Out and about in Philadelphia, we cater to pets with opportunities to BYOD (bring your own dog) to everything from brunches to puppy parks. Building a custom doghouse will ensure your pooch feels just at home, in its own home. Plus, it’s a family-friendly activity and a great way to spend some quality time with the kids. Start off with these tips and your dog will have his/her own place in no time.
1. Begin with your dog in mind. Plan to build the appropriately-sized doghouse for your pup – large enough to be comfortable but not so large that body heat escapes in colder months. Keep personality in mind as well because it may affect the amenities you’d like the structure to offer. For example, if your dog prefers fresh air at all times, this is the stage at which you may want to consider adding a “porch” with enough cover to keep out the rain but let some paw hang out.
2. Choose your materials carefully. Untreated wood will create a safer haven for your pup than anything pressure treated. To create a nice finish without the toxic chemical risk, preservatives like linseed oil and nontoxic paint will be less likely to cause harm. When choosing a roof material, think about whether or not your canine will hang out there. Choose a roofing option that accommodates your dog’s lifestyle.
3. Build a solid structure. Beyond the roof and walls, the framework of the doghouse should be square and level. It’s important that the floor does not sit right on the ground. Not only will it avoid soaking up moisture and rain damage, your pup will stay warm and dry on a floor lifted a few inches off the ground, no matter the climate. Need a shortcut? Find a wooden pallet for your risers.
4. Consider the impact of weather. When planning the rooftop, take into account rainfall flow and how to ensure a cool airflow for warm days. While you can always insulate the doghouse, most breeds of canines can handle cooler weather much better than hotter days.
5. Decorate and accessorize. Whether interior or exterior, for comfort or fashion, decorations for your dog’s home can easily be as unique as your pup. Great ideas include cushions, blankets and night lamps inside or lattices, paint and a decorated entrance outside. Quick tips: decorate the interior before putting the roof on, and don’t forget to purchase some doggy-friendly cleaning products for housekeeping.
The local businesses below may be able to help you get started.
10th Street Hardware
257 S 10th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
This neighborhood hardware store has the finest customer service you might ask for to support your doghouse construction from start to finish. There is a wide selection of materials, including the tools, wood, roofing, screws and much more.
4319 Main St
Philadelphia, PA 19127
If you’re looking for some trendy and unique accessories to accent, DIGS has them. Plus, it’s right across the street from the Manayunk location of Doggie Style.
1635 Spruce St
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Any creature comforts your dog might desire can be found at Doggie Style. In high fashion, you can accessorize the doghouse and also pick up some pet-friendly cleaning supplies – plus a new toy or two.
For more great tricks, tips and advice about your home, visit CBSPhiladelphia.com/YourHome.
Lindsay Lewis is a freelance writer living in Philadelphia. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.