Best Outdoor Dog Houses Reviewed & Rated for Quality
Much like other dog accessories, you may not always think beyond the pet store when deciding what home to purchase for your pet. However, it’s very important to put yourself in your pets’ paws and find out what it is that they are going through when you’re not around. When you leave for work, and they are left to their own device in their kennel, are they staying warm enough? Do they have enough room to move around in their outdoor home? Oftentimes, you won’t know unless you research what kind of home you have for them, and decide whether or not it is a good fit for where you live.
- Petmate Indigo
- Extended Doorway
- Microban Coating
- Pet Squeek Arf Frame
- Raised Floor
- Sheet-Lined Inner Roof
- Petmate Barnhome III
- Extended Roof Rim
- Easy to Clean
The first factor to consider is what climate you live in. If you live in a fairly pleasant climate year-round, it may not be as important to have a waterproof build, and you may be most concerned with your pets comfort level. If you live in an area that receives extreme heat, having a material that will not warp or fade in the hot sun is something to keep your eye out for. For those who live in a climate that receives a lot of rain or extreme cold, having attributes such as a raised floor, optional door cover, insulated walls, and wind/water-resistant roof, walls, and material are important.
In addition, your dog’s temperament plays an important role in deciding what may be best for you. If your dog is particularly rambunctious and likes chewing, a thicker material will serve them well. If your pet has a hard time being in confined spaces, you should keep on the lookout for houses that provide an open feeling on the inside, or maybe has a window/large opening for your pet to keep an eye outside.
As always, keep in mind your dog’s overall comfort, as every dog is different. You should always try to provide a comfortable bed for your pet, which will have to be purchased separately. Most often, you will have to train your pet to use their house, as some dogs get scared at the concept of crawling into new, confined spaces. If you plan to purchase and use a door flap, this will likely require additional training as well, however, is a very important feature to keep your pet dry and protected. Below, you will find dog houses of many styles, sizes, and shapes, rated for durability, ease of assembly and cleaning, and quality of materials.
10 Best Outdoor Dog Houses
1. Petmate Indigo
While a smaller opening can be an issue for certain larger breeds, this smart design keeps heat trapped in the main sleeping quarters, and better protects from wind, rain and sun.
Microban is an antimicrobial agent that protects this dog house from bacteria, mold and mildew, keeping it smelling better for longer even with a stinky, wet dog.
Cost and Value
While the Petmate Indigo is one of the more expensive outdoor dog houses outlined, its design built to last in tough weather is well worth the price for those who live in harsh environments.
- Can be taken apart for easy cleaning
- Great shape to protect from bad weather
- No assembly needed
- Light enough for one person to move
- Vent on top provides airflow
- Dogs can chew up plastic construction
- The smaller opening can be too small for some very large breeds
2. Pet Squeek Arf Frame
Made of White Cedar, this high-quality wood naturally eliminates odors. While it does arrive with a strong smell that put some people off, this strong smell does fade fairly fast.
The raised floor helps put an extra layer of air between the house and the ground, adding a little extra warmth and also keeping the ground from getting gross underneath the house.
Cost and Value
The Arf Frame is one of the more expensive houses outlined, shown through choosing wood over plastic, and creating a look that will look good in anyone's yard.
- High-quality wood
- Raised floor
- Inner roof has added weather lining
- Thin floor
- Strong odor upon receiving
4. Petmate Barnhome III
While a spacious design isn't the best quality in very cold temperatures, it's great for dogs who get claustrophobic in smaller houses. It also allows your pet to turn around and get comfortable without a problem.
While the opening is quite large, the overhang helps keep sun and rain out of the house without severely impacting the size of the entrance, keeping your dog drier.
Cost and Value
Cheaper than the Petmate Indigo, the Barnhome provides a roomier experience for your pet while holding a sturdy plastic design and a slanted roof to keep water off.
- Lots of space for air circulation
- Top comes off easy
- Solid plastic construction
- Very spacious inside
- Dark color doesn't show dirt easy
- Not 100% waterproof
- Opening too large for very cold weather
3. Suncast DH350
Suncast sends letters to the house so you can add your pets name above the door and personalize their own living space. This is a unique, added quality that many dog houses do not provide.
Plastic Door Flaps
Another added feature are the provided plastic door flaps. While the entrance is quite large, in cold, windy or rainy weather, it is a simple installation to attach and protect your pooch from the elements.
Cost and Value
As one of the cheaper outdoor dog houses, this simple design is well worth the money for a weather-resistant, sturdy build that will hold up to your dog, no matter the temperament.
- Removable roof for easy cleaning
- Comes with letters to personalize house
- Large opening great for large breeds
- Weather-resistant plastic
- Comes with plastic flap to cover door
- Not great for destructive dogs
- Slightly frustrating assembly
5. Petsfit Dog House
Yes, the same ones that go on our own roofs. This feature ensures a truly waterproof roof above your dogs head, keeping them safe and dry in harsh weather.
This is an important quality for some owners, allowing your pet to sleep away from the door if they desire, when it's cold or rainy outside. The spacious indoors gives your pet plenty of space to do this.
Cost and Value
The Petsfit dog house is indeed one of the more expensive houses outlined, shown through a construction much similar to what we would give our own houses. The shingled roof, thick walls and raised floor make a great home for your pet.
- Offset door entrance
- Raised floor
- Classy design
- Easy assembly
- Shingles used on roof
- Small gaps in floorboards
- Vinyl curtain over door gets very stiff in cold weather
6. Merry Products
Dogs are creatures of many moods, sometimes wanting to crawl into their own little space and sleep, and sometimes wanting to perch up and watch their owners go about their business. This Merry Products dog house gives your pet the option to do both.
The benefit of wood structures such as dog houses, is that it is easier to modify to fit your personal liking, and easy to refinish after a few years of hard use.
Cost and Value
Compared to other wood-constructed dog houses outlined, the Merry Products palace comes in at a lower price point, given there is only one small size available. However, for those with small dogs, the quality of construction is well worth the money.
- Good for both indoor and outdoor use
- Raised lower floor
- Gives dog option to be covered or lounge above
- Light enough for one person to carry
- Removable rooftop for easy cleaning
- Many pets ignore the shallowly built stairs
- Flat top doesn't drain water as effectively
7. Pet Zone Tuff-N-Rugged
The thick construction of this heavy plastic, coupled with two wall layers, give an extra layer of airspace to hold in heat in the winter and hold in cold in the summer.
A common complaint of those that live in hot climates is that some plastic dog houses can fade or warp at high temperatures. The fade-resistant plastic used in this house generally does not have this issue.
Cost and Value
While the Pet Zone does hold a higher price tag than other plastic houses outlined, it is the only one which boasts double-walled construction, making it a great buy for those who live in extreme climates.
- Can purchase additional vinyl door flap
- Very heavy-duty plastic
- Made in the USA
- Assembles in seconds
- Inside holds warmth
- Not elevated off ground
- Roof lifts off easily
8. Tangkula Dog House
Not only do the legs serve the obvious purpose of keeping the house off the ground, but the ability to adjust them allows you to make up for uneven terrain to keep the house level.
Similar to the Petsfit outlined above, the Tangkula offers roof shingles as an added agent to fight off unwanted moisture. It also adds a nice visual effect to the design.
Cost and Value
The Tangkula holds a similar design and structure to the Arf Frame listed above, however overall it holds a lower price point without compromising quality.
- Adjustable feet
- Shingled roof
- Heavy construction
- Easy to assemble
- Sleek design
- Floor has gaps between planks
- Walls are thin
9. ASL Solutions Dog Palace
The additional foam insulation in the walls keeps this house toasty warm in the worst of winter weather, while simultaneously keeping the cold in during the hottest of summers.
The unique design of the door allows easy two-way entry and offers a thicker barrier between your dog and the elements. The design keeps most air out while still allowing ventilation.
Cost and Value
The ASL Solutions dog palace is the most expensive dog house outlined, shown by the insulated walls, heated floor, unique thick swinging door and thick plastic construction.
- Truly weatherproof
- Insulated walls great for any temperature
- Can purchase separate heater
- Raised and sloped floor
- Lifetime warranty
- Can make some dogs claustrophobic
10. Confidence Pet House
For those looking for something without any extra frills to keep their dog sheltered from the elements, the Confidence Pet offers easy setup with a large opening/inside to get the job done without any fancy additions.
The slanted opening in the door, in combination with the durable plastic and slanted roof will keep your pet dry through the storms. Buy an additional vinyl door flap for added protection against wind and rain.
Cost and Value
Compared to similar products, the Confidence Pet is slightly more expensive, however, it still competes with a durable design and ease of setup and maintenance.
- Easy to assemble
- Open interior
- Easy for one person to move
- Slanted roof shucks off water nicely
- Not big enough for large breeds
- Thinner plastic doesn't hold warmth well in very cold temps
Hopefully after reviewing this top ten list, you have found your pets dream home based on their specific needs. Whatever amount of time your pet spends in their house, whether it be for short periods while your’re out working in the yard, while you’re away at work, or most of the time while in their outdoor kennel, giving your dog their own house can be a safer and more secure solution while your pet is outdoors. Protection from the elements, particularly extreme heat and extreme cold, is something to take seriously, and your dog will thank you immensely for giving them their own little safe haven.
Criteria Used to Evaluate Outdoor Dog Houses
As our best friends, we have a particular soft spot for dogs and all animals. We heavily believe all animals deserve a good home and of course, their own little space to feel comfortable and at home. With that said, we were eager to share this article with you and knew exactly what to look for when we started developing the criteria used to evaluate the best outdoor dog houses. As we have done before, we have taken an extensive look at many different products and we feel more comfortable that these products match what we, and many dog lovers, consider the most important aspects of having an outdoor dog house for their pet.
Now, many of our viewers want results and don’t tend to have the time to explore exactly what the best products out there offer. Therefore, we did the research for them so they don’t have to. The following is our criteria for evaluating and selecting the best outdoor dog houses, the ones you see on this list.
Quality of the Dog House
The quality of an outdoor dog house is vital! A low-quality dog house can easily break, deteriorate, and not last the test of time. With that, a user ends up spending even more money, which can be a waste. Most importantly and we hope it never occurs, the quality of the doghouse, if poor, can even harm the dog while the dog is inside. Quality was detrimental and we determined it to be the most important. But, what exactly determines quality? Well, this and many questions in the area of quality are crucial to picking out the right dog house.
For example, quality is subjective. However, what made the process easier when picking out the best quality dog houses was the individual reviews from many consumers. It is synonymous that many of the outdoor dog houses we shared today are in fact made of quality materials that can withstand the test of time. With that, certain materials are better for certain weather environments than other, an area we will be covering later as one important criterion to pick out the best outdoor dog house.
Nothing is better than easy assembly, are we right? We think so! One of the most important aspects was we wanted to ensure that our readers would need minimal time having to assemble any of these dog houses. So, easy assembly was crucial and we noticed that many different brands and companies, will in fact already have the dog house assembled, or make it extremely easy to do so. With many different brands out there, it seems they are all competing to see who can make the process easier and we are not complaining.
Durability Against the Elements
Now, this next criterion may be one of the most important. The reason being is that durability against the elements is crucial for an outdoor dog house. Since it is considered an outdoor dog house, individuals need to rest assure that the dog house itself can withstand hot temperatures, low temperatures, rain, snow, hail, and other various elements. With that, we carefully picked out dog houses that were designed for many weather elements.
Some dog houses are made of wood, which can withstand years in the sun or rain. However, they may rot if sitting in the rain for too long. Some dog houses are made from an extremely strong plastic, but if not careful, they may crack. Therefore, it is vital to see which outdoor dog house is best suited for your environment.
Design and Aesthetics
The last thing a reader wants is an eye-sore of an outdoor dog house in their beautiful backyard. Therefore, one of the criteria’s we took into consideration was the design and aesthetic appeal of the dog house. For example, the design and aesthetics will really create a feeling of home for both the dog and the owner. With that said, the design and aesthetics may complement the surrounding around the home.
When taking design into consideration, there were many different small aspects to take into consideration. For example, did the dog house have colors that would fade over time? Was the wood treated with polish? Was it a two-piece dog house or one piece? With questions like these, we had to take many different dog houses into consideration, and the ones above fit many of the important design elements that we believed, as dog lovers are very important.
Size and Comfort
Now we cannot emphasize how important this next criterion was when picking out the best dog houses. The size of a dog house is crucial for a dog. The reason being is that the wrong size outdoor dog house can lead the dog to a lot of discomforts, and they can suffer from many pains and aches. Therefore, we had to take a close look to ensure that many of the brands above offered different dog house sizes.
One of the most important elements when taking the size of the house into consideration was whether or not a bed could fit inside of it. This is important because this adds an extra level of comfort that the dog would not have otherwise. Of course, individuals are able to match the size of the dog bed to the indoor size of the dog house. However, the real question is, is the space big enough for the dog to be comfortable? What we can say about our list is that all of the dog houses allow for the maximum comfort and ease of the dog.
Another important part of picking out the different criteria for the best outdoor dog house was whether or not the house was easy to clean. We think we can all admit that dogs are not the easiest of creatures to keep up with. They are messy, they love mud, to roll around, get dirty, chase things, and bring them back. With that said, you never know just what you will find inside of your dog’s outdoor dog house. Therefore cleaning ease was important.
With that in mind, many of the dog houses on the list are made from a strong and durable plastic material that allows individuals to easily spray them down with a hose. As far as cleaning the inside, some have a detachable top or the dog entry door is big enough to get in there and clean it out.
Ventilation is important for any dog house. Without good ventilation, the outdoor dog house will become dangerous during the hot weather, as well as hot and stuffy. Lack of ventilation during winter may lead to moisture buildup that creates an environment for mold and mildew. The entryway of the dog house provides some ventilation; however, additional vent holes are necessary for times when it is closed. As hot air rises, you want vent holes that are near the roof. Also, the vent holes should not be too large as to prevent excessive heat loss during the winter months.
The roof of the outdoor dog house should be slanted to let snow, rain, and debris to naturally run off. It should also be insulated. Keep in mind, gables, and dormers can result in leaks.
Cost and Value
It is not common for us to not take cost and value into consideration. In fact, we thrive on finding the best products for individuals that want a variety of features and prices. The reality is, that a product with little to no value is not worth spending your hard earned dollars. We can say that cost to value is extremely important and when we evaluate that, we take certain aspects into consideration. To evaluate cost and value we tend to evaluate the price of the product compared to the competition that is offering the same benefits or style. With that said, all of the outdoor dog houses we have included have gone through a rigorous inspection to ensure that our readers are getting the best for their buck and the best for their dog named Buck.
Lastly, as we talked about on the first criteria on the list, we mentioned that materials happen to be one of the most important aspects of an outdoor dog house. Without the right material, an outdoor dog house can be shy of a true outdoor dog house. In fact, these are made from different quality materials that at times are coated for endurance, can be corrosion-proof, and are designed for maximum strength and performance. When picking out the best products, the material design was crucial. For example, as a dog owner, you never want to leave your dog in a flimsy house with thin plastic, because in the cold weather months, the house will not be able to retain any warmth.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is It weatherproof?
A: Many different dog houses are weatherproof depending on the material. For example, some wood outdoor dog houses are coated with a rot-resistant material that ensures they can withstand the test of time. For a better idea, it is always best to look at the design elements of the house. If it is weatherproof, it should be designed in a way that can withstand the harsh cold temperatures, snow, and lots of rain. With that said, individuals should read the reviews to see what other people are saying.
Q: Is the roof sealed?
A: This all is dependant on the manufacture and where the doghouse is best suited for. Therefore, keep an eye out for the different material qualities of the doghouse and inspect all of the information about the roof. From our experience, if the roof is sealed they will say something along the lines of the roof including a weather lining of sorts. With that said, the design of the roof, if it is one piece, it may be considered sealed.
Q: How can I make my dog more comfortable?
A: This question is really determined by the dog and the owner. Many users asked this question; however, the answer appears in a better light once the owner sees the dog inside the outdoor dog house. With that, they are able to tell much easier and better if the dog has space for a comfortable bed or at least a blanket. With that said, different dog houses are designed to suit various dog sizes, always pick larger than needed.
Q: Can it be used for cats?
A: This is another question that many users ask frequently and with experience reviewing and testing the products, we can say only a certain amount of them was best suited for cats. For example, the Merry product ladder two-floor dog house is a really great outdoor cat house as well. It all depends on the nature of the cat. With that said, if the cat happens to be an outdoor cat then almost any of these outdoor dog houses will do.
Q: What is better: raised or not raised?
A: This is a really tricky question that many consumers ask and in truth, it all depends on the environment that an individual will be placing the dog house. For example, an outdoor dog house on a top porch is okay if it is not raised, because chances of it being drenched in water and mud are very slim. However, if the outdoor dog house happens to be on grass, or on the side of the house where water and snow collects, then it is better to have it raised to ensure the longevity of the dog house. With this in mind, we can say that many dog houses have a raised step or some type of raised material, which is designed for better safety.
Q: Can portable outdoor dog houses be used on a regular basis?
A: The majority of portable outdoor dog houses can withstand heavy use. They are not, however, designed to provide much comfort for your dog, so they are not recommended for regular use.
Q: How often should I clean my outdoor dog house?
A: It is recommended to clean the dog house at least one time per month. When the weather is hot and humid you may want to clean it more often.
Q: What should I do if my dog does not like their new outdoor dog house?
A: If you are purchasing the dog house at a brick and mortar store, have your dog accompany you. If purchasing online, be sure you have the option to return the dog house in the event your dog does not like it.
Q: Are outdoor dog houses safe?
A: Dog houses are constructed in compliance with the safety requirements for your dog.