Care And Maintenance Of A Dog House

Posted by Steven Barnhart on 6th Jun 2017

Care And Maintenance Of A Dog House

Taking Care Of Your Dog House

The first order of business when determining the care and maintenance of a dog house is what type of material the house is made of and where is the house located in terms of climate and backyard location.

The various types of wood and their care requirements

The different types of material that can be used are:

Cedar Wood

Not all cedar is created equal so depending on the type of cedar will determine the routine maintenance that is required for longevity. 

If you have a Western Red Cedar house then you will need very little to do because of all the cedars Western Red is the most durable.

With other cedars you may need to apply a sealer every six months depending of course on what your climate is like.

If you live in the dry Southwest then you may want to apply more often to avoid sun damage.

If you reside in a northern state where there is a lot of precipitation and heavy snowfall then applying a sealer twice a year will help the wood from decaying prematurely.


Like cedars there are a lot of different grades of plywood, with marine grade plywood at the top, it is designed to stand up to the harsh elements and may only require a good coat of a paint to last for many years.

Of course the better the prep work before painting the plywood the longer it will last and you can also use the opportunity to match the colors of your residence or other buildings in your backyard.

Pine & Firwood

These are soft woods and generally are found in construction of a lower budget dog house, however if you reside in a very mild climate then this wood will serve very well, it may require some type of sealer a few times during the year to make the house last longer.

Firwood may not require painting (sealer would be better) but it would be a good idea to paint pine because it will not stand up to the elements very well without some type of protection.

Composite Material

The composite dog house may be designed from a variety of different materials and will not likely require a lot of maintenance, painting or any sealer. It would be wise to consult the manufacturer of the home to determine the required maintenance if any.


Like a lot of woods there are different grades of plastic that may be used in the construction of a doghouse and the required care would be determined by the type of plastic used. 

Also this type of house may require careful consideration in terms of location in your backyard, in direct sunlight all day will not only be uncomfortable on your dog but will break down the plastic material as well.

The location of the dog house in your backyard

Another major factor that will determine the longevity of your dogs dwelling will be the location of it in your backyard. If the house is on a concrete pad or cider blocks it will last a lot longer than if it is in direct contact with the ground.

There are a lot of (but not all) doghouses that are offered with raised feet, some are even adjustable so that would be a great help if you don’t have a pad to place it on.

It is also beneficial if you can locate the house in the shade so the sun will not damage the house over time, even with wood sealers or paint the sun will always win, so if it can be avoided the home will last a lot longer.

A final thought

Like any building if you put some thought into the Care And Maintenance Of A Dog House then it should last a very long time and your dog will have a place to relax and get out of the elements.