Top 6 Outdoor Dog Kennels: The Best Choices for 2019

Update - 2017.07.07

An outdoor kennel is a must for every dog owner who does not have a fenced in backyard. After all, outdoor dog kennels provide a way for pooches to run around freely without having the threat of them escaping the yard. Not only does this provide pets with much-needed exercise, but it keeps them in a safe and very comforting environment. So, how can you decide which is the best one for your dog?

By nature, dogs are very hyper animals that are meant to have a purpose. When they don’t feel as if they have a purpose, they tend to become very destructive and non-compliant. This usually results in unwanted behavior and very frustrated owners. Unfortunately for the dogs, most humans tend to live hectic lives. This results in the dogs not getting enough exercise.

Outdoor dog kennels provide a way for owners to give their dogs exercise when they don’t always have time to exercise their dogs. In our search for our own outdoor pen, we read a lot about the different pros and cons of the different options out there on the market. We compiled this information to present you with reviews of the top six kennels and some additional information to make your purchasing decision easier.

In-Depth Kennel Reviews

Looking for an opportunity to get away without being worried about your dogs’ safety? Does your fence seem smaller as your dog gets bigger? Do you want to enjoy your morning coffee without worrying that your dog might escape and turn your neighbor’s garden into a mess?

If you answered any of these questions in the affirmative, then you may need an outdoor kennel. We spent a lot of time in search of the best options and came up with the six we think provide the greatest benefits.

Best large option – The Lucky Dog Uptown Welded Wire With Cover

Lucky Dog 60548 8' x 4' x 6' Welded Wire Outdoor Dog Kennel with Heavy...
  • Heavy duty welded steel kennel: The Lucky Dog complete box kennel is perfect for...
  • Waterproof cover included: The heavy-duty waterproof cover and steel roof frame fit the...
  • Easy to clean: 1.5" raised legs make the enclosure easy to sweep or hose out to prevent...

The Lucky Dog Uptown Welded Wire Dog Kennel blew away the competition. It stands tall, has solid welded steel construction, and is incredibly durable. This outdoor enclosure is built to last.

The biggest fear that any owner has for a pet in a kennel is that it will be able to break through and escape. We found this to be practically impossible with this outdoor dog enclosure. In fact, we can confidently state that out of all the large outdoor pet enclosures that we reviewed this one is by far the strongest. We are confident that this can hold any pooch of any size and any temperament.

As a bonus, this one comes with a waterproof cover. Your pet will be able to stay dry and comfortable even in the wettest of weather. Also, check out the Lucky Dog Windscreen Shade Cloth to further protect your dog.

Best outdoor option – Aleko Heavy Duty Dog Kennel

ALEKO DK5X5X4SQ Pet System DIY Box Kennel Dog Kennel Playpen Chicken...
  • ALEKO’s kennel is designed to keep your pet safe and secure without feeling confined
  • Sturdy heavy duty construction is strong and reliable enough to use as a dog kennel,...
  • It’s easy to connect multiple kennels together to give your pet an even larger space to...

The Aleko Heavy Duty kennel is ideal for small and medium dog breeds. However, it is also suitable for larger breeds that are more docile. This pen has high-quality materials that provide sturdiness and security. The enclosure is durable and simple to assemble.

This is a great option for the price. Plus, we found it to be the most aesthetically pleasing one out of all the kennels we reviewed.

Best outdoor dog run – PetSafe Box Kennel for Pets

PetSafe Box Kennel for Pets, 10x10x6
  • Easy 1 hour assembly
  • Secure speed-lock
  • Galvanized steel, rust resistant construction

The PetSafe Box Kennel for Pets provides a giant enclosure that will keep your pets safe and happy in your backyard. Galvanized steel chain-link metal is the primary material, and the overall size is truly amazing. If you have multiple dogs, they can run freely and play happily within this enclosure.

You also have the option of purchasing a sunshade cover so your dogs can enjoy the run even on the sunniest and most sweltering days. The stock kennel is also suitable for indoor use, should you have enough room.

Best heavy-duty option – Lucky Dog Galvanized Chain Link Kennel

Lucky Dog CL-40528 5' x 5' x 4' Heavy Duty Outdoor Galvanized Chain...
  • EASY TO SETUP - This chain link box kennel has a heavy duty steel frame that can be...
  • GALVANIZED CHAIN LINK STEEL FRAME KENNEL - The Lucky Dog chain link box kennel is perfect...
  • STEEL WIRE TIES INCLUDED - The Lucky Dog Enclosure Pet System includes steel wire ties for...

The Lucky Dog Galvanized Chain Link Kennel is a fantastic product for those of you with smaller dog breeds. This outside option uses pure galvanized steel, which has the strength to handle any dog that tries to chew through it.

This is also one of the heaviest dog kennels out there. This means that no matter how hard the wind blows, this is going nowhere. It also means that your dogs can run into the sides as much as they want and it won’t tip over.

This pen is also quick to assemble and will last nearly forever. Given the low price point on this outdoor dog kennel, it’s a tremendous value.

Best chain link option – PetSafe Cottageview

PetSafe Cottageview Boxed Kennel, 5-Foot-by-5-Foot-by- 4-Foot
  • Dimensions: 5' L x 5' W x 4' H
  • Durable rust-resistant, black powder coated finish.
  • Pinch-proof gate configures to left or right opening.

The PetSafe Cottageview kennel is perfect for outdoors if you live in an area that has all four seasons. Not only suitable for all weather conditions, but it’s also aesthetically pleasing. It provides ample space for your pets to run around and play.

In addition, it comes with a free sunshade, so your dogs have protection from the sun. You can also buy extra chain-link panels should your pet grow or you get another dog. The best part of this outside dog kennel is that with all the perks it comes with it’s an excellent value.

Best modular option –  Lucky Dog Modular Box Kennel

Lucky Dog Modular Box Kennel w/Roof and Cover (6'H x 10'L x 10'W) 207...
  • 100% Commercial grade Steel
  • 1" extended legs for easy cleaning
  • Hardware included to secure the panels

Ideal for both puppies and adult dogs, the Lucky Dog Modular Box Kennel is perfect if you need an easy to assemble option or if you have multiple pets. The cage’s assembly does not require additional tools. The panels come pre-assembled and can be quickly and easily connected.

The product has one door with two locking mechanisms, and the metal plate easily extends for maintenance. It is specially designed for the division of multiple dogs. You can create individual houses so that each dog has its own container with water and food, avoiding disputes.

The waterproof rooftop prevents any leakage and penetration from sun, rain or snow. It also has UV protection.

Without any sharp edge, easy to clean and maintain, the Lucky Dog Modular Box Kennel is a safe and comfortable product that provides you with many options.

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Complete Buying Guide for Outdoor Dog Kennels

An outdoor kennel is a place to keep your dogs securely. It is specifically designed to use outside. They are available in a variety of colors and designs. Typically, they are wood or metal and canvas.

You can customize a kennel, as well, to make it more comfortable for your dog. For example, most pens have no floor, but you can add flooring. It gives your dog or dogs, regardless of their breed, a living space of their own or a cozy spot of their own in the backyard area.

Since your dog is probably a dear part of your family, you want to make sure that it is totally comfortable and that you are providing the best care that you can. If your dog lives outside or is outside a lot, then a kennel is an excellent addition to your backyard.

Choosing the right pen for your pup, though, is not always easy. There are many choices, so narrowing it down to the perfect one is a tough task. We want to offer you some assistance with that by providing you a wealth of information to use as you shop and make your buying decision.

Reasons to buy a kennel

When you decide to get a dog as a pet, you become responsible for it. You have to take care of it and pamper it in the best ways possible. One of the reasons for a dog pen is it assists with that. It allows your dog to have safe outdoor time.

Dogs need time outside not only to use the bathroom but also to enjoy being in nature. Many enjoy laying in the sun or just being nosy about what is happening in the neighborhood. Your dog will be happier and more active if it has a comfortable place to stay outside.

In an ideal world, we would all have large fenced-in backyards where our dogs could roam around freely and safely without destroying anything. However, that is usually just a dream. Even for those of us who happen to have the fenced-in backyards, dogs still love to dig up all our flowers and plants or dig holes all over for us to step in.

Wouldn’t it be great to have an area dedicated to your dog that is outside and provides them that dog-friendly environment? That’s where an outdoor kennel comes into play.

Pros of outdoor dog kennels

As we mentioned previously, dog enclosures provide a way for your dog to freely get exercise in a safe environment. Now when we say safe environment, we mean both for your dog and for all of your property that your dog may want to chew and destroy. Enclosures allow your dog to expend a lot of energy safely.

Being outside is good for a dog, and having a safe outdoor space allows your dog to expend mental energy. This is the type of energy that usually gets pups in trouble. An outdoor enclosure provides the ideal spot for your furry friend to get a lot of mental stimulation, which takes care of that excess mental energy.

In addition to keeping your dog safe and stimulated, placing a dog kennel outside allows for a great alternative to the standard dog house. If you prefer to keep your dog outside, a house is nice, but it does not have as much room as a kennel. A kennel provides space, security, and comfort all in one.

Lastly, kennels are typically easy to adjust and change. This works well if you have a mutt that you don’t know exactly how large it will get. You can start with a smaller outdoor dog kennel and then expand the dog kennel through panels to suit your dog’s growth.

Cons of outdoor dog kennels

An outdoor kennel for dogs may not always be very aesthetically pleasing. If you go for aesthetics and get a wood kennel, it may disappoint since it is not as durable as chain link. One way some people combat this problem with chain link or wire kennels is planting shrubbery and climbing vines around the enclosure. As long as you trim them and make sure they don’t get out of control, this will make your dog kennel look great outdoors.

In addition, they take up a good amount of room in your backyard. This is especially true if you have a large breed or multiple pups. There isn’t much you can do about this, though.

Types of outdoor dog kennels

Your first step is to figure out the right kind of enclosure. There three main types of outdoor pens: crate, breeding, and boarding. They vary in size, material, and special features. Let’s take a look at these three options.

Dog crate kennels

This type usually has a simple design. They can be made of any material you prefer, including aluminum, plastic, and fabric. Wire dog kennels are quite popular because they offer strength and durability. The primary function of this pen is to provide comfort and security to your dog, but they can also even be used for training your dog or while traveling.

This kennel type is handy if you’re not going to be around for a while, so you need something secure but also want your dog to feel safe and secure. They come in all sizes and configurations to meet the needs of your pets.

Dog breeding kennels

These kennels are designed to provide you with the necessary facilities for breeding. Usually, this means providing you with secure areas to keep dogs separated. They work for both indoor and outdoor use. You can order these made to your requirements, including size specifications, so they work for all breeds.

Dog boarding kennels

These are the most common indoor kennel type, but they also come for outdoor use. The main purpose is to house your dog whenever you’re not around. These can temporarily act as your dog’s caretaker, providing for its well being, safety, and health. They are made for all breeds of dogs. They come in a range of materials, including welded wire and chain link. With this type of pen, you can rest easy knowing you are leaving your beloved pup in a secure space.

Kennel materials

Beyond the three main styles, kennels also come in different materials. The most common, and the best type that we came across, are made of chain-link.

Chain-link dog kennel panels are made of a very thick and sturdy chain-link metal that dogs find very unpleasant and very tough to chew through. Even strong dogs, such as Rottweilers and German shepherds, will have a challenging time chewing through it.

Another material that we looked at was wood. Typically, this is very aesthetically pleasing; however, it doesn’t serve quite the same functionality as a chain-link dog enclosure. We found that kennels made of wood did not last as long as the chain-link. This is partly because dogs enjoy chewing on it and can chew it easily. In addition, nature deteriorates wood a lot faster than it does chain-link.

I feel we should mention that we did come across one type of plastic outdoor kennel. This was our least favorite of all the outdoor dog kennels. We don’t recommend getting a plastic for long term use. They are great as temporary or portable solutions, but they aren’t very durable or strong.

When we buy things, we buy them to last for many years. We consider all purchases to be an investment in the future. Therefore, our favorite type of outside dog kennel is a chain-link dog kennel.

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Considerations when shopping

While looking for a kennel for your dog, there are many things to think about. You have to always keep your dog’s safety and security in mind. You also want to think about quality. It’s also important to find a model that offers the features you need, too. Of course, you will have to also consider other aspects, such as the size of your dog and weather conditions in your area. To make things simple for you, here’s a look at some considerations you will want to make.

Dog size

You want your dog to be comfortable in the kennel. This requires that you to choose one based on the breed, size, and age of your pooch. This is a crucial factor to keep in mind because your pet wouldn’t want to stay in a space in which he feels crowded or that is scary because it is too big.

The rule of thumb to follow is to choose a pen that is triple the size of your dog. This will give him room to move about without be so big it becomes overwhelming. There should be enough space inside so the dog can stand up straight, as well as eat and do other things without any restrictions.

Safety

Your priority when buying an outdoor dog pen should be the safety of your pet. Never go straight to looking at style or choose design over safety. It’s your job to provide him with a place where he is kept safe.

Start by looking at how the pen is made. Make sure it is durable and strong. It should have some weight to it so it can stay upright, even in strong winds, and shelter your mutt from all weather conditions. It should also let fresh air in and out.

You also need to make sure it meets safety standards. It should not contain any toxic paint or other materials. You should check for sharp edges as well. Make sure no part of the unit could harm your dog.

Available space

Wouldn’t you regret it if you buy an extra-large model, and then find you don’t have enough space to put it in? That would be a waste of time and money. While you do need to make sure the pen is large enough to fit your dog, you also need to make sure it is small enough to fit your back yard.

Before buying, take measure of the space where you want to put the kennel. Analyze if you have enough space for the size you need. If you don’t, then try reorganizing, if possible, to make the space. Otherwise, you may need to buy a smaller pen if it won’t be too small for your pet. You may also consider a kennel that is customizable so you can adjust it to fit in the space and still provide enough room for your pup.

Future needs

If you have a puppy, you want to think about the future when buying. Your little puppy is going to grow up and become a big man one day, so you don’t want to have to buy a new pen in a few months when that happens. Just go with a kennel that is sized according to how big your dog will be when fully grown.

A kennel with a divider might come in handy. You can put in the divider to provide a secure and cozy place for the pup and remove it once he’s grown to give him the full space.

Durability

It’s good to consider the price of what you’re buying and try to save money as much as possible, but you can’t sacrifice comfort and quality for a cheap kennel. Some of the low-priced options might be good, too, but most of them are made of low quality and unreliable materials.

These kinds of kennels often break very quickly, and they might not be able to provide your dog with the comfort that he deserves. Apart from that, if they fall apart, they certainly will not contain your pet securely.

Focus on value, which means buying high quality at the best price. While you may not pay the lowest price, you will get a kennel that provides security, lasts a long time, and meets your pup’s needs.

Weather

Not every kennel is designed to withstand harsh weather conditions. If you live in an area with extreme heat or cold, you must keep this in mind. Always check that it is made for use in the specific weather conditions you experience.

If you get a lot of snow, you’ll want a slanted roof so that the snow doesn’t accommodate over it. The same is true if you get a lot of rain. If you go with a flat, canvas top, the rain or snow will pile up and eventually collapse the roof into the pen.

You also need to protect against extreme temperatures and wind. Find a kennel with covers or shielded areas that will stop exposure and not let the cold wind through. For areas with high temperatures, you will need plenty of ventilation as well as a cover to protect your pooch from the sun. Also, look for materials that don’t absorb too much heat.

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Features to check out

As you know by now, there are many different options for kennels. Because they vary so much, you will see many choices in features. Some are not going to make a huge difference in usability, but others will. We want to give you the low down on some of the common features you may want to make sure your kennel has.

Installation

It’s vital to understand how to install the kennel. Some kennels require you to dig holes and pour concrete to secure them into the ground while others have special construction that keeps them upright without the need for heavy labor. There are also those in the middle that require a little digging to get them secured. You need to understand how to install the kennel so that you are ready to do it once you get it home.

Panel options

Usually, a kennel has four walls. Most often, these walls are panels. They fit together easily and are interchangeable, except for the front panel with the door. This means the back and sides are the same. This is handy because many kennels have a design where you can add panels to extend the size. For example, instead of having an enclosure with four panels, you may add two more panels so that you have two panels on each side instead of one. Having the option to add panels is helpful if you have a puppy or if you expect to add more dogs in the future.

Door

There are two main door options. One is a flap that allows your dog to come and go as it pleases. This is not the best choice if you need to contain your dog, but works well if you use the kennel as a type of house within a securely fenced yard.

The other, more common, option is a door that you must open for the dog. It generally has a latch, and many include locks or allow you to add a padlock of your choice. This is best if you need to contain your dog and ensure it won’t get out of the pen.

Flooring

Not every kennel has a floor. Some are meant to sit on the grass. However, if your dog will spend a lot of time in the cage or if mud is a concern, you may want a pen with a floor. Make sure the flooring is comfortable for him to sit on and won’t get too hot or cold. It also shouldn’t be too hard and rough. It should be durable, though.

Roof

Some kennels come with a roof or cover. A roof is nice because it offers excellent protection from snow and rain. A cover works well, too, but will require more work from you since you will need to empty it off after rain or snow. Some kennels have no cover. You should get a cover or roof of some type, though, because it will protect from the elements for your pooch. Make sure it is made of durable materials and fits your kennel properly.

Food containers

Some kennels come with built-in containers where you can put food and water. This is nice because it adds to your dog’s overall comfort. Plus, it means you don’t have to continually let the dog out to eat or drink.

Check out the type of containers. Make sure they are durable enough for your dog, especially if he is a chewer. Also, ensure they are easy for you to fill.

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Frequently Asked Questions

You may still have questions lingering about outdoor dog kennels. We want to be sure you get all the information you need, so here are some common questions pet owners have when shopping.

Q. Are Outdoor Dog Enclosures safe?

Most dog pen manufacturers have their own personal goal to provide the highest quality products, so they make sure their kennels are safe, but in some cases, there is not enough care taken or attention to details, which results in poisonous metals or substances or other dangerous aspects. This is why you should always take care to check for a guarantee which assures you that the kennel is free of any poisonous chemical or element, and it is a safe product.

You also have to do your part. Make sure the kennel allows for air flow to prevent suffocation. Check for broken areas regularly. Asses the enclosure often to make sure it is stable and there are no issues that could harm your dog.

Overall, kennels are made to keep your dog safe from any kind of hazards. As long as you choose a good quality product and take care of it once installed, your pet should be able to enjoy it without fear of any harm.

Q: Will big dog kennels work if I have a small puppy?

Definitely! While you want to get a kennel sized to your dog, a puppy is different. He will eventually grow up (usually quite quickly). You can buy a larger pen for a puppy who will grow to be a large dog. This is much preferable to buying a new kennel every few months as your puppy gets bigger.

Q: To what extent does the design of the kennel matter?

It does matter to some extent. Each type of outside dog kennel is made for different kinds of environments and situations. For example, enclosures with slanted roofs are best in snowy climates, and covered walls are helpful for windy locales. The design should suit your typical weather.

Design also becomes important based on how you plan to use the kennel. If it will be the home to your outdoor dog, you may need more weatherproofing, such as covers and ventilation, and containers for food and water. However, if it will just be an outdoor space for your inside dog, you may be able to forego some design elements.

Time to Go Shopping for Outdoor Dog Kennels

Dogs are the most loyal and friendly animals who have a way of stealing your heart. When you get one, you have to make sure that it lives its life in the best way possible. There are many ways you can ensure your pup is happy and healthy. Buying a great outdoor kennel for him is one such way.

We provided you with a guide to help you decide what is best and what is not when it comes to choosing a suitable kennel. You have everything you need to go out and find the ideal pen for your best friend.

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