5 Steps to Buy or Build a Warm Insulated Dog House

5 Steps to Buy or Build a Warm Insulated Dog House

I recently bought a house for my dog Rocky on the local pet store. Truth be told, I had no idea on the subject, so I ended up buying the “best for my budget” which happened to be plastic made with some wood. I decided to go for the (unnecessary) bigger size so Rocky would enjoy the extra space. It was very easy to assemble, and my dog seemed to enjoy it… That is, until the cold months of the year came by. I made some terrible mistakes that could have been easily avoided if I knew what I was looking for.

After this experience I decided I would build it myself. After doing some research, (I’m an architect so I did the dog house plans myself) and a few weekends woodworking, I am now the proud owner of a modern looking, sturdy, weather proof, insulated dog house, and I have some very important insights I will share with you in this post.

  • Size should fit your dog.

I used to have the mentality people have about people houses “the bigger the better”, however this does not apply on pet houses. Not if you have some cold weather during the year. Dogs like confined spaces during rough weather because they use their own body heat to warm their sleeping place. So you have to consider buying or building one that is large enough for your dog to get inside and be able to turn and small enough that he can easily heat it with its own body. If you want more specific measurements, go for the length and height of the house about 20% larger that your dog’s length and height.

  • Design with a separate room away from the entrance.

The shape of the house plays an important role on the warmth it will be able to retain. First of all (and a bit obvious if you ask me) make sure it does not have a bigger door than necessary; as long as your dog can comfortably get in, it’s OK. Secondly, a house with two rooms will make the room farthest from the door a warmer place to sleep. In this kind of houses, your dog has the option to either sleep close to the door where he can peek outside or go all the way inside into the second room where it will retain more body heat.

  • The floor must not be in contact with the ground.

This is extremely easy to solve. Either place some kind of base or deck or just mount a few bricks on each corner. If it ends up too high, just place a ramp at the entrance for easy access.

  • Easily insulate the walls.

Wood or plastic will not wind proof your pet’s new home. The easiest way to make sure your dog will be safe from the outside weather is to place the same insulated sheathing used in real house construction. If your dog chews on things, make sure you add an extra layer of material to cover it up.

  • Leak proof roofing

Make you water proof your pet’s home by installing the basic 3 layers of rain protection real houses have. Use underlayment paper, staple it to your dog’s house roof, and place shingles on top of it. You can find both materials at any home improvement store.