There are several dog houses available for your Mastiff. They're a great idea if you have a Mastiff that likes to spend lots of time sleeping outside. They offer protection from the rain and wind as well as shade from the sun. If your Mastiff is outdoors frequently, you should consider purchasing a house for them.
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Dog houses need to do more than just look cute, they need to be useful. Take your Mastiff to the pet store to try some out, so you can at least get an idea of whether or not they will use it. You need to choose a house that is well-ventilated and easy to move, as well as offering good visibility so you can see your dog when they're in it. You also need to consider why you want one. Don't put your dog outside in a misguided attempt at solving behavioral problems, or because they shed too much. Some dogs enjoy spending time outdoors to run and play, but leaving them outside around the clock isn't fair. Use a dog house as a sort of doggy playhouse for their outdoor time, not to provide shelter because they're constantly outside.
Choosing what material the house is made of is simple. Metal and plastic both react poorly to extreme conditions, both absorbing heat and freezing with the cold. Although you may hear that plastic is great because it's easy to clean, that's really the only good thing about it. Wood is far better because it won't turn into an oven or a freezer. Make sure the wood isn't coated in any harmful substances such as stains or pressure treated, because if your dog decides to take a taste of his happy home, he could become fatally ill.
If the house is safe for a child, it's good for your dog. It's absolutely possible to find premade dog shelters that are made with entirely safe materials, or you can make your own. There are a few features to consider, including: windows that can be opened and closed according to the season, a raised floor to prevent flooding and bug infestations, and a removable roof for easy access to clean it.
Finally, you need to consider size and, as they say in the real estate business, location, location, location. Your dog should be able to stand up and turn around easily, but shelters that are so large they can walk around inside are too big. Placement matters because if you put the house right next to a fence, you dog can climb on top, up and over the fence, and be gone. Additionally, your dog's house should be inside a fenced yard.
A dog house is not a replacement for a proper fence. Neither should your dog be tied to their dog house for security, nor should he be locked inside one; remembers, a dog house is not a solution for a behavioral issue. If you tie a dog to anything, they can easily become entangled or escape and it also causes a multitude of behavioral and training issues. Dog shelters can be great for the occasional outdoor playtime, but don't use them as a replacement for proper care. Choose a safe, non-toxic wooden shelter, preferably with a raised floor and functioning windows, and put it somewhere in your yard where you can see inside as much as possible.
First, when outside, make sure the material is washable and tough. You don't want to buy a bed and be unable to wash it properly. The cover should be removable for ease of cleaning. What kind of cloth is mostly personal preference, so simply buy whatever you like best. The one exception is if you have a dog spending a great deal of time outside. In that case, you'll want a tougher fabric designed to withstand the outdoors, moisture, and wear and tear. There are water-resistant beds made specifically for the great outdoors.
Dog cushions typically come in the form of foam inserts, cedar chips, pillows, and actual mattresses. If your dog is older and needs extra joint support, purchasing an orthopedic bed can provide relief just like it does for your own bad back. And if your dog likes to rest his head on a toy or the arm of the couch, there are plenty of beds with a raised edge so he can continue to do that. The best beds are simply the ones best suited to your dog's individual needs.
Buying a dog cushion should be right up there with buying a leash and collar. As well as giving your dog his very own corner of the household to call his own, the soft cushion between him and the hard floor and removes the need to jump on and off other furniture. If possible, take your dog with you to try them out. Whether you buy cedar for its scent and flea-repelling qualities or foam for its soft-yet-firm surface, your dog will thank you. Beds are an important basic necessity for your dog, and you may find that once you have one that you need even more around the house.
Every dog cushion manufacturer claims that their dog is the most comfortable dog cushion on the market. Only your dog will know for sure. The best way to judge if your dog likes his cushion is if he uses it or not. If you buy a cushion and your dog turns his nose up to it, there could be several reasons for his displeasure. Most dog cushions have a "new" smell that most dogs do not like. It may help to cover a new dog cushion with a towel or blanket that already has your smell or your dogs smell on it. Washing a new cushion may also help. However, if after several months, your dog still does not like his new cushion, you may have to accept the fact that you choose the wrong cushion, and consider buying a new one.
The best way to choose the right cushion is to carefully watch your dog and determine his favorite sleep patterns. The most comfortable dog cushion for your dog will be comfortable in his favorite sleep positions, and will not require him to adopt a new sleep position. If your dog likes to stretch out in front of the fireplace, than a doughnut or cuddler cushion may not be the best choice.
Dogs are designed to be perfectly happy sleeping outside on the ground, so most dog cushions will provide more than adequate cushion. In fact some dog cushions may be too soft or mushy for your dog. Some of the new orthopedic dog cushions have additional layers of foam for more support and comfort for older and disabled dogs; however they will work perfectly well for healthy dogs. A comfortable dog cushion, for most dogs, will be soft but still firm so that the dog is cushioned from the floor but is lying on a stable base.
All my life I've been in love with one big friendly dopey Mastiff family member after another. No other breed has given me so much pleasure. I care about them as much if not more than most of the people I've ever known and now it's a dream to be able to research and write up everything my team and I have learned and are continuing to learn. Hope you enjoy reading about them as much as I enjoy writing :)
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