I don't want to buy cedar as the material for my dog house as the dog is going to chew it and it's just a waste of money.

What alternative material can I use? or is there a way to treat construction grade Spruce in a non-toxic way.

  • 1
    Unless you can wean the dog off chewing I think you'll want to go with untreated wood here, at least as far as rot-preventatives go. In which case you can either go with tough and hard (not cheap) so it stands up best, or softish (cheap) and just live with the fact that you'll have to replace certain pieces on a regular basis.
    – Graphus
    Jun 19 '17 at 16:55
  • I think cheap Spruce is the best approach. I'll throw the house away after a couple of years and just build a better on elater.
    – Reactgular
    Jun 19 '17 at 18:07
  • Or give him an acceptable chewing target, like a sacrificial trim that you can easily replace once he does enough damage. Jun 20 '17 at 11:23

I recently built a custom dog door into our laundry door and our dogs liked to chew on it so I bought some aluminium rails from the local big box hardware store and lined the edge with that. The aluminium is easy enough to work with (and to file down to ensure no sharp edges) but strong enough and distasteful enough to discourage the dogs from mistaking my handiwork for food. Generally dogs will try and chew on a corner or edge where they can get their teeth in so you only need to line these edges.


Many woods are non-toxic to dogs (but some are toxic - see https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/dogs-plant-list so no walnut but maple would work). So check the list and compare to what is available to you.

There are a number of non-toxic finishes available. Wax made for butcher tops is non-toxic (once dry) and uses wax(es) similar to those used in cosmetics (for humans). Shellac, once dry, is non-toxic (and can be bought as food-grade as can some waxes). Some acrylics are marked as non-toxic (but I have less knowledge here) and may work for you giving you access to more colors. (There are color-fast food grade colors as well that can be mixed with shellac.)

I like ratchet freak's suggestion of sacrificial parts, designed to be chewed and replaced and heartily second that thought. If you wish to research this more, keep in mind, there is more information on non-toxic approaches designed to protect human infants, much of which will apply to dogs.

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