News & Thoughts > Pet secrets for humans > July is Natl. Dog House Repairs Month

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07/17/2009 19:00:49 PM by harrisfp   Send Message to harrisfp  12336  views, category: Pet secrets for humans view all blogs


Did you know that July is National Dog House Repairs Month? In honor of this ASPCA holiday I did some research on how to build a sturdy dog house for your pooch.

Why Build A Dog House?

Having a little house for your doggy provides shelter for them when they are outside. In the winter it is a warm place for them to hang out, in the summer it is a cool, shaded area for them to relax. If they are outside and it rains, the dog house is a quick cover to help keep them dry.

What To Think About Before Building a Dog House

The article I just read online says you need to consider these factors when you are going to build a house for your dog:

    •    Size of the dog
    •    Purpose of the dog house
    •    Spatial constraints
    •    Location of the dog house
    •    Climate of the location
    •    Budget of the project

These items to consider will help you decide how big of a house you want, how much material you will need to purchase, what types of materials you will need to build the house, and where you will put your dog house in your yard.

How To Build A Dog House

The author of the "How To Do Things" article lists out ten steps of instruction on how to build a dog house. The steps are listed below.

    1.    Planning your project is the first step in the design process. You have already considered a number of factors that will help you determine the size, shape and materials you wish to use in your project. You can use this information to map out your project in terms of dimensions. When crate-training a dog, it is recommended that you use a crate that is only large enough for the dog to stand up, turn around and lie down, but a dog house should be considerably larger than this because a dog house is used for both shelter and recreation for the dog. Consider selecting a crate size appropriate for potty training your dog and scaling those dimensions up slightly to allow your dog more room to relax. The size of dog house you construct should be large enough to accommodate your dog at his full size. If your dog is a puppy it might be wise to either wait until he is fully grown or construct the dog house to accommodate the larger end of the breed spectrum.

    2.    Once you have determined the dimensions of your dog house, it is time to begin construction. In most cases, wood is an appropriate material for a dog house and for the purposes of this article we will assume the dog house will be constructed of wood.

    3.    Floor structure: The floor structure can be constructed of 2x4 pieces of pressure-treated lumber. The pieces will be measured and cut to create a footprint of the desired size, and joists should be included as necessary. For larger dog houses this may include joists at every 16 inches. Please note that pressure treated lumber should not be used in locations where the dog may chew on the wood, as it contains chemicals that may be harmful to the dog. Any structure that will not be covered with a layer of untreated lumber should not utilize pressure-treated lumber. The framework for the floor can then be covered in plywood. Thicker plywood such as 1/2" thick plywood may be necessary for larger dogs, but 3/8" may be acceptable for smaller breeds.

    4.    Sidewalls and back wall structure: The structure for the sidewalls and the back wall can be created of 2x2 pieces of lumber forming a square or rectangular shape. Again, studs can be placed every 16 inches along the structure if necessary.

    5.    Front structure: The front structure of the dog house typically includes the entrance for the dog. This structure is comprised of 2x2 lumber again and can consist of a horizontal piece and two vertical elements to form the door way. Alternately this piece can be replaced by a sidewall structure and one of the sidewalls can serve as the entrance.

    6.    Assembling the framework: Once the framework is completed, assemble the framework to the floor system. Wood screws and nails can be used to connect each element to the floor and L-brackets along with screws and nails can be used to join the sections to each other.

    7.    Roof joists: The roof joists can be assembled at a 30 degree angle to ensure rain will adequately run off the roof of the dog house. These joists can be notched precisely so they will sit firmly on top of the wall structures.

    8.    Siding: Plywood of 3/8" thickness can be used for the walls and roof. The siding should be cut precisely to ensure there will not be gaps in the structure and can be nailed directly to the framework.

    9.    Roof: Plywood of 3/8" thickness can also be used for the roof. As with the siding, the roof can be nailed directly to the roof joists. Although the wood is sufficient, shingles or other decorative elements can also be added if desired.

    10.    Finishing the dog house: The appearance of a dog house is largely a matter of personal preference, but care should be taken to ensure all materials used in painting or treating the house will not be toxic to your dog. If you have any question regarding the contents of a paint or treatment, contact an authority such as a poison control center that can help you determine whether or not the substance is safe.

Quick Words of Caution

The author also noted a few quick words of caution when building a house for your pooch -

~ Shingles might not be such a good idea if your dog enjoys lounging on the roof; they get really hot in hot weather.

~ Remember: pressure-treated wood is toxic and shouldn't be placed where your dog can chew it.

Well Worth The Effort!

Building a dog house may sound like a lot of work for you but it is well worth the effort. Your dog will be thankful, especially in these hot summer months where it can be difficult for the little pooch to find a cool, shady place to nap.


To read this "How To Do Things" article in full, please visit this web site:

About the author: I love reading, writing, internet surfing, and playing with my toddler son. I especially love spending time online on message boards/communities getting to know people who have the same interests as me. more >>

See something on the Internet that you'd like us to profile in this column? Anything about pet fashion, technology or interesting is good. Send us an email to or leave a comment below.

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