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How to Build a Dog House

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Authored by Darlene Zagata in Dogs 
Published on 06-28-2009

A dog house is essential to shield your dog against harsh, winter weather as well as to keep him cool and comfortable in the summer heat. Building a dog house doesn’t have to be a difficult project. The basic idea is to provide your dog with a sturdy, form of shelter. A simple structure will suffice but if you are handy with tools and creative, you can make the dog house as elaborate and decorative as you choose.

The first step in building your dog house is to determine the size that will adequately house your dog. The proper size dog house should not be too small or too large. The dog house should be large enough for the dog to stand up, turn around and stretch out comfortably. Determine the proper dimensions you will need. When purchasing materials to construct your dog’s shelter, consider recycling material when appropriate and available.

The first thing you will need to do is to construct the floor. You can do this using 2 x 4 pieces of pressure treated lumber. Join the ends together and secure joints with weather resistant screws. Cover the framework for the floor with plywood. Choose plywood thickness according to dog size. For example, use thicker plywood for a heavier, larger dog. Secure panel to base with screws.

The next step is to build the walls. Cut identical side pieces to use for the walls. Attach the pieces forming a square or rectangle shape. Place studs every 16 inches for a large dog house. Add corner braces for sturdiness. This can be done by screwing two strips of plywood together. Attach to sides, front and back panels with screws. It is a good idea to insulate the walls to keep the dog warm in winter and cool in the summer. Use rigid foam insulation and cover with a thin layer of plywood. Use L-brackets along with screws to join the sections to the floor. Cut the door according to the dog’s size with a couple of inches to spare on each side.

The roof should be slightly oversized to allow for rain runoff. Secure with hinges and install a metal drip edge all around. Cover with tar paper then cover with shingles if desired. Decorative touches such as painting or woodworking carvings may be used to make the dog house more unique and attractive. This is a basic layout for a simple dog house structure. Some people may choose more elaborate designs such as dog houses with extended porch enclosures or other options. There are no limits to what your imagination may create. You can use a simple, standard layout or design your own dog house.

The important issue is to construct a dog house that is sturdy and will protect your dog from the elements. Take time and consideration when constructing a shelter for your dog. You want to make sure that it will withstand the tests of time and weather. You should also be certain that any materials you use to construct or decorate the dog house are non-toxic. Dogs like to chew, it is imperative that you don’t use any items that could inadvertently cause him harm.

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