Top 5 Best Dog House Reviews of 2017

Update - 2016.12.27

With so many dog houses on the market today, it can be pretty confusing as to which one would be the best fit for your dogs. There are so many factors to consider, and you need to think about everything from where and when you will be using the dog house, to the style and comfort level of the product and even how active your dog will be when putting the dog house to use.

This can create a pretty aggravating experience when you are scrolling through hundreds of options that all sound similar. There are definitely some great dog house options on the market today, and we are here to help you find best dog house for you and your pups.

This best dog house reviews will look at five different top dog houses for 2016, and describe each product and explain the pros and cons of each type, so you can pick the one you know will provide the best home for your dog this year.

Overall Rating
Petmate Indigo Dog House with Microban
Very High
Check Price
Precision Pet Outback Log Exterior Dog House
Check Price
Suncast Large Deluxe Dog House DH350
Very High
Check Price
Petmate 290710 Barn Home III for Small Pets
Check Price
Merry Pet MPS002 Wood Room
Check Price

Without further ado, we present to you…

The Top 5 Best Dog Houses of 2016

Best Igloo Dog House – Petmate Indigo Dog House with Microban Review

Petmate Indigo Dog House - Best Dog HouseThe Petmate Indigo Dog House is an igloo shaped dog house that comes with a coordinating door and dog pad to provide a complete insulated outdoor dog house for both small and large dogs. The dog pad is water repellent to provide support for your pup without getting soaking wet in an outdoor setting, even when it rains or snows.

The igloo shape extends out on the front to create an extended doorway, creating a great dog housing space with extra space and rain resistance for your dog. This insulated dog house is made with a material called Microban, which makes it one of the best igloo dog houses on the market today.

What is Microban, you ask, and what makes it so great? Microbes is an anti microbial material that helps you fight the growth of gross microbes that usually come with outdoor dog houses like mold, odor causing bacteria, and mildew. It even helps fight stains that develop over time, which makes it a great choice for outdoor use.

The Petmate Indigo Dog House comes in three different sizes — medium, large and extra large — to fit every type of dog from 25 pounds all the way up to 125 pounds. Each of these dog houses are made with a structural foam that helps keep the dog house warm in the winter days to keep the wind and cold out, and cooler in the winter since it protects from the heat elements.


First and foremost, this is one of the best all weather dog houses on the market today because of the great materials that make up this product. The structural foam material provides great insulation to keep your dogs warm during winter and cool during summer, and the Microban material keeps odor causing bacteria and mildew from growing on the dog house, keeping you and your pups safe from any harmful effects of outdoor bacteria.

Additionally, this dog house has an adjustable top for ventilation, so you can easily clean the house and ventilate for continued use. If you’re the pet parent of a larger dog breed, you know that a lot of great dog house companies don’t make options for larger dogs, which can be really annoying and make it difficult to find the best large dog house for your bigger pups.

The extra large size option on this model makes it one of the best dog houses for large dogs, ensuring you have all the great qualities of a top large breed dog house, while providing comfort and warmth for your large breed dog.


There are some minor cons with the Petmate Indigo Dog House, and while they are simple problems with easy fixes, you may want to take them into consideration when making a final choice for the best insulated dog house for your pets. If you are on the market for extra large dog houses for great danes or dog houses for giant breeds that are much taller than a standard large breed dog, you may have some issues getting your dog to enter the house.

Remember, this is an igloo shaped house with a round front, so it’s covered on all sides except that round entrance. This could make it hard for larger breed dogs to enter in and out of the house, and some dog owners with great danes have complained about their pup having to duck in and out of the dog house. As with any purchase, it’s important to keep your dog’s temperament, breed, and type in mind to find the best dog house that will be a keeper for your pet.

Best Wooden Dog House – Precision Pet Outback Log Exterior Dog House Review

Precision Pet Outback Log Exterior Dog House - Best Dog HouseThe Precision Pet Outback Log Exterior Dog House is an outdoor dog house that comes in multiple sizes. The small dog house measures 33.5 inches by about 25 inches and stands 22 inches tall, and makes a super cute dog house for pups less than 40 pounds. The medium dog house is slightly larger at 45.5 inches by about 27 inches and is a bit taller than the small version at 27.5 inches tall. This medium log-cabin style dog house is a perfect fit for dogs 40-70 pounds. The large breed dog house is 45.5 inches by 44 inches, and is the tallest of the bunch at 33 inches tall. This version fits dogs 70-95 pounds.

The Precision Pet Outback Log Exterior Dog House features an off-center entrance to create more space and shelter so your pup has plenty of room to turn around and get comfortable in its shelter. It is easy to assemble and take apart since it comes in three easy steps. That’s really important so you can always take it apart to clean it and set it up without much effort.

The materials used in this product make it one of the best outdoor dog houses. It is made with solid fir wood with a natural cedar finish for a cool dog house that looks beautiful anywhere you put it.

The slanted wood roof makes it the best all weather dog house because it allows rain and other things of nature run off easily from the roof top, so you are not stuck cleaning out the roof every time there is rain or leaves falling from the trees. This dog house includes plastic feet which raises the floor up from the floor, so it keeps the dog house and your pup dry and comfortable from rugged outdoor weather conditions.

The great thing about this exterior dog house is that there are a couple additional pieces you can purchase separately to make this a full proof, warm and comfortable dog house for your pup.

First off is a dog house insulation kit you can purchase separately to make it an insulated dog house for your pup. The insulation kit is an easy to assemble simple single zipper and velcro attachment that goes in the dog house exterior set up.

It’s made with a durable, two-layer canvas to keep the insulation material safe against rugged outdoor conditions, and is made with a triple layer polyform, which is guaranteed to keep your dog dry, insulated and warm through cold winter months. It comes in small, medium and large sizes to fit with the three different sizes of the log style exterior, so make sure you are buying the right interior size for the dog house you have.

The other additional purchase option is the Precision Outback Dog House Door. It’s a simple set up really, but it does work really well in keeping cold out and heat in. The “door” is strips of heavy duty plastic that hangs from the top of the dog door. It is clear so your pup can still see out the door and get a view of the outside, but it hangs heavily to block a lot of the wind chill coming in and heat exiting from the door.

It is a simple but great addition to your dog’s new house. The complete package, with this house door and the insulation kit mentioned above, does a superb job in keeping the cold out and heat in, making this combination one of the best dog house for cold winters.


The Precision Pet Outback Log Exterior Dog House is easy to assemble, and most importantly, is sturdy and lasts in rugged outdoor conditions. It is definitely made with outdoor use in mind. The slanted roof, while it seems like a small detail, is really important when it rains. Without this slanted roof design, you would have some major clean up duties on your dog house any time leaves fell or rain came down, so it’s a good thing to have.

The design is really cute and well done so it’s going to look really good in any space you put it in. The natural cedar finish with dark brown trim creates a classic dog house look that you are going to love. One other huge factor that makes this the best dog house for cold weather is that separate insulation kit I mentioned above. It really does make a world of a difference in making the space warm and cozy during winter months, and even helps keep it cooler during hot summer weather.

The insulation fits perfectly within the dog house so you won’t have any issues getting it set up, and it really does stay put, so you don’t have to worry about it moving around and getting messed up, even with your active dogs playing around in the space. In addition to this piece, if you complete the package with the heavy duty plastic strips that make up the door, it makes the best dog housing that will keep your pup warm for sure. These additions really do make it one of the best insulated small dog houses on the market today.


Since this dog house is made of wood, it may begin to soak up a lot of liquid if you face heavy snow or rain for extended periods of time. It’s the nature of the material it is made up of, so it may be the best dog house for hot weather, not necessarily for cold winter climates.

One other thing to consider with this specific dog house is the size. It is a covered dog house, so really larger dogs may have a harder time easily getting in and out of the dog house. Just keep your dog’s size in mind when looking for the best dog houses for your pet.

You obviously want to make sure your dog can be comfortable entering and exiting the dog house, so measure your dog and compare it to the three different sizes offered by Precision Pet, and choose the one that works comfortably with your dog. The insulation kit and the plastic strips that make up the dog door really are great options and they both do add a huge difference to making it one of the best insulated large dog houses, but you do have to purchase these pieces separately — it does not come originally with the exterior dog house — which is a shame because the combination is what really makes this one of the best outdoor dog houses on the market today.

Additionally, unfortunately, these do not come in extra large options, so if you are the pet parent of an extra large dog breed, you are missing out on an option for an extra large insulated dog house.

Best Extra Large Dog House – Suncast Large Deluxe Dog House DH350 Review

Suncast Large Deluxe Dog House - Best Dog House 2The Suncast Large Deluxe Dog House is a durable dog house made of sturdy resin construction and comes with crowned floors. Of all the dog house reviews we have looked at in this post, this one is the best extra large dog houses we have seen and fits dogs up to one hundred pounds.

This model already comes with vinyl doors to help keep the wind, rain and snow out and keep the heat in, and you can even personalize the house with your dog’s name right above the entrance of the dog house. This dog house comes in two separate pieces and you just need to snap it together and you do not need any extra tools, which means it is super easy to assemble and take apart as necessary to move around or clean.

This is a really sturdy pet house that is leak proof and does a very good job of standing up against the forces of nature, making it a great option for outdoor use. This is true whether it is summer or winter — in the winter it will keep the cold, rain and snow out and keep the heat in, and in the summer the house will keep your dog cool from the heat when it is staying outdoors. The dog house has a blue roof and light gray bottom that makes up the house, and the color and material does not fade over time.


This is a great affordable unit for the price, and really does a great job in keeping your dog safe and cozy in a covered space. Unlike other options we have seen, this dog house comes with a plastic doorway cover, so you are ensured an even warmer space for your dog. You may need to train your dog to teach it how to walk through this screen door, but use a few treats and it should easily learn to walk in and out of the space with no problem.

This product has been known to keep itself sturdy even with lots or rowdy dogs running in and out of the house. Best of all, it is really roomy inside and big in size, so it makes one of the best dog houses for mastiffs or other larger dogs, or even multiple dogs if you have more than one pup in your house.


Unlike other insulated dog house reviews we have looked at earlier, the Suncast Large Deluxe Dog House is not insulated, so note that before you purchase it. Of course, you can insulate it yourself and purchase mats to make the dog house more soft and cozy for your pet, but the dog house in itself does not come already insulated.

Also, given it is not an insulated unit, the heavy duty plastic that makes up the dog house takes a lot more wear and tear from very active dogs. If you have a dog that will scratch at the sides and move around a lot inside the dog house, keep an eye out to ensure that it does not separate the unit to cause leaks or separations that can let wind and rain in without you noticing.

Best Small Dog House – Petmate 290710 Barn Home III for Small Pets Review

Petmate Barn Home III - Best Dog HouseThe Petmate 290710 Barn Home III for Small Pets is a barn shaped house for your dog that helps protect it from the outdoor elements like wind, sun and rain. There is an air ventilations system in the rear of the barn home so there is constant air circulation while still keeping in the heat and keeping out the draft.

This barn home comes in three different sizes. The small dog house fits pups 15 to 25 pounds and measure 29 inches by 22 inches and 20 inches high. The medium version of the barn home is recommended for dogs 25 to 50 pounds, and the large version barn home is recommended for dogs 50 to 90 pounds. At this large size, it would make a great German Shepherd dog house or other pups of that size and weight.

The barn home is made with quality material that is super sturdy and strong, so it lasts long and stays put, even through the more extreme weather conditions. Best of all, these barn homes are designed in the USA with the highest standards in mind for your dog, so you know you are getting the best for your furry friend. This is super important to me as a pet parent, and quality material is something to always look out for when looking for the bed dog houses for your pup.


The Petite Barn Home III is a super sturdy dog house for your pup, and we have seen it survive super strong winds and rain without budging one bit. It’s wider than you would think and quite roomy inside, making it one of the best large dog houses for those of you with bigger pups.

This house was definitely created with outdoor use in mind, so you can rest assured that it will keep you dog dry and comfortable, even in more extreme weather conditions. The ventilation system ensures that the dog gets fresh circulated air while it’s in the dog house, but still keeps the cold air from getting in. The back side is sloped, which is super important from keeping rain and snow from getting into the house. It just rolls off the back.

The dog barn comes in two separate pieces, so it’s super easy to assemble — you just connect the top and bottom together. This also means it is really easy to clean by disassembling the two pieces and washing out the inside and outside of the barn home.


This barn home is made of smooth plastic material and has a smooth bottom floor inside of the home. While this does create a comfortable space for your dog, it also makes it pretty difficult to secure any type of soft fabric in there to create a warm and cozy space for your pup.

Putting in blankets or towels for your dog into the house makes the floor super slippery since the fabric just slips all over the slick and smooth floors, which can be pretty annoying if you have an active dog that moves around a lot. If you are pretty set on putting in some type of warm fabric in there for your pup, you can purchase a rubber mat to put on the floor and add the fabric material on top of that.

That will prevent any slipping around. So while the slickness of the bottom is a relatively easy fix, it is kind of annoying that you may have to make an additional purchase to make it work. One other thing to note about the barn home is that it is not an insulated unit, so if you are specifically looking for an insulated product for your dog, you can take a look at the other reviews in this post. This specific dog house is a protective covering but not an insulated model.

Best Two Story Dog House – Merry Pet MPS002 Wood Room With a View Pet House Review

Merry Pet Wood Room with a View Pet House - Best Dog houseThe Merry Pet MPS002 Wood Room With a View Pet House is an adorable dog home for smaller dogs that is durable, so it is great for both indoor and outdoor uses. The dog house is made with kiln dried cedar for a durable product, and is finished with natural color stains to make a beautiful dog house for smaller pups.

The kiln dried cedar creates a very stable wood structure that withstands extreme temperatures and strong climates like extreme cold or humidity, It provides a sleeping area, balcony, step on the side, and lattice work to create a cute dog house for your pup, but don’t worry, it really is quite simple to assemble and did not take more than 20 minutes to put together. Once assembled, the roof top and panel on the bottom of the house is easily removed so you can clean is as frequently as you want to without going through a lot one effort to break it down and set it up again to clean it.

If you are looking for a specific color, you can always retain this wood to give it the look you want, which could be a fun project for you. The bottom of the dog house is raised a couple inches by small legs, keeping it off the floor and dry if it does rain or snow in your area.


This is a really adorable pet house that most small dogs will love playing around in, and pet parents will enjoy having around aesthetically inside or outside their homes. The fact that this is made from kiln dried cedar is great, because you know it will be sturdy and long lasting, and as a bonus, smell great.

The construct of this dog house is really quite sturdy and strong, making it one of the best outdoor dog houses for small pups. This dog house really is a great all in one solution for your pets. The space on the bottom is super functional and comfortable for dogs to sleep and play around in, while the top viewing balcony provides a fun area for your dogs to relax on. It is a beautiful design, simple set up, and multi functional for your pet — everything you want in a small dog house!


Like I have mentioned in the other dog house reviews, it is super important to purchase for the dog you have. Meaning, keep your dog’s type, size, temperament, activity level, age, and personality all into consideration when making any purchase decision.

I say this because this small dog house has the staircase attached to it that leads up to the balcony, and some pups really just don’t like being in an elevated position that way. If that is the case, obviously, this one would not be the best small dog house for your pup. Note that the staircase is relatively narrow, so some of the larger small breeds may not feel really comfortable squeezing themselves into the space and climbing up to the top.

If you think your dog will not like the staircase option, you can take a look at stand alone ramp options on the market. Find one that you like in a similar size, and you should have no problem setting it up instead of the staircase so your dog can climb up the top on the ramp, which should be easier to do than the stairs.

Also, depending on how active and playful your dog is, it may get into the wood and start chewing on the lattice. Be careful if your dog is a chewer — you don’t want it getting splinters from chewing on the lattice and exposing the wood.

Go to top

Dog House Buying Guide (Updated 2017)

What Is a Dog House?

While plenty of dogs sleep on dog beds or just on the ground, the importance of dog houses can’t be underestimated. A dog, especially if it lives outside, needs a place to hide and feel safe in. That’s why buying a house can significantly improve your pet’s quality of life.

There are plenty of dog houses available on the market today. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors and have different features. There are dog houses designed for outdoor use and for indoor installation. They are mostly made out of wood and plastic, but there are some that are manufactured out of metal or even fabric. Outdoor dog houses often come with a heating option and need to be more durable while indoor models feature all types of different designs and are less sturdy. The sizes of the outdoor and indoor dog houses vary depending on the size of your dog.

When going out to shop for dog houses, you need to consider various factors to get the products you need. Besides thinking about the needs of the dog, you will need to go through your own requirements and the amount of space you are ready to provide for the house.

Different Types of Dog Houses

Before you set out on your search for a dog house, you need to decide where you will install it.

Inside Dog House

There aren’t many requirements for indoor models. Their main purpose is to create an impression of safety for your pet. You can buy indoor dog houses for cheap since they are usually made out of fabric or plastic.

Choose the size of your indoor dog house in accordance with the size of the room you’ll be placing it in. A dog should have enough space to get in and out of the house without hitting the nearby furniture.

Outdoor Dog House

When it comes to choosing an outdoor dog house, there are plenty of options. There are heated dog houses specially designed for cold winters. Such houses are not always suitable for the hot summer months since they might not have proper ventilation. Outdoor houses are made from plastic, metal or wood.

Portable Dog House

If you like traveling, you might want to consider a portable dog house. There are several options to choose from:

  • Tent – A portable dog house which is perfect for picnicking and camping. It’s compact and easy to store.
  • Inflatable dog house – Another portable option that comes with insulation suitable for cold temperatures. It can be a great choice for people who like camping in extreme conditions. These houses are not suitable for chewers.
  • Soft crates – A rectangular tent that looks like a regular dog crate but features a nylon mesh instead of metal or plastic walls. It’s light and easy to transport. These crates are not suitable for aggressive dogs.
  • Plastic kennels – A plastic box with a door which is suitable for airline travel.
  • Travel bags – A soft-sided kennel which may also be approved for airline travel. A good choice for car traveling.

Different Materials for Dog Houses

When choosing a dog house, the second thing you need to decide is what material you want it to be made out of.

Plastic Dog House

Plastic dog houses are usually the cheapest and the most popular. They are light and easy to transport. The variety of different designs is unbelievable. Plastic houses will never rot and won’t need any touch ups with time. They are very easy to clean and don’t have any pores for tics to nestle in. Such houses don’t require any complicated assembly. However, they are not very durable. They don’t always offer proper insulation for cold weather periods or good ventilation during the hot summer days. They can be used both outdoors and indoors.

Wood Dog House

Wooden dog houses are sturdier than plastic ones. They are designed to feature different add-ons. They come in various designs to suit even the pickiest customer. They are also environmentally safe and make the dog feel closer to nature. Wood is a good insulator so your dog won’t be overheating. Wooden houses have a warmer and more natural feeling to them and suit most decors. One problem that comes with a wooden home is tics and fleas but they can be dealt with by buying a cedar house. Wooden dog houses can be used both indoors and outdoors.

Metal Dog Houses

Metal dog houses don’t appear on the market too often. Usually, they are rectangular shaped and are made from aluminum or stainless steel. These houses usually come heavily insulated since metal doesn’t provide any natural insulation. They are very durable since they can’t be chewed apart and don’t have a rotting problem wooden houses do. Metal dog houses are expensive. They usually come in a form of transportable boxes but some owners prefer to use them all year round. They are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use (if properly insulated).

Dog Igloo Houses

Igloo houses are gaining popularity fast. While they might be hard to find regardless your dog size, having one of them in your backyard is considered stylish. Igloo dog houses reviews from owners of different dog types are mostly positive.

Pros of Buying Dog Igloo House:

  • Extra protection. These houses are designed to be tightly enclosed which gives extra protection against outside elements. They are suitable for places with extreme climates.
  • Stability. The house is designed to be very stable and withstand such weather conditions as high winds and snowstorms. The snow and other debris falls of such house naturally.
  • Easy Installation. These houses don’t require too much time or special skills to complete the installation.
  • Portability. Igloo houses are lightweight which makes them easy to transport.

Cons of Buying an Igloo House for Your Dog:

  • Igloo houses for large dogs are hard to find.
  • They are made from plastic only.
  • They might not fit into every house or backyard décor.

Petmate Dog House

Petmate is one of the dog house manufacturers that offer solid igloo houses. Petmate indigo dog house is one of the most popular choices for igloo-lovers on the market today.

Go to top

Small Dog Houses

Igloo houses are a great choice for small dogs. They provide just enough space for them to feel comfortable while keeping them safe from the weather. Small dogs are often very sensitive to temperature fluctuations so keeping them warm should be the first priority of the owner. Igloos are considered to be the best houses for small warm-weather breeds who live in cold temperatures.

Best Dog Houses for Large Dogs

If you have a large dog, you need to be able to provide proper housing for it. You need to be prepared to pay a higher price for an XL dog house since obviously more material is used to manufacture it. There are giant dog houses on the market, however, even if your pet is rather large, there is no need to go for something humongous.

Houses for big dogs may be harder to find and large insulated dog houses don’t come cheap. So choosing the size of your dog house is something you need to be careful about. Cheap large dog houses are usually made out of plastic and are not very durable.

Your pet is not going to entertain friends or take dancing lessons inside its house. So the house must be large enough for the pet to enter, stretch, and lie down comfortably. Anything extra is more for the owner’s aesthetic pleasure than for the dog’s needs.

Measurements for the Best Big Dog Houses

  • The best big dog houses for your pet are the ones that are correctly sized. You need to be able to measure your dog in order to make the right buy. Here are the tips for buying well-sized dog houses for big dogs.
  • The height of the entryway should not be less than three-quarters of the dog’s size (shoulder to ground). No need to create large doorways, a dog will always duck its head to get into the house anyway.
  • Measure the nose to flank length of your dog (the tail doesn’t count). Add 25 % and you’ll get the length and the width of the dog house. Anything larger won’t bring your pet any extra comfort.
  • Measure the dog’s height from the head to the toes. Add 25 -50 % and you’ll get the perfect dog house height. Don’t make it smaller since the dog won’t be able to move around comfortably. Don’t make it bigger either since the body heat retention factor will suffer.

Large Igloo Dog House

The igloo dog houses large dogs prefer are rather rare. Usually, igloo houses are designed for small and medium-sized dogs. Igloos for large pets are some of the most expensive dog houses due to their rarity. You probably won’t find such a house at the brick and mortar pet store. So your best bet will be to order it online.

Suncast Dog Houses

Suncast is a manufacturer that has a wide variety of large dog houses available. They can mostly be ordered online but some can be found at the brick and mortar stores.

Go to top

Extra Large Dog Houses

Many pet owners prefer buying extra-large houses for their dogs. They believe that the dog will be more comfortable in a large house just as a human would. However, as was mentioned above, this is not the case. That’s why you will have some trouble finding an extra-large dog house on the market.

If you live in a warm climate and don’t need to take into consideration insulation in the winter, there is only one contraindication to having an extra-large house. The best dog houses are the ones that make you and your pet comfortable. A large house might not make your pet happy since it will not provide it the safety it’s looking for in a house.

Just like humans, dogs will not feel comfortable sleeping alone in a large and empty house. Take this into consideration when you are contemplating this size of a dog house. Extra-large houses available on the market today are designed for extra-large dogs to feel comfortable, not for small dogs to have more space.

Cool Dog Houses: Important Features

When you are looking for the best way to make your dog feel comfortable, you shouldn’t forget about your own preferences. There are specifically designed nice and cute dog houses to make the owner will extra-happy with the purchase.

When you are choosing your cool dog house, don’t forget to check out the following features:

The Roof

Pay close attention to the roof of the house. It must be slanted to allow the rain, snow, and debris to run off naturally. It should also be insulated in one way or another. The simpler the roof of your dog house is, the better. If you are choosing a fancy house, remember, that gables and dormers make the roof more prone to leaks.

The Doorway

You can let your imagination go wild here as long as the size is good enough for the dog to walk through. If you have more than one dog, the entryway should accommodate the largest pet. Dog houses doors must have a wind break in order to keep the drafts from blowing at the dog when it’s in the house. Look for houses with doors that close behind the pet after it walks in or out in order to prevent the cold from getting inside and heat from going out.

The Floor

Make sure that the back part of the floor is slightly elevated to allow the water to drain. The floor must be very thick in order to provide good insulation against the cold ground. The best floors are raised several inches off the ground.

The Bedding

Many owners forget that dogs are susceptible to tics and fleas and try to create bedding out of old towels, blankets, newspapers and etc. The best way to prevent the parasites from attacking your dog is to purchase cedar shavings to be used as bedding. However, some dogs might have allergies to such bedding. The second choice is a moisture-resistant foam pad. It always stays dry and fleas can’t get through.

The Porch

Dogs love porches. So if you are not pressed for space, look for a house that has a porch with a tent or some protective overhang. It will provide your pet with shade during hot summer days and keep it safe from rain and snow if it wants to get out of the house. You can purchase a house with a sundeck/porch combination that a dog can climb on.


Any nice dog house must have ventilation. If there is no good ventilation, the house will get hot, stuffy, and dangerous for your pet in the summer. During the winter, lack of ventilation can cause moisture buildup that will provide a good environment for mildew. While the entryway provides some ventilation, more vent holes are needed for the time when it’s closed. They should be near the roof of the house since the hot air rises in the summer. Make sure the openings are not too large or the heat loss during the winter will be excessive.

Warm Dog Houses

If you are purchasing an outdoor dog house for a climate that features cold winters, you need to make sure that your dog is duly protected.

Heated dog houses: What to look for

Heated dog houses are required for dogs that need additional heat to stay warm. This is usually true for warm-weather breeds with short hair. In such cases, you will need to purchase a standalone heater, heated kennel mats (not good for chewers), or metal light bulb heaters. So when choosing a winter dog house, you are planning to heat, you must remember to leave some space for a heater. A warm dog house is compulsory if your dog is old or sick.

Below are things to consider when buying a heated house:

  • The floor must be insulated and lifted up from the ground. The best choice is insulated wood.
  • The house must just be large enough for the dog to walk in, lie down and stretch. Anything larger will steal the heat.
  • Wall and roof must be insulated.
  • The doorway must have a door. A flap will be sufficient.
  • The house should feature an interior wind break wall.

Insulated Dog Houses

If besides keeping your dog warm in the winter, you need to keep it cool in the summer, you need to buy an insulated dog house. Insulation is usually a foam which is inserted between the wall panels of the dog house. It blocks out the heat in the summer and doesn’t allow it to escape during the winter. The thicker the foam is, the better the insulation, and the more expensive the house is. The most popular insulated dog houses are igloos. The extended doorway they feature helps keep the wind and precipitation out.

Go to top

What Should You Look for in a New Dog House?

As I’m sure you have seen by now, there are lots of different types of dog houses on the market today. With so many choices, it can be hard to narrow down on what type of dog house will be the best fit for your pups. There are a few important factors to consider when choosing a new dog house: type of house, size, materials used, washability, insulation, durability, and the temperament of your dog. For the purposes of this review, I am going to assume that most of you will be using the dog house mostly outdoors, as well as indoors on occasion.

Type of House

There are several different types of outdoor dog houses on the market today, ranging from igloo style homes built from plastic to cabin style ones that are built with wood materials. Which one you choose really just depends on the aesthetic and uses of your new dog house.

They all offer different benefits which you will see in the reviews below. Really think about the look you like for your yard and the functional benefits of each so you can find one that will be great for both you and your pup.


This is an important one! A lot of these dog houses are just labeled as small, medium, and large to keep the categorization simple, but there is no standard measurement for these sizing options, so each product will be different in the square space it offers your dog. Make sure you look at the measurements, and most products will list how many pounds your dog will have to be to fit into each size dog house.

Depending on the size of your dog and how much space you want for it, you can size up or down. Just remember, more space is not always better. Smaller spaces can be cozier and retain more of your dog’s heat in the winter, ensuring it stays warm in colder months. If you have an extra large dog, you may have to look a little harder to find a dog house that provides enough room but is still aesthetically pleasing for you.

With extra large breeds, you will want to pay really close attention to the entrance and exit area to ensure that your big pup has plenty of room to get in and out of its new home without having to duck or crawl in. If that’s the case, it probably won’t use the house very often!

Materials Used

These dog houses can be made with a variety of materials, but the most common ones are plastic and wood, and are the materials used in the five different dog houses we review below. Plastic and wood are ideal materials for outdoor dog houses because they both do not rust and stand up pretty well against the elements, ensuring the dog house will last through at least a few seasons, even in rugged weather conditions.

What you want to make sure you look for is that either material is treated with anti mold material, so you don’t face moldy and smelly dog houses when it gets wet. On that note, you also want to ensure the materials used in the dog house can be easily washed, which brings me to my next point…


For me, it is really important that all of my dog products; whether it’s the house, bed, towel, or toy; can be washed quickly and easily. While I love my pup, it can get pretty dirty and bring around a lot of germs into the house, so anything that can easily be cleaned gets an extra gold star in my book.

Especially when you are looking at outdoor dog houses that are going to be facing the outdoor elements, you want to make sure you find an option that you can easily take apart and clean. Find one with easy assembly, so that when you do clean it, it doesn’t become a huge pain in the you know where to piece back together while your pup patiently waits to get back into its home.


Depending on what area of the world you live in and whether your dog will be using this dog house outdoors or indoors, insulation can be a necessity or just a nice to have. Insulated dog houses will definitely be more expensive, since it takes additional materials to make it truly an insulated home for your pup.

But, the ones that are done right work just like the insulation in your home and is a huge help in controlling the temperature of the dog house, so you know your dog will be comfortable even when it is outside. It provides warmth in the winter by keeping out the cold and keeping in the heat that your dog creates with its body, and in the summer, it keeps the heat out by protecting it from the strong sun.

Again, this may or may not be a necessity for you, depending on the climate you are in and how much your dog will be spending time outdoors, but it is definitely something to keep in mind when making a choice. Some outdoor dog houses already come with insulation, and some come as attachments that you can purchase separately.

One additional thing to consider if you really need strong insulation is some type of door that covers the entrance and exit opening of the house. While it may not seem like much, covering the area can make a big difference in insulating the space for you dog.


Given this dog house will most likely be used outdoors for extended periods of time, durability is going to be super important. Both wood and plastic are really durable options, but there are pros and cons of each one when it comes to durability of the materials used.

Plastic is easy to clean and lasts forever, but can be flimsy if you do not find the right product that uses a sturdy, heavy duty plastic. These thinner plastic models are cheap, but will not last a long time and may easily blow away in the wind – definitely not something you want to deal with when you are using an outdoor dog house.

Wood dog houses can be strong and stable, but just make sure it is made of solid wood, not particles, and is coated with a protective layer that will ensure it will stand up to natural elements like snow and rain.

Dog’s Temperament

You know your pup better than anyone else, so think about the type of dog you have – its personality, activity level, age, size, temperament, habits, etc. — before you purchase a home for it that you expect it to use for a long time to come. Why is this important?

Some dogs hate confined spaces, so you will want to check and make sure your dog is ok with a tight space if you want to get an igloo style house that extends out on the front to create a cozy space in the back. Some dogs have a hard time comprehending that they will need to enter in and out of the small circular entrance to get into the house, and will refuse to do it.

If this is the case, it’s probably best to get a dog house with a large opening that does not feel so confined. Some of these dog houses are two stories and have stairs on the side. If your dog is not a fan of heights or stairs, you may want to consider one with a ramp instead.

Go to top

Best Dog House Review

Choosing the best dog house is not an easy job. Below is a checklist you need to go through to get the best possible house for your pet.

  • Decide where the door house will be used.
  • Measure the size of your dog.
  • Consider the weather: Do you need a heated/insulated house?
  • Does the house have a porch?
  • Is the roof well-designed?
  • Does a floor mat come with the house?
  • Is the house well-ventilated?
  • Is it made out of safe materials?
  • Will it fit into your own house comfortably?
  • Are you satisfied with the design?
  • Does it fit into your budget?

Dog House FAQ:

Q: What if my dog doesn’t like the new house?

A: If your pet is the picky type, it’s recommended to bring it to the store with you when choosing a house. If you ordering the dog house online, you can always return it if the dog doesn’t like it.

Q: Can a portable dog house be used on a regular basis?

A: Most portable dog houses are durable enough to withstand heavy use. However, they are usually not created to offer the most comfort for your pet, so it’s preferable to get a stationary home.

Q: How often should I clean the outdoor dog house?

A: Try to clean your outdoor dog house at least once a month. You can clean it more frequently if the weather is hot and humid. Use dog house disinfectants.

Q: Do dog houses come with a warranty?

A: Most of the dog houses come with a manufacturer’s warranty, the duration of which varies from a few years to a lifetime. Make sure the dog house has at least a minimal warranty before purchasing it.

Q: Are Dog Houses Safe?

A: Dog houses designed in accordance with the safety requirements are safe for your pet. If you are building a dog house on your own, you are responsible for reading the guidelines. The dog house shouldn’t have any sharp edges that can hurt the dog. No toxic materials can be used to build a dog house. No toxic paint can be used when painting a dog house.

A properly designed and built dog house can become a place where your pet will feel safe and comfortable while being protected from the weather. In order to guarantee your pet’s safety, buy a new (not used) dog house from a trusted manufacturer.


The best dog house is the one that provides the most comfort for your pet while taking care of its basic needs. It must be warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It should be designed to keep the bad weather out and provide proper ventilation. When the above is settled, an owner

Go to top