If your dog spends time outside, it can greatly benefit from the shelter and security of an outdoor dog house. A great dog house will shelter your dog from wind and rain and provide a safe place for it to relax. However, there are a few important factors to consider before you choose the best outdoor dog house for your canine companion.
Buying Guide for Outdoor Dog Houses
Why buy an outdoor dog house?
If you have a yard where your dog likes to run around and play, you should consider purchasing an outdoor dog house to give your dog a safe place to rest before it comes back inside. Your new dog house can even become a safe haven for your pet—a place to take its favorite chew toy whenever it feels stressed or a spot to nap when it feels tired. Of course, many dog houses also provide excellent shelter during inclement weather, giving your pet the perfect spot to hang out and wait for the storm to pass.
What should you look for in an outdoor dog house?
- Size: As with your dog’s kennel, crate, or indoor doghouse, get a structure that’s large enough for your dog to stand up, lie down, and stretch out in. Before shopping for a dog house, it is a good idea to measure your dog’s length and height in order to determine what dog houses are a good fit. You should also measure your dog’s shoulders and chest to ensure that your pet will have no problems entering or exiting a dog house.
- Insulation: Insulated dog houses are great for keeping your dog warm during cold weather and helping your pet maintain a normal body temperature. While some dog houses come pre-insulated, others afford you the ability to add this feature on your own. The best dog houses will also have a raised floor with insulation underneath. This will keep your dog off of the cold ground and do wonders to the internal temperature of the dog house on chilly evenings.
- Durability: Wood and plastic are generally viewed as the best materials for a dog house due to their ability to limit humidity and withstand harsh weather. If you invest in a wooden dog house, be sure that the wood is treated with epoxy, as this will improve its durability and make it easier to clean. Plastic dog houses can also provide excellent durability and are known for being able to withstand extreme weather with ease.
What must-have features should you keep an eye out for when shopping for a dog house?
When looking for the perfect dog house, try to find a model that sports an elevated floor, a slanted roof with plenty of overhang, and an offset doorway, as these features will help keep wind and rain from entering your dog’s cozy abode. Also, a vented design that allows air in and out is great for ensuring the comfort of your pet. Keep in mind that your new dog house will have to be thoroughly cleaned sooner or later, so be on the lookout for models with a removable roof that make cleaning a breeze.
Our Picks for the Best Outdoor Dog Houses
Giantex Plastic Dog House
This durable dog house is ideal for covered spaces and sports a raised floor to keep your pup nice and warm.
Pros: Featuring a classic design with a sloping roof to prevent water buildup, the Giantex Plastic Dog House is a budget-friendly option that’s surprisingly durable given its affordable price tag. Thanks to its plastic construction and easy-to-remove roof, this dog house is also straightforward to clean. While this is not an ideal dog house for your great dane, small or medium-sized pups can benefit from its elevated floor and handy air vents. This model can also be brought inside when it becomes too cold to give your dog a safe, relaxing place to rest during the snowy months.
Cons: Although this outdoor dog house comes in two sizes, neither option is ideal for extremely large breeds. So, if your dog weighs nearly as much as you do, this is probably not the product for you. Also, this dog house does not sport an offset door, so it’s best utilized in covered spaces that won’t see a lot of wind or rain.
Bottom Line: While plastic dog houses may not possess the rustic feel of many wooden options, a great plastic dog house certainly has advantages over wooden counterparts. This one, in particular, is incredibly easy to assemble, maintain, and clean, making it a stellar option for those seeking something low-maintenance and budget-friendly. However, its door may let some weather in, so be sure that you have an appropriate spot to place it if you go with this model.
Petmate Extreme Log Cabin
This rustic dog house impresses in terms of its versatile size options and log cabin-inspired design.
Pros: Featuring a rustic log cabin-inspired design that is as sturdy as it is sleek, the Petmate Extreme Log Cabin comes in four sizing options, making it suitable for large dogs to handbag-friendly toy breeds. Thanks to its adjustable feet and offset door, this dog house can be placed on uneven terrain and will shield your pup from the elements. It’s also a fairly durable option as long as your dog is not overly destructive.
Cons: This dog house doesn’t come with any built-in insulation, although it’s fairly easy to add on your own, thanks to this product’s boxy design. Additionally, its wood is fairly thin and will be pretty easy to chew up for large, destructive dogs. If your dog has a history of chomping on wood like a woodchuck, a sturdy plastic model may be a better fit for your pet.
Bottom Line: With its slanted roof, raised floor, and offset door, this dog house checks off most of the must-haves that will ensure your pup will be comfortable in its new dog house. That being said, this is a model that you will want to add insulation to, especially if your dog will be using his dog house in the cold. However, given its smart and sleek design, this is undoubtedly an excellent bang for your buck.
Petmate Indigo Dog House
This plastic dog house offers excellent protection from both rain and snow.
Pros: If you’re seeking an outdoor dog house that provides plenty of protection from rain and snow, the Petmate Indigo Dog House is a great choice. This dog house is a great option for breeds such as huskies that prefer a den-like dwelling, and it stays dry inside thanks to its raised floor and offset door. This is also a very roomy and durable dog house compared to other plastic models, making it no wonder why so many buyers gave this product a four- or five-star rating.
Cons: Since this dog house doesn’t offer much in the way of grippy surfaces on its top portion, disassembling this product for a deep cleaning can be trickier than with other dog houses. On the bright side, however, this igloo-style dog house is even harder for large dogs to disassemble or break.
Bottom Line: While an igloo-style dog house won’t appeal to every dog or breed, many canines will feel incredibly comfortable in the cozy confines of this product. While its unique shape makes this one a bit trickier to insulate than other products, those looking for something cute and comfortable should find this dog house to be an ideal dwelling for their pet.
Starplast Dog House
Featuring an effortless assembly process, this dog house scores points in terms of both style and weather resistance.
Pros: The Starplast Dog House makes assembly a snap thanks to its snappable design that can be put together in a matter of minutes. Despite this, this dog house is sturdy enough to stand up to inclement weather and sports UV-resistant plastic that won’t become a faded eyesore after a year in the sun. Those looking for an inexpensive plastic dog house with a classic design should be pleased with this offering.
Cons: This dog house doesn’t sport a raised floor or offset entranceway; making it a suitable product for open areas may take a bit of ingenuity and additional materials. That being said, due to this dog house’s low cost, most will still save some money even if they end up purchasing extra supplies to add a raised platform and plastic door flap to keep the weather out.
Bottom Line: While this is one of the easiest dog houses to assemble, making it ideal for your pet may take a little elbow grease due to its design limitations. That being said, in terms of durability, this rugged little dog house leaves very little to be desired.
Petsfit Wooden Dog House
A high-quality dog house with an intelligent design.
Pros: For those willing to pay a little bit more, the Petsfit Wooden Dog House is an excellent premium pick for medium to large-sized dogs. This dog house features a slanted, weatherproof roof and raised floor to keep inclement weather outdoors while your pup stays cozy inside. Its adjustable feet are another great touch, especially for those who live on land where flat spaces are hard to find. Unlike most other wooden dog houses, this one also comes with a door flap, making it a pick that doesn’t require much in the way of additional fortification.
Cons: While this is a fairly rugged dog house that most dogs can lay on Snoopy-style without causing damage, it’s not an ideal option for dogs that are known to chew and destroy wooden furniture. Also, this dog house probably won’t wow you in terms of the thickness of its cedarwood, so some may justifiably question its elevated price point.
Bottom Line: In terms of performance, this dog house outperforms most competitors thanks to its intelligent design. So, if keeping your dog dry, comfortable, and secure is worth the extra cost to you, you will be hard-pressed to find a better dog house for your needs. That is, unless your dog is overly destructive, in which case you are better off finding a budget-friendly option that won’t be as easy to chew through.
If your dog spends time enjoying the great outdoors, it’s a great idea to give your beloved pet a secure place to rest. However, it’s usually unnecessary to break the bank to find a sturdy outdoor dog house that offers excellent protection from wind and rain. Be sure to consider your dog’s size and temperament before you buy a new dog house so that the product you select is perfectly-suited for your favorite canine.