The most obvious factor - geographic location
If you live in an area with freezing cold winters and plenty of rain you should consider a heated dog house or at least one that is well insulated and waterproof. If it's really cold you can add in a heated bed or pad. Make sure you use a heated pad that's designed for animals and not humans, as the latter can get too hot for a dog. Heated pet beds operate safely at a lower voltage and are usually built to be chew proof. Look for cedar chip stuffing, too, as it repels the fleas. If you are concerned that other dogs or critters from the neighborhood will take advantage of this cozy, warm haven, choose a dog house with a magnetic door that allows only your dog to enter.
If you have the opposite problem and keeping your dog cool is more of a priority, make sure you choose a house that is well ventilated and position it in a shaded area of the yard. If your dog is really having trouble with the heat, some manufacturers offer air conditioned dog houses. And you can find specialty dog beds such as the Canine Cooler that help keep you pet feeling comfortable, especially when temperatures head over 100 degrees.
Another important factor is the size of the house
Measure the size of your dog to determine the length and height of the house you need. Your pet should have enough room to be able to turn around and stretch out but not so much space that they can never get warm. They're really just using the space to sleep so it doesn't have to be a mansion, just cozy.
Next, decide which material best suit your needs.
You can find dog houses made out plastic, wooden, PVC and galvanized steel. You can choose one that is completely finished, right down to the paint, to some that need partial assembly. And if you are a real do-it-your-selfer you can purchase a set of plans and build your own dog house.
What if your pet refuses to go into the dog house?
Sure, it can be tough convincing your dog that this really is what's best for him but there are ways to do so even if he is stubborn. Use his new home as a feeding location and he'll soon grow to love it. As added incentive, leave some treats and toys inside his new abode.
Once you've decided upon your dogs needs, take a look at the choices online. You'll find prices range from about $50 for a heated dog mat to several hundred dollars for a dog house that is insulated and heated. But when your dog heads out to his little house on that cold and rainy winter night you'll feel good knowing he's warm and cozy, and completely protected from the elements. For more information visit: http://www.a1-dogs.com/dog-houses.htm
About the Author
Nicole Martins is author and publisher of http://www.a1-dogs.com a buyer's guide to the best dog supplies, dog products and dog accessories available online.