Waterproofing Your Dog House

Dogs love spending a lot of time outdoors, right? I know my dog loves to be outside.  Our furry canine friends could literally spend all day outside and have no complaints.  If your dog spends a lot of time outside, you probably have a dog house for it. But, is your doghouse ready for the elements like rain and snow?  Waterproofing your dog house is important to keep your dog safe from said elements. 

We’ll review how you can efficiently waterproof your dog house to keep your furry friends safe.  Your house is safe to live in, so it should be with your dog’s house. 

Creating a Safe Place for the dog house

You want to create a safe place for your dog’s dog house.  Find a place in your backyard that you feel is safe for the dog house. You most likely have already done this, but a good reminder never hurt anybody.

For example, do you have a pathway in your backyard that needs to be shoveled when it snows?  You want to make sure that the dog house is not too close to the path so that snow doesn’t get tossed on it.    Do you have plants in the backyard? Be informed. Here is an article on plants and dogs.

There are many things needed in order to waterproof your dog’s house.  So you will have to put a lot of time and effort into it.

Build An Above Ground Concrete Foundation/Pad

A concrete foundation is a large, thick slab of concrete that is typically 4”-6” thick in the center and poured directly on the ground all at one time. The edges of the slab are thicker (as wide as 24”) in order to allow for extra strength around the perimeter.

It is a good idea to build a foundation that you will be putting the dog house on top of.  This will keep it off the ground and prevent the bottom from getting wet due to rain and snow, and to prevent the bottom from rotting.  

The size of the pad will depend on the size of the dog house.   Make sure to measure the bottom sides of the dog house. You will want to make the foundation a bit bigger than the actual dog house.

Materials Needed for An Above Ground Concrete Foundation/Pad

I have put some affiliate Amazon links here for your convenience. 

Concrete Mix 

If you are building the foundation in less than 10 degrees celsius then you will need concrete grade with a higher amount of calcium to add strength.

The amount of concrete will depend on the size of your dog house.

Water 

You will need water to mix the concrete.

Concrete Mixer or Shovel 

You will want to use a mixer over a shovel as it can get quite tiresome trying to mix concrete with a shovel, but if that is all you have, then get those arm muscles ready!

Shovel for if you are putting the foundation in the grass.  You will have to dig.

Wheel barrel or Large Pail

These are very useful for mixing the concrete in.

Protective Wear 
  • Good pair of gloves 
  • Respiratory Mask to avoid inhaling the concrete dust which is highly toxic
  • Work coveralls, or clothing that you don’t care if it gets ruined
  • Closed-toe shoes that you don’t mind if they get dirty
Masonry Trowel

The Masonry trowel is a hand trowel used in brickwork or stonework for leveling, spreading and shaping mortar or concrete.

Mesh Sheet Metal 

Sometimes steel reinforcing in concrete is put there to strengthen it, help hold the concrete together and limit cracking

Wood  

You will need wood for the foundation form 

Spikes 

To keep the concrete from lifting the wood foundation form

Anchors

You will need anchors if you are building your foundation on concrete

Concrete Paint or Stamped Concrete Top 

You will need concrete paint if you want to color the concrete pad and to seal it which is important

Stamped concrete top can make the concrete pad look very flashy and modern 

Gazebo Tent

In case of rain

Ready To Start Working

Okay, so you have all the materials needed for your concrete foundation, and measurements needed.  Let’s get to work on waterproofing that dog house!

Build your wood frame first. Once the frame is complete, based on your measurements you need to now dig in the area that you have selected safe for your dog house.   Time to get your trusty shovel out and start digging! Place your wood foundation form in the dig area once you are done digging. Secure it down with spikes. The spikes will ensure that the concrete will not lift the wood while it is settling. 

So, your form is in and now it is time to lay down the steel mesh and start mixing the concrete.  Pour the concrete in the form to fill it. Use your nifty little masonry trowel to level and even out the wet concrete.  

Leave Concrete To Dry

Leave the concrete to dry for a few days.  Do not cover the concrete with anything, or you are risking getting mold and no one wants that. If it starts to rain, use a gazebo tent, or something like that so moisture will not get locked in and cause mold. 

Your concrete foundation is finally dry.  You can remove the form if you like or leave it.  My husband and I built a concrete foundation for our hot tub and we just left the wood form in for extra support. 

Next, you can paint the foundation with concrete paint if you wish.  There are many colors to choose from.

If you want to go fancy, then I would go with a stamped pad on top.  They come in many designs so you’ll have lots to choose from. 

Finishing Up

There you have it.  How to build an above-ground concrete foundation for your doghouse.  The dog house is just about ready to put on top of the foundation. If you haven’t already,  raise the dog house off the floor with securing some wood blocks to the bottom of the house. Doing this keeps the house from sitting directly on the cold concrete.  Having the house sit on the concrete will keep the floor and house cold and wet if it is raining or snowing.  

Once your dog house is raised and placed on the foundation, you can then start with waterproofing the house.   There are a few ways to do this.

Ways To Waterproof Your Dog House

Sealing The Roof Of The Dog House 

Roof top
Rooftop

You could use tar paper to waterproof the roof.  Tar paper is a heavy-duty paper used a lot in construction. Its use is for waterproofing roofs to prevent moisture from entering the roof of the dog house.  

The best way to install tar paper is by using staples or roofing nails.  You could also use non-asphaltic adhesives.

Another way is to shingle the roof after you have added tar paper.   Shingles protect rooftops from the impact of rain, hail, and snow, as well as waterproofing.  Basically, they are safeguarding a roof. 

Add shingles to the roof by using roofing staples. 

Liquid Rubber 

As an alternative to the above, you could use Liquid Rubber waterproof sealant/coating to waterproof your dog house.

About Liquid Rubber 
Liquid Rubber Waterproof Sealant
Liquid Rubber Waterproof Sealant
  • Environmentally Friendly- Liquid Rubber Waterproof Sealant is water-based and contains no solvents or VOCs.  It is safe to use indoors and outdoors, and you do not need to wear respiratory masks to use it. Your family and pets are safe around this product.
  • Used for Flat Roofs, Metal Roofs, Foundations, Ponds, Sheds, Basements, Wood, Concrete
  • Applying this is like painting except you use heavy coats to build up your waterproof membrane. Apply using a brush, roller, or good quality paint sprayer
  • UV Stable-Final membrane has over 1000% Elongation and the sun will not degrade the product

Waterproofing The Sides of The Dog House 

Vinyl Siding
Vinyl Siding

You have waterproofed the roof, now you need to waterproof the walls of the dog house.  First I would use Liquid Rubber as an extra sealant. The next step would be to fasten vinyl siding to the outside walls of your dog house.  Make sure to use an end cap for the corners.  

Vinyl siding can make a dog house look great in your backyard and will be the envy of every dog and owner in the neighborhood.  

Vinyl siding also comes in many different colors, so you could change it every few years if you wish.  If you don’t want to use vinyl siding on the sides of your dog house, then just use the Liquid Rubber. It lasts for years and extends the life of the dog house. 

Alternative

An alternative to DIY.  If you are not a person who likes to make things themselves, then you could purchase an out-door waterproof dog house.   There are lots of ready-made dog houses that you can choose from.  

Conclusion

Dog with his waterproof dog house
Dog with his waterproof dog house

Waterproofing your dog house is a lot of work, but very rewarding for your dog.  If you put in the time and effort to do it your-self you will feel much better, and guess what?  you have all the bragging rights. You may even get some neighbors asking you to waterproof their dog’s houses.  Therefore, making some extra cash for yourself. Who doesn’t love extra cash?

Again if you are not the type to do DIY projects you could always just check Amazon.com.  They have many different waterproof dog houses to choose from. 

FAQ

How much does it cost to build a dog house?

The cost of a dog house can be anywhere from $200-1000.  Custom dog houses can cost more than $2000. It all really depends on what kind of dog house you want, and what your budget is. 

Is rain bad for dogs?

Rain can be bad for dogs if they are left outside without any coverage like a dog house with a dry bed.  If dogs are exposed to wet, cold weather for too long, their respiratory tract can become inflamed, which may lead to pneumonia.  Older dogs are more at risk for this. 

Can I take my dog out in the rain to do its business?

Yes, you can most definitely take your dog out in the rain to do its business.  Your dog may not like being out in the rain, so the outing will most likely be short.  Make sure your dog does do its business outside, or you may find that they go inside. Give your dog treats for doing its business outside and you should not have a problem when taking your dog out in the rain for bathroom trips.  To make it more comfortable for your dog in the rain, purchase a doggie raincoat and maybe some booties. 

Do I need a concrete foundation for my dog house?

No, you do not need a foundation for the dog house.  But it is a good idea if your dog stays outside a lot of the time.  The ground freezes in winter, and gets cold and wet when it rains, making it unpleasant for your dog.

Is it okay to leave my dog outside in the winter?

No, it is not okay to leave your dog outside in the winter.  There are dogs like Huskies who are more tolerant of cold weather, but no dog or pet should be left outside for a long period of time in the winter.  You wouldn’t leave your child outside in the winter, would you? So, don’t leave your fur baby out there during the cold winter.  

Are Dog Houses Good For Dogs?

A dog house is a good idea for a dog that will spend several hours a day outside.  But, just like people, dogs are sensitive to the weather. Dogs that are built and bred for a rugged outdoor living can be harmed or worse by extreme cold and heat.

Bibliography

  • WikiHow- https://www.wikihow.com/Build-a-Concrete-Foundation
  • Wikipedia- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tar_paper
  • Liquid Rubber – liquidrubber.ca

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