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Step 11: UPDATES AND MODIFICATIONS/IMPROVEMENTS

While the Hot Dog House is officially 'built,' there is always room for improvement, starting with the pad I put inside for the pups to lay on. A few years ago we picked up a cooling mat (the blue thing in the pictures Lucifur is laying on) that you fill with water. While it does provide some cooling via evaporation, it was also heavy and worked best if kept in the shade. While you don't need one of these for the Hot Dog House (a good foam pad or crate pillow is always a nice alternative), it's a nice added layer of cool for the pups and helps to keep the entire space soft and comfortable.

UPGRADES WE HAVE DONE SINCE THE ORIGINAL PUBLISHING OF THIS INSTRUCTABLE:

Another improvement I've made is to swap out the original PC fan for a much larger, more robust inline duct fan. While the smaller PC fan was perfect when the weather was cooler, it quickly became obvious once we started hitting 95F+ temps that we were going to need something with a little more "oompfh." I picked up the improved fan from Amazon.com and installed it exactly like I did the first one, simply tracing around it and expanding the original fan hole by about an inch.

The new upgraded fan I purchased was originally intended to be directly hardwired into an AC system, so I also had to pick up a cord with a plug and a switch and wire it to the new fan. Both of these items have now been included in the supplies list.

Another change I implemented was to put a raised grate into the bottom of the cooler to help lift the ice block bottles off the floor, making it easier for the air to circulate through the entire space before exiting the top through the vent. This will help make it more efficient and make the air exiting the cooler even, well...cooler!

Finally, to make the house as easy to move as the cooler, I added four caster wheels to the bottom of the dog house legs to make it mobile. I can now push the house around and give Fat Panda a variety of places where she can chill out in her house and still feel like she's a part of the fun while we're all out this summer!

But don't think the Hot Dog House is only good for half the year. Now that it's all insulated, the Hot Dog House is also warmer in the winter! Remove the AC tube and use the hole as an exit for a heating pad or warming pad cord and then plug up the rest of the space with more insulation foam and a cap (you can pick up caps that will fit at the hardware store). Swap out the thinner vinyl door for a thicker solid dog door, stuff it full of blankets, and you'll have a toasty place for your pup to snuggle down in come colder weather.

Oh, and before I forget, our AC unit is also multi-functional and can be used for a variety of cooling purposes as well including cooling tents when you're camping, as an additional way to keep cool yourself either inside or out, and even in the car (grab that fan with the cigarette lighter adaptor and you're set!). And of course, if you don't fill the whole cooler up with ice blocks, it's still a darn good way to keep drinks and sodas cool while you're chilling your Hot Dog House!

I hope this Instructable inspires you to do something as equally "cool" for your friend this summer!

What we won't do for our fur babies. Great job.
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