Building an attractive and safe dog house doesn’t have to be a complicated project. Just keep a few basic principles in mind:
- The house should have a floor which sits far enough above ground to prevent water from entering on the rainiest days. Raising the floor will also isolate it from the cold ground in the winter.
- Consider your dog’s habits. For example, some dogs like to sit on top of their house. If you suspect that this may be the case with your dog, don’t put any roll roofing or shingles on the top of the house since they can get hot in the summer sun. Just use an exterior plywood panel, treated with a nontoxic preservative like linseed oil. (The doghouse in this how-to uses a traditional peaked roof design, but could easily be modified to incorporate a slanted roof.)
- The illustrated dog house was designed for an average sized dog. Feel free to scale the dimensions up or down as necessary to accommodate your dog. It should be large enough to allow your pet to turn around easily in it. Don’t make it too large, since a smaller house is more easily heated by the dog’s natural body heat-an important consideration in winter.