How Can I Make an Inexpensive Dog House? (Solved & Explained!)

A home for your dog can be a wonderful place for them to relax, feel comfortable and secure, or even spend the night, but it may seem like an expensive purchase to make. It can be surprisingly simple and much more cost-effective to put one together yourself, and there are many different ways to do it.

The most important thing to remember is that your dog’s space needs to be safe as well as comfortable, so you need to know what your dog needs from a home before you begin. Depending on how crafty you’re feeling, some methods are cheaper and easier to make than others, but you should never compromise on safety.

This article will go into detail about what you need to keep in mind when it comes to building your own dog house so that your little friend won’t be in any danger or discomfort, as well as a few options for DIY builds that you can have a go at yourself.

Does My Dog Need a Full Kennel or an Indoor House?

Many smaller breeds of dog don’t suit spending a lot of time outdoors and making a small indoor house for your dog might be a cheaper and easier alternative to a kennel. If you are making an outdoor kennel other factors like the weather and ground clearance will need to be taken into consideration.

Do I Need to Use a Plan For My Dog House?

There are many free dog house plans available that are designed to be easy for a beginner to build, but you can also make a house of your own design. Some of the basic structural elements are important to know ahead of time, but you can stick to those and still get creative with your ideas.

What Size Should A Dog Kennel Be?

A great benefit to building your own kennel is that you can make it to the exact specifications that your dog needs. They should be able to stand up comfortably, move around inside with ease, and even have enough room to run if needs be, otherwise the space can be too cramped and uncomfortable.

How Do I Measure For My Dog House?

Whatever method you use, your dog’s house should be at least 6 inches longer than their body length and 6 inches higher than their shoulders. For large dogs that usually works out at around 36 inches by 36 inches whereas for very small dogs you might get away with a space that is only 24 inches by 24 inches.

How Do I Make Sure My Dog House is Safe?

Besides the size, some of the considerations that you should have in mind for your dog house are temperature control, stability, ground clearance, and edges. Depending on the weather and location, your dog may need extra insulation or waterproofing, the house should not be able to fill with water and there shouldn’t be sharp edges or nails sticking out.

How Do I Choose the Right Materials For My Dog House?

If you are building your kennel outdoors, wood is usually the best option, and a combination of lumber boards and plywood should give sufficient protection from the weather in most climates. For indoor dog houses, the material is less of an important factor and you can use plastic or simple fabrics to make something comfortable and cute.

Should I Use Nails or Screws When Building My Dog House?

For an indoor fabric dog house, glueing and tying are the safest options, but for more substantial structures you are going to need nails or screws. Either is perfectly safe as long as they are driven in accurately and there are no points sticking out that could cause injury to your dog.

Building an Indoor Dog House

Option 1: A Pet Teepee

For small dogs, pet teepees are cheap to purchase but they can also be easy to put together yourself.

  1. Tie one piece of rope around the end of 5 poles of equal length.
  2. Keeping them flat, tightly wrap them all together, and wrap between each pole as well.
  3. Stand them up with the wrapped ends towards the ceiling and the rods spaced equally apart.
  4. Wrap a piece of fabric around all of the rods, pinning it near the top at the front, where you will leave the opening.
  5. Trim the fabric at the base and glue it to each rod.
  6. Put a blanket inside and move your puppy in!

Option 2: A Plastic Tub House

If you can find a plastic container that is large enough, it is very easy to turn one into a simple dog house.

  1. Flip the tub upside down so that the lid becomes the base.
  2. Use a box cutter to carefully make an entrance on one side that is large enough for your dog.
  3. Sand down any sharp edges and fill the house with comfortable cushions or blankets.

Building an Outdoor Dog House

When it comes to building a dog house outside, there are many options available, but some key steps should always be considered.

  1. Build a base to the structure which is going to raise the house high enough from the ground that no water can get in. 2-by-4 boards placed lengthwise and sheathed with plywood make an effective simple base.
  2. Use strong structural pieces to build frames for all four walls, using measurements that suit the size of your dog.
  3. Create a frame for the roof, which may be angled to encourage water runoff.
  4. Install panels into the side frames and roofing that is waterproof, insulated and weatherproof.
  5. Create an opening that is large enough for your dog to use easily.
  6. Attach a ramp for your dog to climb in and out safely.

Where Can I Find Plans To Build a Dog House?

We’ve gone over some of the basic steps involved in putting together an inexpensive dog house but you can get more detailed instructions elsewhere. has a great plan for an A-Frame Dog House and you can follow very simple instructions on a plan from Lowe’s.