Dog is a man’s best friend, and those friends deserve the best in terms of shelter, especially in Minnesota where unpredictable weather makes a doghouse a near necessity for our furry friends. The weather is finally getting warmer, so why buy a plastic doghouse when a homemade design is so much more fun, not to mention longer lasting? Listed below is a series of tips on how to make the ultimate dog house for your pooch.

1. Use Pet-Friendly Supplies

First and foremost, make sure that all of the materials you plan on using are animal friendly. For example, be sure to use unpressurized wood, as chemically-treated wood is toxic to animals. Untreated softwood or plywood work best for the structure of the doghouse.

2. Keep Your Pup Comfortable

The dimensions of the doghouse should be large enough to fit the full-grown size of the animal, and allow enough room for him/her to turn around and lie down. When you start the construction of the doghouse, make sure that it is built off of the ground. This will prevent the wood from rotting over time and keeps the dog out of contact with damp soil. Also, it might be helpful to add a large opening at the back of the house to easily clean out the inside. While you may be tempted to get creative with your doghouse design, it will be easiest if you start with a square base. From there, you can post the four walls and the roof, and get creative with the rest of the decorations.

3. Consider Additions

Depending on how much you want to spend, there are a thousand different additions that can be made to your doghouse. Specialty doghouse doors, insulation kits, front porches and even heated floors can be added to your design. Prioritize those that are most important and splurge where it’s practical to keep your dog happy.

The following local businesses may be able to help you get started.

Bone Adventure
312 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55414
(612) 378-0211

If you’re already building your dog a new pad, you had might as well treat them with some of the best toys and foods around. Bone Adventure has three metro locations and carries special pet products to keep your dog happy.

Hiawatha Lumber
3233 E 40th St
Minneapolis, MN 55406
(612) 729-2358

Hiawatha Lumber will provide you with the supplies you need to keep your dog safe and secure in the new doghouse. Remember to build with only pet-friendly products.

325 E Lake St
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 823-7209

Find the perfect color for your doghouse with the endless options at Hirshfield’s. Your dog will wag its tail with one look.

Related: Go Green As You Spring Clean – 10 Steps To A Clean, Ecofriendly Home
Related: 7 Signs Your Home Needs A Professional

For more great tricks, tips and advice about your home, visit

Alicia Stewart, a clinical dietitian at a metro hospital in St Paul, MN, has the unique role of working both as an acute care clinical dietitian, as well as an out-patient counselor. She has worked with hundreds of clients on various health topics, including diabetes, weight management, family health, and other chronic health conditions that can be controlled and improved with the right food choices. Her work can be found at


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