outdoor dog house

The Best Outdoor Dog House Reviewed: Pros, Cons, and Analysis

Katelyn Son
By Katelyn Son
Medically reviewed by Ivana Crnec, DVM
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If you buy something from a link on our site, we may earn a commission.
See our advertising disclosure.

What Is the Best Dog House for Outdoors?

Petmate Precision Extreme Outback Log Cabin Dog House
  • LARGE DOG HOUSE: Cabin dog house's sealed protective coating, raised floor, & slanted asphalt roof provide protection from the elements and keep the cabin comfortable & dry. Assembles in 3 steps. Features an offset door so pets can get away from wind & rain.
  • Dimensions: 46.1" x 32.7" x 5.3"
  • Durable: With solid wood & stainless-steel hardware, the outdoor dog shelter is strong & sturdy for long-lasting protection. The outdoor dog house accommodates large dog breeds.

Can a Dog Live Outside in a Dog House?

Yes, a dog can live in an outdoor dog house.

However, there are some considerations that should take place before committing to your dog living outside.

For example, you will need to make sure they have access to clean water, a warm and dry place to sleep with plenty of ventilation, and possibly a dog run to tether them to a specific area. This will help keep them out of trouble and limit their exposure to wild animals.

What Are the Benefits of an Outdoor Dog House?

The outdoor dog house comes with several benefits. Here are some of them:

  • Protection. Protection from the elements and from wildlife is arguably the most important function of outdoor dog houses. Keeping your dog warm and out of harm’s way should be a top priority and one of the main reasons you are looking for a dog house.
  • Storage. Depending on the style of the dog house, there may be fewer or more storage options. Some outdoor dog houses are more of a kennel type and have plenty of room to store pet supplies, while others are simply large enough to allow a dog bed and dog bowl to fit inside with the dog.
  • Accommodating Guests. As hard as it is to believe, not everyone loves dogs. Having an outdoor dog cage can be useful when these people come to stay since it allows you a safe and warm place to put your dog while they are visiting.

The Best Outdoor Dog Houses Reviewed

Outdoor dog houses come in different designs and can be made of different materials. To help you choose the best outdoor kennel for your dog, we have reviewed some excellent models.

Petmate Precision Extreme Outback Log Cabin Dog House

Petmate Precision Extreme Outback Log Cabin Dog House

Get it on Amazon

Summary: This solid wood dog house features stainless steel hardware so it won’t rust in the elements. The slanted roof helps to keep the rain away from the entrance and helps to keep the dog dry.

The raised floor keeps the dog and bedding off the ground and away from dirt, moisture, and insects. It is made to be comfortably sized for dogs up to large-sized but can be used for any household pet.

Best For: Large-sized dogs

Features: Stainless steel hardware; Solid wood sides; Slanted roof; Elevated floor

Dimension: 46.1″ x 32.7″ x 5.3″

Material: Wood

Pros
  • Raised floor
  • Slanted roof
  • Solid wood construction
  • Stainless steel hardware
  • 3 step assembly
Cons
  • Pricey

Review: Reviews were a bit mixed on Amazon, with 59% giving this dog house a 4 or 5-star rating. Happy customers said this outdoor dog house was solid and large enough for their large dog breeds.

The most common complaint was the thin wood, and there were too few screws included in the package, but even critical reviews said the DIY aspect of the house was easy to understand and assembly took less than 30 minutes.

Ferplast DogVilla Dog House for Small Dog Breeds

Ferplast DogVilla Dog House for Small Dog Breeds

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Summary: The weatherproof, electricity-resistant plastic used to make this pet house is waterproof and UV ray resistant, so it won’t fade or crack due to exposure to the elements. The side panel opens up to offer small dogs a fold-out porch that can be installed on either side of the house.

A drainage system and a well-ventilated design ensure the inside of the house will remain dry and provide ample airflow. It is easy to assemble and requires no installation tools to assemble or disassemble.

Best For: Small dogs

Features: Plastic construction; Fold out porch; Interior drainage; UV resistant

Dimension: 28.74″ x 23.23″ x 20.87″; 34.65″ x 28.35″ x 25.59″; 37.4” x 25.98” x 26.77”

Material: Plastic

Pros
  • Well ventilated
  • Fold out porch
  • Interior drainage system
  • UV resistant and waterproof
  • Non-conductive
Cons
  • Multiple customers complained the pieces would not line up when they tried to assemble it

Review: Numerous positive reviews say this dog house was “better than expected” and said their small dogs, and even rabbits, enjoy using this house. These dog owners say it only took 20 minutes to assemble, and it was “quite sturdy” once it was put together.

Other buyers were less than impressed by the packaging and said the pieces wouldn’t line up when they tried to assemble the outdoor dog house.

Petmate Indigo Dog House for Large Dogs

Petmate Indigo Dog House for Large Dogs

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Summary: This large dog house can house dogs up to 125 lbs. and is made of 90% recycled materials. The shape of the house provides insulation from hot and cold weather, and an offset doorway shields pets from rain.

The house features side motes for water runoff and raised floors to keep pets dry and comfortable. It is made in the USA with premium blended plastic for the best security and weatherproofing possible.

Best For: Dogs of all sizes

Features: Raised floor; Offset doorway; Large size; Side motes

Dimension: 43.8″ x 34″ x 25.8″

Material: Blended plastic

Pros
  • Assembly requires only one screwdriver
  • The offset doorway protects against wind
  • Elevated floor and leak-resistant built
  • Large vents for great air circulation
  • Made in the USA
Cons
  • The sizing may be inaccurate on the site

Review: Over 80% of total ratings are positive, with the most common compliment being the build and construction. Dog owners were happy to find a sturdy dog house for their large and extra large dogs, as well as being happy they can provide an insulated dog house for their dogs, who spend most of their time outdoors.

Critical reviews say the sizing is inaccurate, and the outdoor dog house was damaged when they received it in the mail.

BestPet Waterproof Outdoor Pet Kennel with Air Vents and Elevated Floor

BestPet Waterproof Outdoor Pet Kennel with Air Vents and Elevated Floor

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Summary: The waterproof plastic this dog house is made of is also great at keeping the heat in. A removable roof makes cleaning a breeze, and the dual air vents ensure there is enough airflow.

This elevated pet house is held together with clasps and screws and includes two ground spikes to attach it to the ground. It is easy to assemble and is designed to take one adult only 30 minutes to put together.

Best For: Dogs up to 100 lbs

Features: Heat insulating plastic; Dual air vents; Waterproof

Dimension: 41” x 37” x 38”

Material: Plastic

Pros
  • Dual air vents
  • Waterproof and easy to clean
  • Elevated floor
  • Made of heat-insulating plastic
  • Includes ground spikes to firmly attach it to the ground
Cons
  • The removable roof can leak in the rain

Review: Happy dog owners said this outdoor shelter was very easy to assemble, and they liked the look. It kept their dogs dry and comfortable, and they said the sizing was great for them.

Critical reviewers were disappointed when their dogs wouldn’t use this outdoor dog house and said the roof leaked when it rained.

Petmate Aspen Extra Small Pet Outdoor Dog House

Petmate Aspen Extra Small Pet Outdoor Dog House

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Summary: Offering great ventilation to keep moisture and mold out, this dog house is built to keep small dogs safe and dry. It features a raised floor to keep pets off the ground and away from moisture and pests.

The extended roof rim offers protection from rain and wind. It is very easy to put together, only requiring the owner to put the two pieces together and close the clasps so anyone can do it.

Best For: Small dogs

Features: Rear ventilation; Extended roof rim;

Dimension: 26.5” X 18” X 16.5”

Material: Blended plastic

Pros
  • Extended roof rim
  • Raised floor
  • Heavily ventilated
  • Weatherproof
  • Very easy assembly
Cons
  • Only available for small pets

Review: Most buyers were happy with this dog house. They praised it for its sturdy build and said it was very easy to assemble and only took them a minute to put together.

Unhappy consumers, however, were embittered by the clasps that hold the two pieces together. They said the clasps weren’t sturdy enough and that this outdoor dog house was not waterproof.

Zeny Plastic Dog House Water Resistant Dog Kennel for Small to Medium Sized Dogs

Zeny Plastic Dog House Water Resistant Dog Kennel for Small to Medium Sized Dogs

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Summary: The deluxe construction of this dog house provides a comfortable and superior activity space for your pets. The sloped roof drains water from the entrance, and the raised floor keeps pets away from dirt and moisture.

The pet house features dual air vents to keep the interior dry and fresh. The house is very easy to assemble, and all required accessories are included.

Best For: Small and medium dogs

Features: Raised floor; Sloping roof; Dual air vents

Dimension: 27″ x 25.6″ x 27″

Material: Plastic

Pros
  • Weatherproof
  • Easy to assemble
  • Raised floor
  • Well ventilated
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Only suitable for small and medium dogs

Review: Most dog owners who purchased this outdoor dog house were impressed. They were happy with everything from the price to the build and said it was easy to put together.

The most common complaint was regarding the assembly. Customers said the instructions were not included, and the process was problematic for them.

What Should I Look for in an Outdoor Dog House?

When buying an outdoor dog house, it is important to factor in the following features:

  • Material. Wood and plastic are the most common materials a dog house is made of. Each has its benefits and compromises but generally speaking, wood is more durable and more expensive, and plastic is more lightweight and inexpensive. ECOFLEX can also be used and is a great choice for its durability, but it is also more expensive.
  • Roof. Most wooden outdoor dog kennels, like cabin-style houses, have asphalt shingles for a roof, providing great protection from the elements. Plastic and indoor dog houses will often have plastic roofs that are durable, but not replaceable. The best choice for a dog house roof will likely be one with a slanted roof that diverts rainwater away from the door opening.
  • Floor. Removable floors are common and make for easy cleaning. However, a one-piece floor that is built into the dog house will provide more stability to the structure and provide greater protection for your furry friend against high winds.
  • Insulation. Some outdoor dog houses come with insulation, but most do not. In order to insulate your dog’s house, you will need to choose the right type of insulation based on your climate and the type of house your dog has. Although it might be a bit costly upfront, it is likely to become one of the most used pet products your dog has.
  • Size: Large breed dogs need larger houses, while small dogs only require a small dog house. However, if you are looking to insulate the dog house or your dog will be spending a lot of time in the kennel, then considering a size bigger may be best. The extra space will allow you to place dog food and a dog bed inside the house.

How Do I Winterize My Outdoor Dog House?

There are some things pet owners can do to winterize an outdoor dog house. Those include:

  • Look at the dog crate and make sure it is in good condition. If it has cracks or shows signs of wear, then it should be managed with repairs or replacements.
  • Measure the height and width of the door opening and either purchase or cut a flap for the dog pen. This will keep wind and cold air from coming in through the door opening.
  • Cover the floor with straw or cedar wood chips to provide insulation from the cold ground. This should be piled about six inches thick.
  • Turn the opening of the dog house away from the direction the wind blows.
  • Stack the dog house on top of wood planks or a pallet to get it off the ground and out of the snow.
  • Install insulation if necessary.

What Is the Best Type of Insulation for an Outdoor Dog House?

The type of insulation you choose will depend on the climate in which you live, the size and shape of the dog house, and the breed of dog you have.

Cold weather breeds, like Huskies and Akitas, will not need as much insulation as a Doberman, for instance. We go more in-depth on the main types of insulation below:

  • Foil Insulation. Foil insulation works by reflecting the dog’s body heat back into the interior of the dog house. This is a relatively cheap and easy way to provide extra warmth and can be coupled with other forms of insulation to provide additional protection from the cold.
  • Foam Board Insulation. Foam board insulation is cheap and effective but with one crucial downfall: it does not bend. This makes it only applicable to dog houses with straight and square walls like outdoor wooden dog houses or pet shelters made of ECOFLEX material.
  • Fiberglass Insulation. Commonly recognized by its rolled-up, carpet-like shape when not in use, fiberglass insulation is great at keeping the heat in and is easy to install. It can easily be cut with a razor and stapled to the interior of the dog house. Since it is pliable, it can fit into any shape dog house you own.
  • Door Covering. Installing a vinyl door flap can do wonders to provide insulation to a dog house. This keeps heat in that would have otherwise escaped out of the opening. This is a great option for cold weather, big dogs that do not require much protection from the cold.