A wooden dog house should be a warm and comfortable space for your pet pooch to sleep in. What’s more, it needs to be durable as well, providing secure shelter from the wind and rain.
But, not all types of wood are best suited for handling wet-weather conditions.
Which is why exterior wood is often infused with wood preservatives designed to help wood stave off decay and rot. This is called ‘pressure treatment’. And, in most cases, the chemicals used to pressure treat wood can often be too dangerous to have near your dog.
But, does that mean that all pressure treated wood is unsafe for dogs?
Well, in this post, you will discover what really goes into pressure-treated wood. You will also learn which particular types of treated timber are safe to have around our furry friends.
And keep reading to discover the best (and most pet-safe) way to protect exterior wood from rot and decay.
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What Is The Safest Type Of Treated Wood You Can Use For A Dog House?
Out of all of the different milling treatments wood gets put through, heat-treated wood is the safest one. Heat-treated wood — that’s not been put through any additional chemical treatments — has merely been dried using a kiln oven.
You see, heat-treatment is simply a way to fast track wood seasoning.
Seasoning is a process that aims to dry freshly cut lumber by leaving it to air-dry for nearly a year. On the other hand, kiln-drying (a popular heat-treatment) involves placing wood in a kiln oven for a few days.
Now, provided that heat-treated wood has not been further fumigated or treated with preservatives, it is not dangerous. In short, heat-treated wood is simply very dry natural solid timber.
What About Pressure Treated Wood? Is It Safe To Use To Make An Outdoor Dog House?
Well, pressure-treatments are a completely different kettle of fish to heat-treatments.
Heat-treating wood helps to season and stabilize wood by reducing the amount of moisture in lumber. But, pressure treatment aims to make wood rot-resistant by infusing wood with chemical wood preservatives.
Those preservatives act like fungicides, killing off mold bacteria before they have a chance to grow inside lumber. Which is why exterior wood is almost always pressure treated before use, as this treatment can help prevent wood rot.
But, without those preservatives, exterior wood can rot away fast in the face of all of that wind, rain, and UV-intensive sunshine.
Now, the specific chemicals used in the pressure treatment process, can vary wildly.
Some types of pressure treated wood contain water-soluble copper. While some especially dangerous types of pressure treatments can contain significant amounts of arsenic.
So, as a general rule of thumb, there are no pressure treated timbers that are safe for a dog house. Particularly if you think your dog may take a few nibbles out of that kennel.
Are There Truly No Safe Pressure Treated Wood Options Out There?
Well, green-treated wood is safe to use in and around farms and residential gardens. This wood has been infused with water soluble copper wood preservatives.
And it is the copper component of this treatment that gives green-treated wood a green hue — hence the name.
The safest type of green treated wood is Alkaline Copper Quaternary (ACQ). The wood preservatives saturating this lumber contain Copper Oxide. And Copper Oxide is also known as Cupric Oxide, which can be found in certain over-the-counter multivitamins.
What’s more, ACQ wood is approved by the E.P.A. (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) for use around residential properties.
That Means Green Pressure Treated Wood Is Safe For A Dogs House, Right?
Well, when it comes to pet’s that love to chew wood, you should avoid using green treated wood for their home.
Dogs may chew on their dog house if they’re anxious or suffering from separation anxiety. Or even if they are simply feeling a bit bored.
And the last thing you want to risk is your dog chomping down onto chemically treated timber — green or not.
OK…So What Kind Of Wood Preservative Can You Use To Treat A Dog House With?
First off, simply stick to natural solid wood. And instead, you can add a pet-safe wood preservative to natural solid wood yourself.
And the best way to do this is with Cuprinol’s Clear Wood Preserver.
This dog-safe wood preserver will soak right down into wood, coating wood fibers. This allows this odorless preserver to protect wood from the inside out.
It’s easy to apply, but it is only a base coat — meaning that it’ll need to be paired with a top coating sealant or paint.
You can find out more about pet-safe paint options by hopping on over to our article here: Is There A Bird Safe Paint For Wood? (+ Why VOC’s Are The Real Problem)
To Wrap Up, Here Are The 3 Key Takeaways From This Post…
- 1). Pressure treated wood has been treated with chemical wood preservatives. Some of the chemicals used to pressure treat wood may even contain arsenic.
- 2). If your dog might chew on their dog house, it’s not safe to use pressure treated wood to make it.
- 3). Use natural solid timber to make a dog house. However, you can simply add a pet-safe wood preservative to it yourself.
Treated Wood In The Landscape | Home & Garden Information Center