ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Build a Great Dog House or Kennel

Updated on March 11, 2012
Not every dog loves the snow
Not every dog loves the snow | Source

Not every one of man's best friends appreciates the snow. Or the cold. Or the rain. Or the severe midday sun of August. So, if you want to make things a bit more pleasant for your canine companion, there are a number of important things to remember as you build a great outdoor doghouse or kennel.

First, and foremost, of course, is that your dog or puppy be properly sheltered from the elements. So you should build its doghouse of sufficiently strong and durable exterior materials. The most cost effective and easily workable materials are plywood and simple framing lumber, of course. If you are a bit handy, you might also want to make use of cement-fiber hardboard, or felt building paper, or shingles, or other such building materials.

To the greatest extent possible, assemble the doghouse using wood screws and glue, as opposed to just nails or construction staples. You’ll find that the finished product will hold its shape for far longer, with less warping, gapping or splitting. When the basic assembly is completed, be sure that all finish surfaces are properly sanded, sealed, caulked and stained or painted. You don’t want your pet suffering from exposed ragged edges, splinters or projecting nails, nor do you want a doghouse exterior that easily gathers dirt or leaves, or that is hard to hose and brush clean. Gloss finishes are the easiest to keep clean and new looking. Having a well-sealed doghouse also keeps insects, dirt, vermin and water out, while keeping dog body warmth in. If the doghouse must shed continually excessive heat, paint it a light color; if it must retain the minimal heat of weak winter light or is in a colder climate, go dark.

Be sure that the doghouse roof is sufficiently pitched to drain water easily, and to shed accumulated snow. (However, if your climate is perpetually snowy, a flatter roof will allow a deep insulating layer of snow to encase the doghouse. Just be sure the roof construction and finish can stand the eventual draining of meltwater.) Also, be sure that any water will continue to drain away from the doghouse vicinity, rather than just sit in a murky puddle at your best friend's feet. It may thus be best to locate the doghouse atop a small rise or mound. If you dwell in a fairly cold, windy or snowy region, you will also want to locate the access to the doghouse away from the prevailing winter winds. This will minimize any snow build-up in front of (or within) the doghouse, and will offer your pet sanctuary from chilling winds and driven rain or snow.

Size the doghouse to contain a somewhat larger volume than your pet’s expected eventual mature size. You don’t want the doghouse to be too small to accommodate your pooch and its normal movements and postures (as well as any blankets, beds, dishes, toys, etc.). Yet you also do not want the doghouse to be so large that it invites other unwanted guests (such as transient raccoons, opossums, skunks, groundhogs, or other dogs), or so large that your pet does not feel ownership of its entire defensible domain. It is also easier within a fairly compact space for a canine to warm itself using only trapped body heat.

Doghouse floors of concrete, tile or stone are very inhospitable to animals. They often stay damp, and are consistently clammy, sapping body heat. They can also exacerbate body sores, and are not particularly comfortable. A wood floor is much easier on a dog’s body, and a raised wood floor allows for the insertion of some intervening insulation to ward off the ground’s chill. If your dog will spend extended nights or cool hours within its doghouse, the inclusion of a single 60-watt light bulb can be enough to cut the cold.

To insure your pet’s ease of mind and wellbeing, make sure that approaches to the doghouse are well within its view. To give your pet a sense of security and defensibility, the doghouse should also have but a single entry. It is also wise to establish a properly sized dog run (preferably with features of interest and variety) adjacent to and immediately accessible from the doghouse.

Finally, to be sure your pet really loves its new doghouse, allow it to assist you all the while you are building it.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • rickzimmerman profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks, RandomLife!

    • RandomLife profile image


      6 years ago from Nashville TN

      Great hub! Very informative. I am a dog lover, of course mine is only 4 lbs so she stays indoors. You have nice, detailed information. Thumbs up from me! =)


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)