How to Build an Entrance in a Dog House

by Mary Lougee
    Place your doghouse in the sun during winter and in a shady area in the summer for temperature control.

    Place your doghouse in the sun during winter and in a shady area in the summer for temperature control.

    Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

    An appropriate size for a homemade doghouse is wide enough for your pooch to turn around in and long enough for him to lie fully stretched out. A doghouse should be a few inches taller than your pooch when he's standing inside. The entrance size is determined by measuring your dog, and the placement on the front varies due to your climate. Cutting the entryway out of a wooden doghouse correctly allows warmth in the winter and cool breezes in the summer.

    Step 1

    Measure your dog’s height. Have your pet stand on all four legs. Stretch the measuring tape from the floor to the top of his shoulders. Round the measurement up to the nearest inch and multiply it by .75. This is the entrance height needed for your dog. Dogs duck their heads when entering a house and step over the threshold at the door's bottom.

    Step 2

    Measure your dog’s width at his widest point. This is generally the chest area, unless your dog is plump. Add 3 inches to the measurement to allow him to enter the doorway easily.

    Step 3

    Mark the height and width measurements on the front of the wooden doghouse using a carpenter’s pencil and a metal measuring tape. Leave a threshold of about 3 to 4 inches near the bottom of the doghouse when measuring to keep rain or water from blowing into the doghouse.
    Center the entrance in warm climates. In colder climates, shift the entrance toward one side so your dog can move to the other side and find shelter from cold winds blowing through his front door.

    Step 4

    Cut along the marking lines with a reciprocating saw and remove the piece of wood to form the entrance.

    Step 5

    Cut strips of old carpet or a rubber bath mat with a utility knife in 1-inch wide pieces and the same length as the height of the doorway. Cut enough strips to fill the doorway's width.

    Step 6

    Align a carpet or rubber strip on the left, upper corner of the entrance. Attach it to the wood above the entrance with a staple gun. Place a second strip next to the first and attach it in the same manner. Continue stapling the strips to the right of the previous one until the doorway is filled with strips.

    Step 7

    Place a concrete block or bricks under each corner of the completed doghouse to elevate the structure and prevent water from ruining the wood and wetting his bedding. Make sure the house isn't too tall for your dog to get inside, however; if so, he may need a ramp.

    Items You Will Need

    • Cloth measuring tape
    • Metal measuring tape
    • Carpenter’s pencil
    • Reciprocating saw
    • Old carpet
    • Utility knife
    • Staple gun
    • Concrete blocks
    • Bricks (optional)

    Tips

    • The strips in the doorway keep cold drafts out of the doghouse, so your pet is more comfortable inside. You may need to lift the strips up with one hand and entice your pet into the house with treats to train him to enter. Pets that use a doggie door will already have the concept down.
    • In hot months, raise the bottom of the entrance strips and staple them to the roof for more ventilation. Pull the staples out of the roof and allow the strips to fill the doorway in cold months.
    • A raised doghouse on concrete blocks allows air circulation underneath it to remain cooler in the summer months.
    • Face the doghouse entrance a few feet away from a wall of your house in winter. This practice allows your furry friend enough room to get in and out of his house easily and blocks cold winter conditions.
    • You can attach the leftover piece of wood from the entrance on the front edge of the roof to make a small covered porch for your pooch.

    Warning

    • Do not use pressure-treated wood for a doghouse. It contains arsenic, which can harm or kill a dog that chews it.

    Photo Credits

    • Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Mary Lougee has been writing since 2004 and specializes in pets with publications in "Modern Dog" and "Pet Planet." Lougee gained extensive pet knowledge and expertise in care and rehabilitation, built a farm, and cares for rescue animals from small to large. She holds a bachelor's degree in management.

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