15 Tips For Building a Custom Dog House [Guide]

Does your dog have personality and a unique attitude? You should be looking at plans for a custom dog house to match their personality and style. When your pet is special, their refuge should be special, too.

Custom Dog House Planning

Custom dog houses can start off by matching the size of the dog house to your pet. If you have an extremely small dog or a very large dog, they will feel safer and more comfortable in a dog house which fits their size closely. If your dog is an outdoor dog it is even more important. The primary heat for your pet comes from their body heating the interior of the dog house.

french bulldog

For Summer Season: Remember To Add Cooling

The opposite can be true in the summer months. While is it very uncommon to air condition even custom dog houses, just the addition of adding a fan to vent away from the heat, and to circulate air can help your pet maintain their body temperature. While you are planning for the cooling of the dog house, make sure to consider how you would like to add a good method to provide consistent water for your pet during the hot summer months. You may choose to mount a watering unit on the side of the dog house, instead of requiring another structure.

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Make easy cleaning possible

One of the factors to consider when building custom dog houses is creating an easy way for you to open the dog house for cleaning. Why should you build a dog house, and then still be stuck trying to clean it out through a tiny door in the front? Adding an extra large hinged door to give you easy access will simplify the process. The most important item? Make sure your designs are going to give your dog a comfortable place to live and enjoy. Everything else is just extras.

Build a Unique Look

Many pet owners build custom dog houses with unique looks. You can build a miniature version of your own home, or at least use the same siding and highlights. You can build a fancy dog house and paint pictures of cartoon dogs on the sides to give your yard a touch of doggy humor. Maybe your dog is totally out of this world, and you will choose to build a custom dog house like Astro for the Jetson’s cartoon. Getting a little outlandish with your ideas can be fun for yourself and your children.

Before you get started and choose your dog house designs you need to make a choice. Do you want a simple functional dog house? Are you looking for plans for a fabulously fantastic, but still functional dog house?

As you start to evaluate your choices always keep one thing at the front of your mind. Is the dog house going to be comfortable for your dog? All of the fancy exterior designs to look great in your yard mean nothing to your dog. Your dog only wants a few things from the dog house. They want a comfortable and dry place to lay down. They want good ventilation for the hot summer days and protection from the wind on the coldest days. Examine the features of every dog house plan with those thoughts in mind, and you will have a good idea if your dog will actually use the dog house.

After you take care of your dog’s needs, then you can let your mind go wild. If you want to go the fabulous route you can find plans to build a dog house which looks much like your own home. You can have small windows, window planters, shutters, and all the accessories to make it look like a tiny human house. If your dog is a real king or queen, you can choose dog house designs to build them a castle.

dog house designs

Make a Good Plan Before You Begin

Since you are planning to build the dog house with your own two hands, take the time commitments to build the dog house into consideration. If you are needing a dog house built quickly then it is best to stick with very simple dog house designs. Many of these plans can be built in an afternoon, and have it ready for your pet to move into once the paint dries. When you are considering one of the more fantastic and outlandish ideas it may take you several weekends to complete the project. If your dog already has a dog house to use, and this is just the replacement, then time is not as big of an issue.

The Cost of a Custom Dog House

Cost is a concern for most dog owners. The more extreme and fancy the dog house designs, the higher the cost. One thing which helps with cost is the small size of a dog house. Often you can use scraps from other projects for many portions of building a dog house. Just make sure you use good quality materials, which are rated for outdoor use.

Building a dog house can be either very easy with simple dog house designs, or extremely complex for a fancy home. Evaluate your plans carefully, and never forget the comfort of your pet.

Remember To Install a Heater

Are you worried about your dog in the winter months? You want to make sure their dog house provides enough heat and protection to keep your pet safe during the harshest winter nights. A dog house heater is the best method to keep your pet warm. These heaters come in many different styles from extremely simple to very high tech. Here are some of the choices you want to consider.

custom dog houses

Heating Light

The simplest and least expensive options are to add a simple incandescent light to the dog house. The light will provide plenty of heat for your dog, but does add two distinct disadvantages. The first problem comes from the heat of the light. It is not a thermostatically controlled heat source. The heat may become too hot, or bump the light could burn your pet. The second disadvantage is light. Your dog appreciates dark for sleeping, too. By having a bright light on in the doghouse to keep them warm, they may have more problems sleeping at night.

Dog House Heating Bed

The second choice for dog house heaters is also the most common. This is the mid-priced item and is likely to be your best choice, the dog heating beds or pads. They are designed to lay on the bottom of the dog house and do have a thermostat to control the level of heat. This product is designed to be moisture and weather resistant and will keep the home warm while giving your dog plenty of comforts, with almost no risk of burns.

Electric Heating Pad

Some people opt to use an electric blanket or electric heating pad for humans in place of the dog house heater. This is extremely dangerous. The blankets and pad are not designed to be waterproof, or to stand up to your dog’s scratching, shuffling, and dragging the blanket around. Stay away from this option.

Wifi-enabled Heating

The final and most expensive option is the entire dog house heater, cooler, and WiFi center. Yes, it includes WiFi capability so you can hook up a webcam and watch your pet online using MSN. During the winter months, it can warm the dog house to a very comfortable temperature. In the summer it provides air conditioning. The amazing thing is how little electricity it actually uses. The manufacturer claims it can be run on 50 cents of electricity per day. It is an amazing value on energy usage, but the initial cost is many times higher than the other methods.

No matter what method you choose for a dog house heater, your dog will appreciate it. You will keep them warm through the worst winter nights. You will be able to sleep through the night knowing your pet is safe and warm. It is a good investment in your pet’s safety and your peace of mind. Don’t wait until winter’s cold nights start up, go ahead and get your heater today, and be prepared.

The Pros of Building a Dog House Outside

You have a great dog who needs a safe place to be outside. You hate the idea of ropes or chains and dislike the idea of building a fence around your entire yard even more. Choosing one of the great outdoor dog kennels may be your best choice.

bernese mountain dog

Build a Correctly Sized Dog House

Outdoor dog kennels come in many different sizes and materials. The most common of the dog kennels is made from a steel mesh fencing, along with a steel frame. A dog kennel needs to be very strong to stand up to an excited dog jumping up against the gate or sides when they see you coming out to play.

You will want to size your kennel to match the size and ability of your dog. A large dog is going to need a larger kennel to give them room to run and exercise. You can find easy to assemble kennels in a wide range of sizes. Some readily available kennels are over 10 feet wide and 20 feet long. It is not only the width and length you need to be concerned about. With a small dog having a 6-foot high kennel is plenty high, but what about when you have a large dog. Some of the larger breeds can jump and climb over the top of a six-foot fence in a moment. You will find kennels in a wide range of heights to help contain your dog safely inside.

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Is Your Dog a Climber?

If your dog is a persistent climber, you may want to consider a kennel which also encloses the top with the same steel mesh. Even if they are not climbers, you should consider an outdoor dog kennels with a protective roof. This can help keep the sun and rain off of your dog, making them more comfortable and safe during even the hottest or wettest days.

Many times it is not only over the top you need to be concerned with when setting up your kennel. Are you planning to put the kennel on the ground, on a concrete slab, or a concrete footing? Once you have determined the location the kennel will stay in, you should consider at least a concrete footing for the kennel. You will want the footing to go deep enough into the ground to make sure it prevents your dog from digging out of the kennel. Without using either a concrete slab or footing, you can be sure your dog is going to escape at some point. They will see that soft grass and ground as an easy method of making their way out of captivity.

If you absolutely hate the idea and appearance of the steel outdoor dog kennels there are options for wood kennels, too. They will not replace all of the steel but can give you more options for a better looking outdoor kennel. Be aware that dogs are notorious for scratching or biting their way through the wood. The steel kennel is the safest kennel for your pet and the one which will last the lifetime of your dog.

Wireless Pet Fence Around The Dog House

One of the challenges facing every pet owner is keeping their pet in their own yard. You may have a big fence in back, but what about out front? Using a wireless pet fence you can train your dog or cat to stay in the yard without ropes, chains, or destroying your yard with ugly fences.

A wireless pet fence is a two-part solution. It requires putting a collar on your pet which reacts to the wireless fence. The second part is the wireless fence itself. Depending on the system you can get either a well defined rectangular fence or a circular fence.

The systems which provide a circular fence are based upon a centralized transmitter which communicates constantly with the collar. Once the collar strays too far from the transmitter a shock will occur. The level of shock is usually adjustable to allow training dogs of different pain tolerances. Most dogs can be trained on the lower settings and will respond quickly to the mild irritation. Other dogs are more stubborn and determined and require a slightly stronger safe shock to convince them to learn.


How a Wireless Pet Fence Works

The rectangular fences are going to use a perimeter of transmitters instead of a centralized transmitter. This allows them to create the rectangular fence line, and can more closely match the perimeter of your yard. This combination allows you to visualize the safe area and the defined boundaries. With multiple transmitters, these systems are not very portable.

If you have both your home and a favorite vacation spot, you may want to go with the circular fence. Many of them allow for easy transportation since you only need to carry the one transmitter.

A word of caution, these are training devices and not true fences. Your dog learns over time to stay within the confines of the fence. With a true physical fence, it is a real barrier and requires no training. When you start using a wireless pet fence you need to stay with your animal, observe, and adjust until your pet is trained. It is not a put in place and walks away fence. This is one area where some pet owners become discouraged. They envisioned buying the fence and being done. It does not work that way.

Not all dogs take to a wireless fence easily. They are willing to tolerate the minor pain to escape the confines of the yard. You will not know until you have tested a fence with your own pet. The only real indicator you can use to judge is how easily you have been able to train your pet other commands. If they respond well to training, this will just be one more training device and they will take it with ease. When reinforced with an understanding and guiding owner they will have a new freedom in their own yard, which they will love.

Using a wireless pet fence is a great investment when you go into the project with your eyes wide open. Plan on working with your pet and you will both have great success in enjoying more freedom in the yard.


We hope that you got some great ideas for building a custom dog house. Feel free to post a comment below if you liked this article. 🙂

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