If you live in Boston and are a proud dog owner, you may want to try your hand at making a doghouse for your four-legged friend. If you are handy and want to do something creative for Fido, why not build a custom hideaway? It can be more affordable than purchasing one from a local pet store and it will be special because you actually built it from scratch.

Plan on spending at least $150 on your homemade doghouse. You definitely won’t want to skimp out on materials or make the house too small, so make a list of what you’ll need to complete the task. Here are a few things to think about when getting started.

1. Weather Tight 

You’ll want to make sure your pup’s new house is weather tight so that he/she can enjoy being outside without getting cold or wet. The most important thing to do is build a proper base that sits off of the ground to protect from the cold and often wet ground. Ensure that you top the doghouse with roof felt and roof shingles, not unlike your home or shed. If done correctly, no rain water should leak through and wet your pup. Consider using shingles on the sides, front and back of the doghouse to make it weather tight.

2. Customize

One of the best aspects of building your own doghouse is that it can be completely customized for your dog. Paint the outside (if you’re worried about your dog chewing and biting the wood, be sure to use non-toxic paint or just treat the wood with linseed oil) and put the dog’s name somewhere on the front. If really feeling artsy, you can paint details like flowers or dog bones on the house. Have fun with it and get the kids involved in the creativity.

Safety First

Dogs are an important part of the family, and as with family members, should be kept safe at all times. Upon completion, check for exposed nails that could hurt your dog. Carefully inspect the doghouse and make sure that there isn’t anything potentially harmful to your pet before letting him/her explore the new outdoor abode. Keep in mind that having a homemade doghouse in your yard does not mean that your pooch will be completely protected outside. It’s very easy for a dog to overheat even if he/she is in the shade. A doghouse is not an excuse to leave your dog outside for several hours unattended.

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

Cleveland Circle Hardware
1920 Beacon St
Brighton, MA 02135
(617) 734-6440

Cleveland Circle Hardware is a great place to pick up essentials to build your doghouse. It has a great assortment of paint and employees can help you choose what is best for your project.

DB&S Lumber
11 Gerard St
Roxbury, MA 02119
(617) 445-9333

DB&S Lumber is a great place to buy lumber for your doghouse project. You are going to get better quality wood than at a chain store, and the service is great.

Pawsh Dog Boutique
31 Gloucester St
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 391-0880

Pawsh has won the “Best of Boston” award in 2010 and 2011. The boutique is perfect for unique dog toys and other things that you could put in your doghouse to make the house a home.

Related: Boston Garage Overhaul: Transforming Your Space
Related: 5 Tips To A Successful Garage Sale In Boston

For more great tricks, tips and advice about your home, visit CBSBoston.com/YourHome

Boston-based writer Effie Orfanides keeps up with interior design trends. Effie draws on her Greek/Italian heritage for inspiration and shows a keen eye for little things that make a house a home. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.


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