Dog Tales

Effectively improving the quality of your dog’s life through diet is something to be proud of. You are protecting your doggie dependent. Another way to make sure they stay safe, is choosing the right method of supervision for the times you can’t be home. If your pooch can’t be trusted to not dig up the couch, or not get into the trash, or you live in a place where the weather is not conducive to a self-use pet door, you understand the struggle. Let’s review what has worked, and not worked for my own postulated puppy problem.

A Dogs Tale

As poor college students, my husband and I decided the best way to save money and use resources readily available to us, was to make our own outdoor kennel. So, my husband first built a dog house out of scrap wood he had laying around. We padded it with hay to keep the dogs comfortable and warm in the winter months. Next, my mother-in-law lent us a latching kennel door she had from when they used to raise sled dogs, and we picked up some tall wire fencing from the feed store. We went to town unraveling and nailing up this organically shaped kennel, using the spruce and birch trees surrounding our property as posts. We lined the outside of the kennel with logs, to try preventing any jailbreaks. The key word here is “try”. You can imagine, as soon as we let the dogs out of our sight, even for just five minutes, one of them, the Houdini as I like to call him, had dug his way out and bolted. Got the dog back eventually, but it was still scary. The outdoor kennel built of our own blood, sweat and tears was a fail, but this was only the beginning…

Our next tactic, included using a heavy duty chain, carabiner, and two sturdy trees. This time we were making an outdoor dog run. This meant the dogs would be latched to a long lead strung between two trees that they could run back and forth on. As soon as I had been at work, on oh, maybe day two or three of us using this new method, I received a call from an unknown number. This person, who lived quite a ways up the road from my house, proceeded to inform me that she had my Houdini dog in her possession. He had apparently busted through the chain, ran many blocks up the road to harass this neighbor, all the while dragging the damning evidence of his long, busted through lead from his collar. Embarrassed, upset and disheartened, I retrieved my persistent escape artist, and went back to the proverbial drawing board.

What to do next

It must have been around this time that we started conceptualizing, even blue printing out a plan to install a doggie door in our arctic entryway, and put fencing up around the front stoop, fully enclosing it for full security. That way, they would only be going outside under an awning to do their business, and come back. However, as my faith in these homemade dog fixes waned considerably, I was not about to put myself through more anguish should, goodness forbid, another run away occur. We were going to invest in something tried and true, for once and for all.

Indoor Dog kenneling

Indoor kenneling was never something I grew up around, at least not with my family. Then again, we never had such destructive dogs. So, we bought the largest wire indoor kennel we could find, padded it with blankets, and the rest is history. The dogs preferred to share one, so they did. It was an affordable Wal-Mart find, called the Prevue Pet Products On-The-Go Single-Door Dog Crate. The duration in which we allow them in their kennel is four hours minimum, and eight hours max. Any longer than eight hours and you’re approaching an abusive timeframe, their bladders, bowels and joints need a break, not to mention the basic need for food and water. Indoor kenneling is the only way we can go about our daily lives, that makes everyone happy. It’s not just for the owner to have the freedom to go about their business, it’s for the safety of the pets as well. My super intelligent dog has eaten sunscreen, and there are SO many choking hazards around the house you don’t even think of that these little creatures can get into, it’s just not worth the risk. Get yourself an indoor kennel, and never look back. We were quite relieved to do so ourselves.