Homeward Bound: The Best Dog House for Your Hound

Our Top 5 Best Dog Houses 

Dog houses have housed our four-legged friends for centuries. Although long-time companion and hunting partners to humans, all of our ancestors didn’t spoil their canine companions like we do. In fact, having our dogs live in the house with us, up on our beds and on our furniture is a fairly recent occurrence.

Now, before we curse the names of our predecessors, dismissing them as cruel and heartless masters, it’s important to remember that it is only fairly modern veterinary magic that allows us to live in such close proximity to our pets.


Last update on 2019-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Previously, dog owners would have to worry not only about worms, parasites and biting pests that their four-legged friends could track into their houses, but also, fairly common at that time due to dogs being in constant contact with wild animals, dangerous and deadly diseases such as distemper and dreaded rabies. This article will help you choose the right dog house for your hound.

What is a Dog House?

A dog house is exactly what it sounds like. Our homes, in their most basic use, provide us a warm environment, sheltered from the elements, to spend time in and a place that we can sleep without fear of being attacked in our sleep. A dog house serves a similar purpose. It is a den-like space where a dog can go to find shelter in rainy, snowy, or windy conditions.

Different Types of Dog Houses

For our ancestors, a place for a dog was outside, so all dog houses were outdoor dog houses. With farmers, lucky pups were often allowed to sleep tied up in the barn. In our modern age, however, dog owners have the choice of a couple of different types of dog houses. So, what does that mean exactly? Well, let’s take a look:

Inside Dog House: An inside dog house is meant to give your dog some space and privacy inside your home on the balcony. Your dog may not love having visitors over, or may love your kids but sometimes need a little bit of space from being poked and prodded.

An inside dog house can consist of a crate or attractive dog house that won’t be an eyesore in your home. These types of dog houses are usually made of untreated wood, so be careful about leaving them on your balcony when it’s raining, as untreated wood is not only susceptible to water damage but can also warp in wet conditions.

Inside Dog House

Outdoor Dog House: An outdoor dog house is a dog house outside meant to give your dog privacy, as well as let him escape rain, wind, snow and even intense heat in the summer. An outdoor dog house can be made out of a variety of materials, including treated wood, metal, and plastic.

Plastic is usually the least attractive, but the easiest to clean, as well as being resistant to rust, as well as mold and other moisture-related problems. Outdoor dog house may also feature insulation, which is a must have if your dog spends a lot of time outdoors during the cold winter months.

Important features to look for in an outdoor dogs house are insulation (depending on where you live), a raised floor to keep water from entering in through the floor and a doorway design that won’t leave your dog susceptible to adverse weather conditions outdoors.

Outdoor Dog House

Portable Dog House: A portable dog house is an awesome tool if your dog is a big jet setter! It’s nice for dogs that travel or go camping sometimes to have a place that they recognize to sleep in at night.

The most important aspects of portable dog houses are that they be lightweight and that they be easy to fold down and pop back up. A soft-sided crate may serve as the ultimate soft-sided dog crate. Having said that, if you have a puppy or a chewer on your hands, a soft-sided dog crate will not be resilient enough to contain your pooch.

Portable Dog House

Material Matter: Different Materials for Your Dogs Home

Your dog house may be constructed out of a variety of different material depending on what you are using it for.

Plastic Dog Houses:

Plastic dog houses offer many advantages as well as a couple of disadvantages. Plastic is cheap. This means that a plastic dog house will usually be your most affordable option, besides easy assembly construction of your own dog house.

Plastic dog houses are also notoriously easy to put together. In most cases, you won’t even need a screwdriver in order to assemble these inexpensive dog houses. This also means they are easy to take apart for cleaning. Usually, you can just spray a plastic dog house down and let it dry.

A plastic dog house is also non-porous, meaning there is no place for dangerous ticks or pesky fleas to hang out in. It also means the home will be at no risk of being eaten by termites or ants. Plastic is generally also immune to rot, mold and other moisture related damage.

Plastic is lightweight, so it can make an appropriate portable dog home. OK, so now you might be wondering what the downsides are to owning a plastic dog house. Well, plastic is cheap and can look cheap. If you have fancy backyard decoration, your plastic dog house may stick out like a sore thumb.

Plastic is also difficult to modify, so you need to make sure the house is perfect the first time. This also means that it is hard to install an insulation kit, as plastic dog houses don’t usually come insulated. This makes them inappropriate for use in the wintertime if you live in an area with a harsher climate.

Wooden Dog Houses:

Wooden dog houses also have their own sets of pros and cons. Wooden dog houses are very attractive and will probably look the fanciest. They are also easy to sand, stain, and paint if you’re not huge on the original look. Wooden dog houses are also robust, being sturdier than a plastic dog house.

Wood is a good natural insulator, and it is easy to add-in extra insulation to keep your dog cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Wooden dog houses can be used indoors or outdoors but you have to finish them with weatherproof stain if you want them to last outdoors.

So, what does that mean in terms of cons exactly? Well, let’s take a look. Wooden dog houses have lots of nooks and crannies for pests to hide in, which could end up with your dogs being basically re-infested with fleas or lice every time it enters its home.

Ants and termites may also turn a wooden dog house into THEIR home. Usually, wooden dog houses are a little more expensive than their plastic counterparts. They are also difficult to clean if the roof doesn’t come off and, even if it does, you’ll have to screw the roof on and off every time you want to clean.

Wooden dog houses can be complex and time-consuming to set up and put together and you can forget about transporting it anywhere once it has been constructed. It’s also important to remember—especially in the case that you have a chewer on your hands—that you’ve basically constructed a house from his favorite chew toys.

Metal Dog Houses:

Metal dog houses are fairly rare and there are none on our list of the best dog houses.

Metal dog houses would be the most durable type of dog house and essentially immune to chewing.

They also won’t be preyed upon by ants, termites, fleas, or ticks. You also don’t really have to worry about a metal dog house rotting, but you may have to worry about rust.

The cons of a metal dog house?

Metal is heavy and it will be difficult to move your dog house once it is set up. Also, most metal dog houses come insulated, but if yours doesn’t it will offer virtually no protection against cold weather.
A metal dog house can also really heat up in the sun and will essentially be a sauna for your dog in the summer, again unless properly ventilated and insulated.

Insulated Dog Houses:

An insulated dog house is important if you live in a place where it is either: A) very cold in the winter; B) very hot in the summer C); both.

Insulation is the foam that is inserted between the inner and outer walls of the dog house to keep the outdoor conditions from permeating the home, which is why it is so difficult to add insulation to plastic or metal dog houses. For especially cold winters, you can also purchase heated dog houses.

One Size Fits All?

To size your dog’s house, you may think that like us, more size is better. This isn’t necessarily true. First of all, dogs like small, cozy spaces. That’s why it is recommended that you never purchase a crate for your dog that is way too big. They like the cozy, den feel.

A smaller interior can also help keep the heat in. Having said that, one aspect you need to be very careful in sizing is the entrance. A dog won’t go into a house with an entrance that’s too small for him—it’s against his nature. If your dog can’t see what’s inside the house and has to duck to get inside, it’s unlikely that he’ll get the proper usage out of his home.

Most dog house manufacturers will put a weight recommendation on their dog houses, but it is always important to go through reviews and see if customers believe that these measurements are true to size.

The Best Dog House Reviews:

1. Petmate Indigo Dog House with Microban

Petmate Indigo Dog House All-Weather Protection Taupe/Black 3 sizes Available
  • PROTECTION YEAR-ROUND: Indigo dog house features a heavy-duty construction that provides insulation in hot and cold weather and an extended, offset doorway that...
  • ROOF VENTILATION: Vents located on top of the igloo dog house are designed to circulate fresh air, keeping pets comfortable inside

Last update on 2019-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This robust and sturdy dog house comes in medium, large, and extra large to accommodate practically any size of dog. It is built tough to help protect your dog from snow or rain fall outside. This outdoor dog house features Mircoban shield technology to stop mold and bacteria from growing on your pet’s home.

This dog house is ultra easy to set up. This igloo-shaped pet home doesn’t even require a toolset! It also comes apart easily to make cleaning a breeze.

It features a shielded ventilation window on top to ensure proper airflow for your pooch, as well as a large, curved entrance to offer your pup additional protection against the elements. The entrance is small, which buyers should keep in mind if they have a taller dog. Some tall dogs may be uncomfortable entering the dog house due to the lack of height in the enclosure.

We recommend buying a size up from what you think your dog will need to ensure a non-claustrophobic fit.

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The bottom line? If you buy a size up from what your dog usually requires, this tough, outdoor dog igloo will keep your dog safe and sheltered from harsh outdoor conditions.

  • Inexpensive
  • Ventilation for comfort on hot days
  • Offset entrance protects your dog from rain and wind
  • Entrance may not accommodate a tall dog

2. Precision Pet Outback Log Exterior Dog House

Precision Pet Outback Log Cabin Dog House
  • Off center entrance provides pets with additional protection from the elements
  • Weather resistant coating and solid wood construction keeps pets warm in colder temperatures

Last update on 2019-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This attractive dog house comes in small, medium, and large sizes to accommodate most dogs. The door is off to the side, which means your precious pup can curl up in to keep him safe from the elements getting in through the door. The wooden construction is sturdy and strong, with no chance of being tipped over in adverse weather conditions.

This dog home is also coated with a weather-resistant finish, to keep the home looking like new and prevent mold and other moisture-related diseases from permeating the wooden structure. Users found that this coating, however, did not render the dog house completely waterproof and that some experienced warping in the roof after heavy rain exposure.

This sophisticated dog home is also raised on plastic feet, to ensure your pet stays dry and no ground moisture get into the house through the floors. This pet home can also be installed in minutes.

Buyers beware: If your dog is a chewer, then it is probably best to avoid wooden dog houses in general. Your little chewer may decide that this wooden dog house is the perfect object in the yard to sink his teeth into and destroy your pricey purchase.

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The bottom line? This dog house is attractive to look and won’t create an eyesore in your yard. Although it isn’t completely weatherproof, the design will keep your dog sheltered from the elements and the raised flooring will keep your happy hound dry in his house.

  • Elegant looking wooden construction
  • Raised floor to keep water from seeping through the floor
  • Offset doorway to protect from the elements
  • Pricey
  • Warps in the rain

3. Petmate 290710 Barn Home III for Small Pets

Petmate Barnhome III, 50-90LBS
  • Barn-shaped dog house that protects your dog from the hot or cold outdoor elements
  • Rear air ventilation system to promote air circulation

Last update on 2019-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This cute, barn-themed dog house comes in 5 different sizes to accommodate most dog sizes. It is appropriate for outdoor use and will serve to protect your dog from rainy or snowy conditions.

Although the roof guard will protect your dog from rainfall, it is in the center if the dog house, so your dog could get wet during sideways rain or rain accompanied by heavy winds. This dog house has a vent on its rear to promote healthy air flow for your pet.

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This pet home is super easy to put together and to take apart for cleaning. The lack of insulation in the dog house may make this dog home inappropriate for a winter shelter as animals may get cold. The plastic construction of this dog house also offers built-in protection against mold and decay. The Petmate Barn home is made in the USA out of high-quality materials.

  • Reasonably priced
  • Resistant to mold and fungus
  • Rain guard
  • Back end ventilation
  • Made in USA
  • No insulation
  • Door is not offset to further protect the animal from the rain

4. Merry Products Wood Pet Home

Merry Pet MPS002 Wood Room with a View Pet House
  • Durable pet home ideal for indoor or outdoor use
  • Made from kiln-dried cedar and treated with natural color stains

Last update on 2019-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This adorable dog house is designed for smaller pets. This dog house can accommodate a dog of about 20 lb and no more than 3 feet long. It is made out of kiln-dried cedar and had a really elegant looking finish to it. This dog house is designed for both indoor and outdoor use and includes the main home, the lattice framed balcony and the little staircase.

The main house has a raised floor to help keep pets dry and happy in the house. The roof is also removable for ultra easy cleaning. This dog house, unfortunately, does not have weatherproof finishing which makes it difficult to use in the winter or during heavy rainfall, but the roof top balcony means that in nice weather your pet can choose between shade or sunbathing.

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The bottom line? This inexpensive dog house is adorable and attractive for a smaller pet. It won’t become a blemish in your yard or on your porch. Although unfortunately not waterproof, this two-storey dog house will give your dog a choice between sun and shade on hot days.

  • Inexpensive
  • Provides indoor and outdoor space for dogs
  • Easy to clean
  • Attractive
  • Not weatherproof
  • Comes in only one size

5. Climate Master Plus Luxury Insulated Dog House

Climate Master Plus Insulated Dog House w Door - Large
  • The large insulated dog house is designed specifically for large dog breeds weighing up to about 100 lbs, including most German Shepherds, smaller Rottweilers,...
  • External Dimensions - 36 3/4" Width x 39 3/4" Depth x 37 3/4" Height

Last update on 2019-01-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This premium pet home comes in a variety of sizes of dogs and cats and most packages include salon quality clippers. The roof on this dog house comes off to allow users ultra easy cleaning. It is also extremely easy to set up and take apart.

The saloon style doors are ideal for pets as they open outwards from either side to protect your pet from snowfall or rain without stressing it out. The door is also offset to offer ever more protection. These doors are shatterproof and can also be locked to keep pests out at night.

This dog house is weatherproof and has a full 1 inch of lining to help protect your pet no matter what the weather outside! This dog house is also raised off the ground to help protect the base of the pet house from damage, as well as keep your dog dry and comfortable. There is also an aerated flap in the back of the house to keep your pup well ventilated and to allow heat to escape in the summer.

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The bottom line? Besides being utterly adorable, this dog house is also well built from high-quality materials. It will adequately protect your precious pooch from the elements as well as provide your dog with well-needed shade on hot days and shield them from cold weather. It is, however, extremely pricey.

  • Extremely expensive

In conclusion, the dog house you pick for your pampered pup will largely depend on his size, where you live and how you will be using this dog house. We hope that this guide will help you make an educated decision in picking the best dog house for your pet!

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