How to Insulate a Dog House: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Before the cold and hot seasons, we get ourselves and our homes ready for the harsh weather. And we have to do the same for our dogs. A dog house should protect your pooch from extremely high temperatures in summer and from the rain and cold in winter.

If you already have a dog house or you can’t afford a heated one, don’t worry. You can insulate your dog’s house to make it weather-proof with no trouble.

In this article, we’ll tell you how to insulate a dog house in 10 easy steps.

Before that, let’s answer a few questions you might have about insulating your dog’s house.

Why Do I Need to Insulate the Dog House?

Dogs spend a great deal of their time outside. You need to make sure that the dog house is warm and cozy in cold weather.

Dogs can stay outside comfortably in temperatures above 45F. When it goes below that, older dogs and dogs with arthritis can have a really difficult time. It causes their muscles to be stiff and painful.

If the temperature reaches 32 or below, some dogs may suffer from hypothermia or even frostbite.

Dogs react to cold weather differently depending on their breeds, age, health condition, and fur coat density.

For example, smaller dogs, short-haired dogs, and dogs with a single fur coat can get really cold in temperatures below 45F. Some breeds have a better ability to withstand cold weather, like Huskies and Golden Retrievers.

Ask your vet for advice on how much time your dog can stay outside in winter and how well-insulated the dog house should be.

Besides Insulation, What Can I Do to Weather-Proof the Dog House?

There are some steps to regulate the dog’s house before insulating it.

Choose the Best Location for the Dog House

Choose The location of the dog house carefully. Place it in a sunny spot. It would be ideal to keep it away from the wind direction. Make sure that the largest, flattest sides of the house face the sun to absorb as much sunlight as possible.

Choose a Dark Color to Paint the Dog House

Dark objects absorb heat better than lighter objects. Dark green or dark blue can work as well as black. So, you don’t have to give up on the beauty of your exterior to have a warm dog house.

10 Easy Steps to Insulate a Dog House

Follow these steps to get the job done on your own (and on a budget!)

Step 1: Choose the Right Insulation Material

There’s a wide variety of insulation materials to choose from. Select the one that works best for your needs and the weather condition in your area. Plus, you can use these materials separately or combined.


Fiberglass is affordable and easy to cut and install.

Owens Corning R-6.7 Unfaced Insulation Roll

Reflective Foil

It’s perfect for reflecting the dog’s body heat at him.

NAVADEAL Silver Reflective Mylar Film- 82 x 47 inch Set of 2- Garden Greenhouse Covering Foil Sheets, Highly Reflective, Effectively Increase Plants Growth, 100% Environmentally Safe

Insulation Bubble Wrap

It’s a special kind of bubble wrap coated with aluminum foil. It’s easy to install, and it works as an excellent insulator.

Reflectix BP24050 24-Inch-by-50-Foot Bubble Pack Insulation


Styrofoam is the most commonly used material used for insulation. It’s quite cheap, easy to work with, and readily available. However, it’s not the most durable material on this list.

Juvale Foam Rectangle, Arts and Crafts Supplies (17 x 11 x 2 in, 3-Pack)

Step 2: Decide Whether You Should Use Interior or Exterior Insulation

Depending on the size of the dog house, you need to decide whether to insulate the inside or outside of the house. It’s best to insulate the exterior of smaller dog houses to save the much-needed space for your dog so that it can move freely inside.

Step 3: Collect the Needed Items

  • Insulation material
  • Wood pallet
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Straight edge
  • Utility knife
  • Staple gun
  • Sandpaper
  • 1/4-inch thick plywood or plastic
  • Handsaw or a pair of heavy-duty scissors
  • Caulk and caulking gun
  • Heavy vinyl for flap door

Step 4: Measure the House Dimensions

After you get everything ready for this task, the real work begins.

  • Use a measuring tape and a straight edge.
  • Measure the dimensions of the three walls, front wall and door, floor, and roof.
  • Write everything down.

Step 5: Cut the Insulation Material

  • Mark the measurements on your insulator and the protective plywood or plastic panels.
  • Use a utility knife or a pair of scissors to cut the insulator.
  • Make sure the material fits closely.

Step 6: Staple the Insulator

Staple, tack, or glue the insulation to the ceiling and walls and then cover with plywood or plastic panels.

You don’t want your dog to chew up the insulator, that’s why you’ll want to stuff it in hollow walls. If the walls are solid, you’ll need to cover the insulator with wood ply or plastic panels.

This step prevents the dog from destroying and ingesting the insulator. Plus, it improves the insulation of the dog house, too.

Step 7: Remember to Insulate the Floor

It’s important to insulate the floor of the dog house, too. You need to stop the floor’s dampness and cold air from lurking into your dog’s space.

Elevate the floor with a wood pallet. A wood pallet is an inexpensive choice. You can insulate it by inserting foam sheets within the pallet shell.

Place a dog bed, an old blanket, or old quilt inside the doghouse. The soft, thick padding of a pillow will add to the warmth of your dog’s body and give him a comfy place to sleep on.

Make sure to wash the dog bedding items frequently to keep mildew, fleas, and ticks at bay.

There are also plenty of things you can use to cover the floor like carpets, mulch, newspapers, or linens.

Furhaven Pet Dog Mat - Muddy Paws Absorbent Chenille Shammy Bath Towel & Food Mat Rug for Dogs & Cats, Charcoal (Gray), Extra Large

Step 8: Add a Flap Door

Install a heavy vinyl flap door for the dog house.

  • It allows the dog to get in and out of the house easily.
  • It keeps the house warm in cold weather.
  • It ensures proper ventilation of the dog house.

You can use these steps to install the flap door.

  • Measure the house door opening. You need to add one inch to the height.
  • Mark your measurements on the vinyl.
  • Cut the vinyl with a utility knife.
  • Staple the flap to the top of the dog house door with a staple gun.
  • Make sure that the height of the flap allows it to swing easily.
  • Ware Manufacturing Premium Plus Vinyl Dog or Pet Door - Extra Large

Step 9: Seal the Gaps and Cracks

Ensure that the roof, walls, and floor don’t have gaps, cracks, or holes, to stop air and rain from getting into the house.

You can use a caulking gun to seal these gaps and cracks.

  • Follow the gun instructions to seal the gaps in and between the walls, floor, and ceiling.
  • The caulk needs to be completely dry before the dog gets back to the house.
  • Also, wait until the smell of the caulk isn’t too strong, for your dog’s safety.

Step 10: The Finishing Touch

Make sure the house doesn’t have any harmful items that might hurt your dog, like stray nails, sharp edges, or splinters. Look for any nails sticking out of the walls and remove them.

Sandpaper can be helpful to make the rough surfaces smoother.


You may think that insulating your dog house is a challenging task, but it really isn’t once you know what to do. And, next winter, when your dog lies comfortably in his warm house, and you’re sure that he’s safe and sound there, you’ll know that it was well worth the effort.