Most dogs love the fresh air and openness of outdoor living. They can run and play without the worry of constant restrictions and messes that come with living indoors.
With that being said, your outside dog still needs some comforts of home to remain safe and protected.
One of the most important investments you can make for your dog is a top-notch dog house. There are a variety of different types of houses on the market.
They're available in a range of materials and some even come with luxuries that will make any pampered pup jealous.
When you're choosing the right house for your canine companion, there's a lot to consider. It's important that you choose a home that can stand the test of time while keeping them safe from any hazards they may face. To help you on your search, here's a selection of some of the best outdoor dog houses money can buy.
5 of the Best Best Outdoor Dog Houses
1. Petsfit Dog House, Dog House Outdoor
This sleek dog house from Petsfit has a simple look that can complement any backyard. However, it packs a number of useful features that both you and your dog will appreciate.
The dog house is available in three sizes and has a rectangular design. The cutout entrance is off center, allowing your pup to lay down away from the door. It's also spacious enough for your dog to move around and get comfortable.
The house is made from natural cedar that is treated with water-based paint for looks and safety. The entire unit is designed to be waterproof. The unique feature of this dog house is the hinged top. The asphalt roof opens for easy cleaning.
2. Suncast DH250 Dog House
This dog house is made from durable resin plastic. It holds up well to sun exposure and cold weather. The house is built in separate pieces, each molded with unique textures.
The pieces snap together for easy assembly. When fully assembled, the plastic dog house looks like a finished wooden structure, complete with molded siding, a faux window, and a shingled roof.
The large opening measures roughly 20 inches high and comes with an optional vinyl door flap for more protection against the elements.
The unit comes in one size and can easily accommodate dogs weighing up to 70 pounds. It's available in a tan and dark brown color scheme.
3. Confidence Pet Waterproof Plastic Dog Kennel Outdoor Winter House
From Confidence is this durable plastic dog house. It's available in three different sizes. The largest measures approximately 41 inches long by 38 inches wide.
When fully assembled, it measures roughly 38 inches high. The large size allows for plenty of wiggle room inside. The various molded plastic sections are textured to look like wood. The pieces are easy to put together and work to create a weather-proof design.
The bottom section is molded as a single piece. It's textured to prevent slipping and has a slight ramp to help older pets get in with ease. As a whole, the unit is fairly light, weighing just over 30 pounds for the extra large model.
4. Precision Pet Extreme Log Cabin
If you're looking to achieve a cozy cabin feel for your dog, this option from Precision Pet may be your best bet. It's made from solid wood that's stained and painted.
The wood has a weather-resistant coating for longevity. To keep your dog dry in the rain, the floor is raised off the ground with plastic feet. A slanted asphalt roof lets rain slide off to prevent leaks.
The unit has a simple rectangular shed design. The opening is positioned on the left side, allowing your pet to get cozy away from the door on the right side. It's available in four different sizes.
5. Arf Frame Dog House with Dark Frame
This dog house is designed for dogs that prefer to sleep in a more confined space. It's available in four different sizes and has a considerably high roof.
The roof features a steep slope and an overhang to keep your pooch dry. It's comprised of an inner sheet layer and an external layer of wood paneling. The entire unit is made from fir wood that's treated with non-toxic paint and weather-resistant coating.
The trim is painted in black to offset the natural wood coloring. The house is built in multiple panels so that you can assemble the house in under an hour.
Things to Consider
Before you settle on the first dog house you see, there are a few things you need to consider. To be effective, the dog house should be catered to you and your dog's needs.
Small design features can make a huge difference in your pup's overall comfort and safety, so keep these considerations in mind while you're on your search.
Make sure to measure your dog to ensure that they'll have plenty of room to move inside the house. They need to be able to lay down completely with no problem.
There should also be a few inches of room on either side so that they can turn around comfortably. When it comes to height, make sure that there are a few extra inches of wiggle room so that they don't bump they're head.
Dog houses come in a variety of sizes to accommodate nearly every breed imaginable. If you have more that one dog, some manufacturers even make double houses with enough room for two beds and two entry doors.
You should always choose a dog house that's designed to keep your dog protected from the temperatures you regularly face. If you're living in a place that experiences low temperatures and yearly snowfall, you'll need to get an option that keeps your dog warm.
Even if you have a dog with a thick fur coat, they're going to get cold. In that case, invest in a dog house with thick walls and heavy insulation so that they can stay cozy as they sleep.
You should also consider where you'll be placing it and what types of weather hazards it'll be exposed to. If you plan on placing it under a tree or near your house, you can get away with a simpler design.
However, if it's out in the open, it'll be exposed to heavy rain, snow, and wind gusts. In that case, you'll want to invest in an igloo design or an option that's built to withstand heavy roof loads and wind.
Your furry friend's house will be a backyard staple for many years, so it's important to think about how it'll hold up over time. Wooden houses require the same amount of upkeep as your home. If neglected, the structure will succumb to rot, mold, and structural damage.
This is all well and good if you have the time and resources to maintain the house for your dog. If not, you may want to go with a plastic, metal, or fiberglass option that doesn't require much attention.
Types of Dog Houses
Wooden dog houses are one of the most prevalent amongst dog owners. Wood is a sturdy and versatile material that can be used to create virtually any style you can imagine. They can be made to match the design of your home and can be stained or painted to enhance your backyard decor.
Because wood is so easy to work with and relatively inexpensive, it's fairly easy to get unique design features that make your dog's life even better. These can include rooftop decks, windows, decorative elements, and much more.
One great advantage of wooden dog houses is that they're easy to adapt to your local weather conditions. They offer a fair amount of shade and insulation to keep your pup comfortable throughout the year.
The main disadvantage of wood is its maintenance requirements. Like old wooden homes, these dog houses need to be repainted and sealed regularly to keep it protected from the elements.
Plastic houses are a cost-effective alternative to traditional wooden houses. They're made from thick synthetic materials that are lightweight and sturdy.
Many manufacturers use large molds to create the houses in a single piece or large sections. This adds to the overall durability of the home and makes assembly a breeze. The molding process also creates unique patterns or textures to mimic real wood.
The plastic material is very resilient against rain, heat, and snow. There's very little maintenance required to keep the house looking great for years to come. These houses are also available in a plethora of shapes and sizes.
If you live in colder environments, it's important that you go with a dog house that's specifically designed to battle the cold and snow.
While winter homes can be made from wood, most are made from plastic. This helps to prevent leaks and rotting.
The main difference between a standard dog house and a winter option is its shape and the inclusion of insulation.
Insulation can be built directly into the walls of the house. In many cases, the insulation material is sealed in plastic so that you don't have to worry about your dog chewing on it.
The insulation works to keep the cold air out while preventing heat generated by your dog's body from escaping. Winter houses also have sealed doors to prevent drafts. Many can be used with heating lamps or pads.
When it comes to shape, many winter houses incorporate a domed design. Lovingly referred to as an igloo design, these houses offer a number of benefits. The round shape is devoid of corners, thus allowing your dog to use up every inch of space.
It allows for great air circulation and can actually help to keep your pooch warm without the use of insulation.
In terms of structural integrity, the igloo shape is much more aerodynamic. Wind can glide right over the top without rattling the home. The curve also helps to prevent roof buckling as snow can't accumulate on top.
Metal dog houses aren't as popular as their wooden and plastic counterparts, but they're a great option if you're looking for ultimate durability. They're made of sheet metal and sturdy metal framing.
They're capable of withstanding a lot of wear and tear and can keep your dog safe through tough storms. They don't require any maintenance. The color is permanent, so you don't even have to worry about cosmetic upkeep.
Most models are also heavily insulated to minimize heat transfer through the metal. Because of this, they can be used in both cold and hot environments.
Fiberglass dog houses are a rare commodity, but well worth the investment if you're looking for a stylish option that provides the most protection available. The fiberglass material is very resilient.
There's no need to worry about leaks, rotting, or even abrasive damage. It can also keep your dog comfortable in any temperature.
When it comes to design, many fiberglass houses have a modern look that can add a unique touch to your backyard. Many incorporate decorative elements like sealed glass windows and accent trim.
Tents are a temporary option that's ideal for dogs on the go. They can be used when you're traveling or whenever your dog needs a safe spot in an unfamiliar place. Tents are typically made out of the same material as human camping tents.
They have durable fabric that provides shade and flexible poles that provide support. Inflatable varieties are also available. Made from thin plastic, the tents hold their shape through inflatable support tubes.
While they're convenient when you're away from home, both options can be problematic if your dog likes to chew or dig.
Over to You
With all the options available, it won't be difficult finding a house your dog will love. Dog houses are a worthy investment that will help your dog stay safe, comfortable, and healthy. It'll be their haven and safe spot throughout their life, so why not take the time to choose the perfect option?