reluctance. He went in, sat down and started to whine and cry (Not literally, but that sound dogs make between whines that’s just heart breaking). This, of course, made me feel terrible and I quickly got him out. Now, I was faced with a big dilemma, as I’d bought this neat pet house, but had no pet willing to use it. So, I surfed the web for a bit and found some useful tips to help, which I definitely think are worth sharing.
1. Introduce the pet house to your dog slowly
What I should have done was to go out into the garden (where the pet house is) and play a game of catch with Wolfie. Then he would have investigated the new house in his own time, and it wouldn’t have seemed such a hostile new object.
2. Once your dog shows interest in the house show it to them
If I had done it right, then with time Wolfie would’ve investigated the house, which is when I could’ve acted by encouraging him to look around it and inside it and showing him what it is by persuading him to sniff it. With some dogs this all you need, as they will quite happily get inside and accept that this is their little area. Others may need one more push.
3. Make the house homely for them
To give the pet house some familiarity, place a familiar blanket inside the hut and a treasured toy. The comforting scent of these objects will reassure your dog that the house is merely an extension of home, and that it isn’t a foreign object at all.
Before Wolfie goes into his pet house I always fetch his blanket and favourite Buzz Lightyear squeak toy, which I had bought for my youngest, but he gave it to Wolfie as a present, or so he insists. Wolfie is a lot happier with his house, now, and will sometimes sit inside it without any prompting at all.