Building a Dog House

Protect your Dog from Inclement Weather by Building a Dog House

By Mark J. Donovan

If you have an outside dog, or a dog that you frequently keep outside during the day, then it is important to provide some form of shelter for him or her. A dog house is the perfect shelter for protecting your dog from inclement weather. Building a dog house is not difficult to do and the costs are minimal. In some cases you may even have much of the material already on your property to build a dog house.

Whether it is rain, snow, cold, heat or wind, a dog deserves some of the same creature comforts that humans need. Like humans they can experience some of the same ill effects as we do by being exposed for prolonged periods of time to inclement weather, or brutally cold or hot temperature conditions.

Building a dog house can prevent your dog from becoming sick and even dying under extreme weather conditions.

When deciding upon building a dog house the first question that normally comes up is how big of dog house do I need to build? The size of the dog house varies with the size of the dog, however a common rule of thumb is to build a dog house that is just large enough for the dog to stand up, turn around and be able to lie back down comfortably.

This said you don’t want to build the dog house too big, as the dog will be unable to warm the house sufficiently with its body heat.

To build a dog house, start from the ground up. Use a few concrete blocks to act as a foundation for supporting the dog house.

Next, build a wood subfloor effectively as you would when building a home. Use 2” x 4 ”s to construct the basic subfloor frame and then sheath the subfloor frame with plywood.

Though normally I would recommend using pressure treated material when wood may come in contact with moisture, I hesitate to suggest this for the health reasons of the dog.

After building the dog house floor, frame the four walls of the dog house and install the sheathing on them. When building the front wall of the dog house frame in a rough opening for the entrance. Again, the size of the dog house door opening is dependent upon the size of the dog. The dog should be able to walk in and out of the door without having to crouch down.

After the walls have been framed and sheathed, nail or screw them to the dog house floor and to each other.

Next, build the dog house roof. You can either build a standard roof with a central peak or you can build a shed roof where one side of the roof is higher than the other. If you build a standard roof, create two gable end frames and attach them to the front and back walls. Next install a ridgeboard between the peaks of the gable ends. Then nail roof rafters from the ridgeboard to the side walls of the dog house. Finally sheath the open gable ends and the roof.

After completing the framing and exterior sheathing of the dog house, install shingles on the roof.

To dress up the dog house, install clapboard siding on the exterior walls of the dog house.

Finally paint the exterior of your dog house and your dog is ready for its new home.

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