This article contains our favorite DIY dog house designs. We believe that when browsing these options, you're sure to find one your pet will love.

If you are looking at getting a dog or have recently brought one into your home, you may be well aware of how quickly expenses for your pet can escalate. Some studies find that a dog can cost owners more than $40,000. Thus, you may be looking for areas where you can save money on your dog. One of the ways you can save money is by building a dog house for your pet.

While you can’t skimp on food or medicine for your dog, you can still provide them with a quality shelter when you built it yourself. Fortunately, we’ve taken the time to compile our favorite DIY dog house designs. All of the models you’ll see below are affordable and take no more than a couple of hours to build. We believe that when looking at the options below you can easily find one your pet will love.  

Things To Consider When Building A Dog House

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Building a house for your dog could be quite beneficial to its quality of life. However, for this to be the case, there are a few things you’re going to want to consider beforehand. Failure to take some of the following criteria into consideration could result in you constructing a house that your dog does not love, which means you’ll have wasted:

  • Time
  • Money
  • Materials

The first thing you’ll want to consider for your DIY dog house is the size of your dog. You’ll want to make sure that the house is large enough to fit your dog comfortably. Additionally, you’ll want to think about your dog’s growth in the future as well. For example, if your dog is currently a puppy, you may want to think about building an oversized house into which it can grow.

On the other hand, you also don’t want to build a house that is too large. One of the benefits of a dog house is the fact that it provides warmth for your pet in the winter months. If the home is appropriately-sized, your dog’s natural body heat should keep it warm. But, if the house is too large, your dog’s natural body heat will escape, and your pet will be cold.

When coming up with the size for your house, a good rule of thumb is to make it the size of your dog’s indoor crate. Your pet should have enough room to turn around in the house and lay down comfortably. The height of the house should be able ten inches greater than the height of your dog. The length should be about 18 inches longer than the length of your dog, and the width an additional 12 inches.

Another thing you’ll want to consider is where you’ll put the house. Ideally, you should set the house in the coldest and shadiest part of your backyard. But before you begin construction, you’ll want to make sure that this space is large enough for the house. We don’t recommend building a house until you have secured a place in the yard for it to go once you’re finished.  

Lastly, think about any features you’ll want to add to the house. For instance, some pet owners whose dogs use the house frequently in the summer choose to drill nickel-sized holes in the side of the unit to help increase ventilation and keep their pet cool. Furthermore, you may want to add something such as a retractable roof to help make it easier for you to clean the unit.

DIY Dog House Ideas

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Below, you’ll find our list of the top six DIY dog house ideas. These designs are intended to meet a wide budget range. There are also both large and small houses on this list, although owners can also adjust the specs to fit their dog better. We believe that no matter which design you choose from the list below, both you and your pet will be satisfied.

A-Frame Dog House

One of the most straightforward options on our list, this dog house project takes no more than a half-day to finish. To begin, you’ll construct two A-frames to serve as diagonal support for the roof. You’ll then attach two other pieces of wood to complete the structure of the home. Next, you’ll add two pieces of wood over the A-frames to create the roof. Add shingles and paint the house any color.

We have also seen dog owners use stain instead of paint, which can help to make the structure more waterproof. When doing so, make sure you cover up any holes from screws. You can do so with wood putty. Make sure that you have given all materials the chance to dry before allowing your dog to go inside the unit. We recommend waiting at least a day if not two.  

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Dog House with Front Deck

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For those looking to treat their pets to a one-of-a-kind pet home, this could be the ideal option for you. This dog house features a front deck, giving your dog a chance to lay in the sun without having to lay in the grass. Additionally, because this structure is a bit more prominent than other designs, we’ve seen homeowners add a shelf for water bowls and toys as well.

To build this dog house, you’ll need first to construct a large wooden base. The base should be a square that measures approximately five feet by five feet. Then, on one half of the wooden base, you’ll build the house. This

dog house is a bit more rectangular than others and is best-suited for larger dogs. The other half of the base will serve as the decking area. You can attach shelves to the side of the house.

We also found a similar design that utilized an awning on the other half of the deck. Attached to the dog house was another slanted roof, held up by two support beams positioned at the other end of the floor. The dog could lay inside the house to get out of the sun. Or, the dog could relax on the deck and receive fresh air while still finding protection from the sun thanks to the wooden awning.

Crooked Dog House

If you’re looking to add character to your dog house, consider building a crooked dog house. Yes, that means you’ll intentionally make a structure with inconsistent measurements! This project is very similar to the A-Frame dog house design, except for the fact that one side of the frame will be at a much steeper angle than the other. It’s a quirky design that is ideal for smaller dogs who can maneuver easily.

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Indoor End Table

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Not every dog house needs to be outside. One of the most exciting concepts we came across was an indoor dog kennel that doubled as an end table. This design requires you to use wood to construct an indoor cage for your dog. The back of the unit should be solid wood, while the sides of the structure will have wooden “bars” that provide ventilation and visibility.

The front of the unit is a door on hinges that allows users to let their dogs in and out quickly. Pet owners could also add a lock to the door. They can also add a finished piece of wood on top of the unit, which allows it to double as an end table. Feel free to put drinks, lamps, and even candles on top of the structure just as you would any other end table.

Mobile Dog House

Another attractive design we saw was for a mobile dog house. This design features wheels, giving owners the option to move the structure quickly. Owners will want to make sure that they can lock the axels so that the house doesn’t roll away. An alternative is to provide a wheel-base that prevents them from moving.

Adding wheels to the dog house could help improve its longevity. For instance, if you do not plan on keeping your dog outdoors for the winter, you can move the dog house inside easily. Because the structure will not face exposure to the elements, it will last much longer. Adding wheels to the design could reduce the need to make another dog house down the road.

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Insulated Dog House

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Although we came across this feature on a simple dog house design, we felt that it was worth mentioning to our readers. When constructing your dog house, don’t be afraid to add insulation to the interior walls. Consider choosing something such as Earth wool insulating material, which should be safe to use around pets. Insulation is particularly vital when the temperatures begin to drop.

Furthermore, consider using something like wood shavings on the floor of the unit. You’ll want to provide your dog with some cushioning, but you also want to make sure that it won’t hold moisture that you can dispose of it and replace it quickly. A foam bed is prone to mold, while wood shavings are easier to keep clean.

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