Doghouse Instructions

Guard Dog, from Patrick McDonnell's wonderful strip "Mutts"

Please explore the rest of this site to learn how to improve the lives of chained or "backyard dogs."

Dog igloos cost from $50-$125. You can purchase them from Walmart, Petsmart, Petco, and other discount and pet stores. You can also purchase “do it yourself” wooden doghouse kits. Sometimes farm supply and hardware stores sell inexpensive doghouses and igloos. Call the hardware stores in your community to ask if they carry doghouses.

Igloos are good because they are well-insulated, they don’t rot (like wood), and they hold in a dog’s body heat in the winter.

If you're handy and want to build your own doghouse, here are some links for you:


Important Doghouse Tips

    Fill doghouses with hay or cedar chips in the winter so the dog will have a warm bed. (Cedar chips are preferable to hay because they are less likely to rot and don't contain mites.) If you use hay and it gets wet and soggy, spread it in the sun on a sunny day to dry it out.

    Doghouses should be large enough for the dog to stand up and turn around comfortably, but small enough to retain the dog's body heat.

    Wooden doghouses should be raised a few inches off of the ground to prevent rotting and keep out rain. Flat concrete blocks are an easy way to raise a doghouse.

    To protect the dog from winter cold, the door should be covered with a plastic flap. You can use a car mat, a piece of plastic carpet runner (you can buy this by the foot at home improvement stores), or even a piece of carpet.

    Dogs enjoy having towels and blankets to sleep on, just like we do. Remember to wash them every few weeks so they don't get stiff with dirt.

    A doghouse isn't the same thing as shade. The inside of a doghouse gets mighty hot in summer! Provide shade by planting trees or hanging a tarp the dog can get under. Be sure to provide plenty of water in summer, too, and a baby pool filled with water for cooling off.
     

Check out our photos page to see examples of inadequate shelter for dogs.