As a South Floridian by birth, our veins are pumping saltwater, and we have 4 seasons; summer, snow-bird, spring break, and love bug. So, the first time we moved out of state wasn’t small scale. Nope, we moved clear across the country.
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Not just halfway – all the way.
North to snow country
I learned all about something called “lake effect snow“.
So here we are in this frozen wasteland – er, winter wonderland, and the dog is having an absolute blast.
He also learned a new game: going out every 5 minutes.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, it was cute – the first dozen times.
And I certainly understood that it was my fault for calling him in when he clearly wanted to hang out in the snow. But being new to the weather – and not sure how prepared the dog was (him being a Floridian canine and all) to handle the harsher climate, I didn’t want him to be too cold.
Basically, he wanted to be outside and I wanted him inside, cozy and warm.
So the hunt was on for an outdoor dog house/mutt-cave that was large enough for the dog to actually use as a shelter, and would be a warm haven away from the elements.
Oh, and it had to look cool, too.
Come on, Watson – the game is afoot!
Unlike other resin-type, provisional structures, the Indigo dog house is designed for all weather conditions and situations.
The heavy duty, structural foam dome design keeps snow from piling up on top of the shelter and both the dome and base have Microban® incorporated into the material, which works to repel odor-causing bacteria, as well as mold and mildew – and even helps to resist the pesky stains that pop up from time to time.
Structural foam is basically an insulated plastic; it’s lightweight, has insulative properties, and additional mixtures – like antimicrobials – can be added to the process.
This makes the final product extremely durable while being surprisingly lightweight.
The base of the interior is designed to move any interior moisture away from your pet and to the outer edges.
Like any canine structure, venting is required to maintain airflow for a number of reasons, most importantly to keep the air inside the dome fresh. It also keeps your pup comfortable by not overheating.
The assembled Indigo dog house is available in three dog-friendly sizes:
- Medium: (37.5″ L x 30.5″ W x 22.8″ H) for dogs 25-50 lbs.
- Large: (43.8″ L x 34″ W x 25.8″ H) for dogs 50-90 lbs.
- Extra-Large: (51.5″ L x 39.3″ W x 30″ H) for dogs 90-125 lbs
When choosing a size, consider the overall size and not just your pup’s weight.
In this corner …
The biggest surprise was the dome top ventilation. I expected a cheesy ridge-type vent, fully open to the interior. You know – a leak waiting for the first rainfall to convert the shelter into an enclosed pool.
Impressively, the vent is tucked under a rain cover, and the gently sloped downward to encourage water movement away from the shelter vent. Also, the adjustable vent can be tipped up or down, for severe wind or rain conditions.
Those little details really can make a difference.
One of our favorite features of the Indigo dog house is the entryway. Unlike other dome-type doghouses that have their opening flush across the front, Petmate’s Igloo features a unique offset entrance.
This extended entry allows your pup to go in and out of the structure at will, all the while keeping the weather outside where it belongs – and Fido tucked inside warm and dry.
The overall domed design is, as expected, the most practical design for the snowier climates.
There’s no need to be concerned about build-up covering the vent, or causing any structural damage. It turns out that snow can be quite heavy – who knew?
And in that corner …
When purchased online, this doghouse ships in two pieces; the top and base. When received, you simply snap together the domed top and flat bottom to complete the Indigo Igloo. No tools needed.
While it is weather resistant because how the top snaps on the base, we would prefer to see a better seal where the two pieces meet.
Of course, this can easily be remedied with a bead of silicone post-assembly… as long as you don’t plan on separating the top and bottom. Ever.
Although the generous size of the extra-large sized igloo can house the largest dog, the dimensions of the opening may make it difficult for taller dogs to enter and exit.
The entranceway is a generous length, which adds to keeping the interior protected from the elements, but can be difficult for the taller dogs to manage.
The door is better suited in the workshop as a dustpan. Or a Frisbee.
Just skip the door and rig up a couple small pieces of screen across entranceway to the dogloo with the split overlapping in the center – the kids can easily go in and out and it will keep some of the elements out.
But, most importantly, they will go through it – which is more than I can say for the stock door.
The base is the base. Yes, I know – dogs can sleep on just about any surface but if you plan on placing the dog house directly in the ground, you might want to take that into consideration and add padding or extra insulation.
It should be obvious, but this isn’t exactly a portable shelter. At all. If you’re looking for something that will fold up and tuck into the trunk between the cooler and duffel bag, keep on looking.
Don’t Forget …
Petmate offers an optional custom-fitted pad that is designed to fit inside the Indigo perfectly – and no dogloo is complete without it.
This pad is water-resistant, with a quilted cover constructed from a durable water resistant vinyl and replaceable foam padding core.
While keeping in mind the sizes available, this is a well constructed shelter that will offer your dog protection against the elements.
When ordering, consider the size of your dog, rather than matching the weight listed, to ensure they can make it through the opening and have enough room to move around inside (see above for help choosing the right size).
On the other hand, if the Igloo is too large then Rover won’t stay warm enough.
Once assembled, we would remind you of the aforementioned bead of silicone to weather-seal where the top snaps over the base.
Also, we would recommend raising the structure a couple of inches above grade level; a few four-inch blocks and a cut sheet of plywood will add some height above the snow or rain.
This igloo-style dog house has numerous benefits with very few drawbacks; for a premade outdoor shelter, you can’t do much better.
If you’re considering this for a primary outside dog (not judging!), then you would be better off investing in a permanent, long-lasting shelter – a structure that is designed for all the seasons and weather types in your area, and can protect your pup from the elements year around.
In Our Opinion
Between the overall design, quality of material, and construction the Petmate Indigo Igloo Dog House makes it a good part-time outdoor shelter for your pup who insists on hanging out in the snow or cold – or the heat of the summer – and made in the USA is another big plus for us.
Or if your four-legged kid insists on being let in and out of the house every 5 minutes.