As the owner of two dogs for the past 10 years, I have had the experience of trying a variety of different dog house this is what I learned.
For starters what is a DIY dog house kit?
It is a dog house that is built by a manufacturer and then sent to your front door in a kit form (usually 7 panels) and you will have to assemble it yourself, hence the DIY.
As mentioned, the kit usually consists of seven panels a front, left side, right side, rear panel, the floor, and the roof assembly which is usually two separate panels for a total of seven.
The phrase “some assembly required” may have some running in panic but most kits can be assembled in approximately thirty minutes or less using basic tools and don’t require any special skills.
There are a plethora of choices when it comes to deciding on a kit dog house however, the most important factor is making sure you select the proper size we will go into that in great detail below.
What do I need besides the dog house kit?
The first item of business is deciding where you are going to place the doghouse whether that is on your patio or an area in your backyard.
If you are in an area of the country that has extremely cold temperature changes it would be ideal to locate the doghouse in a protected area from the harsh winter elements.
If your part of the country has extreme heat it would be wise to locate it out of the direct sunlight, perhaps you have trees that will provide some shade.
As far as what else you would need besides the dog house kit, it would be an excellent idea to have the doghouse located on a concrete surface, treated wood, or patio pavers.
It will keep it from decaying too quickly by not being in direct contact with the soil.
Some kits offer a house that is elevated with adjustable legs this is an excellent feature and one you may want to consider.
Hide the bacon your dog's sense of smell is 10,000 times stronger than yours.
Is one dog house better than another?
Rather than use the overused word “best” it would be recommended that you consider a dog house that is best for your dog, since not all dogs are created equal and not all climates are the same.
Of course, if money is no object there are kits that are built very well, offer a lot of options and some even are offered as a dog house kennel combination.
Some of the factors would be the dog breed, your yearly climate, what your budget is, and more, so what is best for one scenario may not be ideal for another.
If you are working with a strict budget but still want the most bang for your buck then you may want to consider a western red cedar dog house.
Why use Western red cedar for a dog house?
For starters it is a beautiful wood – The natural beauty of western red cedar has rich wood grains.
Professional woodworkers prefer it for all types of outdoor projects because it looks great and will stand up to the elements for a long time.
One of the unique features of the western red cedar is the natural oils in the wood, it will resist insects and premature rotting.
Another great feature is western red cedar is resin and pitch-free, meaning it will stain very well.
Unlike other building materials, red cedar is eco-friendly and will not generate greenhouse gasses if that is something that is important to you.
It is also a renewable wood that is sourced from sustainably managed forests so you are not clear-cutting beautiful red cedar trees from a natural preserve.
Breathe easy the air is clean!
If the dog house is constructed using real cedar it will reduce the amount of Co2 or commonly called greenhouse gases in our atmosphere.
During the growing stage of the young cedar trees, they will absorb and hold onto Co2.
This Co2 stays with the tree even throughout the manufacturing or cutting process.
Won’t just any cedar work?
What makes the western red cedar a good choice for outdoor building projects is the tannin oils that are in the wood.
That means you will not have to be constantly doing maintenance on the doghouse like other cedars such as the white or yellow cedar woods.
For additional information about the benefits of a Western red cedar dog house watch the video below.
There are approximately 75.8 million dogs in the USA!
Choosing the correct size for a DIY dog house kit
This is without a doubt the most important decision you will need to make when selecting a new dog house, if your dog is huge like a Great Dane or Saint Bernard then it is easy, they will require an extra-large dog house end of discussion.
But what if your dog is a medium to large breed and you are not sure what size will be best for them?
There are several considerations when choosing the right size house for your dog.
The first item on the list is getting the right height for your dog which will include the door opening after all what good is it if they can’t get in?
You want a door opening that is large enough for them to easily enter but not so large that it will lose heat in the cold winter months.
A guideline is approximately 3/4's of the length of your dog will allow them to enter comfortably and turn around.
However, this is a guideline you know your dog well, and the dog’s age, medical condition, and other factors may come into play.
If your dog is older “ducking or dipping” may be hard for them and should be taken into consideration.
The next item on the list is the length and the width for your dog, again dog breeds will vary as does each dog.
Your dog needs to be able to enter the dog house comfortably and turn around easily.
Is your dog (heaven forbid) overweight?
If so then you may need to consider going to a larger house than normal for your breed of dog.
The next item on the list is what kind of climate do you reside in year-round?
If you reside in a mild climate all year the house can be a bit larger and should not present a problem.
On the other hand, a dog house that is way too large for your dog in the harsh winter months is going to be hard to retain heat.
Again if you find yourself on the fence about which size it is always safe to decide on the larger size.
One way of being able to pin down the correct size is to take some measurements the next time your dog is laying on the floor the same way they would in a dog house.
You can use some type of tape to mark off the area they occupy and then take the measurements.
If you prefer a visual aid then watch the video below that goes into detail on how to measure for the right size dog house.
Your dog has a wet nose because it helps to absorb scent chemicals.
Duplex dog houses -The solution for a two dog family
If you are a two-dog family then you may want to consider a duplex dog house rather than having two separate homes.
Often these duplex doghouses will feature a center divider that can be removed if your needs change and you need a larger space.
Dogs that grew up together are more than likely going to want to be as close as possible to their sibling and a duplex is an ideal solution.
What if you want to build your own doghouse instead of a kit?
If you have some mad DIY skills and the proper tools you may want to consider building your own dog house instead of investing in a kit.
However, it would be wise to research a good set of dog house plans before you start the project, a good set of plans can save you a lot of time and money.
A good set of dog house blueprints is like a road map it will get you to your destination without costing a fortune in mistakes.
They will save you time and money because you will have fewer trips to your local home improvement store.
Getting the proper size doghouse
100's of Dog House Kits
- Dog Houses
Dog Houses – Browse this page for high quality dog houses that offer excellent options that include but are not limited to insulation, heating cooling and more!
Benefits of a cedar dog house
Steven Barnhart is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Steven
Steven (author) from Las Vegas on October 01, 2020:
Thank you for the comment, I grew up in the midwest where the winters were brutal at times and our farm dogs would find shelter in the hay barn.
Sp Greaney from Ireland on October 01, 2020:
This is a good idea especially if you want your dog to have its own space where it can go to get some quite time. Here the climate is too cold to have your dog outside all year round so some people end up putting it in the garage if the dog is not an inside pet.