Building a Dog House for Man’s Best Friend

People love their pets, and often go to great lengths to keep their furry companions happy and healthy.

With summer’s heat quickly approaching, it’s important to provide a shaded area for your dog to rest and keep cool. Building a dog house for man’s best friend is a surefire way to keep your dog happy and healthy this summer.

Building a Dog House for Man’s Best Friend

Dog houses come in many shapes and sizes, from a basic but sophisticated A-frame to miniature mansions fit for your canine king. Customize your pup’s new retreat to fit your home’s design and decor.

Our design is a classic A-frame which is can be sized for dogs both large and small.


  • Detail of construction tools over a wooden tableTape measure
  • Saw
  • Drill and/or screwdriver
  • Wood for the exterior walls and roof
  • Wood for the roof bracing
  • Wood for the corner braces
  • Weather resistant wood screws
  • Shingles and tar or roofing paper (optional)

Draw Out a Plan

How large is your dog? Size your doghouse before you purchase anything!

  • For width, measure your dog’s length and add 12”.
  • For length, add 18” to your dog’s length.
  • For height, measure your dog’s height to the top of his head and add 9” for the peak of the roof. Add 3” for the sloping sides which will connect to the walls.
  • Decide if your dog house will rest on a base, or if it will lay directly on the ground. A base helps keep your dog’s sleeping area dry and out of pooling water when it rains. The base will also provide a space of air which helps keep the dog house cooler during the summer and warmer during the winter.

Choose Your Materials

Wood is always a good choice for a dog house. It’s a natural insulator and very resilient to daily use.

  • Avoid pressure-treated wood, as it’s often exposed to chemicals which can be toxic to your dog.
  • If you are using plywood, choose exterior grade plywood as it will easily stand up to the elements.
  • Choose wood which is at least ¾” thick at the minimum for sufficient insulation.

Prepare Your Base and Walls

  1. Construct your base before you start putting up walls. Lay the box frame and place a pre-measured piece of plywood on top. Secure with wood screws. If your dog is very large, it may be a good idea to add cross bars to the frame for extra support.
  2. Measure and cut 8 pieces of wood for your corner braces. Corner braces consist of two strips of wood or plywood screwed together at a right angle. They will add support to the structure as well as keep out drafts.
  3. Measure and draw out the walls on your wood of choice: 2 sides, 1 back, and 1 front. If adding insulation, increase to 4 sides, 2 back pieces, and 2 front pieces.
  4. Cut 2 roof pieces slightly oversized to aid with rain runoff.

Construct Your Dog House

  1. Dog's kennelAssemble and install your corner braces at all four corners of the dog house.
  2. Screw on your exterior walls using weather-resistant wood screws.
  3. Add insulation, if using, then install the interior walls using wood screws.
  4. Install your roof bracing in the center interior of the front and back panels, leaving an equal amount of space between the peak and angled edge of the walls.
  5. Install your roof pieces with weather-resistant wood screws.
  6. Staple tar or roofing paper over your roof pieces, then install shingles if desired for optimal rain-proofing.
  7. Congratulations – you’re done! Paint, decorate, and install carpeting or a dog bed to your pup’s new home!

DIY Dog House Tips

There are many different ways to approach your dog house. Consider some of these handy tips to make your dog house comfortable for your canine friend!

  • Place an easy-to-wash dog bed into the dog house. If your pup is outside, then chances are that he’ll track mud and dirt onto the bed. Choosing an easy-care bed will make cleaning up as easy as a quick run through the laundry spin cycle.
  • Carpet is another great choice to furnish your dog house. If you plan to remove it later, considering fastening it with duct tape as opposed to nails or staples.
  • If you plan to paint your dog house, choose non-toxic paint. If you have children, letting them help decorate and customize Spot’s special home can be a fun afternoon project for them!
  • Atlanta sees its fair share of rain. Weatherproof your dog’s outdoor retreat by covering the roof with roofing or tar paper and then adding shingles.
  • Insulate your dog house by adding rigid foam insulation between an exterior and interior wall. Make sure to cover any exposed foam with plywood; your dog might think that their new dog house came with a built-in chew toy!