Door or No Door: The Debate Over Dog House Design

If you have a dog, you may be wondering whether or not to provide them with a dog house door. While some people believe that a door is necessary to keep their dog warm and safe, others argue that it can be a hindrance to their dog’s comfort and mobility. So, should a dog house have a door?

A dog house with a door can be appreciably warmer in the winter months, so it’s worth considering when selecting a dog house for your pet. However, the best door option is a door on the side of the dog house, rather than in the middle, with an awning projection over it for shade.

DogHouseTimes recommends that the dog house door width and height should be based on your dog’s approximate height at the withers. They have found that dogs prefer dog houses where they must duck their heads, but do not have to crouch their bodies. This is particularly true for older dogs.

Pros and Cons Table

Here is a table of the pros and cons of using a door flap on a dog house:

Pros Cons
Provides added protection from the elements, including rain, snow, and wind May not be suitable for all climates or weather conditions
Can help to increase the insulation of the dog house, keeping it warmer in colder weather May be more difficult to train some dogs to use
Can help to keep insects and other pests out of the dog house May not be suitable for dogs who are not used to using a flap or door
Can provide added privacy and security for your dog May require additional maintenance and cleaning
Can help to reduce noise from outside the dog house May not be suitable for dogs with certain medical conditions or special needs
Can provide a sense of enclosure and comfort for your dog May not be necessary for all dog houses

Keep in mind that these pros and cons may vary depending on the specific needs and preferences of your dog and the climate in your area.

Importance of a Dog House Door

A dog house is an essential item for any dog owner. It provides a safe and comfortable place for your pet to rest and sleep. But, should a dog house have a door? The answer is yes. A dog house with a door provides many benefits for your dog, including protection from weather, security, and privacy.

Protection from Weather

A dog house door can protect your dog from harsh weather conditions such as rain, snow, and wind. Without a door, your dog may be exposed to the elements, which can lead to health problems. A door can also help regulate the temperature inside the dog house, keeping it warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

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A dog house door can provide security for your dog. It can keep other animals out of the dog house, preventing fights and potential injuries. It can also keep your dog safe from humans who may want to harm or steal your dog. A door with a lock can provide even more security, ensuring that your dog is safe and protected at all times.

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Just like humans, dogs need privacy too. A dog house with a door can provide a private space for your dog to rest and relax. It can also give your dog a sense of security and comfort, knowing that they have a safe and private space to call their own.

Overall, a dog house with a door is an essential item for any dog owner. It provides protection from weather, security, and privacy for your pet. Make sure to choose a door that is the right size for your dog and that is easy for them to use. Your dog will thank you for it!


Types of Dog House Doors

When it comes to dog house doors, there are several types to choose from. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages, so it’s essential to consider your dog’s needs and preferences before making a decision.

Flap Doors

Flap doors are one of the most popular types of dog house doors. They are made of flexible materials, such as vinyl or rubber, and allow your dog to push through them easily. Flap doors are great for dogs who like to come and go as they please, and they are also energy-efficient because they help to keep the cold air out during the winter months. However, flap doors can be difficult to install, and they may not provide as much security as other types of doors.

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Hinged Doors

Hinged doors are another popular type of dog house door. They are made of wood or plastic and are attached to the dog house with hinges. Hinged doors provide more security than flap doors, and they are also easy to install. However, they may not be as energy-efficient as flap doors, and they may not be as easy for your dog to use.

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When choosing a dog house door, it’s essential to consider your dog’s size, age, and behavior. You should also consider the climate in your area and the type of material your dog house is made of. By taking the time to choose the right door, you can help keep your dog safe, comfortable, and happy.

Considerations When Choosing a Dog House Door

Size of the Door

When choosing a dog house door, the size of the door is a crucial factor to consider. According to Dog’s Best Life, the door should be at least one inch taller than your biggest dog, and the step-over height of the door should be at most a third of your smallest dog’s height. If the door is too short or the step-over is too high, some dogs may refuse to use it. As a general rule, the height of the door should be 1.5 to 2 inches higher than the shoulders of your dog.

Material of the Door

The material of the dog house door is also an important factor to consider. The best door option is a door on the side of the dog house, rather than in the middle, with an awning projection over it for shade. The material of the door should be sturdy enough to withstand harsh weather conditions and the constant use of your dog. The Home Depot recommends choosing a dog door made to accommodate your dog’s size and weight.

Some are suitable for dogs up to 220 pounds. In conclusion, when choosing a dog house door, it is essential to consider the size and material of the door. The door should be tall enough and have a low enough step-over height to accommodate all of your dogs. The material should be durable and able to withstand harsh weather conditions. By considering these factors, you can choose the best door for your dog’s house.

Costs of Different Dog House Doors

If you’re considering adding a door to your dog’s house, it’s important to know the costs associated with different types of doors.

A basic dog house door flap can cost as little as $10 to $20. However, if you want a sturdier door with insulation, you can expect to pay between $50 to $100. A door with a locking mechanism can cost anywhere from $30 to $200 depending on the type of lock and the size of the door.

If you’re looking for a more permanent solution, installing a dog door in a glass window or door can cost around $360 to $1,250, depending on the size and type of glass door you’re adding the pet door to. An installation in sliding glass doors costs more, as you need an additional door reinforcement to ensure your dog can dash through the door without breaking the glass or door.

It’s important to note that higher-priced dog doors typically offer more durable material, extended warranties, and enhanced appearance and finish options. Dog door installation costs vary considerably by location, so it’s best to get a quote from a professional installer in your area.

Ultimately, the cost of a dog house door will depend on your specific needs and budget. Consider the benefits of having a door, such as added warmth in the winter months, and weigh the costs against those benefits to determine the best option for you and your pet.

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Sources: Home Advisor, Homewyse

DIY vs Professional Install

If you are handy and enjoy DIY projects, you may be tempted to install the dog house door yourself. However, keep in mind that installing a pet door can be more complicated than it seems. You will need to ensure that the door is properly aligned, insulated, and secure to prevent drafts, leaks, and pests from entering your dog’s house.

If you decide to go the DIY route, make sure you have the right tools and materials for the job. You may need a saw, drill, screws, caulk, weatherstripping, and insulation. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, and double-check your measurements before cutting into your door or wall.

On the other hand, if you are not confident in your DIY skills or do not have the time or energy to tackle the installation yourself, you can hire a professional to do it for you. A handyman or pet door installer can ensure that the door is installed correctly and safely and can provide advice on the best type and size of door for your dog and house.

According to Angi, “A handyperson who specializes in carpentry should have no trouble tackling the job and will be able to advise as to which option is best for your home.” Keep in mind that hiring a professional may cost more upfront, but it can save you time, effort, and potential mistakes in the long run.

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Overall, having a door in your dog’s house can provide many benefits for you and your pet. It can keep them safe from predators and extreme weather conditions. Additionally, it can provide them with a sense of privacy and security.

However, it is important to consider the size and location of the door, as well as the type of material it is made of. You want to ensure that the door is large enough for your dog to comfortably enter and exit, but not so large that it compromises the insulation of the house. Additionally, the door should be located in a spot that provides shade and protection from the elements.

It is also important to consider the safety implications of having a door. You want to ensure that the door is secure and cannot be easily accessed by burglars or other animals. Additionally, you may want to consider installing a locking mechanism to prevent your dog from escaping or unwanted animals from entering.

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Ultimately, the decision to have a door in your dog’s house is up to you and your individual needs. However, with careful consideration and proper installation, a dog house door can provide many benefits for you and your pet.

Sources: Pet Doors


What does a dog house need?

At its very basic, a dog house simply needs to be a sturdy shelter. It should protect from the rain, while also being insulated from the cold so that your dog stays both warm and dry. In the warmer months, it needs to be cool while also being an adequate shelter from the wind when your dog feels like going inside.

Anything beyond this is up to you, but those are the basics that are an absolute MUST.

What’s the best thing to put in a dog house?

A good blanket or some linens make for great bedding for your dog. They have an advantage over options like cedar chips, in that they are not going to encourage pesky insects, and they serve to provide a comfortable place where your dog may rest.

Which way should a dog house face?

If you are living in the United States, you want to make sure that your dog’s house faces north or east. The reason for this is the weather. Storms in the United States are always going to be coming from the South or the West.

Now, if you live somewhere that it gets fairly cold, east is your best option, as this helps to ensure that cold winds aren’t blowing into the doorway, so this is an important final consideration.

Should dog houses have vents?

Yes, dogs’ houses must have proper ventilation. This helps to give a natural airflow system to ensure that the doghouse is cooler when it’s hot outside and in the winter or damp spring, the ventilation helps to ensure that doggy breath is not going to end up producing mold. Ventilation is thus not only practical but a necessity.  

Do igloo dog houses keep dogs warm?

While they seem like a bit of a novelty, the igloo design is quite efficient. The shape makes it quite spacious inside for your dog but even better, it also traps heat more efficiently than a square-model, standard doghouse. If you live in a location that gets a little colder than most, an igloo doghouse is well worth considering.

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Can a dog live outside in a dog house?

This is not recommended for smaller breeds of dogs, as they are not as hardy as their larger counterparts. With large breeds, living outside is okay, although a lot will depend on the breed.

For instance, a winter-breed dog such as a husky would do poorly in a state that is routinely very hot outside but would do quite well where it’s colder. Provided that it’s a large dog and suited for the local environs, a dog can live outside.

Will a dog house keep my dog warm?

Yes, but the degree of warmth is going to depend on the doghouse materials, as well as any added insulation. Straight ‘out of the box’, performance will vary, so be sure to research the model that you are considering to ensure that it will be a good fit for your current location and established seasonal temperature ranges.

For colder environments, consider an igloo design house. They are quite spacious and much more efficient than box houses in colder weather.