How To Build A DIY Dog House

Dimensions, materials and special features: here are the most important factors to build a good DIY dog house tailored to your furry friend.

Taking care of a pet, be it dog or cat, is an important commitment that requires the assumption of many responsibilities. Dogs and cats can be faithful companions able to give a lot of satisfaction, but they become in effect additional members of the family and consequently we must take care of their health and guarantee them maximum well-being.



Those lucky enough to have a garden can offer their pet both the opportunity for a healthier life outdoors and to have a kennel all to themselves, where they can seek shelter from the weather and cold. The dog houses that are on the market, however, can cost a lot of money, especially the insulated outdoor dog kennels , which are the only ones able to ensure maximum protection from the cold and bad weather.

DIY enthusiasts, especially those who have some experience in working with wood, could save a lot by choosing to make a do-it-yourself doghouse for outdoor use , as long as they observe some fundamental rules; let’s see together which ones.


How to build a dog house: the rules to follow


To build a kennel that is functional and suitable for your pet’s needs, it is not enough to nail four wooden planks together, so start from the assumption that the first step is to draw up a detailed project on paper that takes into account two important parameters: dimensions and insulation.

The dimensions must be adequate, i.e. they must allow the dog to move easily inside the kennel and to enter and exit it comfortably, without being forced to crawl or to assume sacrificed positions; at the same time it must not be excessively large, otherwise the internal environment will not be able to retain heat, especially during the winter months.



The right measures are those proportionate to the dog for which the kennel is intended; this means that the maximum height must be slightly higher than that of the animal when it is in an upright position on all four legs, while the width and length must be slightly greater than the size of the dog from the tip of the nose to the tail and the The access opening should be slightly higher than the measurement from the top of the dog’s back to the ground when in an upright position.


If it is a puppy, it will be necessary to rely on the standard measures of an adult specimen of its breed, so as not to be forced to replace the kennel several times during its growth.

Furthermore, the suggestion to exceed a little in the measurements of the kennel is important for the purpose of insulation; inserting polystyrene panels inside, in fact, will help to keep the kennel warm during the winter period of course, but also to reduce the internal space due to the thickness of the panels, which can vary from 10 to 40 mm with a consequent total reduction of space from 2 to 8 centimeters depending on the case.

The rules relating to measurements and insulation, of course, apply both to the outdoor dog kennel and to the construction of outdoor cat kennels . In fact, the fact that they belong to different species does not mean that cats and dogs do not have the same needs in terms of living space and protection from the cold and bad weather.

Materials and costs


Wood is the most suitable material for this type of work, and if chosen with care it can save you money; to give a concrete idea of ​​the costs of creating a do-it-yourself dog kennel , therefore, we propose a simple project in order to demonstrate that, even exceeding in size, the expense remains easily accessible and potentially advantageous compared to to the purchase of ready-made wooden dog kennels .


Our project concerns a simple kennel with a square plan and with a sloping roof on one side only, designed for a large dog, therefore with measures of 120 centimeters per side and 100 centimeters in height on the highest side, for a total surface area. of about 8 square meters, rounding up. Solid fir wood can be used as a material, while 10 mm thick extruded polystyrene panels are suitable for insulation.

The 23 x 200 x 2,500 mm raw fir wood boards have a variable price from around 6 to 7 euros; calculating the dimensions indicated for our kennel, it will take about 15 tables of the indicated measures, so only for the wood it will be necessary to spend from 90 to 105 euros. The insulating panels of extruded polystyrene of 50 x 100 centimeters and 10 mm thickness cost about 0.65 euros each, and to cover the internal surface it takes at least 18, for a total cost of about 12 euros.

Also calculating the screws for the wood, the glue, and the varnishes for wood , both the impregnating one and the paint for finishes, the total expenditure for the necessary materials should not exceed 150 euros at the most. The figure is obviously indicative and could undergo more or less variations depending on the type of wood to be used or on the basis of the size of the kennel, which could have smaller dimensions than those we have indicated.


Furthermore, further and possible expense items could affect the overall cost, such as the purchase of hobby equipment necessary for the realization of the project; thinking in terms of pure economic savings, therefore, the do-it-yourself dog kennel could be advantageous only to DIY enthusiasts who already have the necessary tools, and who perhaps have the possibility of accessing recycled material in order to reduce further the construction costs.

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