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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I have this giant tank where I store dry firewood and I have been wanting to convert it into a super-insulated dog house. My dogs prefer to be outside and absolutely hate it inside. I am working on fencing a 5 acres area for my dogs and would like to build them a really nice house for shelter.

I was thinking that I could build a dog house large enough for all four dogs and then fill every crevice with insulation. I will wire it for light and thermometer so I know what the temperature is. Is this a good idea? I am attaching a picture of this tank.
 

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Seems claustrophobic and one dimensional but it could be the picture. How many dogs? Would they be able to get by each other without walking over each other?
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Seems claustrophobic and one dimensional but it could be the picture. How many dogs? Would they be able to get by each other without walking over each other?
This doghouse will be used for 3 dogs. This tank is a 15,000-gallon tank. I am 5 10" and I can comfortably stand inside with some room to spare. I was planning on having just one door for them to get in an out. I am in the northeast and the winter temperatures are brutal so I want to make sure I minimize any warm air loss. This plan isn't final. I am certainly open to suggestions.

The dog house will be 4 feet wide by 5 feet high by about 14 feet deep.

Thank you,
Ali
 

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This doghouse will be used for 3 dogs. This tank is a 15,000-gallon tank. I am 5 10" and I can comfortably stand inside with some room to spare. I was planning on having just one door for them to get in an out. I am in the northeast and the winter temperatures are brutal so I want to make sure I minimize any warm air loss. This plan isn't final. I am certainly open to suggestions.

The dog house will be 4 feet wide by 5 feet high by about 14 feet deep.

Thank you,
Ali
Oh wow, it didn't look that big in the pic. Pretty cool idea. I'm not doghouse builder but I think you are onto something.
 

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A dog house is heated mainly by the body heat of the animal inside it. For that reason, the dimensions need to be not much bigger than the dogs themselves. I'm afraid you are going to need some sort of supplementary heating if you convert this into a dog house.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
A dog house is heated mainly by the body heat of the animal inside it. For that reason, the dimensions need to be not much bigger than the dogs themselves. I'm afraid you are going to need some sort of supplementary heating if you convert this into a dog house.
I will probably adjust the width and the height of the doghouse then. the more insulation I can get inside this tank and around the doghouse, the better. Thank you for your suggestion.
 

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I would prefer three separate smaller, well-insulated (to contain warmth) houses for them. What if nr.1 of the pack sits in the doorway to prevent the others from going inside?
 

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I would prefer three separate smaller, well-insulated (to contain warmth) houses for them. What if nr.1 of the pack sits in the doorway to prevent the others from going inside?
Here is a smaller doghouse I made for tiger and I used 2 inches thick foam insulation on all sides including floor and ceiling but during winter, Tiger would sit in it and shiver hence my desire to use this tank as outer shell and doghouse in it with 15+ inches of insulation all around. I will also think about a way to put individual doghouses in this tank and just cut out individual openings on the side of the tank.

Thank you for your suggestion.
 

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It looks like it would be easy enough to cut openings with a grinder or torch. I’d go for individual insulated houses inside the tank.
 

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If it were me, I would build a single enclosure inside the tank with a double dog door on the entrance. I would build it using either:

Conventional wall framing with 2x6 joists and studs and R21 bat insulation. I would add R21 Reflectix radiant insulation to the entire inside of the framing before sheathing. I don't think you would need any supplementary heat in this case. Having this structure inside the tank would provide a great defense against convective heat loss.

Or I'd contact my local lumber yard and have SIPs built. Structural Integrated Panels are basically a sandwich of OSB/rigid foam/interior sheathing. They are very strong and are air tight. You can build these yourself if you are clever about clamping and you do it at a time when the outside air temps aren't so low as to inhibit glue up. I would still add a radiant barrier somewhere in the sandwich, such as between the interior panel of the SIP and a final exposed sheathing layer.

You would be amazed at the difference a radiant barrier makes in a dog house. I am familiar with Reflectix which is why I recommended that particular brand, but there are others out there.
 

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We have the opposite problem. We have very high heat for 5-6 months out of the year (think tank tops and short on Christmas Day) and the dogs like outside time, especially if I’m doing work around the yard. We built an insulated dog house, with a pitched and hinged roof, and a window unit A/C built into the side of it. We learned 2 things quickly, and I’m sure you’d run into the same problem but with heat instead of cold air. The first is that it’s a PITA to clean, so we switched it up to a hinged roof so we can get in there to clean it. And the second was you will need a cover for the entrances/exits. We just had shade covers at the entrance/exit, and A LOT of cold air escaped that way. So we got some heavy duty plastic that people use for walk-in freezers, and put that up, then the shade covers. The dogs love it, and will often lay in there peeking out at what I’m doing. Or a fun place to play chase, in the entrance and out the exit. It was built large enough for 2 dogs when we only had 2 dogs, but our 4 can fit in comfortably. But two are pups, so I’m sure we will have to make another soon.

I second either having separate houses, or at least multiple entry/exits.
 
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