Some dogs love to be outside, especially in the summer. However, these outdoorsy dogs will also appreciate a dog house of their own where they can get some shade, nap in comfort, grab a bite to eat or drink or just take a snooze.
Store bought dog houses can be very expensive, especially dog houses for a larger dog. Often building a DIY dog house can be the perfect alternative, as not only is it often the more economical alternative, it also allows you to get really creative and build a dog house that is as unique as your dog is!
Dog houses don’t have to be outdoor structures, either. An increasing number of pet parents are choosing to replace a standard crate or dog basket with a fancier, custom-built dog house that is not only a place their dog enjoys hanging out, but can also be used to make having a dog in the house a little more aesthetically appealing.
Thanks to the magic of the Internet, and lots of very talented DIY fans, you can find all kinds of DIY dog house tutorials, do it yourself dog house plans and even step by step DIY dog house instructional videos that will give the instruction and information needed to create the dog house of your dog's dreams. And, what’s even better is that most of them are offered free!
What Size Dog House Does My Dog Need?
Before you even start thinking about choosing a DIY dog house plan to follow, you will need to work out what size dog house to build. Ideally, a comfortable for your pup dog house should give them room to move around when napping, and be tall and wide enough that they don’t feel cramped and claustrophobic. There should also be plenty of room around the exterior of the house for them to get in and out of it easily.
Though it will vary for each individual dog, there are some general guidelines you can make use of to help. For example, a toy breed dog, like a poodle will need a total floor space of at least 15” x 35”, while a huge breed like a St Bernard will require a total floor space of at least 25” x 59”.
One easy way to estimate the size your dog needs in a DIY dog house? A dog house's width and length should be around 25% greater than your dog's nose-to-flank length.
To calculate, measure your dog's length from the tip of her nose to the base of her tail and multiply it by 1.25. For example, if your dog is 25 inches long, the dog house must be at least 31.25 inches wide on each side.
Top 29 Cool DIY Doghouse Ideas
Remember those free dog house plans we mentioned earlier? You can find them all over the Internet, but to offer you some inspiration to get those tools out, and show you just what can be achieved, here’s a look at some of the coolest dog house plans and ideas we have come across, along with all the links you need to get the instructions and start building your pooch’s new personal palace.
Outdoor DIY Dog House Ideas
Lowe’s DIY Doghouse
Chances are that if you are already a DIY enthusiast, you’ve shopped at Lowe’s on more than one occasion. You might also know that they offer great free DIY ideas and classes to help customers get the most out of the supplies they sell. The Lowe’s DIY dog house is fairly simple in its appearance, but if you follow the tutorial the process of building it is relatively easy, and you’ll certainly know exactly where to source all your materials!
DIY Dog House with Faux Balcony
This very creative YouTuber built his fluffy dog their own chalet style dog house - complete with faux balcony, using offcuts of plywood and palette wood. The dog looks pretty happy with the end result, and, to be honest, if it was human sized we’d be pretty pleased to settle in there too. Of course, if you wanted to add some color - many chalet houses are a lovely red and white - you can choose to do that too.
The Dogzebo Dog House
When it’s warm and sunny out there is often nothing nicer than hanging out in a cool gazebo, and if you like to, why shouldn’t your dog too? This ‘dogzebo’ offers a simple, but still rather stylish dog house for your dog to hang out in and still enjoy the cool breeze. As sophisticated as this dog house looks, it’s actually not that hard to build, another plus.
Get the DIY dog house instructions for a ‘Dogzebo’ here.
Home Depot DIY Doghouse
Not to be outdone by their retail rivals, Home Depot also offer useful DIY classes and tutorials for all kinds of indoor and outdoor projects, including this step by step DIY dog house tutorial that makes use of (you guessed it) materials you can pick up in the aisles at your local Home Depot. This dog house is insulated too, making it an excellent cold weather hideout for your dog.
Get DIY dog house instructions from Home Depot here.
Long and Insulated DIY Dog House
While no dog should ever be left outside in very cold temperatures - and we applaud the states that have now made doing so a criminal offense - if your dog likes to be outside in the fall or spring, when the air might still be chilly, this long, insulated DIY dog house may just be the perfect place for them to get some fresh air and still stay warm and cozy.
Get the DIY dog house plans here.
Cold Weather DIY Double Dog House
Have more than one playful pooch who still likes to get some fresh air when the weather cools? This impressive DIY project results in an insulated double dog house that even makes use of heat lamps to keep your dogs extra cozy.
Get supplies, step-by-step instructions and drawings of this cool house here.
Simple Pallet DIY Dog House
The humble wooden pallet has become a staple in DIY circles and can be used to create everything from human beds to coffee tables and storage shelves. Pallet wood makes for great dog houses too. This one is very simple, but would be an excellent choice for those pet parents looking to build some summer shade into their backyard for their dog.
Get the DIY plans here.
Barn Door DIY Dog House
Another big trend in human interior design is the addition of barn doors to various spots around the home. You can also take this rustic, but very elegant, design idea and apply it to a dog house, as is the case here.
Stylish A Frame Dog House
The A frame home is an American classic inspired by European chalets. It’s a great choice for dogs too, especially those who are slightly anxious and like the cozy feeling of a comforting, enveloping space.
Get building this dog house using the plans here.
Ranch Style DIY Dog House
A ranch style home is another very popular American house style and whether you live in one yourself and want to match your DIY dog house to it, or just want your dog to enjoy some ranch styled elegance on your deck or in the backyard this one is a great choice, with the added bonus that it’s one of the easier projects on our list.
Start building your DIY ranch dog house here.
Wild West Pallet Wood DIY Dog House
Have a dog who fancies themselves as a bit of a tough guy (or girl?) Then this Western saloon inspired DIY pallet dog house might be the perfect hideout for them. Crafted using palette wood and finished with a shiny dark stain that adds that old-fashioned feel, this dog house even features a stoop that troublemakers could (in their imagination anyway) be thrown onto.
Follow this DIY dog house tutorial here.
Planter Dog House
Want to add more greenery to your yard along with a cool new dog house? This dog house offers both lots of space for your dog to enjoy, as well as a planter roof that’s perfect for showcasing all kinds of flowers and shrubs.
Get instructions to build this dog house here.
Do It Yourself Porch Dog House
A front porch is another staple of classic American home design, and if you follow these simple instructions you can add a faux porch to your dog's new home that will give their dog house a classic, sophisticated look.
Download these DIY instructions here.
Luxury Log Cabin Dog House
OK, so maybe you haven’t got the log cabin of your dreams (yet) but until you do you can live out your rustic fantasies via your dog if you build her this very luxe looking - and very comfy - log cabin dog house.
Get the log cabin dog house plans here.
Marvelous Mid-Century Modern Dog House
This is a dog house with more style than many human homes, and would certainly make your dog the talk of the neighborhood. There’s more woodworking involved here, and it will be a more expensive project than many on our list, but the extra effort will certainly be worth it as far as your dog is concerned.
Get the DIY plans here.
Beach Vibe DIY Dog House
Whether you live near a beach or the sea is hundreds of miles away from your home your dog can feel like she’s spending a day in the tropics every day with this super cool beach vibes dog house. We mean, seriously, do you see the smile on that dog's face?
Click here for plans and blueprints to start building this dog house now.
Summer Breezes Dog House
Here’s another very summery, very stylish DIY dog house that will give your dog his very own beach cabana, wherever you might live. You can style this one up even further by adding the kind of breezy drapes you see on the cabanas at those fancy resorts.
Get the DIY dog house plans here.
DIY Dog House With Shutters
To own a cute little cottage with shutters deep in the forest. It’s a dream lots of people have from childhood. A cottage in the woods would be cute, but thanks to these DIY house plans, you can build a home for your dog that is every bit as charming and magical right in your backyard.
Follow this DIY dog house tutorial here.
Bold and Bright Badass Dog House
This DIY dog house is actually very easy to build, but boy does this look badass cool! The bright bold colors will make an impact in any backyard and your dog will feel like the cool king (or queen) of the neighborhood when hanging out in this one. You can choose any colors you like, but we think the blue and red packs a powerful punch.
Get the plans for this DIY dog house here.
Insulated Puppy Playhouse DIY Dog House
This charming DIY dog house is quirky and fun - and can be painted the color of your choice and embellished however you see fit. As a bonus, it’s also insulated, so perfect for spring or fall outdoor play time as well as summer fun. There’s even a space for your dog to store their toys neatly while they nap!
Find these free DIY dog house plans here.
DIY Dog House on Wheels
Want to build a dog house that’s as mobile as your dog? This simple dog house on wheels can be trundled all around the yard and even taken away on vacation if you have the cargo space! This is a great choice for dogs who visit relatives often, as they’ll have a portable place to nap - and maybe even hide - while you catch up with human friends and family.
Find DIY instructions for the dog house on wheels here.
Wild and Natural DIY Dog House - With a Pool!
This DIY dog house will call for quite some effort, but the rustic results are pretty amazing. This back to the wild DIY dog house features living lawns, lots of log details and even a pool for your dog to splash around in. This is a great choice for wooded, rural backyards that is very much in keeping with that aesthetic. Your neighbors (and their dogs) will be amazed and did we mention that it even has a shower?!
Rooftop Deck DIY Dog House
This DIY dog house takes canine downtime to the next level, by giving your dog his very own roof deck on top of his DIY dog house. This dog house looks so chill and comfortable that resisting the temptation to cram yourself onto it may be hard!
Find out how to DIY this dog house here.
DIY Doggie Treehouse
If you tackle this DIY dog house project, you’ll be giving your pooch the chance to play and enjoy a treehouse very much like the one you might have had as a kid. Or the one you always wanted anyway. This DIY dog house can be built in several different sizes and styles, so you could create a really outdoor retreat for multiple dogs!
Go here to start building this cool DIY dog house.
Charming Cottage DIY Dog House
Looking for a DIY dog house plan that will suit your dainty little dog? It does not get much cuter than this charming cottage inspired DIY dog house that features all kinds of delightful decor touches and according to its original creator can be crafted using scraps of materials recycled from your home.
Get the Cottage DIY dog house plans here.
DIY Indoor Dog Houses
You can take your DIY skills and turn them into creating a great DIY dog house for your dog even if you don’t have much yard space, by making use of these great DIY indoor dog house plans and tutorials. Each of these cool indoor dog houses will not only enhance your dog’s enjoyment of their home, but can even add a shot of unique style to your home decor!
DIY Dog Loft House
Loft living is pretty cool, as a lot of chic city dwelling humans can attest to. Thanks to the plans for this very sleek and stylish dog loft house your pup can enjoy loft living too, and if they share a bedroom with you this piece of doggy furniture will add a shot of contemporary style that no standard dog bed could ever do!
Get the instructions for this DIY doghouse build here.
DIY Little Dog End Table Dog House
End tables are already one of those furniture pieces that are as useful as they are good-looking, and almost everyone has at least one next to their sofa. But what if an end table could do more, like give smaller dogs a great place to hide and snooze - or just hang out with the rest of the family in the living room? Build them this DIY little dog end table dog house, and they’ll be able to do just that, and more.
Start building this chic indoor dog house from the plans found here.
Understairs DIY Dog House
No, we are not suggesting that you start treating your dog with as much disdain as the did Harry Potter, but it’s unlikely that your dog will think it is anything but wonderful to live under the stairs, and thanks to these easier than you might think to follow DIY dog house plans you can create an understairs dog house that can be as simple, or as fancy, as you like once the basics are completed.
Follow the DIY dog house tutorial in the video below.
Repurposed DIY Kitchen Cabinet Dog House
Is yours a dog who likes to hang out in the kitchen, especially when you are cooking or preparing meals for the family? Converting a kitchen cabinet into a DIY indoor dog house is easier than you might think, and doing so gives your dog their own assigned spot in the busiest room in the house without taking up any of that all-important kitchen square footage. This cute DIY dog house is even eco-friendly as it was crafted from a salvaged cabinet!
Get the DIY dog house tutorial here.
Here are some additional DIY pet projects we think you will love: