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How to Use Little Tikes Playhouses as Shelters for Animals

| Updated September 26, 2017

Things You'll Need

  • Playhouse

  • Plywood

  • 2-by-4s

  • Hammer

  • Nails

  • Rubber matting

  • Duct tape

  • Scissors

  • Plastic sheeting

  • Old blanket or towels

  • Hay or straw (optional)

Little Tykes playhouses are a common sight in the backyards of homes with small children. The brightly colored toys provide hours of fun for little girls and boys alike. But when the kids grow too big for their Little Tykes playhouse, parents may wonder what to do with this now-faded but still sturdy tiny plastic building. With a little effort, you can turn your child's abandoned Little Tykes playhouse into a cozy shelter for your dog or other outdoor animal.

Confirm a good fit. While a Little Tykes plastic playhouse is durable, waterproof and portable, it won't make a good doghouse if your pet is too big to fit inside. Before renovating the playhouse to accommodate your dog, make sure your dog fits through the door and can lie down comfortably inside.

Build up the floor. In some states like Minnesota, there are laws mandating the addition of weatherproof floors to all doghouses. Measure the base of the Little Tykes playhouse and cut a piece of plywood two inches wider and longer than the playhouse. Nail 2-by-4s all around the edge to form a frame to keep the plywood -- and your dog -- off the ground. Place the wooden pallet you just made on the ground, 2-by-4-side down, and set the Little Tykes playhouse on top. To weatherproof the floor, place some rubber-backed rugs down onto the plywood.

Close the window. A doghouse with an open window is not good shelter for your dog. For the models of playhouse that have shutters on the window, seal them shut with duct tape. For the models of playhouse that have open windows, cut a piece of clear plastic sheeting slightly larger than the window opening and duct tape into place. For optimum warmth and protection, seal and cover the windows from the inside as well.

Make it cozy. Again, Minnesota and other states require bedding to be placed inside the doghouse for added warmth. Old blankets and towels or hay and straw make adequate bedding. Wash the blankets and towels once a month and add fresh straw as needed -- dirty, damp bedding is not warm.