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Winter Cold and Dog Forts

 
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I wasn't thinking enough and ended up in a last ditch scenario regarding shelter for our two, medium sized dogs.   I hadn't thought much about it because they live inside, with us, except when we go to town.  It dawned on me they need significant shelter in the hours we are away (town is an hour away, so. . . .).

The commercial stuff I looked at on line was a sad joke.  Nearly everything was too small, the equivalent of buying a tiny home, or both.

I priced building one and even that ends up around $275.00, after buying a couple sheets of ply ($150.00), a few 2x's (trusses, corners, etc. $30.00) and some metal roofing $80.00).

I'm starting to eyeball combine, or, in a pinch, stacked tractor tires.

Any ideas?


SIDE NOTES:  

(1)  The door would be flaps of treadmill fabric layered so it made a good barrier to wind.
(2)  I'd cut a "window" and install a piece of Plexi from my hoarded stock.
(3)  I'd leave a 40 watt bulb running to warm the house
(4)  The floor would be a pallet covered in layers of old carpet.
(5)  I'm out to lunch on the roof. It may be some heavy gauge metal from the side of a combine in my buddy's scrap field.  It may be two 2x's (arched) for temporary support of a tarp.
Combine-Tire-1.jpg
[Thumbnail for Combine-Tire-1.jpg]
 
master pollinator
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Why not do them standing up?   Seems that might save some cutting and roofing work?   Bolt them together.   Fit a solid back over one opening.  Make a flexi-door for the front side out of something that lets light in?   drill some drainage holes?   I can imagine my dogs finding that a pretty cool fort?
 
Kelly Craig
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Pros and cons to any approach.

I thought about standing them up. I would have to deal with leaks where they joined [and there will be major leaks].

I'd still cut them, for various reasons. Those range from that we had 70-100 mph winds the other day to that I'll have to work on aesthetics (it is next to my house). Anyway, cutting them is no issue. A Sawsall and a bi-metal blade makes cutting them very quick work.


In the end, that one is still on the board, as a potential.


Heather Staas wrote:Why not do them standing up?   Seems that might save some cutting and roofing work?   Bolt them together.   Fit a solid back over one opening.  Make a flexi-door for the front side out of something that lets light in?   drill some drainage holes?   I can imagine my dogs finding that a pretty cool fort?

 
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Might be time for me get new eyeglasses ...I read the subject title as "Winter Cold and Dog FARTS"  (like what do you do when you can't just open a window. haha!).  Reminded me of an old girlfriend - her dog's farts could peel paint!

Anyway, back to the topic at hand ....if you have access to pallets, maybe you could slap together some kind of a "pallet fort"?
I made this firewood crib out of three pallets and some scrap lumber. It wouldn't take much more effort to fashion a roof and attach some kind of siding.
Maybe use some T1-11 on the 'street' side so it looks a bit more presentable.



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Heather Staas
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However you end up doing it, post back results!  This is so creative, can't wait to see how it evolves
 
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I've seen a nifty design from using a large wooden spool like plastic pipe or wire comes on. The edge of the spool gives the roof a natural overhang which is nice. Basically just cut a door (the smaller the better) and cover the top with something waterproof.
 
Kelly Craig
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Though pallets are free for the asking, I hadn't even thought about that one. Too simple and common sense, I guess.

Heather Staas wrote:
However you end up doing it, post back results!  This is so creative, can't wait to see how it evolves

 
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I was going to suggest pallets, too.

Do you know your dogs will go in a shelter? I've got three different dog houses and a bunch more temporary shelters and one of my dogs won't use any of them. The most he'll do for himself is lie under a pine tree, which isn't much help in a heavy rain. 🙄 My old lab was the same.
 
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Hi Kelly,
I'm not a dog expert, but we did keep a couple dogs in Maine, where it gets fairly cold. I don't think you mentioned what kind of dogs? If you did, I missed it, and I'm sorry. Naturally a long haired dog won't need as much protection as a short haired dog. If the dog house/fort is small enough, you shouldn't need any kind of light for heat. We built ours small and put lots of straw inside for bedding. I don't recall exactly the size, but it was less than counter height and couldn't have been more than 2 and a half feet wide and not more than 4 feet long. The dog we built it for was a husky/chow/lab mutt to give you an idea of size. Our second dog used it too for a while. That dog was a lab doberman mutt. Our dogs would move the straw around and make a sort of nest on the side away from the door. We did add some foam insulation to the sides to help. We had some of the roll roofing left over from a shed, so we used that on top. I don't know if it would be any cheaper than metal roofing. But building them smaller would use fewer materials and help the dogs to stay warm easier.
 
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We have an Australian Shepherd and a Border Collie. While I have 2 dog houses for them, they would accept death rather than enter one.  Normally, they find their own shelter. .. such as digging a den.   I have stacked a few bales of straw in the the hay shed for their use. They begrudgingly accept this shelter only in the worse weather.  Of course, the straw eventually gets used and replaced, so the straw shelter costs nothing.
 
John F Dean
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I need to add that dog house/shelter location might be very important to your dog.   What do they see as their job/entertainment?   My dogs want a view of the driveway, the back porch, and the corrals and chicken house for the live stock. We fully accommodate 2 out of 3 and do a reasonable job on the 3rd with the straw bale shelter.  
 
Kelly Craig
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Don't know, absent trying

Jan White wrote:I was going to suggest pallets, too.

Do you know your dogs will go in a shelter? I've got three different dog houses and a bunch more temporary shelters and one of my dogs won't use any of them. The most he'll do for himself is lie under a pine tree, which isn't much help in a heavy rain. 🙄 My old lab was the same.

 
Kelly Craig
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One is part Mastif and part mouse (so can get his butt through holes he makes 1/4th the size of himself). The other is an Anatolian-Sheppard mix.  Both should be able to weather the weather, BUT they spend a large portion of their lives inside, out of the subzero.  Since acclimation is everything with any species. . . .

Lived in 50 below country and had everything from a Collie and a Lab to a Norwegian Elkhound. To find him at night (checking up on him when the temps hit the 50 below mark), we learned to check the snow backs the plow had made.  Even on the coldest nights he could be found snoozing on top one.  However, those dogs lived their lives
outside the home, except in nasty weather.


Matt McSpadden wrote:Hi Kelly,
I'm not a dog expert, but we did keep a couple dogs in Maine, where it gets fairly cold. I don't think you mentioned what kind of dogs? If you did, I missed it, and I'm sorry. Naturally a long haired dog won't need as much protection as a short haired dog. If the dog house/fort is small enough, you shouldn't need any kind of light for heat. We built ours small and put lots of straw inside for bedding. I don't recall exactly the size, but it was less than counter height and couldn't have been more than 2 and a half feet wide and not more than 4 feet long. The dog we built it for was a husky/chow/lab mutt to give you an idea of size. Our second dog used it too for a while. That dog was a lab doberman mutt. Our dogs would move the straw around and make a sort of nest on the side away from the door. We did add some foam insulation to the sides to help. We had some of the roll roofing left over from a shed, so we used that on top. I don't know if it would be any cheaper than metal roofing. But building them smaller would use fewer materials and help the dogs to stay warm easier.

 
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