How to Build a Doghouse Door Flapper

For curved openings, trim the material to match the opening.
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Your dog’s house has walls and a roof that help keep out the wind and rain, but that open door lets the elements in. A door flapper is a piece of rubber or plastic, attached to the top of the doghouse door, that your dog can nudge out of the way to go in or out of the doghouse. Adding a door flapper to an existing doghouse is the kind of project even a reluctant DIYer can accomplish if you use simple materials.

Step 1

Determine the best material for your dog flapper based on your dog’s size and weight as well as on the size of the doghouse door opening. Many pet stores or home construction stores carry replacement flappers for doggie doors. If the opening of your doghouse matches these sizes, a manufactured replacement is a good option. Otherwise, for simplicity's sake, choose material that a dog can easily move -- consider a piece of heavy-duty tablecloth or shower curtain for a small, lightweight dog, or something as heavy as a rubber car mat for a large, strong dog. Choose a mat that's floppy rather than stiff.

Step 2

Measure the doghouse door opening. Using a utility knife or scissors, cut out a piece of the rubber material to match these measurements. Align an edge of the rubber flap at the top of the door opening, inside the doghouse, and attach it using a staple gun.

Step 3

Test the door flapper to ensure your dog is able to easily push the door to get in and can just as easily push it to get out. Trim any areas that cause resistance.


  • A doghouse door flap helps keeps your dog protected from wind and precipitation, it also limits air circulation, which can be a problem on hot days. Place a thermometer inside to test the temperature. You may need to remove the door during the hot summer months. If this is the case, consider attaching the door with removable screws instead of staples.


  • The material you choose needs to be light enough that your dog is able to push it yet stiff enough to hang straight as a door.

  • To make going in and out easier, you may cut a slice down the middle of the rubber material to make two sections or more, similar to some loading dock strip doors and walk-in-freezer barriers.

  • Choose a clear rubber material when possible, as it will let light in and allow your dog to look through. Shower curtains and car floor mats commonly are available in opaque or clear varieties.

Items You Will Need

  • Plastic or rubber sheeting material
  • Tape measure
  • Utility knife or scissors
  • Staple gun