I want to build an exterior dog house for my standard size goldendoodle in MA. There are a lot of DIY instruction videos on youtube. However, many uses plywood, but they do not address if I can leave plywood made dog house outside year along. Is there exterior grade plywood that will resist moisture or water? If not, can I paint it in a way that it will resist water, or do I completely use different material for this purpose. My dog will thank you!

3 Answers 3


Plywood exposed to the elements will delaminate in relatively short time. Exterior grade plywood will last longer, but still will warp and twist.

The question you need to ask yourself is how long do you intend for the doghouse to last?

If the answer is years, you need to use exterior grade plywood and PT wood for the frame. Treat the construction like a standard home. Shingle the roof of use panels. Side the exterior walls with Hardy plank or something similar. Paint to protect everything. (don't forget to consult the dog regarding color.)

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    We commonly used whatever scraps of OSB or plywood we had around to make our dog houses growing up. As long as you get a good exterior paint on them, they lasted 5-7 years before significant deterioration. The base was always a bit off the ground (concrete blocks normally) so ground surface water was never really a concern. Commented Jun 21 at 21:23

If you are buying the materials (as opposed to using scraps), might as well buy T1-11. It's made to function as both sheathing and siding, comes pre-primed, takes latex paint really well, and looks great.

But to answer your question: yes, you can use plywood to build a dog house. As I write this, I am looking at a pond with a little house I built for our ducks. I built it 5 years ago. It has unpainted, regular plywood sides, and it looks fine. The trick is to make the roof with long eaves, and the house off the ground. I also have access to lots of leftover building materials, so the roof has asphalt shingles, drip edge, etc., so that might have a lot to do with the plywood staying in shape.

Again, if you are buying the materials, T1-11 is the answer.


As long as you buy weather treated that way it will stand up through all seasons. Also you need to stain it with weather treatment.

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