Dog House Repairs Month: Sheltering Your Dog Outside

Have you inspected your dog’s outdoor home recently? Legislators in many states have passed laws that explain the minimum requirements dog owners need to provide for their pooch's outdoor dog house.

border collie lying on ground

July has been designated as “National Dog House Repair Month,” making it the perfect time to check that your pup’s outdoor home meets the requirements. Listed below are some tips on repairing dog houses such that they meet all the safety regulations. Plus, there's some dog house ideas for any pet lover who wants the best crib for man's best friend.

Wondering how to make a dog house if you don’t already have one? We’ve got you covered with some bonus pet safety tips on building a dog house from scratch! 

Your dog's outdoor house should meet all of the following requirements: 

→  Adequate room for your dog to stand, turn about, and lie down with legs extended. 

→  Shelter from inclement weather–both summer heat and winter cold. Insulated dog houses are essential if your dog spends a good deal of time in the dog house. Consider adding ventilation that allows air to circulate in the summer months and can be closed up in the winter. Building your dog house in a shady spot can cut down on excessive heat in hot weather. The best dog houses are cool, shaded areas during the summer. During the winter, avoid using blankets or rugs on the floor as they can get wet and freeze. Ice is detrimental to pet health. Use wood chips, straw, or newspaper instead. (Note: make sure none of the wood chips are sharp so that your pet does not get splinters). 

→  A secure roof that doesn’t leak. Grab the garden hose and give the roof a good watering to check that the inside remains dry. Take a moment to measure how far the roof extends over the entryway. You’ll need eight-inches or more on a moderate-sized dog house to keep rain or snow from blowing into the house during a storm.

Pro Tip: This National Dog House Repairs Month, build a dog house all on your own! Draft up some dog house blueprints using a couple of free dog house plans from the link below and make your pup their own secluded space. These plans include everything from a simple A-Frame dog house to a Log Cabin dog house. To see the blueprints for these houses (and many more), check out Spruce Pet's 15 Free DIY Dog House Plans

Take a moment this week to take your pet outside for a walk-around the dog house to see if you can find something to make your dog’s life outside safer and more comfortable. If you decide dog house repairs or improvements are in order, avoid using pressure-treated wood in areas where your dog could chew. Specialty lumbers may have been treated with inorganic arsenic or other poisonous chemicals, according to the EPA.

If your pet spends part of the day indoors with you, consider adding a pet door to your home. It will give your Fido free access to go outdoors and chase squirrels, or to come indoors and lay at your feet. Or (if you are feeling particularly crafty), consider a dog house with a dog door for maximum insulation and seclusion! For a dog house with door, check out the selection of weather-tight, quality doors from

Nick Pullano

Written by

Nick Pullano


Pets: I have a half border collie, half angel named Mikey.
Fun stuff: My dog's tongue is slightly longer than her face, so frequently her tongue sticks out a little even when her mouth is closed.

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