DIY Building & Installing

15 DIY Dog House Ideas for Your Furry Friend

Creative dog house ideas let your four-legged friend lounge in style and comfort. These DIY inspirations can spark your imagination for a one-of-a-kind canine escape.
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A Home of His Own

Dogs need a small area of their own where they can, relax, decompress, and sleep. Dog houses provide that space, but deciding on a size, style, and design may not be as easy as you think. DIY dog house ideas range from the grand and elaborate to the simple and understated. You can get creative or build something basic that fits within your budget. Pallet models, simple A-frame dog houses, and indoor/outdoor designs could offer the right solution for your home. There are plans aplenty for those ready and willing to pick up their tools and DIY.

Include a Roof Deck

Dogs who like to perch often love a dog house with deck. It’s an out-of-the-way place for the dog to catch some sun and keep an eye on family activities from a safe vantage point. This type of design also creates two kinds of escapes—one where the dog can relax in private and one where she can still lounge but be a part of the action.

Alfresco Siding

An open-air enclosure provides a safe place for pups to relax. The dog gets the full benefit of the outdoors, but owners get peace of mind knowing their pet remains fully contained. Large breeds and multi-dog homes will appreciate the space this type of shelter offers. Owners can also include a smaller house within the enclosure for extra privacy.


This indoor/outdoor design combines a traditional dog house with an alfresco enclosure. The dog gets an indoor area where he can get out of the elements and away from outdoor noise. He also has the option of lounging on an enclosed front porch. This design has a larger footprint but definitely feels like a step up from a simple dog house.

Pitch a tent

Sometimes dogs need a place to escape from the sun and excitement when they’re away from home. A mobile dog house in the form of a pet tent provides shade in the backyard, at the park, or a day at the beach. Lightweight and portable, this type of dog house creates a home away from home. They’re not meant for daily use but can help your dog feel comfortable almost anywhere.

Related: 10 Over-the-Top Ways to Pamper Your Pet

Two openings/double wide

A dog house built for two (though it works for one) can eliminate squabbling and make room for multiple dogs. This design features a fun porch, where pups can lounge in the shade, too. Designs with two doors also offer customization. Some dogs love to snuggle together, while others would rather not. You can create a divided interior or leave the interior open for a little room to roam.


A teepee offers a different take on an indoor dog house, providing privacy and definition to the dog’s indoor space. Dogs who need an escape from a busy household may appreciate a quiet corner where they can hunker down for a nap. Models designed for the outdoors may offer extra portability so pups can get out of the sun in the yard or at the park.

Rooftop garden

Go green. Modern home design regularly features ways to use green space to integrate the home into the environment. Those same principles can cross over to the dog house, too. This design uses potted plants to add design and insulation. For the right yard, it can complement the home style and owner’s environmental passions.

Related: For the Dogs: 11 Crazy Home Upgrades Made by Pet Owners

Log cabin

A rustic landscape begs for a log cabin dog house. Whether you have a breed that’s destined for the outdoors or a piece of property that welcomes a log cabin, this type of dog house offers a casual look in a sturdy design. Place the dog house in the right location, and it can be a fun time-warp to an age where log cabins were the norm.


Indoor dog houses take a little more thought and consideration if a dog crate doesn’t suit your style. Models that function as furniture provide a happy medium between a secure spot for the dog and an attractive addition to the home. A dog house that’s integrated into the home decor doesn’t call attention to itself, keeping the indoors for the people but welcoming to furry friends. In these designs, paint and wood stains make a big difference in the dog house’s ability to fit in with the rest of the interior design. Choose wisely, and the dog house will look like it’s always belonged.

Rattan Lounger

Rattan’s casual, relaxed feel can extend to the dog house, too. This type of house blends with outdoor furniture along with the rest of the landscaping. Rattan is relatively lightweight, leaving owners the freedom of moving the dog house around the yard as needed. Add it to a poolside retreat one day and put it in the front yard when the festivities move to a porch the next.

Modern Glass

Indoor dog enclosures offer some design versatility that outdoor models don’t. This modern take on a dog pen/house leaves everything in view. The glass also prevents the room from feeling cluttered or claustrophobic because of a large dog house. It lets the eye rove, making the space feel larger than it is. The only warning—be prepared for nose prints.

Related: 10 Trendy Ways to Use Glass Block in Your Home Design

Brick House

Brick takes classy to a different level. It works with everything from an English cottage to a mixed media house exterior. This type of dog house has a permanency that some of the other designs lack. Once it’s built, it’s staying. That also means it’s providing impressive shelter from the elements, creating a great dog house for winter.

Shielded Porch

When the weather gets funky, a covered porch can do wonders for a dog’s comfort. For example, a porch can keep rain and snow out. Porches provide a shady spot for lounging, too. They also extend the dog’s space a few extra feet for that much more room to relax.

Top/side openings

Dog houses with multiple opening options, in this case top and side, can help owners when dogs get uncooperative. Stubborn or frightened dogs may not want to go in or come out. These designs let owners reach in from the top to secure their pup. This type of design also offers easier cleaning, with full access to the interior from above.

Psychedelic Paint job

Dog houses don’t have to blend into the background. Be bold, and paint the dog house according to your personal style. It’s a fun way to brighten the backyard. Plus, paint jobs are easy to change according to the season, changing preferences, or on a whim. The best part—the dog is happy no matter how bright the paint job.