Dr. Doghouse can answer any questions you can think of concerning a dog or cat house. Dr. D’s only function in life is trying to assist and make sense of the questions concerning dog and cat house sizing, options, and house configuration variables that differ by geographical regions.
What you need to know about red cedar, white cedar, and treated lumber
Our cat and dog houses reduce your carbon foot print because all of our wood categories (western red cedar, western spruce and pressure treated southern yellow pine) are environmentally friendly and a readily renewable resource…no old growth timber is utilized.
Our sidings and roof materials are domestic western red cedar. Don’t be fooled by pet house manufacturers who claim their houses are “cedar” and portray them to be something they are not. There are basically two species of cedar sidings; western red cedar and white cedar. You can trust that if a pet house isn’t denoted as western red cedar…it is white cedar. The difference is much like a pond and an ocean. Western red cedar is virtually impervious to the outdoor elements. Painting or staining aren’t necessary for western red cedar….God designed it for the outdoors.
On the other hand, white cedar is a much cheaper wood species that is quite similar to spruce. It can not be used outdoors unless it is painted or stained. It is incorrect for anyone to advertise differently.
Just as important as the species of cedar we utilize,, our houses are all hand assembled with screws and nails. Each house panel has the handwritten signature of the craftsman who assembled it. No automatic machine is used to cut, assemble, stain or glue any of our pet houses. Blythe Wood Works still does it the American way….with craftsmen that care, one house at a time.
If you look close at our houses, you can see that we use a clear #1 grade siding in a narrow width pattern. Each piece of siding is double nailed on all houses up to Extra Large. Extra Large and up are tripled nailed. Some manufacturers claim they “screw” their siding; they have to because they use a wider, lower grade siding that would curl if it wasn’t screwed.
The base or floor system is the foremost important panel section of any dog or cat house. The upper structure can be constructed of the very best materials, assembled with the greatest skill, but if the floor foundation is not constructed with pressure treated wood, it will absolutely rot with ground contact. Termites always attack from the ground up and the floor is the first susceptible target and they will eat cedar (red and especially white). Under ordinary circumstances, white cedar, western red cedar, spruce and pine lumber that has direct ground contact can begin to decay within a year. But properly pressure treated wood lasts twenty times longer, greatly reducing the amount of wood that would be required to replace untreated structures damaged by decay or termites.
So, before you spend hundreds of dollars for your next pet house, make sure the floor foundation (joist) is made of treated wood so that your dog or cat house will last at least as long as your pet. Also note, the flooring on top of the treated floor joist on our houses is tongue and groove red cedar. There is a misconception due to ignorance on the safety of pressure treated wood. It is perfectly safe for everyday use around your home, children and pets. Treated lumber is a non toxic product that only frustrates termites, fungus and decay. You can play barefoot on it, build garden beds out of it, lie out in the sun on it, or eat a picnic lunch on it. It is a truly green wood product.