dog house plans

Dog House Plans 101: A Complete and Comprehensive Guide

For dogs that enjoy being outside and can’t keep still inside the house, it is a perfect idea to start deciding on your dog house plans. Having a dog house can allow your active doggo to enjoy the outdoor life or to run freely in your front or backyard while establishing his own safe and comfortable space at the same time.

dog house
Source: Flickr

There is a wide variety of dog houses that can be the perfect nook for your dog. You can buy a ready-built one or you can build a customized one. No idea where to start? The Furry Companion is here to help you with your dog house plans!

Benefits of Dog Houses

dog house
Source: Pixabay

Although some people contest that a dog house takes dogs away from the family, if used correctly, it could serve a useful purpose.

An outdoor dog house plan can also be a place for a breather for fearful dogs who are not used to being outside. And for dogs who prefer staying inside the house, you can build your dog a comfy nook in the form of an indoor dog house. 

Having appropriate outdoor dog house plans can help protect your dog from the elements, such as the heat of direct sunlight, the constantly changing weather conditions, or protection against wild animals. 


During the summer season, high-temperature peaks can lead to heatstroke in dogs. Having a well-ventilated resting place or shade outdoors can help prevent your dog from heatstroke. Air-conditioned dog houses can also be a good option if your dog pants easily.

Always remember that if you cannot stand the conditions outdoors, just think how much hotter it would for your pet, especially with their paws in direct contact with the ground. Additionally, during the warmer months of the year, your dog will seek a cool, shaded place to lie down. “Being able to avoid constant direct sunlight in the heat of the summer is very important for a dog,” Dr. Mark Williamson, DVM points out.

Good dog house plans serve a safe and comfortable place for your dog to take shade from when playing outdoors or when taking a walk outside.

Rainy and Winter Season

Having a dog house plan is also beneficial during the rainy and winter season. During daytime outdoor exercises or playing fetch in the yard during winter, a dog house can be a warm, cuddly place wherein your pet can seek comfort. Moreover, it can help prevent catching colds and hypothermia.

Dog houses protect from rain, snow, and wind. A dog house can serve as a safe place and cover for your dog if, for example, an unexpected thunderstorm or snow happens.

However, note that dog houses should not be the permanent shelter of your dog. Allow them to have a balanced environment outdoors and indoors.

Protection Against Wild Animals

If your dog is active and likes staying outside, or if you allow your dog to sleep outside at night, you need a dog house plan to protect him against the danger of being attacked by wild animals. “Many dogs also feel secure in a crate because it is their own space, or “den,” John A. Bukowski , DVM, MPH, Ph.D., and co-author said. It is also essential to make sure that your backyard or front yard’s gate or fences are sturdy enough to safeguard your place.

Some of these wild animals carry diseases, and your dog may be infected. Your dog can also incur injuries when warding them off. Some of the most common wild animals that pose a  danger to your dog’s outdoor stay are raccoons, skunks, opossums, or coyotes.

A Guide to Dog House Plans: Materials

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Different materials vary when it comes to pros and cons. Wood, plastic, and metal are the most commonly listed materials for dog house plans. Below are some factors you might want to consider before building or buying a dog house.


Traditional dog houses are made of wood. Most dog house plans have wood as the primary material because it usually provides more heat and is more comfortable for dogs. However, this is the hardest material to clean. Just spraying it with water and soap to sanitize it wouldn’t work, as it has a porous surface.

For this reason, sanitizing wooden dog houses requires and takes a lot of painstaking effort. You have to be meticulous in removing organic matter such as feces, dirt, and grass. You also need to dry it completely after rinsing before letting your dog stay inside.


It might seem like it won’t, but a plastic dog house can last for a long time and are less likely to be chewed up unless the dog really tries. Moreover, dog houses made from composite plastic materials are easier to clean and sanitize and are less likely to accumulate dirt and attract insects.

According to Race Foster, DVM, and collaborator “Some of the new prefabricated, high impact plastic houses possess the same excellent features. They use a double wall thickness, have good ventilation, and are very easy to clean and disinfect.” More people are now opting for plastic material when making dog house plans because it is convenient and easy to utilize. Suncast sells an excellent water-resistant outdoor dog house that is perfect for your backyard.


Elevated metal dog house plans are common for dogs who stay outdoors. Because it is made up of metal bars, the dirt goes straight down to the ground. You can easily clean it using a hose to spray down the bottom. However, metal materials are relatively colder against the skin, especially during the night. This can be a cause of health problems for your dog.

Moreover, having spaces between the metal bars where your dog stands, jumps, and sleeps can harm his joints and his feet. LUCKUP has a heavy-duty metal kennel that is easy to assemble and clean. It is available in several sizes and an anti-biting type.

Tips for Having Superb Dog House Plans For Your Doggo

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You can be as creative and meticulous as you want when it comes to your dog house plans. You can come up with anything and everything under the sun. You can choose among many different materials which will fit the size, type, and behavior of your dog. In addition to that, you must be able to tell the characteristics of a good dog plan. It is vital to research thoroughly to ensure that you are making the right choices for your dog.

The Exterior

Regarding your plans for the exterior of the dog house, you might want to prefer a slanted roof so that snow, rain, or dried leaves can easily slide off, instead of making a pile on top.  And if you are using wood, make sure that it is treated with non-toxic sealants for the appropriate weather. You can order Non-Toxic Sealants in Amazon here.

Also, see to it that you are using non-toxic paint when you’re decorating a wooden dog house for the safety of your dog. Make sure the roof is waterproof and that you include a weather-resistant door in your dog house plans to protect your dog from possible harsh elements.

The Interior

You may want to opt for an insulated dog house. You may also use a bed warmer or a heated pad inside to give your dog more comfort. Another important note is that you should not put a permanent carpet inside the dog house, as carpets quickly accumulate dirt or fur.

If you’re customizing your dog house plans, and want to decorate the interior, finish everything in the interior first before attaching the roof for an easier and more efficient process. You can avoid the hassle of sticking your arms repeatedly to fix or adjust the features inside.

Other Tips for Your Dog House Plans

  • If you are building or assembling the house, do not leave any nails or sharp materials inside that could harm your dog.
  • When creating your dog house plan, the space must be big enough for the dog to move around. It is better if it’s a little bigger than the size of your dog than to have it too small, leaving no space for movement. The size should be large enough for your dog to move around and stand up comfortably.
  • If you’re buying a dog house, make sure that it is made from safe materials. It doesn’t hurt to ask questions and be thorough when checking it with the seller.

Ideas for Your Dog House Plans

dog house plans
Source: Instagram

Dog houses range from small frames to log cabin styles, weatherproof types, or even themed dog houses. There is no limit to your choices when it comes to the appearance and features. Here are some dog house plans ideas from which you can choose or take inspiration:

Insulated Dog House

As mentioned, an insulated dog house helps retain the heat and will be very comfortable during colder seasons, just like the Dog Palace from ASL Solutions. It has insulation on every panel and has a self-storing window pane, which you can easily reposition according to the weather without using tools. This provides a dry and warm bedding for your dog. Check out Dry Bedding in Amazon here.

Multiple-Story Dog House

Source: Instagram

Two-story dog houses are a great idea to hit two birds with one stone. Your dog can enjoy both an indoor and outdoor experience in the comfort of the dog house. It is also for dogs who tend to constantly move around as it can enjoy running up and down its home.

Igloo Dog House

igloo dog house
Source: Instagram

A classic igloo dog house, like Petmate Dogloo With Microban, never goes out of style and efficiency. Its shape helps protect your dog from different elements and keep the house stable against strong winds. The debris from snow and rain would easily slide off the roof and would not collect on top. Igloo dog houses are ideal for shielding against the heat and cold, as well as with dwelling wild animals. You can purchase Igloo Dog House in Amazon here.

Dog House With a Porch

Having a dog house with a porch would serve a lot of purposes. It has a shade for outdoor stay, and the inside can serve as the shelter. Depending on the style, it could look like a cabin like this Pet Squeak Porch Pups Dog House or have a more elegant and modern design.

Geometric Dog House

A geometric dog house is an adorable choice of a dog house for small indoor pets. It is eye-catching and can fit in any part of the house.

Start Planning!

Coming up with dog house plans can be exciting, not just for your dog but for you as well. Dedicating your time and effort to build the best dog house for your best buddy can be one of the most fulfilling things in the world as a fur parent. Always remember that dog houses should be for the benefit and comfort of your dogs. It should not be a way to isolate him from your home and your heart. We hope that The Furry Companion has helped you have an idea of the things you need to know when coming up with your dog house plans!

Frequently Asked Questions

What does it cost to build a doghouse?
The cost of building a dog house will depend on many factors. But the most important ones are the size of the dog and the building materials. A simple dog house from scratch is around $50 to $100. DIY dog houses are between $80 to $300.

How do you insulate a dog house?
While building a dog house means keeping them safe from cold and/or heat, it is very important to ensure that it has good ventilation and insulation. To insulate a dog’s house you can use different materials such as fiberglass, bubble wrap, carpet, reflective foil, expanding foam spray, wood, and polystyrene foam.

How do you build a cool dog house?
If you prefer to build a cool dog house, there are lots of ideas on the internet, like on Pinterest. There are also available DIY kits of dog houses that have cool designs.

How do you build a small dog house?
If you are going to build a small dog house from scratch, you first have to identify which material you prefer for the construction. As mentioned above, you can use metal, wood, or plastic. First, you have to construct a base. Preferably, the floor is a few inches from the ground to help with the insulation.

Next, build the four walls of the shelter. Then, build a sloping triangular roof. This form ensures that both the rain and snow will slide off the roof. Also, it gives more space for your dog inside the dog house. Finally, customize the dog house as you prefer. You can paint it but remember to use a non-toxic formula to keep your dogs safe.

Does Home Depot sell dog houses?
Yes, Home Depot sells dog houses. There are different sizes available depending on the size of your dog. Also, there are different materials available like plastic and wood.

Are dog houses cruel?
No, dog houses are not necessarily cruel since it is a shelter for dogs. Although some people protest the use of dog houses because it means leaving the dogs in the backyard.

How do you winterize a dog house?
Here are some types to ensure that you are prepared for the winter. Inspect the dog house for cracks and leaks. Apply waterproof sealant on these crevices. Next, provide or build a dog door to keep the door opening closed and prevent the cold from entering. Insulate the floor of the dog house with cedar chips or straw.

Where do I put my dog house in the backyard?
If you plan on placing a dog house in your backyard, avoid areas on your lawn where rainwater collects. It will make the ground soggy and will make your dog uncomfortable in his dog’s house. At the same time, choose areas in your yard offering a partial shade from the sun. This is necessary to keep the dog house cool and less susceptible to overheating.

What is the best bedding for outside dogs?
Cedar shavings or pine are excellent choices for dog beddings. These materials absorb moisture, provide comfort, repel fleas and insects, control odor, and easy to dispose.

Do dogs prefer dog houses?

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