Everything You Need To Build a Doghouse

ECOS Paints 07/22/2021
Everything You Need To Build a Doghouse

Whether you call them dogs, doggos, puppers, or pupperinos, one thing’s for sure: we can’t get enough of our canine companions. There’s a reason they’re called man’s best friend, after all. And man’s best friend deserves a place to lay their cute little head—that’s where doghouses come in.


But store-bought doghouses don’t always make the prettiest addition to one’s yard. And the ones that do look nice tend to run on the pricier end of the spectrum. So why not roll up your sleeves and build one yourself? Once you have everything you need to build a doghouse, you’ll be sure to have a house that you and Fido will both love.

A Place To Build

Before you can even draw up plans for your dog house, you need to know where you’re putting it. That way, you can gauge the space it’ll take up and what kind of ground you are building on. Keep these principles in mind when choosing your dog’s personal corner of the yard.

Protection From the Elements

The house itself is supposed to protect your dog from the elements, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help the house along. Putting your dog’s house in direct sunlight will cause it to be sweltering inside, and putting it in a place that’s wide open to biting wind might keep it colder than would be comfortable. As much as possible, try to find a place that is sheltered by a tree, fence, or other building.

Ground Level

In most cases, the ground under your feet will not be perfectly flat. That doesn’t mean it won’t be possible to build on, but trying to build a house that won’t topple over is more difficult on a slope. And sometimes the bottom of a slope is prone to accumulating standing water which will be uncomfortable for your dog, especially if there isn’t a floor. A flat, elevated surface is the most ideal.

Watch for Hazards

Once you put a doghouse in your yard, your dog will likely be spending more time outside than he did before. So, it’s a good idea to check your yard for anything that might be dangerous for your dog. For example:

·         Plants that are toxic to dogs like daffodils, lilies, and tulips

·         Garden tools

·         Pesticides

·         Snail bait

·         Lawnmower fuel

·         Compost piles

There are some potential hazards that are in your yard that can’t or shouldn’t be removed, like a swimming pool or pond. For these, make sure animals are either kept out with a fence, or could escape if they fell in.


A dog’s house doesn’t need to fit furniture and appliances like ours do, but it’s still important that the house is a comfortable size; otherwise, your dog may not even want to use it. As you prepare to draw up plans for your doghouse, measure your dog’s length from flank (not tail) to nose, height from paw to head, and the space from the dog’s shoulder to the floor.

For the doghouse’s length, take the first measurement and multiply it by at least 1.25. For the height, take the second measurement and multiply it by 1.25 as well. For the height of the door, take the third measurement and multiply it by .75.

A Plan for a Doghouse

Anyone who has ever built something will tell you that going into the project without a plan is a bad idea. So, before you pick up a hammer and nails, it’s important to figure out how to build a doghouse. Stores that specialize in home improvement or pets supplies often have building plans for dog houses. But if you want to make your own plans, here are some features you might consider adding.

Raised Floors

Dogs are perfectly content to lounge on the ground, so building a floor into your doghouse can seem pointless, let alone one raised off the ground. But remember what we said earlier about standing water. Raised floors will keep your dog’s house out of the mud. This will make your doghouse easier to clean, keep out mold, and reduce the chance of your dog tracking mud into the house.

Removable Doors

When we picture a doghouse, they don’t typically have dog doors. But a door on a doghouse will help keep out rain and snow and keep the interior of the house warmer. Of course, this is the last thing your dog needs in the summer. So, add a door that you can remove once the weather gets warmer.

Curved Roof

If you look at images of doghouses online, you’ll find a stunning collection of houses in every size and shape imaginable. This includes houses with flat roofs for the dogs to sit on or for you to plant a garden. Keep in mind that even flat roofs should have at least some kind of curve or tilt to them. This will keep water from accumulating and prevent leaking.

Building Supplies

Now that you’ve laid the groundwork, you’re able to officially start gathering everything you need to build your doghouse. The exact materials you use will depend on the type of house you’re building. But in general, you will need the following.


Wood is usually the material of choice for those building doghouses, as it’s is easy to work with and provides better insulation from the elements than plastic outdoor kennels. Fir, cedar, and pine are go-to choices for types of wood, though parts of the doghouse can even use plywood or wooden pallets. You can even use shingles for the roof of the house.

Wood Stain or Paint

Paint and wood stains will help seal your wood against the elements and enhance your dog house’s aesthetic. Which ones you choose depends on your own personal preferences, but here are some benefits either can offer you.

Wood Stain

Wood stain is perfect if you want a doghouse that blends in with the rest of the yard or one that matches the fence. It’s easy to apply, cheaper, and does not show cracks or peeling as obviously as paint does. It also allows you to vary the colors and styles of your wood without losing the aesthetic of the wood finish. We recommend applying a varnish top coat over the stain for added durability and washability.


Painting your doghouse gives you the widest variety of looks. Beyond an entire spectrum of colors, you can choose between gloss or semi-gloss for a durable outdoor finish.

Your canine companion deserves a place to rest its cute little head, and you have the power to give it to them. Our pet-friendly paints and wood stains can protect your doghouse’s surface even as the doghouse protects your furry friend.

Everything You Need To Build a Doghouse

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