For the contemporary canine, this DIY indoor doghouse is the perfect retreat—open, airy, and comfortable.

By Lacey Howard
March 23, 2021
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full view of do-it-yourself doghouse in home setting
Credit: Carson Downing

Every pooch needs a spot to call his own. A place where he can relax, nap, and cuddle with his favorite toys. Or just observe his favorite people doing their thing. This simple indoor doghouse you can build gives your pup all the accoutrements he craves and lets you flex your DIY skills with a project that looks super impressive, but really isn't all that difficult. The result is a cool, contemporary, mid-century-inspired canine retreat.

A shed roof, slatted walls, a shallow front porch, and a feeding station that holds water and food bowls are all sure to make your pup feel cozy, comfortable, and secure. The design is best suited for indoor use or for a protected spot that's mostly weatherproof, like an enclosed porch.

Our finished doghouse fits a 22x30-inch dog bed and is 22 inches tall at the back, 28 inches tall at the front. It's a perfect fit for most small, medium, or large dogs. Check these instructions to see if a house this size will be a comfortable fit for your dog. If not, scale up the project to a larger finished size as needed.

Ready to tackle this easy-to-build modern doghouse? Grab your miter saw and pocket-hole jig, and read on for the simple step-by-step instructions on how to build an indoor doghouse out of wood. 

close up on the do-it-yourself doghouse
doghouse detail of the floor
Left: Black paint on the frame pieces give this DIY doghouse a contemporary edge. | Credit: Carson Downing
Right: This doghouse plan fits a 22x30-inch dog bed. | Credit: Carson Downing

How to Make This Modern Indoor Doghouse

Materials

  • 2×2 poplar boards (see cut list, below)
  • 1×½-inch pine craft boards (see cut list, below)
  • Miter saw
  • Pocket-hole jig and screws
  • Drill
  • Nail gun
  • 2½-inch screws
  • Level
  • Filler putty
  • Putty knife 
  • Sandpaper
  • Primer and paint
  • 14×31 3/8-inch plexiglass sheet
  • 1-inch screws with collars
  • Wood sealer or polyurethane
  • Two 8½-inch stainless-steel dog dishes
  • 22×30-inch dog bed
Cut list of all the pieces with measurements

DIY Indoor Doghouse Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Build the roof.

Create a rectangular frame with two 36-inch boards and two 29¾-inch boards. Drill a pocket hole in both ends (same side) of each 29¾-inch board and screw to 36-inch boards. Repeat pocket holes on two more 29¾-inch boards and attach inside the frame, 8½ inches from the inside of each end, leaving a 13-inch space between the two (see illustration, below). Set the roof aside. 

illustration showing all of the pieces to make the doghouse
Credit: Christopher Mills

Step 2: Build the base.

Repeat the 36×29¾-inch rectangle, as described in Step 1. Attach a 29¾-inch board 9¼ inches inside one end. Use a nail gun to attach 9¼-inch-long boards for a total of 15 inside the space, leaving ¼ inch between each board (see illustration). This is the front porch.

Step 3: Build the walls.

Cut a 15-degree angle on one end of each 21¼-inch board and a 15-degree angle on one end of each 27¼-inch board. Drill pocket holes in the square-cut ends of all four (long and short) boards. Attach the shorter angle-end boards perpendicular to the back corners (non-porch end) of the base piece. Attach the longer angle-end boards perpendicular to the inside corners of the porch (see illustration). 

Drill pocket holes in each end of one side of four 21½-inch boards. For each of the two side walls, attach one board horizontally between the vertical wall supports with angled ends, 6 1/8 inches from the base, checking for level. Attach a second board even with the long point of the angled end of the short vertical board (21¼ inches from base), checking for level (see illustration). For the back wall, drill pocket holes in each end on one side of a 29¾-inch board and attach horizontally 6 1/8 inches from the base, checking for level (see illustration).

Step 4: Attach the roof.

Set the roof on top of the walls so the short vertical boards and the back of the roof intersect. Screw down from the top of the roof into all four vertical boards.

Step 5: Build and attach the shelf.

Using the pocket-hole jig, attach three 7¾-inch boards perpendicular along one side of the 20¾-inch board, one at each end and one in the center. Cut 45-degree angles into both ends of the two 12-inch boards; attach as braces to support the shelf on the underside of the shelf's long edge (see illustration). Center the shelf structure on one outside side wall and, screwing from the inside of the doghouse, attach to the base and side wall.

Step 6: Mix and spread filler putty to fill screw holes.

Once dry, sand the structure, prime, and paint. Drill four holes in the plexiglass sheet, about ½ inch from each corner. Attach the plexiglass to the center opening in the roof using screws and collars. 

On each pine craft board, drill pilot holes about ½ inch from each end, centered. Lightly sand and seal each board. Center five pine boards horizontally on each of the three walls, leaving ½ inch between each board and 1¼ inch above the horizontal wall support (see illustration). Attach them to the wall frames using screws and collars.

Step 7: Set the dishes and bed in place and invite your dog to settle in!

Project design: Jeni Wright

This project originally appeared in Do It Yourself magazine.