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How to Build a Dog House

Choosing Dog House Materials

You can use just about any material to make a dog house, but some will work better depending on your climate and your dog's temperament. The most common materials for dog houses are either wood or plastic.

Wood is generally used the most, and you'll find most instructions use lumber in their examples. This is because wood is inexpensive and pretty easy to work with. Who hasn't made a simple wooden birdhouse or napkin holder? Wood is also easier to cut and can be used in the most climates. Cedar dog houses are best in areas that are wetter with high humidity [source: Wright].

Plastic can be a great alternative if you're looking for something lightweight and waterproof -- a huge advantage for an outside home. Plastic also cannot be destroyed by termites like wood can, but in both plastic and wood, select a sturdy material if your dog is a chewer.

Depending on where you live and what kind of materials you are using, you may also need to include insulation for your dog house. This is important not only in cold areas but also in hot ones -- insulation can keep your dogs from overheating. You can buy barriers and layers of insulation to use in the dog house or use pre-insulated panels [source: House of Hammocks].

When building a dog house, there are safety concerns for both you and your pup. Continue reading to discover what you need to know before building.