Simple Dog Doors
Whether it is insects in the summer or cold in the winter, my dogs need a place to escape and relax. They hate bug dope and smudges don't always work. The result was grumpy, unhappy dogs during mosquito and blackfly season. Time to come up with a plan.
I sat down and thought about ways to keep the elements off of them. The simplest solution was to cover the doghouse doorways with plastic in winter and screen during summer.The design uses 4 inch overlapping strips of plastic or screen, weighed down at the bottom with coins.
What you will need:
- A roll of 20 guage plastic/screen or about two feet (width), of plastic/screen per doghouse.
- Duct tape.
- Nickles or some other heavy coin.
- Sizzors or a circular cutter.
- Self healing mat
- Yard stick
- Stapler perferably the kind you hammer.
Top of doorway:
Measure the length and width of your doghouse door,add 8 inches (or 2 four inch strips on either side) to the width of the plastic/screen, this will give you an idea of how many strips of plastic/screen you will need for the door.
Lay the plastic/screen material on the self healing mat. Try to keep the screen as straight as possible on the mat by using the grid as a guide. Cut 4" wide strips of the plastic/screen using a yard stick.
Using the grid on the mat lay the plastic/screen strips one over the other, overlapping them by 1 inch. Once all of your strips are laid out then place duct tape across the top of the plastic/screen. Turn the screen peices over that you have just taped and repeat the process.
Bottom of Doorway:
To make it easier to work on the bottom of the doors I flip the extra flaps up and out of the way. Place two coins on the bottom of the plastic/screen stip. Cover the coins with duct tape making sure to leave enough of the tape to fold over the bottom of the strip onto the other side. Cut the excess tape off of the sides if needed.
Turn the screen over and place another peice of duct tape at the same height as the first peice. Then fold the duct tape over the bottom and onto the other side. Repeat until all of the strips are done
Once you have all of the strips with coins and duct tape you are ready to place the plastic/screen on the doghouses. I stand the doghouse on its back and lay the screen at the top of the doorway. The bottom should be below the bottom of the doorway so the dogs can push the strips outward as needed.
Using a hammer stapler makes attaching the screens easier. You can staple the screen doorways one handed using the stapler.
Once the plastic/screen is attached then you can put the doghouse back on its feet. You will find that once the dogs realize that the wind/bugs cannot get at them, they will use the doghouses a lot more. My dogs arrange the plastic/screen flaps when they go inside the doghouse. By arranging I mean they will close the flaps to keep the wind/bugs out or open them to stick their noses out. The plastic/screen doors also prevent snow/heavy rains from bouncing up into the doorways.
During winter the dogs stay warmer with the flaps preventing the wind from whistling through. I can always tell which doghouse is occupied by the way the plastic gets fogged up.