A Complete Guide to Creating a Shipping Container Dog Kennel

Ever noticed how the world seems to be obsessed with shipping containers lately? From trendy cafés to minimalist homes, these industrial giants are getting a second life and, let me tell you, it’s not just a passing fad.

People are realizing the untapped potential of these steel boxes. And guess what? It’s not only for us two-legged creatures.

Our four-legged friends can benefit from it too. Enter the concept of a shipping container dog kennel.

Pause for a moment and let that sink in. A shipping container… turned into a dog kennel. It might sound a bit out there, but stick with me on this one.

I promise it’s not as crazy as it sounds. In fact, it’s a game-changer. Durable, secure, weather-resistant, and customizable – it checks all the boxes for what makes a great dog kennel.

So, before you dismiss the idea, let’s dive a little deeper into the world of shipping container modifications and explore why a shipping container dog kennel might just be the perfect new home for your furry friend.

The Benefits of a Shipping Container Dog Kennel

puppytainer dog kennel
Source: USA Containers

Alright, let’s get down to brass tacks. Why should you even consider a shipping container as a dog kennel? Here are some solid reasons:

  1. Durability and Security: Shipping containers are built to last. They are made to withstand the harshest of weather conditions while transporting goods across oceans. This means they are incredibly durable and secure. Your dog will be safe from any external dangers, and you won’t have to worry about your kennel falling apart any time soon.
  2. Weather Resistance: Whether it’s raining cats and dogs (pun intended), scorching hot, or freezing cold, a shipping container kennel will provide a safe and comfortable environment for your pet. The steel structure and the possibility of adding insulation means it can withstand extreme weather conditions.
  3. Eco-Friendly: We all know the importance of being eco-friendly these days. Repurposing a shipping container into a dog kennel is a great way to recycle and reduce waste. It’s a win-win situation for you, your dog, and the planet.
  4. Customizability: One of the coolest things about using a shipping container is the ability to customize it to your liking. Want to add windows? No problem. Need a separate area for feeding and sleeping? You got it. The possibilities are endless.
  5. Portability: If you ever need to move, you can take your shipping container kennel with you. It’s not as simple as picking it up and putting it in your pocket, but with the right equipment, it can be moved to a new location.

Overall, a shipping container dog kennel is durable, weather-resistant, eco-friendly, customizable, and portable. What’s not to love?

Things to Consider Before Building a Shipping Container Dog Kennel

Before you dive headfirst into this project, there are a few things you need to consider. Planning is key, and it’s better to address these issues before you start building.

  1. Size of Your Dog: This might seem obvious, but it’s crucial. The size of your dog will determine the size of the kennel. A Chihuahua doesn’t need as much space as a Great Dane. Make sure the container is large enough for your dog to move around comfortably, but not so large that it loses its sense of security.
  2. Local Regulations and Permits: Don’t skip this step. Check with your local municipality to see if there are any regulations or permits required to build a kennel on your property. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
  3. Ventilation and Insulation: Proper ventilation is essential to keep your dog healthy and comfortable. Likewise, insulation is necessary to maintain a comfortable temperature inside the kennel, regardless of the weather outside.
  4. Safety Features: Think about the safety features you want to include. This could be anything from a secure locking mechanism to prevent your dog from escaping, to an emergency exit in case of fire.
  5. Comfort and Amenities: Lastly, think about the comfort and amenities you want to provide for your dog. This could include a comfortable bed, food and water bowls, toys, etc.

Building a shipping container dog kennel is not just about providing shelter for your dog. It’s about creating a safe, comfortable, and happy space for your furry friend.

Steps to Build a Shipping Container Dog Kennel

Now that we’ve covered the why and the what, let’s get to the how. Building a shipping container dog kennel is a project that requires some planning and work, but the steps are relatively straightforward.

  1. Purchase the Right Shipping Container: This is the first and most obvious step. Make sure you purchase a shipping container that is the right size for your dog and your property. It’s also important to check the condition of the container. Make sure it’s watertight and free of any harmful substances.
  2. Design Your Kennel: Before you start any construction, it’s important to have a clear design in mind. This includes the layout of the kennel, where you want to place the doors and windows, and any other features you want to include.
  3. Install Insulation and Ventilation: As we discussed earlier, proper insulation and ventilation are crucial for your dog’s comfort and health. Make sure you install adequate insulation and ventilation to maintain a comfortable temperature inside the kennel, regardless of the weather outside.
  4. Add Flooring and Interior Walls: Once the insulation and ventilation are in place, you can add flooring and interior walls. Make sure the materials you choose are safe and comfortable for your dog.
  5. Install Doors and Windows: Next, install the doors and windows. Make sure the doors are secure, and the windows are large enough to provide adequate light and ventilation.
  6. Add Outdoor Run Area: If you have space, consider adding an outdoor run area adjacent to the kennel. This will give your dog the option to go outside and play or relax in the fresh air.
  7. Customize with Amenities: Finally, customize the kennel with amenities such as a bed, food and water bowls, toys, etc.

Remember, the goal is to create a space that is safe, comfortable, and enjoyable for the dog. Take your time, plan carefully, and don’t be afraid to make adjustments along the way.

Tips for Maintaining Your Shipping Container Dog Kennel

Congratulations! You’ve built your shipping container dog kennel. But the work doesn’t stop there. Regular maintenance is crucial to ensure your kennel remains a safe and comfortable space for your dog. Here are some tips for maintaining your shipping container dog kennel:

  1. Regular Cleaning and Sanitization: This is a no-brainer. Regularly clean and sanitize the kennel to keep it free of dirt, germs, and pests. Pay special attention to the food and water bowls, bedding, and toys.
  2. Inspection for Wear and Tear: Over time, wear and tear are inevitable. Regularly inspect the kennel for any signs of damage, such as rust, leaks, or cracks in the walls or floor. Address any issues as soon as you notice them.
  3. Maintaining Temperature and Ventilation: Proper temperature and ventilation are crucial for your dog’s comfort and health. Make sure the ventilation system is working properly and that the temperature inside the kennel is comfortable for your dog.

A well-maintained kennel is a happy kennel. And a happy kennel makes for a happy dog. So, make maintenance a regular part of your routine. Your dog will thank you.


Before we wrap up, let’s address some common questions about shipping container dog kennels.

  1. Is it safe for my dog? Absolutely. As long as the kennel is properly designed, insulated, ventilated, and maintained, it is a safe and comfortable space for your dog.
  2. Is it too hot or cold for my dog? With proper insulation and ventilation, the temperature inside the kennel can be maintained at a comfortable level, regardless of the weather outside.
  3. Is it expensive to build a shipping container dog kennel? The cost can vary depending on the size of the container, the modifications you make, and the amenities you add. However, it is often a cost-effective option compared to building a traditional kennel from scratch.
  4. Can I move my shipping container dog kennel? Yes, with the right equipment, a shipping container kennel can be moved to a new location. However, it is not a simple task and may require professional assistance.
  5. Can I customize my shipping container dog kennel? Absolutely. One of the biggest advantages of a shipping container kennel is its customizability. You can add windows, doors, an outdoor run area, and any other features you desire.


Alright, let’s recap. We’ve talked about the benefits of a shipping container dog kennel, including its durability, weather resistance, eco-friendliness, customizability, and portability.

We’ve also discussed the important things to consider before building one and the steps to actually build it.

And finally, we’ve covered some tips for maintaining your kennel to ensure it remains a safe and comfortable space for your dog.

Building a shipping container dog kennel is not a small task, but it’s a rewarding one. It provides a durable, secure, and comfortable space for your dog while being an eco-friendly option. And let’s not forget, it’s also pretty cool.

So, if you’re considering building a dog kennel, why not think outside the box (pun intended) and consider a shipping container dog kennel? It’s a unique, durable, and eco-friendly option that your dog will love.

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