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Best Dog Houses Updated November 2018
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This insulated dog house provides insulation in hot and cold weather and offers an extended doorway that shields pets from the elements.
This structure features adequate ventilation to circulate fresh air throughout and has raised floors that help drain liquids and keep your pet dry. It’s easy to assemble and clean.
It doesn’t come with a carry handle and is one of the most expensive dog houses on the market.
Extreme Log Cabin
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This is Amazon’s #2 pick for “best dog house.” With solid wood and stainless-steel hardware, this outdoor dog house looks like a log cabin and is built for long-lasting protection.
It has raised flooring and can be assembled in 3 easy steps. It’s available in 4 different sizes.
Some customers who have left dog house reviews say the wood is a little flimsy and the dog house could have better insulation properties.
DH250 Dog House
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At an affordable price, this large dog house is a basic option for those who don’t need the frills of a more expensive dog house.
This house snaps together quickly, it has a spacious design, and it includes a vinyl door.
It doesn’t come with raised flooring. It also has poor insulation, so it’s best for those who live in mild climates.
Wood Room with a View
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Made from kiln-dried cedar, this wooden dog house is designed for smaller pets. It even has a balcony, latticework, and side steps for your pet to use.
It has a removable roof and bottom panels that make cleaning easy. It also takes only 20 minutes to assemble.
The steps are a little small and the wood is unfinished.
Portable Dog House
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This indoor dog house is affordable and one of the most comfortable ones we reviewed.
It folds flat for travel or storage and is fully padded for ultimate comfort. It’s also extremely easy to put together.
The material is very thin and not quilted like other fabric dog houses. If your dog likes to chew or scratch, opt for a different dog house, as this one may unravel.
With a variety of dog houses on the market, it can be difficult to choose one that’s just right for your four-legged friend. Our team dove into thousands of dog house reviews and spent time testing and reviewing products in our Research Lab to deliver our findings right to you. We even consulted our own office dogs at House Method HQ. We do the research on products like dog houses, so you can get unbiased information that helps you make the best purchase.
Dog House Reviews Guide
A dog house is a great way for your pet to spend more time outside and experience an added layer of security and comfort. When you buy a dog house, whether it’s one for indoors or out, you’ll want one that you (and your dog) absolutely love and trust. That’s where the House Method team comes in.
We’ve reviewed the top-rated dog houses, so we can let you know which ones we think are the best on the market. We’ve also gone over thousands of verified customer reviews and researched the most important factors to look for when buying a dog house. Keep reading to learn how to choose the best dog house for your furry friend.
Types of dog houses
Dog houses come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles, but they fall into two general categories: indoor and outdoor dog houses.
Indoor dog houses
Less common than outdoor dog houses, indoor dog houses are a top pick among owners who prefer a more attractive option than a dog crate. Indoor dog houses are also a great option for pet owners who want their dog to feel comfortable without feeling too cramped or pressed for space. These can be put in indoor/outdoor rooms like sunrooms and screened-in porches that receive fresh air but are protected from the elements. We especially love the Merry Wood Room with a View—it’s made from kiln-dried cedar and has a balcony, latticework, and side stairs.
Outdoor dog houses
Outdoor dog houses are the most common type of dog houses and are typically what most people think of when they think of a dog house. These tend to be a little more sturdy and well-built than their indoor counterparts. Most are weatherproofed and have great insulation.
Wooden dog houses are ideal for the outdoors because they’re very sturdy and can withstand harsh elements like snow, hail, and strong winds.”
8 Major factors to consider
The size of your dog house will largely depend on the size of your dog—the structure needs to be big enough so that your dog can move around and lie down comfortably. However, bigger isn’t always better. Dogs feel more secure in small spaces, so before you purchase a dog house, measure the standing height of your dog (floor to the top of its head or pointed ears), its shoulder height (floor to its shoulder joint), and the length of your dog (nose to the end of its tail).
On a similar note, consider the size of the dog house doorway. It should be big enough for your dog to move through, but not so big that it results in excessive heat loss. The door height opening should be no less than three-quarters of the dog’s shoulder-to-ground height. The width of a dog house doorway should be just slightly larger than the girth of your pet.
Most dog houses are either made of plastic or wood. If you want a durable, low-maintenance dog house, go for plastic. This material is long-lasting, easy to clean, and lightweight. The one downside to plastic dog houses is that they don’t have adequate insulation to prevent overheating in the summer and freezing in the winter. Some models are also less attractive than wooden dog houses.
If you want a classic-looking dog house, opt for one made of wood. Wooden dog houses are typically well-insulated and are resistant to decay. Houses made of cedar or lumber are especially durable and can last for many years. If you want your outdoor wooden dog house to last more than a couple of years, treat it with a dog-friendly varnish or seal at least once a year. If you choose a wooden dog house, make sure it hasn’t been treated with any toxic paint that could harm your dog.
Since dog houses come in a variety of styles, you can choose one based on personal style preferences. The Precision Pet Extreme Log Cabin looks just like a log cabin while the Petmate Igloo has more of a contemporary design.
Proper insulation helps keep the interior of the dog house warm when it’s cold outside, and cool when it’s hot outside. A fully insulated dog house, like the Petmate Igloo, will keep your dog comfortable all year round.
If a dog house lacks adequate ventilation, the air will become hot and stifling during the summer, creating an uncomfortable and possibly dangerous environment for your pet. During the winter, poor ventilation may result in excessive moisture buildup from the dog’s breathing. This moisture can condense on the interior surface and invite bugs and mildew to take up residence.
Ventilation is necessary to keep your dog cool in hot climates and to avoid excess moisture inside the house from your pup breathing in cold weather climates. To ensure a dog house has proper ventilation, look for slotted openings or a small window near the top of the dog house. You can also install vinyl flaps over the doorway—these will afford protection and airflow.
Most dog houses come with raised floors, providing a few inches of space between the bottom of the dog house and the ground. This can provide insulation to the dog house and keep it warmer than if the floor rested directly on the earth. If the dog house is made of wood, this can also prevent it from absorbing moisture in the ground.
The average cost of a dog house will depend on its make, model, and size. Smaller dog houses can cost around $30 while large, high-quality dog houses can cost more than $200. However, there are still high-quality dog houses available that don’t cost an exorbitant amount. We recommend our Best Value pick: the Suncast dog house. It snaps together quickly, features a vinyl door, and includes a spacious design, all for under $100.
If the dog house you want doesn’t have a raised floor, you can always raise it yourself by resting the dog house on a set of bricks.”
How long will a dog house last?
A dog house should last anywhere between five to 10 years (some may last even longer), but this will vary based on the type of material it’s made of and how well you maintain it. Plastic dog houses are waterproof and can withstand exposure to the elements. Hard plastic, like vinyl, is also tear-proof, bite-proof, and scratch-proof, which is beneficial for pets with destructive habits. In general, plastic dog houses will require less maintenance than wooden dog houses.
It’s recommended that you treat a wooden dog house with a waterproof stain or varnish at least once a year. Wooden dog houses, especially ones made from cedar or redwood, are known to last longer than plastic and will protect against the elements. Not only can they withstand extreme weather, but they can also protect against pests, water activity, decay, and normal wear and tear.
Frequently asked questions
How do you keep a dog house cool in the summer?
You can cool down your dog house by moving it to a shady area or sprinkling water over the roof and beneath the house—this will cool off the hot areas around your dog house. You can also install an extra layer of insulation in the dog house for an added layer of protection.
What is the best dog house for the outdoors?
The best dog house for the outdoors is the Petmate Indigo with Microban. This modern-looking dog house provides insulation in hot and cold weather and features Microban Antimicrobial Product Protection that helps prevent the growth of stain- and odor-causing bacteria. It also has raised floors that help drain liquid and keep your pet dry.
How long can you leave a dog alone?
We don’t recommend leaving your adult dog alone for more than eight to 10 hours at a time. Smaller and younger dogs should only be left alone for two to four hours since they have smaller bladders.