Dog lovers are a strange breed. Some pamper their pet with special clothing and bags, stone-studded leashes, and painted nails. Other dog lovers go out of their way to treat their pet well. My husband loves to give his two Labradors some affection with an elegant home fit for a king.

Although dogs live outdoors, there are times when they need the extra protection that a cozy basement room can provide. Most winter nights, however, they are kept warm enough in the dog house thanks to the reflective insulation.

Comprised of a thin, highly reflective aluminum skin with a tough inner polyester mesh, reflective aluminum (also known as a radiant barrier or reflective foil) is lightweight and tear resistant. Interestingly, it is easy to handle and cut with a utility knife or scissors.

My husband built our 2×4 dog house with plywood interior and exterior walls. Between them was a nice layer of ground insulation and reflective insulation. We also put reflective insulation under the floor. Because our dogs are puppies, they are still inclined to rip and chew most of the things they can get with their mouths. Perhaps if you have older dogs it will not be necessary to do it that way.

In any case, the dogs are warm and cozy inside your home thanks to the unique L-shaped construction and two types of insulation. Raised off the ground by several feet, the entrance is accessible by a ramp so snow piles can accumulate and cause the interior to get wet and soggy. So far the focus seems to work well on all but the coldest nights, thanks to reflective insulation.

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