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Make Your Own Homemade Dog House

Homemade Dog House

Homemade Dog House

A doghouse for your buddy...

Make a warm and cozy dog house for your canine friend that will keep him safe and dry.

Whether you plan to construct it out of leftover wood scraps or all brand-new high quality materials, this page is here to help you do the best job that you can so your furry friend will be happy and stay comfortable in changing temperatures.

Getting the Materials for the Dog House

It's important to determine where or how you're going to get the materials for your dog house.

They may be scrap wood from around the house, in that case the dog house may or may not come out too attractive depending upon the pieces you have available and you may have to cobble together a plan for building the dog house since the pieces aren't likely to match what would be required for the plans available.

You can also just buy the pieces at a local hardware store. If you have a plan and dimensions before heading to the store you will know what to buy and also be likely to be able to have them cut some of the pieces for you at the store.

No matter where the materials come from, it's a good idea to use ones without toxic chemicals embedded in them, but also ones that will be safe for the outdoors. Depending upon the materials available, it may be best to build a double-walled dog house with exterior grade lumber on the outside where it can't touch your dog, and a safer lumber on the inside to ensure if your pup does chew on the wall he won't ingest dangerous chemicals.

Building a Cordwood Dog House

The Dog House Design

You'll want to go into the buying of materials and building of the dog house with some sort of plan.

What shape and size should it be?

How tall should it be?

Where are you going to put it?

Are there any special things you'll need to consider if placing it there?

How are you going to clean it?

Learn More About Building a Dog House

Dog House in the Snow

Photo from cogdogblog

Photo from cogdogblog

The Correct Size Dog House

Ensure the doghouse will be the correct size. It should be just big enough for your dog to get in and turn around and lay down. Too big and the doghouse won't get warm enough from your dog's body heat. Too small and your dog won't want to use it.

A good basis for size is to make the dog house's

Width: Dog's length + 12"

Length: Dog's length + 18"

Height: Dog's height + 9" at the tallest point of the roof down to dog's height + 3" at the lowest

Scroll to Continue

You may want to lay out the base of the dog house then place your dog on it to see if it looks sized properly for easy movement.

Anyone Can Build a Dog House

Get the Doghouse Plans from Above

  • Lowe's Kid-Approved Doggie House Plan
    Watch the video, then get the plans to make the doghouse they create. The plans are well laid-out and detailed and will help you make the perfect home for your pup.

The Best Doghouse Design

The most comfortable and warm dog house you can make is one with a divider in the middle.

Make a dog house that is divided in two, with one side having the door and the other side being the place where the dog would lay. This ensures that your dog stays nice and warm and cozy, plus even in the windiest storm, your pup won't get cold and wet. A dog house like this is much more like a natural dog den, so will please your dog as well as keep her dry and warm.

The Best Basic Design for a Dog House


Raising the Dog House

Raising the doghouse off the ground a little will help air circulate underneath and keep it cooler as well as prevent rain from flowing in. Setting the doghouse on a wooden pallet works fairly well for this.

Green-Up Your Dog House

Free Dog House Plans

  • An All Wooden Dog House
    This charming, all-wood dog house looks a bit like a cabana in my eyes, though a nice and sturdy one.
  • A Large, Strong DIY Doghouse
    This dog house would be extremely heavy-duty and especially good for large breed dogs that may be hard on their houses, such as Rottweilers, German Shepherds, and other large, strong breeds.
  • A Nice, Basic Doghouse with a Porch
    This is a basic looking doghouse, but it very much improved by the application of a small front porch and a removable roof.
  • Saltbox Doghouse with Porch
    This is a very nice doghouse that includes step-by-step instructions for a nice-sized, attractive doghouse with porch.
  • A Doghouse with a Large Porch
    This is a very nice doghouse! Has a porch that runs the length of the structure and makes it look like your dog could sip lemonade on it in a rocking chair. I especially like that the entrance to the dog house is under the porch ceiling, to keep your
  • A Two-Room Doghouse
    My favorite design for a dog house, this doghouse plan has two rooms, a cooler room that has the entrance, and a warmer, cozier room that only opens off the first room. The plans are best for those with at least a little of building experience, but t
  • A Large, Heavy-duty Dog House
    This dog house would even make a great playhouse for your little one. It's very large, and strong and quite attractive, though is so heavy it would be hard to move.

Need a Step By Step Guide?

Or Just Buy a Dog House

If you still don't feel comfortable making your own homemade dog house, just buy one. Amazon has some nice doghouses and sometimes buying stuff is cheaper than buying all the lumber and screws to make your own.

Store-bought dog houses do have benefits. Often made of plastic, they are easy to clean and don't get bugs like homemade wood ones can.

You know yourself and your dog best though, use your own judgement. Whether building your own doghouse or buying one, I'm sure your furry friend will love it.

A Nice, Inexpensive Doghouse

Dog House Placement

Just as important as the doghouse itself, location and direction of the doghouse will make the difference between comfortable and unusable.

When placing the doghouse in its permanent setting ensure that it faces the correct direction. Don't have it face on-coming storms, you don't want rain blowing in. Having it face the sun will make it too warm during the summer in warm climates.

Face the opening away from strong winds and oncoming storms, and away from the harshest sun rays. You can even rotate the doghouse through the year if you can't manage to avoid both all the time.

The doghouse should be located close to your house and the gate or backdoor into your house. Your dog wants to be close to you, so will be happiest if he is as close as possible.

Look at the doghouse at different times a day throughout the year to ensure it always stays comfortable inside no matter the weather.

Making the Doghouse Even Cozier

Some climates are either too cold or too hot for basic doghouses, so in those cases, you will want to add some insulation.

Either add it during the construction by making double walls and filling in the crevices with insulation or use something else.

Bales of straw work really well as insulators. Straw is water-resistant and is better than hay for applications such as this, but even hay bales will work. Just pile some bales around the dog house to cut down on heat loss. Remember to remove them after the weather gentles though since they can cause your doghouse to rot over time.

You may want to add a tarp over it all to further cut down on heat loss and protect from even more rain and snow.

Insulate Your Dog House

Bales of straw work really well to add extra insulation to your dog's house during the cold, winter months.

Bales of straw work really well to add extra insulation to your dog's house during the cold, winter months.

Don't Limit Yourself

Reader Feedback

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juliana123 on November 10, 2012:

that's a great lens....

juliana123 on November 10, 2012:

that's a great lens....

Lora Riley on November 02, 2012:

Handy ideas

Renaissance Woman from Colorado on June 07, 2012:

I'm going to build that two-room doghouse this weekend. What a great design. Makes perfect sense in terms of keeping my dogs warm and dry. Really appreciate the ideas and plans. Just what I needed. Thanks!

BoredAtHomeinfo on May 17, 2012:

Wow what a great page. Thanks you for the tips!!

Fantastic Voyages from Texas on May 09, 2012:

I've never thought about having a second room in a dog house, although it makes a lot of sense! Thanks for the tips!

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Nice lens..,

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Yawapi LM on December 31, 2011:

Great lens, very informative. Now I need advice on "motivating husband to build a doghouse".

marlene3 on November 20, 2011:

You have created a very helpful & informative site - Thanks

MustangHistory on September 24, 2011:

Great ideas.

ssuthep on September 10, 2010:

Excellent guide and resource on building your own dog house.

DogLover78 on August 16, 2010:

very informative. I like some of the books!

LarryCoffey LM on March 14, 2010:

Make a good doghouse, so I have somewhere to go when you get mad at me. :)

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