If you’ve just added a new pet to your family, creating a space that’s just for them can help them feel like part of the pack. That’s where the indoor dog house comes in! Whether it’s a four-walled den in the living room, or a cozy corner in the kitchen, here are a few tips for creating the coziest dog house inside your home.
Creating a dog hangout spot is a team effort. When you’re looking for a good build site, pay attention to where they usually relax. If they like to watch you cook in the kitchen, make sure their spot faces your work space. If they use the dog door often, make sure they’re set up nearby for quick runs outside. They’ll be your best guide when it comes to placement!
While you’re working on your dog’s space, they may want to participate. Make sure they have an interesting toy to keep them preoccupied (and away from the power tools). Puzzle-style toys that dispense treats are especially good distractions that will also encourage their curiosity. Other classics like a Kong will keep them busy once you stuff it with some dog-safe peanut butter.
Since your primary goal is to create a cozy space for your pup, you’ll want a bed. Make sure you get the right size, since trying to squeeze a huge bed into a small dog house isn’t comfortable for anyone. If you’re building an outdoor space for them, you can even get a heated bed (but remember any outdoor spaces should only be for fun — they should still live inside!)
Giving your dog’s new place its own color scheme gives it that true makeover look. Choose a paint that’s non-toxic (“crib-safe” is usually a good indicator) and then have fun with it. If you’ve got the skills, painting a mural with all of their favorite things will make it really pop. For the house itself, choose from premade styles ranging from basic to fancy or use them as inspiration for a true DIY project.
Customized decor helps show off whose space it is. Hanging a family photo or puppy portrait is a nice touch, or you can go for arts and crafts. Things like plaster paw prints make for a cute signature that marks this area as their own.
Establishing a dog’s personal space will take some time, but it’ll do wonders for them in the long run. If you have other pets, make sure they’re not taking over the bed (sharing can be OK, as long as your intended recipient is getting enough space). Other stressors can include noise levels, outdoor pests (a dog-safe spray can help) and unpleasant odors. The more you can eliminate these factors, the happier they’ll be!
These additions will transform their dog house into a dog home. Next step: building them a whole neighborhood. (That part’s up to you.)
Written by Stephen Rubino. Stephen is an associate editor for The Dodo. He’s a huge fan of disposable cameras, calories, and flush draws. You can find him on twitter at @shrubino or telling jokes around NYC.