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Question DetailsAsked on 11/30/2017

What kind of wood is good for a doghouse?

My family and I getting a small maltese in a few weeks and my daughter wants to make a dog house herself. We do plan on keeping the dog house indoors, most likely in my daughters room. We need wood that is:
1. Durable
2, Strong
3. Doesnt easily rot
4, Soft
5. Easy to cut with a large kitchen knife(we don't have any cutting tools)

Thank you in advance

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It's about oh-dark-thirty so I am not going to try a complete answer right now - will try to remember to flesh out the "permanent doghouse" part of the answer by this weekend - because no wood is soft enough (or cheap enough) to make a decent kennel with a knife plus would be WAYYY too chewable - but getting a decent hand saw to cut cheap normal wood like pine only sets you back about $10-12 and will give you and your daughter some good experiences and household skills - leading to birdhouses, dollhouse, railings, etc. down the road.


But from experience - you do NOT want to build a "permanent" doghouse for a puppy (assuming you are starting with a puppy, not a grown dog) because it WILL get chewed on, so the puppy could get slivers which can perforate its intestines.


And I hate to break the news to you but for the first 3-6 months your puppy WILL have occasional accidents at night, throw up because it gets an upset stomach, and if you are real lucky like we were have a complete 360 degree coverage vomiting and diarrhea episode some night from eating something it REALLY should not have. So at least till housebroken (or till fully familiar and at ease with the house if you are getting an adult dog) you want something EASILY cleaned and waterproof (as in OK to use bleach cleansers and hoseable outside) and which will not become a bacteria farm - hence, a conventional plastic carry/travel kennel (also useful for potty training) is your best bet, at least initially. For small puppy you can get the smallest size or even a cat carrier (because of disease issues I would NOT get a used one in cat size) so you can remove the top half for the first few weeks till it gets acclimated and large enough to climb out, then it will like the top on (doors are easily remoeable) so it has a "private safe place /den" to retreat to when it wants peace and quiet.


Having a portable carrier as its "doghouse" in the home has the BIG added advantage that taking it inthe car or traveling is not as big a thing as it will be ready and willing to go inside, and will feel comfortable in it rather than being terrified that you are locking it in a cage.


You can usually get a small breed size one for about $25-30 at box type stores and on up at pet stores - or if you disinfect it REAL well (good disinfection then rinse well to remove chemicals, then a full day or more disassembled and out in the bright sun to let the sunlight finish the job) used ones are at Goodwill and Salvation Army stores and such for about half that price.


Also good to have right sized on hand in case of serious illness or injury where it gets terrified and bitey or if a pet sitter or baby sitter or such has to transport it to the vet - or even if a family member has to transport a wildly sick or injured animal in a car - you can't drive and handle a terrified or fear-biting animal at the same time, so having a travel kennel it is used to is a good idea.


For a Maltese, since that is a toy breed, its puppy kennel can probably serve its entire life. For a puppy (up till fully house trained- or as ease in the house if gotten as an adult dog) you want a kennel large enough for it to barely stretch out in and easily turn around in, but not a lot of extra room - give it extra room and the back of the kennel can become its bathroom, which you do not want. Unless real sick, a dog will take every effort to not go to the bathroom in its sleeping place (i.e. kennel) - so keep it small enough for comfortable travel/sleep and a food and water bowl plus the animal comfrotabel laying down (but not fully stretched out end to end plus the bowls) which is mandatory for public transit (airline, train, etc) travel if that ever happens, but that is all - not bigger.


BTW - lots more good info on kennels, housebreaking, etc on sites like Vetstreet, Webvet, Vetmd, etc.


Will try to give some hints on permanent doghouse if you wish, anon - I would NOT try one of cardboard both because of chewing/stomach stuffing issues, plus glue or tape and printed ink could be very bad for it if it starts chewing it up - you want something it cannot significantly chew and ingest when you are away from the house or it has to be locked up for a period of time (like if traveling or such).


Answered 11 months ago by LCD




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