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Things to Consider When Choosing a Doghouse

August 1 2016

Have you decided to get your canine pal his own doghouse? If so, that’s great! While we firmly believe that dogs should live indoors—after all, Fido is part of the family—our canine pals love having little homes of their own to enjoy when they are outside. Shopping for a doghouse can be a bit tricky, however. You’ll find many cute options in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and colors. Which is best for your dog? A local Fox Lake, IL vet offers some advice on how to choose a right doghouse in this article.


Look for a doghouse that is raised off the ground a little bit. This will help water run beneath it, so your furry friend’s home stays high and dry.

Door Placement

Centered doors are quite common in doghouses, but off-center doors actually provide better protection from wind and rain.


While you of course don’t want to get a doghouse that is too flimsy, you don’t want to get one that is so heavy it can’t be moved.


Doghouses come in many different materials. While plastic may be cheaper, a plastic doghouse will be hot in summer and cold in winter, which is the opposite of what you want. Wood provides much better insulation. Just avoid pressure-treated wood, as it can be dangerous for Man’s Best Friend.


While a plain doghouse is absolutely fine, why not look for one that has a little porch, or a rooftop deck for Fido to relax on?


When it comes to doghouses, bigger isn’t actually better. Fido should have room to stand up, turn around, and stretch out, but you don’t want his home to be too big. If you have more than one dog, look for a doghouse that is made for two pooches.


While it may sound like a good idea to make your canine pal’s doghouse comfy and inviting by adding soft beds, the truth is that this will also make it comfortable and inviting for fleas and other pests. Look for a safe matting instead. If you do use bedding, wash it in hot water every week.

Our Advice on Things to Consider When Choosing a Doghouse in 2024

What specific materials are best for insulating a doghouse against extreme temperatures?

For insulating a doghouse against extreme temperatures, wood is the most effective material due to its natural insulating properties, providing a warmer environment in winter and a cooler one in summer. Cedar and pine are excellent choices for their durability and resistance to decay. Additionally, adding insulation panels to the walls, floor, and roof can further enhance temperature regulation. It’s crucial to ensure any materials used are non-toxic and safe for pets. Proper insulation, along with strategic placement away from direct elements, will make the doghouse a comfortable retreat for your canine friend.

How can dog owners ensure proper ventilation in the doghouse to prevent moisture buildup and mold growth?

To ensure proper ventilation in the doghouse, preventing moisture buildup and mold growth, owners should opt for doghouses with elevated designs. Elevation allows air to circulate underneath, reducing dampness. Additionally, selecting a doghouse with adequate ventilation openings, such as side or rear vents, promotes air flow throughout the structure. It’s also essential to position the doghouse in a way that maximizes natural airflow and minimizes exposure to prolonged damp conditions. Regular maintenance and checks for signs of moisture or mold are crucial for a healthy canine environment.

What are the recommended dimensions for a doghouse based on the size and breed of the dog?

The recommended dimensions for a doghouse vary based on the dog’s size and breed, aiming to provide comfort without excess space. A doghouse should allow the dog to stand, turn around, and stretch out comfortably. Ideally, it should be at least 25% taller than the dog’s height at the withers (top of the shoulders) and long enough for the dog to lie down fully stretched out. For multi-dog households, consider a larger doghouse that accommodates both dogs comfortably, ensuring enough room for both to move without overcrowding.

Should the roof of the doghouse be flat or sloped, and what are the benefits of each design?

A sloped roof design is preferable for a doghouse as it facilitates water runoff, preventing accumulation and potential leakage, thereby ensuring the doghouse stays dry and comfortable. Additionally, a sloped roof helps in reducing the buildup of debris and snow, which is particularly beneficial in areas with heavy rainfall or snowfall. In contrast, a flat roof can provide a secondary function as a lounging area for the dog, especially in mild climates. However, it requires more maintenance to prevent water pooling and potential leakage.

How can dog owners protect the doghouse from weather elements like rain, snow, or strong winds?

To protect a doghouse from rain, snow, or strong winds, owners should select durable, weather-resistant materials such as treated wood or heavy-duty plastic. An elevated base prevents water ingress, while a sloped roof ensures precipitation runs off, avoiding accumulation. For wind protection, positioning the doghouse with its back against prevailing winds and securing it to the ground can minimize exposure. Installing a flap over the door can further shield against weather, maintaining a dry, comfortable interior. Regular maintenance checks for any weather-induced damage are also essential to ensure ongoing protection.

Do you have questions or concerns about your pet’s health or care? Contact us today! As your local Fox Lake, IL animal clinic, we are here to serve all of your pet’s veterinary care needs.