Most USA and UK dog specialists don’t give straightforward recommendations in regard to the best place to arrange a sleeping accommodation for the dog within an urban interior. It depends on the age, psychological and biological characteristics of your pet. However, many believe that the dog-friendly balcony is a suitable option to make the life comfortable for both the pup and the owner.
Pros And Cons Of A Balcony Dog Kennel
Pros for the owner
- If the pup is rather mischievous and not yet trained to behave well, you may keep him in the balcony kennel when you are not home or at nights. So, the young dog won’t be able to tear off wallpaper or torture the furniture, while you’re not there to give the animal a piece of your mind.
- The dog-friendly balcony is probably spacious enough to house not only a sleeping accommodation for the doggy, but also a storage system for all the related supplies: toys, bags of dog food, shampoos, brushes and grooming equipment, etc.
- You may feed or groom the dog on the balcony (in the latter case, don’t forget to arrange a wall socket at hand).
- The cool balcony environment will stimulate the growth of a thick undercoat in your dog.
Cons for the owner
- You have to make the dog-friendly balcony coldproof, which will increase the cost of your home renovation. Another idea for dogs with a thick coat involves installation of a winterized doghouse.
- You should monitor the air temperature on the balcony. It’s necessary that your dog is not continually exposed to temperatures below 7-10°C. Regardless of the breed, being cold in winter won’t improve your pet’s health. Great temperature fluctuations when your dog comes from the balcony into the apartment (where it’s usually around 20°C) are not healthy either.
- If your dog does have a thick undercoat, you may avoid winterizing the balcony’s design by installing a portable heater able to keep the air temperature above 11°C automatically. Be sure to arrange a wall socket on the balcony, and see that the heater is installed beyond the dog’s reach.
- Although dogs are very clever animals, it will take you quite a long time to train your pup to behave quietly when you need him to stay on the balcony.
Pros for the dog
- Your doggy will have his own home, his lair, which is far better than a bedding in a corner of your bedroom or living room.
- If you have children or receive visitors, the pup can rest peacefully on the balcony when he is tired of playing or scared by something or someone.
- If your pet gets sick, the balcony will serve as a convenient separate “hospital ward.”
- Some dogs enjoy observing the world from a height, so you may arrange a pallet on the roof of the doghouse to make your pet happy.
Cons for the dog
- The animal may get bored during your absence, and the dog-friendly balcony is usually too small for him to stretch his legs well.
- If your pup enjoys ruling the roost in your home, he may be offended and confused by his “exile” to the balcony.
Ideas To Make The Balcony Safe And Comfortable For Your Pet
- Glass your Dog-Friendly balcony. It’s actually the zero point in ensuring your pet’s safety, especially if you live higher than the ground floor. Otherwise, it is absolutely unacceptable to leave the dog on the balcony alone without supervision. If your balcony is open but you still often need to leave your pup there for a while, see about improving the railing that surrounds the deck. Install an additional inner fence of wood with planks fitted very close to each other. This will prevent your dog from getting his head stuck in the railing. If you want the pup to enjoy the view, think about complementing the railing with a durable fine net.
- Remove toxic greenery. If you’ve always enjoyed keeping a beautiful small garden of pot plants on the balcony, now it’s time to reconsider your hobby. Many eye-appealing decorative plants may be poisonous or harmful to you pup. Moreover, most dogs are antsy; while you’re not looking, your pet will enjoy digging in your precious pots. If you are set to keep the balcony green and flowering against the odds, have a close look at the highly decorative cache-pots, which will hang from the ceiling beyond reach of the curious pup. You may also arrange a pot with plants intended specifically for the doggy to sniff and eat.
- Get prepared to wet accidents. You surely don’t want to confuse and anger the neighbors on the lower floor when your pup relieves himself on the dog-friendly balcony. Before caging the dog in the balcony kennel, walk him outside. Unless you want to risk, lay a leak-proof plastic mat on the floor. Opt for a softer one, which will be nice on the touch for your dog’s paws. For a potty-trained small breed, add a pee pad or a patch of potty grass.
- Create the necessary comforts. In warm summer days, you balcony-kept dog will need a few simple comforts, such as:
- a dog bed;
- a shaded corner to hide from the strong sunlight;
- a spill-proof bowl with clean fresh water;
- a bowl with food (if the pup is kept outside the apartment for a couple hours);
- a bunch of the dog’s favorite toys to kill the time.
- Arrange an exit. Unless you mean for your pet to be exiled on the dog-friendly balcony, order a custom-design balcony door with a built-in pet door. If you’re on a budget, consider the idea of keeping the balcony door constantly open. Hang a mesh screen-type curtain over the aperture – your dog will easily walk through it, while annoying insects won’t invade the interior of your apartment.
We recommend looking at a blog about pets: 10 Dog-Friendly Ideas for Apartment Balconies.