Keeping pets can be very expensive when you consider the cost of basic needs such as cages and other housing materials. There are plenty of dog houses available in the market, but these are usually very expensive, and are not tailor made for specific types of dogs. If you want a house that you can customize to fit the needs and personality of your dog – as well as your own tastes – a barrel dog house is for you. Barrels are stylish and readily available and can easily be transformed into dog houses. Here are the steps to making one.
- Cut the entrance. Take a plastic and clean it. Let the barrel dry in the open air. These barrels are usually made of strong and resilient materials similar to what plastic dog houses are made from. Once the barrel is prepared, let it stand on one end, preferably the one that has a flat end. Once this is done, take a marker and sketch a half circle on the end of the barrel that will act as the doorway or entrance for your pet. Use a saw to cut the entrance. Take sandpaper and use this to smooth out the edges of the hole, especially since plastic surfaces create rough patches when manually cut.
- Add holes. Once your dog can enter the dog house, you also need to provide and exit for dog waste. Although you will use shavings and blankets to absorb most of the waste that your dog makes, you still need holes to allow excess waste to quickly leave the barrel dog house. Do this by drilling holes into the barrel. Drill a set of holes at the bottom of the barrel to allow waste to escape. You can also drill several holes on the top and the sides of the barrel to allow air to enter and to keep the barrel dog house well ventilated.
- Add support. Because the barrel dog house is circular in shape when laid in the floor, you need to keep it secure and in place using support blocks. The best support blocks are made out of wood and are tailored to specifically adhere to the shape of the barrel. Take two blocks of wood and measure a curve found on two opposite ends of the barrel. Use a jigsaw to cut the curve out. This will allow you to place the barrel on top of the blocks. Keep in mind that the barrel slopes not just in circumference, but also bulges towards the center. Adjust the blocks to accommodate this slant.
- Finishing touches. To finish off your barrel dog house, take filling materials and use it to keep the dog house warm and comfortable. Be sure that you add a base of cedar chips or other types of shavings. You can also use straw or pine shavings. However, cedar is widely used as fillers for pet cages since these absorb moisture and odor. Also add a blanket inside to keep the shavings from sticking into the fur of your pet dog.
With these in mind, creating a dog house from a barrel can easily be done. You can also use the same idea for creating houses for other small animals such as cats.