What Do You Put in a Dog House? Essentials and Tips

If you’re a dog owner, you want to ensure your pet is comfortable and safe in their dog house. But what exactly should you put in a dog house? Well, the answer is simple: not much.

All your dog needs is a comfortable place to rest. This can be achieved by placing some blankets or cedar wood chips inside the dog house. Toys are also a welcome addition, but they aren’t necessary.

When it comes to bedding, you have a few options. According to K9 of Mine, linens such as blankets or towels can make simple and effective bedding for your dog. Alternatively, a dog bed is also a great option. It’s important to choose bedding that is comfortable and easy to clean.

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What to Put Inside a Dog House

When it comes to creating a comfortable living space for your pet, it’s important to consider what to put inside their dog house. Here are some essential items to include:


Bedding is an important aspect of your dog’s comfort. A good blanket, sheet, or towel can make simple and effective bedding for your dog. Linens offer a bit of cushion and they don’t cause the mess that particulate beddings (such as wood chips) can or harbor insects as readily. Make sure to choose bedding that is easy to clean and replace regularly.

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Water and Food Bowls

It’s important to make sure your dog has access to fresh water and food at all times. Consider placing a water and food bowl inside the dog house, but make sure they are placed in a secure location to prevent spills and messes. You can also consider using elevated bowls to make it easier for your dog to reach their food and water.

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Toys and Chews

Keeping your dog entertained is important to its overall well-being. Consider placing some toys and chews inside the dog house to keep them occupied. Chew toys can also help keep their teeth clean and healthy. Just make sure to choose toys that are appropriate for your dog’s size and chewing habits.

By including these essential items in your dog’s house, you can create a comfortable and safe living space for your pet.


Maintaining a Dog House

Keeping your dog’s house clean and in good condition is essential to ensuring their safety and comfort. There are a few key things you should do to maintain your dog’s house, including regular cleaning, repairs, and replacements.


Regular cleaning is important to prevent the buildup of dirt, bacteria, and odors in your dog’s house. You should clean your dog’s house at least once a month, or more frequently if your dog spends a lot of time inside.

  • Remove any bedding and wash it in hot water with a pet-safe detergent.
  • Vacuum or sweep out any debris or loose hair.
  • Wipe down the walls and floor with a pet-safe cleaner or a mixture of water and vinegar.
  • Consider using baking soda to absorb odors before vacuuming.


Regular inspections of your dog’s house can help you identify any areas that need repair. It’s important to address any issues as soon as possible to prevent further damage or safety hazards.

  • Check the roof, walls, and floor for any cracks, holes, or damage.
  • Repair any damage using pet-safe materials.
  • Make sure the house is level and stable.
  • Consider adding a dog door or vents for proper air circulation.


Over time, your dog’s house may become worn out or damaged beyond repair. It’s important to replace the house when necessary to ensure your dog’s safety and comfort.

  • Replace the house if it becomes too small for your dog.
  • Replace the house if it’s no longer structurally sound or safe.
  • Consider upgrading to a new house with better insulation or weatherproofing.


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What bedding is best for dogs?

Cedar or pine wood chips are an excellent option that many owners like to use for their dogs. The chips are soft and comfortable, so your dog will enjoy laying down in them, and they also act as a natural insect repellent. Keeping bugs out of the doghouse can be problematical, so this makes wood chips an option well worth considering.

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How do you decorate a dog house?

Paw prints are a popular choice, whether they are dog prints or the prints of a mischievous cat. Stickers are another great option that gives you a wide range without having to resort to any painting. A more practical option, however, is weather-resistant paint.

You can paint the dog house any colors that you like and you’ll be increasing its overall durability.

Is hay a good insulator for dogs?

Hay is quite an excellent insulator and it also has the advantage of being ultra-cheap. You can purchase a huge amount of it for as little as $10 to $15 and it gores a long way. Furthermore, dogs love it and it’s quite warm for them to nestle into.

Just be sure to purchase a little extra so that you swap it out from time to time so that your dog always has nice, fresh, and clean bedding.

Should you paint the inside of a dog house?

While you could, it’s not recommended nor required. The problem is that paints contain volatile compounds that not only have a strong smell but are often quite toxic. If you want to do it, you need to find paint that is listed as non-VOC.

VOC is short for ‘volatile organic compounds’ and you don’t want your dog inhaling those. That said, we really wouldn’t recommend painting the inside – it serves no practical purpose and might be dangerous for your dog.

Where should a dog bed be placed in the house?

If you are placing a bed inside the doghouse, you can place it against the center, back wall, or simply right in the center of the house. When placing a dog bed inside of your actual house, then you want to make sure to put it somewhere that is quiet or even adjacent to your bed in the bedroom.

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The last choice is one of the most popular, especially for those who have larger dogs and wouldn’t mind a bit of extra security right in their bedroom.

How can I make my dog’s house more comfortable?

Dogs aren’t very picky when it comes to creature comforts, so one of the easiest ways to make their home more comfortable is simply the addition of more blankets or some nice, chew-resistant pillows.

If you go with pillows, make sure they are designed for pets – your dog may chew them and you don’t want them ingesting something toxic which might impact their intestines.

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Why won’t my dog use his doghouse?

One of the most common reasons why a dog won’t use their doghouse is that it is simply too far away. If the location is too far away from the house, then your dog feels very isolated there and they are not likely to want to go into the doghouse.

Moving it closer to the home where they can better see and hear activity should help to tempt your dog into using their new house.

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Is it bad for a dog to live outside?

Provided that your dog has water and that the doghouse is designed adequately so that it will keep them warm in the winter and cool in the summer, then it’s perfectly fine for a dog to live outside.

You will need to ensure, however, that they get plenty of social interaction, be it from another dog or the family (ideally from both). They are very social animals and too much isolation is not good for their mental health. If their shelter and social needs are met, then your dog will be just fine living outside.

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What should I put down for my puppy?

In the case of crating your puppy, you will want to put down some sort of soft bedding so that your puppy will be able to relax somewhere that is both soft and warm. This could be a pad or a doggy bed, for instance, or even a chew-resistant blanket.

Beyond this, some toys in the crate will be well-received and will help to keep your puppy occupied when they are spending time in the crate.

How do I keep my house from smelling like my dog?

Regular vacuuming is a must if you own a dog and the trick is to sprinkle a little baking soda on the floor first, letting it sit for a few minutes before vacuuming it up. This will absorb a lot of the odors, but you might also consider a monthly steam cleaning just to be thorough.

Beyond this, regularly washing your dog’s bedding, as well as couch pillow covers and linens in the house can go a long way towards reducing the overall dog smell.

Are dogs happier inside or outside?

While dogs love playing outside, they still pack animals and since you are inside, then they are always going to be happier inside with you. Dogs form a very strong bond with their owners, to the point that studies have shown dogs will remember their owners for their entire lifetime.

Whenever possible, letting your dog live indoors is always the best option.