Heating Systems, A Construction Issue

A number of years ago, imbedding hot water lines into the concrete of dog kennels became a fad.  The idea was that running hot water under the kennel would keep the dog comfortable in the winter.  Of all of the heating systems that we have experimented with, this was our worst idea.

Without proper controls, there s a high probability that a hot water system could burn the dogs.  Many contractors got too carried away in laying the heater hose and did not create any cool areas.  At best, the underground heating system should only make up a quarter, but no more that a third of the kennel area.  In northern climates, it is probably best to place the system against exterior walls to keep the cold out.  There should ALWAYS be sufficient room to allow a dog to move away from the heated area to find a more comfortable spot.

If burning your dogs is not enough to worry about, wait until one of the underground lines burst; then your fancy heating system becomes worthless in an instant.  Animal shelters are usually kept long past their useful life, the more “junk” that you incorporate into your shelter design is the more junk that will go bad.

While we are on the topic of temperature, we have some false notion that dogs prefer to live at the temperature comfortable for humans.  Many northern breed dogs prefer must cooler temperatures.  I have witnessed so many people freaking out when the heating system failed an the temperature of the kennel dropped below fifty degrees.