Dog Houses – Outdoor Dog Houses

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Best dog Houses

Labra Dor superstar and chief editor of

Quick Guide to see recommendations - see full descriptions below

Hi Labra here and I’m going to talk about dog houses or dog kennels as some humans call them. I live in a hot climate and I hate sleeping inside the house except on the coldest night in the middle of our winter.

I sleep with my buddy Bull Staffy and usually we are happy just sleeping together on our jumbo dog bed on the covered veranda. I have a jumbo size dog bed beside our dog house that we use on very hot days because it’s a bit cooler inside. On cold nights we like to cuddle up together in the dog house. Any dog that spends a lot of time outside, even if it’s just during the day, should have its own house to protect it. Whether it’s rain, snow, sleet or hot or cold, outside protection is important.

dog houses - igloo dog house -
An igloo style dog house has some advantages

Position of the dog house

The first thing to consider before buying a dog house is where to put it? A dog house is best in a sheltered position, (like mine which is on the veranda). It should be out of direct sunlight and sheltered from the wind.

It is also important to have the kennel close to the house and near the door so that we can still feel part of the whole pack when we go out but we’re still close to our human buddies.

Think about a summer and a winter position for your dog house

Sometimes you might think about two good positions for the dog house. Find a position in summer and another position in winter that catches the sun better and is more protected from a chilly wind. The dog house should also be raised off the ground to stop any water getting in and to keep the floor off the cold ground and in cold climates the doorway can have a flap over it to keep the cold out.

A comfortable warm and cool place to live

Our dog house should be our private space that is warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

We dog’s need a house big enough for us to walk inside and turn around (you know how we always like to do a few turns before we lie down!) and of course, it must be big enough for us to sleep in. A dog house that is too small is very uncomfortable and we probably just won’t use it but a dog house that is too big can be cold in the winter as our body heat just can’t warm the area up.

Its important that the dog house is not too big

dog houses- outdoor dog houses -
A small plastic dog house is easily cleaned

With small dogs and puppies in particular, if you put them in a too big dog house, they might decide to use it as two rooms; a sleeping room and a rest room. We dogs don’t go to the toilet near our sleeping space, it’s just a big “no, no” in our dog world. A very big kennel may be seen as duel-purpose to a small dog and you don’t want that!

A Dog house for life

Dogs can survive on one dog house for life. It’s important to think about the size we are going to be, not our small cute puppy size when you buy us a dog house.

To stop a small puppy using half as a rest-room you can use something as a divider (just a box for example) until we need the extra space. Remember, we’re not tiny puppies for very long!

Dog Houses – what are they made of?

Wood and Metal Dog Houses

Wood and metal was the most popular old dog house and they lasted a long time. In comparison to the newer plastic dog houses, they can be more difficult to keep clean and they can be heavy to move. They’re maybe not as healthy either because there are more hidden corners for things like flees or lice to breed.

New wooden dog houses are much better than the old ones and I love the warmth of wood. Make sure sharp edges on a wooden or metal dog house are removed and there is nothing sticking out that could harm us.

The heat and cold is taken in easier with metal and plastic and wood are a better natural insulation.

The very best dog houses, if you have the money, would be to have a custom made doghouse. These can be very expensive but for our Australian readers you should try Professional Choice Sheds.

Plastic dog houses

A plastic dog house made from molded, high-impact plastic. This type of dog house is common now because plastic dog houses are light and easy to move yet long-lasting. They are usually less expensive to buy. Plastic is strong, insulated and have a good air-flow. Also, it doesn’t keep dog smells.

They can be warm in the winter and cool in the heat and are also easy to keep clean. Plastic has smooth surfaces so nothing ‘sticks’ and there is usually a removable roof.

dog houses - outdoor dog houses - medium plastic -
Plastic dog house - easy clean

Insulated dog houses

Plastic with foam insulation is used in most insulated dog houses but there are also some wooden dog houses with good insulation. They are excellent for cold climates and they help to keep us snug and warm. Some even have electric heating floors for those really cold days and night.  Remember insulation Dog Houses - Outdoor Dog Houses-ASL Solutions Deluxe Insulated Dog Palace with Floor Heater -  works two ways, it helps keep us warm on cold days but cool on very hot days. (As long as the heater is not turned on!).

Dog House accessories or necessities?

There are some things sold as dog house ‘accessories’ but I think most of these are very necessary in any dog house.

Here’s my list of some things humans sometimes call accessories with my opinion:-

  • Raised floor  – essential for stopping flees and stopping minor flooding
  • Floor pads – essential for comfort, usually water-resistant canvas
  • Door flaps or weather flaps – essential in cold chilly climates flaps or doors stop the wind and blowing rain
  • A hinged or lift-off roof – essential – makes cleaning-up easy
  • Open/shut windows – accessory but nice for us dogs in summer
  • Heated flooring – accessory but could be really important in freezing climates.

Lets look at the Pawsome team’s choices in Best Dog House:-

Cheap dog house – the best cheap dog house for small to medium dogs (click on any color link for more)

Best dog houses - outdoor dog houses DH 250
Suncast DH250 Dog House

Suncast dog houses are well built, safe and strong for the price. Made of strong resin, it should be good for any dog up to 30 kg (70 lbs). It comes in various sizes so it’s good for small to medium size dogs. The Suncast DH250 Dog House has a bigger version for medium to large dogs up to 45kg (100lbs) the Suncast DH350.

Easy snap together design

Both dog houses come in a very easy ‘snap together’ design, the roof comes off for easy cleaning and it’s got vents to allow a good air-flow. It includes vinyl doors and letters. You can put our name on the dog house just in case you forget!

Altogether, it’s a good looking design that gives us good protection from the cold and rain and it’s quite affordable.

Cheap dog house – Medium to large dogs

The Suncast DH 350 is for large dogs up to 100lbs (45kg) – a very affordable larger version of the DH 250 above.

Large dog house – our best choice dog house for large dogs

I love these traditional wood-built dog houses. Doesn’t a solid wood dog house always look so much more classy than plastic?

This extra-large wooden dog house is great for one BIG dog or you can use the room divider to give two homes in one. It’s solid wood but doesn’t have the same problems as most wooden dog houses. You can easily take off the roof and take out the floor panels for easy cleaning.

Because of the solid wood, the dog house keeps in our body heat in the cold, especially with the doors that come with it. Its big enough for a very big dog or two buddies together.

Merry Products Extra Large Solid Wood Dog House -
Merry Products Extra Large wooden dog house

Merry Products Extra Large Solid Wood Dog House is available on this link

This extra large wooden dog house has:-

  •  Big twin dog house design with removable partition for one big dog
  •  Includes 2 dog doors
  • Solid wood dog house
  • Roof and floor panels come off for easy cleaning

    Dimensions: 73inches wide x 39inches deep x 42 inches high

Insulated Dog House – Best insulated dog house

Jerry and Heinz had to get some information on these from there human grandma back in the mid-west. None of the Pawsome writing team live in really cold areas so it was good to get this information. I don’t own an insulated dog house because I live in a tropical climate. I really feel for other dogs who have to live in the freezing cold!

We were sent 3 suggestions for the best insulated dog house and these came up as the best:-

Dog house for Labradors and larger dogs

This first insulated dog house is a good price and it has built-in electric floor heating. It sounds so good I might see if we can move to a cold area just to try one! The Deluxe Dog Palace is made of molded plastic, the same material as a lot of kid’s playground swings and slides and the top and sides are filled with recycled polystyrene, a very good, light insulating material.

ASL Solutions Deluxe Insulated Dog Palace with Floor Heater is a really excellent insulated dog house. It has:-

  • 2-4 inches of real foam (Styro/EPS) insulation in every panel
  • A self-closing, well fitted insulated door (not a “flap”)
  • Dog Palace is big enough for a Labrador like me and even bigger dogs up to a small St. Bernard
  • Window panes that ‘self store’ and are easily reposition from closed to open giving good air flow
  • The floor is insulated too and raised 4″ to provide a dry and warm sleeping area

Large Igloo Dog House

Insulated dog house 2

An igloo shape dog house looks good and has some good design advantages to keep us snug and comfortable.

The Indigo Dog House is well made with lots of room for small, medium and large dogs. The insulated dog house keeps pets cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The extended doorway is slightly to the side which gives extra protection from wind and rain.

This dog house has vents on the top for good air-flow and it also has a raised floor and a special coating protection to stop smells. It is  big enough for small dogs (25lbs) and big dogs up to 175 pounds. You can add some accessories – the Indigo Dog House accessories like the Petmate Indigo Door and Petmate Indigo Pad

Large Dog House –

Insulated dog house 3

I am an old traditional dog and I like wood. This dog house is a good quality build with thick wooden walls and Styrofoam insulation. The insulation is between the wood and a layer of plywood. A removable floor and an opening roof make it easy for humans to clean and it’s big and comfortable. It’s 3ft 8″ (W) x 2ft 5″ (D) x 2ft 7″ (H) (that’s 1.12m x 74cm x 79cm) – it’s roomy for a big dog inside and the insulation is great for cold winter days and hot summer days.

Extra Large Insulated Wooden Norfolk Dog Kennel With Removable Floor

Small Dog House – Cheap dog house (1)

This is a very good long-lasting dog house for small and medium dogs and it’s not very expensive. It has a simple design and is made of smooth plastic for easy cleaning.

The indoor/outdoor dog house has a nice small door and has ventilation on the sides. It looks pretty good in any of its 3 colors and it’s a good buy for small dogs or puppies. Its size is 24 inches wide x30 inches deep and 26 inches high (w60 x d75 x h66 cm).

Altogether it’s strong, comfortable, easy to put together with a screwdriver and easily cleaned and it doesn’t cost much. A five star product.

Dog House Small to Medium Pet All Weather Doghouse Puppy Shelter

Plastic Dog House - Small Dog House, Cheep dog house (2)

Petmate Barnhome III Dog House is another simple cheap and comfortable dog house for small dogs and puppies. It’s a good looker that comes in a barn-shape. A barn shape protects us dogs from the cold or the heat with its improved insulation and air vents at the back.

The Petmate has an inside floor. It comes in different sizes and colors and its very easy to clean so this is another cheap dog house with a five star rating.

Plastic dog house (3) Dog house for small to medium dogs

Tough plastic is the material used for the Giantex Plastic Dog House. This dog house is ideal for small to medium size dogs and it’s super easy to clean, 100% hygienic and leak proof. The roof comes off and it’s easy to put together and lightweight. It’s ventilated, so altogether a waterproof and well-ventilated plastic outdoor dog house with an elevated floor and detachable roof strong and very good value.

Best dog house Giantex Plastic

Giantex Plastic Dog House:-

  • Made from solid, weatherproof plastic
  • Elevated floor
  • Ventilated design to stabilize temperature
  • Detachable roof for easy cleaning
  • 2 sizes available

Wooden dog house with Balcony

Meryweather dog house with balcony - best dog house
Excellent little dog house in a sheltered area

A really good-looking dog house for small dogs is the Merry Pet MPS002 Wood Room with a View Pet House. Although it is an outdoor dog house, we think it would be better in a sheltered outdoor position because of the lovely little flat roof which gives a poorer rain run-off. This luxury little dog house has a comfortable lower lounge area and rooftop balcony for sunbathing. Maybe Little Malt might use it for entertaining her small doggy friends?

It is made of kiln-dried wood with a natural color stain which protects the wood and keeps it looking good for a long time.

It’s easy to put together and the roof comes off for easy cleaning. It’s a really cool comfortable design for your favorite little buddy.

Igloo dog house (2)

I like the shape of these igloo-shape dog houses. This one is a very high quality plastic where the shape helps to keep the dog house steady in high winds and lets snow or anything else that might land on it fall off easily.

It has roof ventilation for good air circulation and is made with something called Microban antimicrobial that stops stains and smells as well as mold and mildew and it just snap-together. No tools are needed for assembly.

Petmate Dogloo with microban

Dogloo with microban outdoor dog house
The igloo is a good shape to keep us dogs cosy

Outdoor dog house - wood (2)

Petsfit Dog House, Outdoor Dog House comes in natural cedar with a water-based roof paint on to of asphalt.  It comes in small. medium and large which is a big 45.6″ long x 30.9″ wide and 32.1″ (116 x 78 x 81.5 cm).

An off-centre door gives more shelter and more space for turning around in this one. It’s very easy to set up in just a few steps. This is a five star rated product by all who have rated it at the time of writing. It comes in 3 nice colors and it opens easily for cleaning.

Petsfit Dog House, Dog House Outdoor Dog House :-

  • Fit small dogs up to large dogs
  • Weatherproof dog house keeps us safe and dry in bad weather
  • Made from natural cedar and and easily put together
  • Roof opens and the floor comes out for easy cleaning
  • Comes with door
  • 5 STAR rated product

Outdoor dog Houses - Summary

There are so many different dog houses for sale it’s sometimes difficult to know where to start looking.

My tip is to do things in this order:-

  • Decide where the dog house is going to go
  • Think about what material you’d like the dog house to be made of … (I like wood!)
  • Choose what size of dog house you are going to need when a dog is fully grown
  • What features do you need like insulation and/or heating

I’ve looked at hundreds of dog houses for you. The ones above are the best made and the best value we could find. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to get us a good comfortable weatherproof home and if you have a little more to spend, I’ve given you some top options. .. and if all else fails, spend the money and get one custom made.

Here's some interesting further Reading

Best Dog Beds

If you found this useful, have a look at what Little Malt has to say about the best dog bed to buy for your little buddy.

Little malt has 4 beds and a big human size bed she lets her human share with her.

Big dog beds and small dog beds

She makes some good recommendations for Big dog beds, small dog beds and dog beds for dogs with problems like allergies or just old sore muscles and joints.

It’s a sure way of helping you buy the right bed for any dog because you know, if you get it wrong, we just won’t sleep in it and you’ve wasted your money!

Click here to read about best dog beds


Best Dog Collars

There is such a huge choice of dog collars you can buy for a dog. Our writer, Heinz Bitza looks at how to fit a collar, materials that collars are made from and suggestions for the best collar for your dog.

Heinz looks at collar by material (he does love traditional leather dog collars) and makes suggests for the best collars for walking, swimming and other activities.

Sensible tips from Heinz

It’s a sure certainty that the tips Heinz gives you on getting the right dog collar will be a great help before you walk into a store or go on-line and see the huge range that’s out there … a great place to start your search is here.

Click here to read about best dog collars

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