A dog house, also known as a kennel or a dog shed, is aimed at overseeing the safety and comfort of your dog who temporarily enjoys the outside ambiance.
Dog houses protect your dogs against the adverse effects of extreme weather conditions and even in times like this when climate change is the order of the day.
Additionally, dogs need a shelter with respect to how they are raised. Some are raised as caged doors or security guards, hence, the need to build a house for them. Also, they make dogs feel like they are part of the family.
Kinds Of Dog Houses
You have to consider the type of house that is suitable for your dog. And dog houses differ based on the material they are made of.
The plastic-type of dog house is becoming prominent and it’s known for being lightweight, needing little maintenance, and being affordable. It also comes indifferent shapes and sizes.
The metal dog house, although not commonly used, is usually rectangular. It could be made from steel or aluminum and is almost always insulated.
One good thing about the metal house is that it is quite resistant to weather and also can’t be eaten by dogs, unlike the plastic. However, both plastic and metal materials absorb heat and cold.
If none of those work for you, there is the fiberglass cave house. This kind is usually quite spacious and comfortable but is not really attractive. It is made up of heavy-duty fiber which does not decay.
Another option is the dog tent house which is completely made up of waterproof materials and is soft and portable.
It is as light as the plastic dog house and can be broken down and built up again which speaks of its portability.
Finally, the wooden dog house is probably the most popular type of house for dogs and is considered the best option due to its low cost, availability, durability and even accessibility. However, do make sure that it is not pressure treated.
While plastic dog houses are lighter and lack splinters, wood dog houses can be repainted to give them a more attractive look every year. However, do make sure that the paint is not toxic.
On the other hand, both metal and plastic houses can develop sharp edges and be risky for your dog.
All these factors should be put into consideration before you decide what kind of house to build for your dog.
However, due to its popularity, this article will be teaching how to build a wooden dog house.
Pick A Spot
It is advisable to locate the dog house either at the front of or behind your house, depending on why you are housing them and considering the space.
Be sure that the location doesn’t restrict your dog from moving about. They should be able to have constant access to the environment around where they are housed.
Ensure that you are not about to build your dog house close to asphalt or other materials that consume heat or cold. It’s vital you place your dog in a friendly environment.
Do not directly expose them to the scorching sun, heavy downpour or the blowing wind. The backyard might be a better option if it is always windy.
Ensure that the building materials you choose are not as fibrous as the fiberglass. Also, do make use of disinfected and easily cleaned materials to enhance productivity and promote hygiene even in the dog house.
You could consider using rigid polystyrene slabs as insulation and ensure they are closed to prevent your dog from chewing on them.
The floor of your dog house is something to be put into consideration. The most suitable type of floor is the elevated floor which helps to control parasites and decrease the probability of flooding or erosion.
Such floors made from heavy-duty, water-resistant canvas and floor pads make the house more insulated and comfortable for your dog.
Additionally, provide air space between the bottom surface of the doghouse interior and the ground for heat transfer.
If you want a dog bed in the dog house, you might want to go for a hard floor because a carpeted floor makes the floor hot as heat is generated.
You also want to pay attention to the type of door. Doors serve as windbreaks and prevent moisture from entering.
Consider investing in a lean-to porch over the door opening to hinder rain or sun from penetrating.
Now about the roof. A pivoted roof makes cleaning very easy. However, a metal roof is better than shingle roofing because the former is more durable than the latter.
The former also helps keep the dog cooler even in hot weather conditions and is really affordable.
Windows are another thing to pay attention to as they promote comfort and serve as ventilation during the hot season.
Having considered the above factors, you can start building your dog house even as a beginner in building.
You only need basic building skills to start. And even if you don’t have those, the following steps should help you build a durable wooden dog house.
Now To Building
The kind of house you build for your dog should be dependent on the size and personality of said dog.
A boisterous, run-around kind of dog might need a bigger house than a dog who is calm and stays at a place. The former might need all the space they can get.
Measuring your dog is actually the first step to building a dog house. The essence of knowing your dog’s dimension is to know how spacious the house needs to be to give your dog the freedom to move, stand tall, stretch, rest or sleep.
So, using your tape measure, make sure that your dog stands still and then measure its standing height (which is basically from the floor to the top of its head), the shoulder height (which is basically from the floor to its shoulder joint) and length (which is basically from nose-tip to haunches).
Bear in mind that your dog’s house should not be less than 25 percent higher than your dog when he’s standing.
Also, the door should be at least 75 percent of your dog’s shoulder height to allow easy and comfortable access into the house via said door.
Additionally, the length of the dog house should be equivalent to the full length of your dog.
Nevertheless, you might want to increase the measurement considering how fast your dog grows.
Constructing The Base
When constructing the base of the dog house, make sure it is high enough to avoid the weather elements.
The first thing to do after purchasing the wood is to use a framing square and pencil to sketch out what the base will look like based on the measurements you’ve taken.
Cut out 2×4 wood boards four pieces. For instance, if your dog is a medium-sized dog, you might cut the first two pieces at 22.5 inches long and the last two at 23 inches.
The shorter pieces should form the front and back while the longer pieces form the sides. This should give you a rectangular shaped house.
Pre-drill pilot holes by using a countersink drill before connecting the base pieces together by using two 3-inch galvanized wood screws on each end.
When you are done connecting the basic pieces together to create the base, draw the floor plans on the 3/4″ plywood.
For the above sized frame, 26 by 22.5 inches is the recommended dimension for your floor.
Allow us quickly emphasize that the dimension recommendations given here are for a medium sized dog. In cutting out your frame, be sure to stick with the measurements you already have.
Galvanized wood screws of 1.25″ should be used for connecting the floor panel to the base by puncturing a screw into each corner of the base. And that makes your floor ready.
Putting Up The Walls
For putting up walls, actual insulated wood is used for versatility. Ensure that the front wall of the dog house has a small opening to conserve heat in the rainy season.
The plywood used for the floor should be used for the wall too. And the front and back could be a 24-inch by 16-inch rectangle with a connected 12-inch high and 24-inch wide triangle on the rectangle while the sides could be 26-inch long and 16-inch wide.
Cut out the shapes in one piece for both the front and the back of the house. And ensure that the tall space of 3 inches at the bottom of the opening is left to cover the base.
You could use a mixing bowl or a similar object to create a round arch at the height of the opening.
A 2 by 2 cedar or fir wood is cut into 8 pieces to use as framing to maintain the walls and roof.
Four 5-inch long cornered framing pieces and another four 13-inch long roof framing pieces are needed.
Now, cut them into their sizes. Attach the side panels to the base and screw with galvanized wood screws every 4 to 5 inches around the perimeter. Do the same for the front and back panels on the floor base.
Adding The Roof
Building a triangular-like roof helps the cold elements to slide off and provides comfort for the dog.
Now, cut out a 2 by 2 piece of wood with the measurements at 32 inches long and 20 inches wide while they rest on top of the side panels to build a triangular slope.
Join the 13-inch 2 by 2 roof with the edges of the front and back panels halfway between the top and bottom of the angled side of each panel.
Lock three 1.75-inch galvanized wood screws into each panel. Then position the roof panels on the side panels and ensure that the height is right and the panels hang over each of the sides.
Use 1.75-inch galvanized wood screws at 3-inch intervals to secure the roof panels.
And that marks the completion of the building of the dog house. Easy, right? With that, you save more money!
If Building Seems Like Too Much Work
You could just buy a dog house. Some good brands that have dog houses for small sized dogs include Petsfit, Tangkula to Petmate.
By design, the inner measurements for Petsfit are 16.5 inches by 18 inches by 16 inches.
Their houses are usually made of reliable, weatherproof cedar and are pretty safe and peaceful.
For Tangkula, the bottom sits on elevated legs which prevents moisture from entering.
The four side panels are usually made of natural fit, painted with water-based paint while the roof is usually made of asphalt.
Petmates usually have roomy houses and the materials they use are usually heavy which prevent the houses from being moved by the wind. However, they usually lack insulation.
Suncast usually add resin to their dog houses. This allows the houses last long and protects the dog from the hazards of the environmental weather conditions. Their houses are also usually big and have good air circulation.
Microban houses are usually made of a foam-like material which helps the house to be cool and warm. And they are also easy to assemble. They are usually factory treated to prevent microbial growth.
And lastly, Petsfit houses give a den-like impression which appeals to the emotions of your dog.
The inner measurements are 36.6 inches long, 22.3 inches wide and 22 inches high, so they offer the space your dog needs.
For your big dogs, you could buy Petmate indigo shaped like an igloo. This one has proper ventilation and contains Microban coating.
On the other hand, the Tuff-N-Rugged has nearly 24 inches by 25 inches and by 14 inches. This type of dog house seems easy to clean.
Building a dog house is as important as building a human house, hence, the need to provide one of the basic necessities to the dogs.
If you can’t build one, purchase one (that is, if you do not want them living indoors with you) because your dog’s safety is the proof of your loyalty to them.