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Building a doghouse

Building a doghouse
December 22, 2023 Yuup
Tempo di lettura: 10 minuti
Cane beagle con degli attrezzi da lavoro giocattolo. Ci sono una cassetta degli attrezzi, un caschetto e in bocca il cane tiene un martello in plastica

Who among us has never experienced that feeling of well-being and happiness as soon as we finally get home, we lie down on the sofa and we curl up under a soft blanket?

Even our four-legged friends share the same need of a cozy place where they can feel safe and cuddled.

Building a homemade doghouse not only allows us to customize our pet’s shelter, but can also strengthen the bond between us and our friend. Don’t forget that nothing surpasses the feeling of seeing our dog who can’t wait to enjoy his new kennel while wagging his tail!

Before starting to build a doghouse it is important to understand the specific needs of our dog, carefully measure the available space and select the appropriate materials to guarantee maximum comfort and protection.

Here’s a step-by-step guide you can follow to plan, build and customize a doghouse that he will love. From the choice of materials to assembly, from insulation for extreme temperatures to the final decoration. Just follow our tips and you will be able to build a tailor-made kennel that will become the favorite place of our faithful friend.

Pug dog sitting inside his own wooden doghouse

The kennel is his kingdom, his safe place.

The 5 essential steps to build a doghouse

Measuring our Fido is the first fundamental step when building a tailor-made kennel. This is a crucial phase as it will determine the size and comfort of the kennel, ensuring that our dog feels comfortable inside.

To facilitate this process, it is useful to follow these steps:

1. Measure the length: let our dog lie down on a surface and measure him from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail. Let’s make sure to keep stable the measuring but not too taut to obtain an accurate measurement which will determine the internal length of the kennel we’ll build, which will have to allow our dog to stretch out without problems;

2. Measure the height: while our dog is on his paws, we need to measure from the top of his head to his front legs or shoulders, depending on which part of his body is higher. Through this measurement we will establish the internal height of the kennel, ensuring that our dog can stand comfortably without touching the ceiling.

3. Extra space: it is important to consider some extra space for the dog’s comfort in the kennel. We add a few centimeters to the measurements to ensure that our dog does not feel cramped inside the kennel. This extra space, which usually corresponds to 20% for each dimension, will allow our furry friend to turn and move without restrictions, contributing to his well-being.

4. Weight of the dog: in addition to size, the weight of our dog is another crucial factor to consider when planning the construction of a tailor-made kennel; this is because the weight will influence the strength and stability of the kennel, as well as the type of materials to be used. Larger, heavier dogs will require a sturdier doghouse by choosing resistant materials such as thick wood or higher quality marine plywood. In fact, low quality wood could warp or become damaged over time due to the weight of our dog and our construction would be short-lived. Furthermore, for large dogs, we consider adding structural reinforcements such as crossbars or internal supports inside the kennel to keep it stable and resistant, thus helping to evenly distribute the weight of the dog in the construction.

5. Let’s observe the dog’s behavior in relation to the kennel: some animals like to be completely hidden, while others prefer open kennels. For this reason, it is useful to observe whether the dog tends to dig, chew or scratch, as this can influence the selection of materials and the resistance of the kennel that we are going to build.


Man measures a dog with a tape measure

Length, height and weight had been measured. Now we are ready to design his kennel!

To make a table you need the wood… but what do we need to build a doghouse?

The choice of material for the construction of our dog’s kennel is one of the most important decisions of the project. It is essential to use a material that, if placed outside the home, is weatherproof, long-lasting and safe for our pet.

Here are some more detailed considerations about choosing the material for the new kennel:

  • Wood: wood is a traditional and popular material for building dog kennels, however, it is important to select it carefully. If we decide to place the structure in our garden, make sure to use a sturdy wood, such as marine plywood, and let’s treat it with a sealant or a paint suitable for pets to protect the material from humidity. On the contrary, woods treated with toxic chemicals, such as treated pine, should be avoided. Furthermore, a sloping roof will avoid water stagnation which could weigh down the upper part and cause mold inside the kennel;
  • Plastic: some people opt for plastic kennels, which are lightweight, easy to clean and water resistant. However, we can say that it is not the most suitable choice for environmental issues and may not offer the same thermal insulation as wood, thus being less resistant to wear and tear than a wooden kennel;
  • Metal or aluminum: these materials are often used to build kennels suitable for dogs intended for indoor environments or in places where the climate is mild. They tend to be less thermally insulated than wood, so let’s make sure our dog is protected from excessive cold or heat.

When we choose the material for the kennel we must take into account the climate of the area in which we live to ensure that the kennel is safe and comfortable for our four-legged friend. Furthermore, we must also consider the ease of maintenance and cleaning when choosing the construction material.

It is also important to know which materials not to use for the construction of the kennel. Wooden pallets, for example, might seem a very interesting element to use, but not everyone knows that they hide some pitfalls that can be harmful to our dogs.

First of all, the pallets contain a large quantity of nails which, if not all removed with the utmost care, can stick out and risk injuring our dog. But not only that: the pallets are often treated with chemical products that preserve the quality of the wood during the transport phases. It is therefore important to know that using wood to build a kennel is not a recommended solution, exposing our four-legged friend to the slow release of these chemical substances.

And now… let’s start building the doghouse!

Building the structure requires attention to details and to basic woodworking skills, but with the right instructions combined with the experience allow us to adequately face this challenge. Before starting to build our dog’s new kennel, let’s check that we have all the tools and materials necessary to complete this project. Above all, it is important to equip yourself with personal protective equipment such as safety gloves, protective glasses, hearing protection and work clothes.

A man and a child wearing carpenter's work clothes are building a doghouse

Make sure you wear protective equipment and use adequate tools.

Now, let’s discover the 5 steps necessary to build the kennel structure:

1. Let’s cut the wood: at this stage, we will have to cut the wood into the desired dimensions for the doghouse. To do this, let’s make sure we have all the necessary tools available, such as a hacksaw and a triangle, to obtain exact cuts. Once the boards have been carefully measured, based on the previously calculated dimensions, we will have to cut the boards that will make up the floor, walls and roof. If we want to build a house-shaped kennel, we must be sure to have the roof boards with the right inclination;

2. Let’s assemble the walls: once the wood has been cut, we need to assemble the walls of the kennel. We then place the vertical and horizontal boards in the desired position and use strong screws or nails to secure them together. Obviously, the walls must be built straight and aligned to ensure a stable kennel. We can also reinforce the edges with metal angles for greater resistance;

3. Let’s build the roof: After assembling the walls, it’s time to build the roof. Flat or sloping? This will be an important choice to face as a flat roof is certainly easier to create but the pitch prevents the accumulation of water. Therefore, we place a larger board over the walls and securely attach the roof to them with screws or nails. If possible, we try to cover it with water-resistant material, such as roofing felt which can guarantee an internally dry kennel;

4. Let’s remember the entrance: let’s cut a hole of adequate size to allow easy access for our furry friend to his kennel;

5. Let’s add details: during this phase, we can add details such as windows or ventilation openings, but it is not a mandatory point. Furthermore, to make the kennel prettier and the construction funnier for us, we can add a decorative touch by shaping the wood to create ornamental effects, such as the puppy’s name or a special finishing.

Once the structure is completed, we can proceed to the next phase regarding the comfort and customization of our four-legged friend’s kennel. Adding a custom-made pillow made from padded and washable fabric will help our dog and give him comfort. Furthermore, to make him feel comfortable in the new kennel, we can help him by placing his favorite toys inside, or by adding a piece of clothing that carries our smell to make the environment familiar.

Building a kennel for our Pet is a project that requires dedication and commitment, the final result will be fulfilling not only for us but above all for our furry friend.

Small-sized dog sitting inside his doghouse in the home living room

A wooden doghouse for smaller sizes can be kept indoors.

So, what are you waiting for? Take advantage of the Christmas holidays and of your free time and get ready with your tools to work on your four-legged friend’s new shelter! Your dog will be extremely happy to know his shelter was built with so much love.

Enjoy it!

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