DIY: How to Build a Doghouse For Your Pet

Around a decade ago, when we got our first Labrador Retriever, we had to decide. We had to determine whether this dog was going to be an outdoor dog or an indoor dog. We believed we would like to have an outdoor location where we could put the dog if we chose to do that temporarily, even if it was wintertime. Although the Labrador Retriever is very strong and able to resist the cold weather, it’s silly to expect the dog to be in the house most of the time and then abruptly be subjected to harsh cold weather outdoors. 

We wanted our dog to be an indoor dog, so we had to choose how we would support the need for the dog to endure in the frigid winter temperatures.

I chose to outline an electrified and insulated, two-room doghouse. Our Labrador retriever was going to be a healthy size dog. So the dog house had to accommodate her properly.

One of the golden rules of possessing a dog house in the winter is that it should never be too big because then the dog’s body heat will not help keep the room heated. I calculated how much room the dog was going to need to be warm and comfortable. 

Here is the point by point, quick steps to follow to build a doghouse. 

  1. Frame the Base: cut three 2- x 4-inch studs to 5 feet in length, and two 2- x 4-inch studs to 4 feet. Frame it with galvanized nails.
  2. Fix the Platform Floor: Cut 11 1- x 6-inch lumber boards 48 inches long. Use the 3-inch galvanized nails to nail in the two end floorboards: Nail this right wall onto the platform using 3-inch nails.
  3. Frame the sidewalls of the house: Assemble the wall frames and nail them to the platform and the sidewall studs using 3-inch galvanized nails.
  4. Carefully frame the front and the back wall: Assemble the walls with 3-inch box nails through the top and bottom plates. 
  5. Cut the sides: Nail the siding in with 2-inch galvanized nails and repeat with the other three walls.
  6. Create Roof Edges: Scribe the actual size and nail it. 
  7. Cut Drip Edge And Fit Shingles: Use galvanized nails for the same.
  8. Add insulation: Use insulation wires with nets using electric gutter heating wire.
  9. Assemble the Roof Frame: Assemble the remaining frames.

Your doghouse is ready. Confusing, read how I constructed it below. 

How I Constructed it?

I placed two by fours as spacers between the plywood outer wall and the inner wall. This space was going to be at the rear of the doghouse and around three sides. The area would adjust insulation between the walls. The fourth wall had space for the dog to enter and leave into what we called the hallway.

This was the path that led to the doghouse’s exterior and had a little lip of about 6 inches to keep snow from stacking up at the door. The entrance of the doghouse was tailored to fit, so the dog could comfortably leave and enter.

We had to have passage to the doghouse, and so this was a piece of plywood hinged at the top of the doghouse. On the bottom of this flat roof, I installed an electric gutter heating wire, which never really gets too hot, and I put it in such a manner that there were approximately 2 inches separating each back and forth strip of the wire. I encircled this whole area with a wire net so the dog couldn’t get at it. I ran the cord to the edge of the doghouse. Then I put a pointed roof on the whole works and spread it with a few shingles. The roof was massive but lifted off quickly.

The bottom line was that if the roof were separated, the next flat roof would hoist on a hinge, dispensing the heating elements contained within. Then I would have entrance to the inside of the doghouse to clean it. I had to run a wire cable from the house, a little underground, and around to the dog house. The doghouse had entrance to a wire dog kennel that was nearly 10 feet long and 4 feet wide. I thought this would be quite suitable for the dog.

The dog used it for years and appeared to be quite comfortable even in the dead of winters.

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