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10 DIY Dog Shade Ideas to Keep Them Cool Outside (With Pictures)

Adam Mann

By Adam Mann

dog running down the stairs of DIY dog house

When the hot summer months come, your dog still wants to stay outside, but you don’t want them to overheat. It’s a classic dilemma, but it’s one easily solved with some shade. Sometimes it takes getting a little creative, but with any of the ideas we’ve highlighted here, your pup can stay outside and remain cool even when the weather warms up a bit!

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The 10 DIY Dog Shade Ideas

1. Simple Wooden Dog House by Lowe’s Home Improvement

Materials:  (3) 2” x 4” x 8’ pressure-treated lumber, (18) 2” x 2” x 8’ lumber, (2) 4’ x 8’ x 0.75” pressure-treated plywood, (4) 4’ x 8’ x 0.5” sheathing, and (8) 1” x 3” x 8’ lumber
Tools: Circular saw, jigsaw, drill, drill bits, impact driver, driver bits, and a brad nailer
Difficulty Level: Moderate

If you’re looking for a reliable guide on how to build something, it doesn’t get much better than Lowes. Not only can you trust that this list will give you everything you need and tell you how to do it, but they’ll even supply all the materials you need.

Overall, it’s an outstanding DIY guide from Lowes, but that’s still not the top selling point. That falls to the amazing product you’ll get after you finish building it.

We love this dog house for a few reasons. First, it’s easy to build yet highly effective and extremely durable. It also uses materials that hold up extremely well in warmer weather, giving your pup a place to cool off during the dog days of summer.

2. A-Frame Dog House by HGTV

DIY Doghouse
Image Credit: HGTV
Materials: 2” x 2” x 6’ cedar board, 2” x 4” x 8’ pressure-treated lumber, 1.25” galvanized wood screws, low VOC paint or stain, 15-lb asphalt-impregnated felt roofing paper, ¾” exterior-grade plywood, 3” galvanized wood screws, 0.75” galvanized roofing nails, roofing cement, (12) 3-tab roofing shingles, and 3/8” galvanized staples
Tools: 1 3/8” spade bit, hand stapler, brush, utility knife, drill, drill bits, sawhorses, miter saw, orbital sander, hammer, sandpaper, circular saw, framing square, clamps, and a jigsaw
Difficulty Level: Challenging

Don’t let the deceptively simple appearance of this dog house fool you. While it’s a simplistic design, it’s not the easiest project for a novice DIYer. This DIY A-frame dog house sits off the ground a bit to help with the durability, but perhaps most importantly for your pet is that it stays nice and cool during the summer.

It features a plywood construction that’s easy to work with yet breathable for the hot months, and the guide does an outstanding job of walking you through everything you need to know to build a safe and effective dog house.

But before you start this project, ensure you have all the tools and supplies because the last thing you want is to get halfway through only to realize you don’t have everything you need.

3. Fabric Sun Den by PSDA UK

Image Credit: PDSA UK
Materials: Chair or table, large sheet or towel, and a cooling mat
Tools: None
Difficulty Level: Easy

There are simple DIY projects, then there’s DIY A-frame dog house you can use for your pup during the hot summer months. Even if you have practically no DIY skills, we’re confident you can complete this project, even if you don’t have any tools to work with.

It’s not something you’ll want to leave up all the time, but because of its simplistic design, you can take it down and put it back up in no time whenever you need it. The only real downside we see to this design is that it doesn’t hold up well in windy conditions.

You can modify it a bit for those breezy days, but it’s certainly not the most wind-friendly design out there.

4. Portable Pup Tent by HGTV

collapsible dog tent
Image Credit: HGTV
Materials: (4) 3’ x 2” x 1.5” wood pieces, (3) wooden dowels, spray paint, fabric, straight pins, and an iron-on fabric adhesive
Tools: Ruler, marker, drill, spade bit, and a rubber mallet
Difficulty Level: Easy

If you want something you can take to different locations to give your pup a place to cool off, this portable pup tent is the perfect DIY project. As the name implies, you can easily tear it down and move it from place to place, and it doesn’t take up much space when you’re storing it.

Just as importantly, it’s easy to make and extremely effective, and it doesn’t require many of the complicated DIY tools that you need with many other DIY projects. As long as you have a drill and a rubber mallet, you can make it work.

5. Canvas Tarp Shade Tent by Daily Puppy

dog shade shelter
Image Credit: Daily Puppy
Materials: Woodblock, canvas tarp, (2) 6” wooden stakes, grommet kit, and (4) 12” lengths of rope
Tools: Hammer
Difficulty Level: Easy

Canvas, a hammer, and some rope are all you need to put up this DIY canvas tarp shade tent for your dog. It’s one of the easiest DIY projects out there, and the guide does a great job of walking you through everything you need to know to put it up in a way that won’t blow away.

While we don’t love the final appearance of this project, there’s no denying the simplicity and effectiveness, and if you already have some outdoorsy supplies, there’s a good chance you have everything you need.

6. Outdoor Dog Bed and Canopy by This Old House

dog bed with canopy
Image Credit: thisoldhouse
Materials: 1.25” x 5’ PVC pipe, 0.5” x 5’ PVC pipe, 0.75” x 5’ PVC pipe, (2) 1.25” three-way side elbow, (2) 1.25” four-way side outlet tee, (2) 0.5” side-outlet elbows, (2) 0.5” 90-degree elbows, (2) 1.25” coupling, (2) 1.25” x 1” reducer bushing, (2) 0.75” coupling, (2) 0.75” x 0.5” reducing coupling, 2 yards of awning fabric, washer-head screws, heat-fused hem tape, and adhesive-backed Velcro
Tools: Miter saw, scissors, drill, driver, tongue and groove pliers, drop cloths, and a steam iron
Difficulty Level: Moderate

If you have the right guide, PVC pipes are one of the versatile tools for any DIYer. And this guide for an outdoor dog bed and canopy is the perfect guide to walk you through how to make it.

It’s not the simplest project, but it looks great, is extremely effective, and will hold up for years to come. And if you’re creating something for your pup, why not do it right the first time and get something you’ll love?

And with this project, your pup will love the final result, too, with a comfortable dog bed for them to lounge on whenever it’s hot outside.

7. PVC Pipe Dog Canopy by Miaira Jennings

Materials: (8) 0.5” x 24” PVC pipes, (4) 0.5” three-way elbows, (4) 0.5” caps, spray paint, and (5) sheer voiles
Tools: Pencil, measuring tape, pipe cutter, and fabric scissors
Difficulty Level: Easy

If you’re looking for a super simple dog canopy you can make with PVC pipes, this PVC pipe dog canopy is it. While the final design in the guide isn’t great for outdoor use since it doesn’t provide shade, if you’re looking to give it some shade, simply attach a cloth across the top of the PVC pipes.

It’s an easy enough transformation that we felt like it was worth including here, even if it doesn’t have shade as a part of the original design.

8. DIY Dog Tent by Woodshop Diaries

diy dog tent
Image Credit: woodshopdiaries
Materials: 2 yards of tent teepee fabric, 1 yard of pillow fabric, thin pillow, (4) 0.75” x 32” dowel rods, thread, jute string, and pins
Tools: Fabric scissors, measuring tape, and a sewing machine
Difficulty Level: Easy

Tents are among the best ways to keep your dog in the shade outside on a hot summer day, and this DIY dog tent is an outstanding choice if you use the right type of fabric. If you plan on leaving it outside for an extended period, you’ll need to find a way to stake it down, but it’s also compact enough that it’s easy to take in and out if that’s what you want.

It also features a comfortable pillow base for your pet, so they’ll certainly enjoy lounging underneath it as they get out of the hot sun.

9. Crooked Dog House by Ana White

crooked dog house
Image Credit: Ana White
Materials: (2) 0.5” x 0.5” exterior plywood, (11) 2” x 2” x 8’ wood, (4) 1” x 3” x 8’ wood, 1” x 2” x 8’ wood, 2.5” PH screws, 1” finish nails, wood glue, 2” wood screws, and 3” wood screws
Tools: Drill, jigsaw, miter saw, clamps, square, pencil, and a measuring tape
Difficulty Level: Moderate

The crooked dog house is a classic look that many people love, but that doesn’t mean you need to put out an unsafe, falling-apart dog house to get the look! This crooked dog house project perfects the look with a safe and durable dog house your pup can use throughout the year.

It’s waterproof, durable, and effective, which is everything your dog could want on a hot summer day. It does require some woodworking tools to build, but if you already have those, it’s a pretty straightforward project.

10. Mobile Dog House by Instructables

Mobile doghouse
Image Credit: Instructables
Materials: (2) lawn mower wheels, (2) galvanized hinges, liquid nails, cement sheeting, plywood, earth wool insulation material, paint, decking oil, external corner pine molding, batten screws, timber beams, framing timber, nails, and bolts
Tools: Grinder, circular saw, table saw, silicone gun, nail gun, painting gear, clamps, drill, impact driver, hammer, and a hand saw
Difficulty Level: Moderate

When you think about dog houses, you probably think about one staying in the same location all the time. With this mobile dog house, that doesn’t need to be the case. Whether it’s you moving it to a cooler part of the yard for your dog or taking it on vacation with you, this mobile dog house looks great, is durable, and is easy to move around.

It requires quite a few tools to build it, but if you already have some DIY experience and you follow the step-by-step guide, it’s not the most complicated project out there.

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Final Thoughts

Just because your pup has shade outside doesn’t mean they don’t need breaks, and, of course, they should always have access to water. Keep an eye on your pup when the weather gets warm to ensure they stay happy, comfortable, and safe, even when they’re using some of these outstanding dog shade ideas.

Featured Image Credit: Ekaterina Kuzovkova, Shutterstock

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