If you share your life with animals, you might need exterior pet housing either some or all of the time. However, with such an abundance of pet housing on the market, it can be difficult to know where to start.
Below we run through some of the most important factors you should consider when buying exterior pet housing, and what exactly you need to look for.
One of the most important factors, size can play a major role in determining how comfortable the animal is in their exterior pet housing.
If you’re looking for a sleeping space for a cat or a dog, you should make sure there’s sufficient room for them to do at least one complete turn before lying down. This space doesn’t need to have lots of spare room as that can just make it draughty.
For exterior housing which includes a run, the minimum required area is at least 3m x5m. This provides enough space for the animal to move around freely without being cramped.
For chickens, a roost to keep them safe from predators at night is an essential. The size of the coop depends on the number of birds but roughly speaking, you should allow each chicken at least 10 inches to perch.
Exterior pet housing should be a safe space where your pet can relax without fear of injury. For this reason, it’s important to check the quality of the materials, particularly the timber.
A wooden run should be well finished without any rough or ragged edges that your pet can injure themselves on. High quality timber will also be stronger, protecting against the possibility of the panels breaking and escape.
If your exterior pet housing is to be used more extensively, you’ll need to make sure there’s a suitable space for sleep and napping. Although you might think your pet could sleep anywhere, they’ll feel far safer if they have an enclosed space which isn’t overly large (see above info re space).
This snug and cosy area should form part of the overall exterior housing but it’s helpful to have the option to be able to lock a door between the two separate components. This not only provides the flexibility to clean the run out without the risk of the animal escaping, but also provides security at night. Securing your animal into the sleeping area protects against predators and promotes far better sleep and relaxation.
Any area where an animal is living can very quickly become unhygienic and dirty so it’s essential to be able to clean it easily.
Although a flooring might seem like a more comfortable option, it’s better to look for pet housing that doesn’t have any flooring in the run area. This will make it far easier to keep clean, without the risk of urine or faeces seeping into the tiny gaps in timber.
Although your animal should have an enclosed sleeping area, it’s helpful if there’s protection from the elements in the run too.
This means that there shouldn’t be wire or mesh on all four sides; at least one side should be made from timber. This protects from the rain being blown in as well as blocking cold winds and breezes.
Another useful feature to look for is a pent roof; this means that the roof will slope from one end to the other. The gradient will help any rainwater to quickly run away, and will prevent leaks as well as protecting the timber from prolonged exposure to wet puddles.
Once you’ve considered all of the above, you’ll have a much better idea of the type of exterior pet housing you’re looking for. Remember to buy from a reputable seller who you can trust and you should end up with exterior pet housing which stays in tip top condition for many years.