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How to waterproof a dog house | Step-by-step guide

If you keep your dog outside, it’s very important to get a reliable outdoor dog house that is both insulated and waterproof. In this manner, you dog is safe from the elements especially when it’s raining cats and dogs.

Some dog owners keep their pets inside during the winter season, while others prefer to rely on an all-season outdoor dog houses.

It is important to create a safe space for your pet, especially when thunderstorms and heavy rains are most likely to occur. Waterproofing a dog house requires using the proper materials in order to ensure that your pet stays warm and sheltered from foul weather.

How can I waterproof a dog house?

First, build a foundation that is high enough to prevent water from seeping through the floor if the ground is wet. You need to seal the roof using tar paper and roofing shingles. Then you need to cover the outside walls of the dog house in vinyl siding. In this manner, the dog house is completely weatherproof.

While you can’t control the weather, you can offer your dog a safe place to seek refuge in when it’s pouring down.

Every dog has different needs. There are several options available for creating a waterproof space for your pet. Some pets may need a large dog house, while others don’t need that much space.

Also, some dogs may even chew on the materials you used to waterproof their dog houses. You need to take this variable into account as well when choosing the materials you want to use.

Determining your pet’s needs is the first step in selecting which waterproofing options are best to use.

In this step-by-step guide, I’ll list the steps to follow in order to complete this DYI project as soon as possible.

What you will need to waterproof a dog house

Waterproofing a dog house is a pretty easy task and you don’t need expensive materials to do that. Here’s a list of materials you’ll need to get the job done:

  • Materials to build a foundation above ground level
  • Tar paper
  • Roofing shingles
  • Vinyl siding.

A waterproof dog house not only protects your pet against foul weather but also lasts longer.

How to waterproof a dog house

Step 1: Build a high foundation for the dog house

Grab a tape measure and measure the length and width of the dog house foundation. Select the area where you want to lay the foundation. Choose a higher area. Avoid placing the dog house in a low place where mud holes may appear.

You can either dig out the dirt to lay a concrete foundation or use a steel frame foundation. If you prefer to use a steel frame foundation, place it on bricks to avoid sinking when the ground is wet.

After you dig out, lay the frame in the ground. Then start mixing the concrete and shovel it in between the frame. Make sure to level it to the top of the frame. You can use a trowel to do that.

Wait for two days for the concrete slab to dry. Don’t forget to cover the slab with a thick plastic foil to retains moisture.

Once the slab is totally dry, you can safely remove the frame. Additionally, you can dig a few trenches around the dog house so that the rain water may flow  to a lower area. In this manner, water won’t pool up around the foundation. As a result, you dog’s fur will be mud free (hopefully).

Set the dog house on the new foundation. Now, you can start working on sealing the roof and the walls of the dog house.

Step 2: Seal the roof of the dog house

Tar paper is a cheap and practical waterproofing solution. The material is obtained by impregnating paper or fiberglass mat with tar.

To roof the dog house, affix a layer of tar paper making sure you properly covered the whole surface of the roof. You can rely on tar paper only to seal the roof. However, if you want to further improve the roof seal, you can also staple roofing shingles.

Start from the bottom of the roof and continue up to the apex. Then cover the apex of the roof with shingles as well making sure you properly covered the entire area.

Step 3: Waterproof the walls of the dog house

You also need to make sure that the outside walls of the dog house are water repellent as well. To do that, affix vinyl siding to the walls. Just as you did when you sealed the roof, start from the bottom up and use a vinyl end piece to cap the corners.

When building a dog house or customizing a ready-made dog house, make sure the construction is sturdy enough to withstand extreme wind and rain. If you’re living in an area where intense gusts of wind are the norm, you need to make sure that the doghouse won’t collapse.

| Read more: How to build a waterproof cat house in 7 simple steps

ALTERNATIVE: Use liquid rubber to waterproof your dog house

If you don’t want to go through all the steps listed above and use different materials for the roof and siding walls, there is a simpler solution that you can use. It’s called liquid rubber.

Not only does liquid rubber help you to waterproof your dog’s shelter, but it also extends its life.

Flex Seal is perhaps the best solution available on the market. It’s also affordable. To waterproof your dog house, all you need is a can of Flex Seal liquid rubberized coating that you can apply with the help of a brush or a roller.  You can use this product to water seal the roof of the dog house.

waterproof flex seal

Flex Seal forms a durable, weatherproof barrier protecting your pet against rain, snow, wind, moisture, excessive sun heat, etc. Moreover, it also prevents rust and corrosion. This product is environmental friendly (non-hazardous, non-flammable and safe to use around plants and animals).

There are three colors you choose from: black, white and clear.

Buy Flex Seal liquid rubber

To waterproof the outside walls of the dog house, you can use Flex Seal Spray.

This product is a rubberized sealant spray coating that sprays out as a liquid. As you spray it out, it seeps into cracks and holes and dries quickly forming a flexible, yet strong rubberized coating.

Flex Seal Spray will last for years. You don’t have to worry about repairing the dog house every fall to make it weatherproof again. The coating won’t sag or drip under direct sun heat and won’t crack or peel in winter cold either.

Moreover, it also stops vibrations and deadens noise. So, you can also use it to soundproof the dog house. This is a particularly useful feature especially if your pet is afraid of loud noises.

Flex Seal Spray blocks corrosion and you can also use it on wet or dry surfaces. Perhaps the best part is that you can paint it any color once it has completely dried.

Buy Flex Seal Spray

Affordable solution: Buy an outdoor waterproof dog house

If you don’t have the time and skills to build a DIY waterproof dog house, you can simply buy one. There are plenty of ready-made dog houses on Amazon that you can choose from.

As far as the price tag is concerned, for $150 you can purchase a sturdy dog house for your pet. Of course, small dog breeds don’t need a large dog house. The price tag for a small or medium dog house is lower than that for a large dog house.

Ready-made dog kennels

There are plenty of outdoor dog houses that you can choose from. They come in different sizes and are suitable for small and medium dogs. Get a dog house with nice design that perfectly integrates with your garden. 

Ideally, buy a dog house that has an asphalt rain roof to rain and snow away so that your pet may stay warm in bad weather conditions. Buy a dog house with a four-legged frame that raises it above ground level preventing moisture from penetrating from wet ground. The legs should be adjustable, allowing you to safely place the dog house on uneven ground.

Of course, you can further improve this dog house by affixing vinyl siding to the walls.

Conclusion

There are two main ways you can waterproof your dog house:

  • Use tar paper and roofing shingles for the roof and vinyl siding for the walls
  • Use Flex Seal liquid to waterproof the roof and Flex Seal Spray for the walls

Or, you can simply buy a ready-made waterproof dog house.

RELATED QUESTIONS

What are dog houses for?

A dog house is a small outdoor shelter in which a dog is kept. It’s built in the shape of a house and its main purpose is to protect your pet from the elements.

Do dogs get cold in the rain? 

Yes, dogs can definitely feel cold when it’s raining, especially if they stay outdoors or their fur got wet. Make sure your pet has a dry bed in the doghouse. Having a waterproof dog house keeps your pet safe from the elements when it’s raining.

How much does it cost to build a dog house?

On average, a basic dog house costs between $50 and $100 for the materials. Add another $100 for the handyman and you have a total cost of $150 to $200. Complex custom built dog houses can cost over $2,000.

What can I do with my dog on a rainy day?

 Some indoor activities that you can do with your dog on a rainy day include playing Tug of War, rolling down a ball down a long hallway, teaching your dog some tricks or you can giving your pet a nice warm bath.

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Last updated in October 2021 to add additional information.

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