Despite all the flowery talk about making Bowser a part of the pack (the family), there will be times when your dog likes to be a dog.
There’s no better way to give in to their canine instincts than retire to a dog house.
Dogs descended from wolves. They have always lived outdoors in dens.
No matter what you read or what people say, it’s not inhuman to keep your dog in a dog house, provided that it has ample room, keeps your pet safe, dry and warm.
If you are busy professional looking for a resting place for your pooch for a few hours each day, or have a watchdog that needs a large outdoor dog house, then you are in the right place.
Today, we will talk about the best dog houses in the market in 2018.
Here’s a glimpse.
Dog House Review Center 2019
|#1 - Petsfit Dog House||99%|
|#2 - Suncast DH350 Dog House||96%|
|#3 - Precision Pet Extreme Log Cabin||93%|
|#4 - Merry Products Wood Pet Home||89%|
|#5 - Petmate Barnhome III Dog House||85%|
How we selected the best dog house
Canines are simple creatures. Their needs from a dog house are not much different irrespective of what size or breed they are. It’s pet parents who fuss about what color the dog house is or whether it’s an igloo dog house or a log cabin. So, our selections were based on canine requirements clubbed with a few basic maintenance features.
Whether its indoors or outdoors, pick a dog house that fits in the space. Your dog only needs enough room to be able to stretch out fully and maybe sit at times inside the house. Anything additional is overkill. However, some pet parents just like their doggy quarters to be large and spacious. Nothing wrong in that as long as you have the space to accommodate it.
Wood is obviously the most popular material in dog houses. And we have a couple of solid wood dog houses in this list. But, tough plastic is not a bad choice either. With wood, you will have to treat it and apply a sealant to use outdoors. Plastic does not rust or rot. The caveat is that it will wear down faster than wood.
Outdoor dog houses come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. From simple cage or barn styled ones to fancy igloo dog houses, there’s no dearth of designs to choose from. Rather than selecting a dog house based on the aesthetics, look for design characteristics like a slanted roof that allows rain water to run off, a raised bottom panel that keeps the floor of the house dry and prevents parasites and a hinged roof or large door that allows easy access to the inside of the cage for cleaning.
This one’s a no-brainer. If weather conditions are cold and the dog house is kept outside, then it needs to be insulated. However, there are some really good quality dog houses that do not have insulation. So don’t let this be a deal breaker. You can always buy aftermarket insulated covers or even make one of your own with some Mylar blankets or tarp.
After sifting through thousands of customer reviews, these are the pick of the lot.
#1 – Petsfit Dog House
We first saw the Petsfit Dog House in Arkansas a couple of years ago and instantly fell in love with it.
It looks stunning, is made of natural cedar, dyed with water-based, non-toxic paint and is available in five sizes.
The largest one is 45.6” long, 30.9” wide and about 32” tall.
That’s perfect for large-sized dog breeds or two smaller dogs. It also works as a chicken cage or a house for feral cats, guinea pigs, rabbits or chinchillas.
Keeps your pet off the ground
The Petsfit dog house is raised off the ground and has a removable, slatted floor for easy cleaning.
This serves two purposes.
- If you intend to keep the dog house outdoors, it will keep your dog from sleeping on a wet or moist floor.
- The slats allow excellent air flow and keep the dog cool during summers. During winters, throw in a doggie bed to prevent cold air from seeping in.
Roof lifts up for quick access
The dog house has a hinged roof that lifts upwards for quickly accessing the insides.
That’s a very useful feature because the door isn’t very wide. However, it is off-centered.
This prevents rainwater from blowing in on a windy, rainy day.
Also, it comes with a door flap that will keep the inside of the cage dry.
- Natural wood construction
- Water based paint with contrasting trims
- Five sizes
- Raised floor allows it to be kept outside
- Rubberized feet prevent damage to hardwood flooring
- Roof lifts upwards for quick access
- Five sizes, two colors
- Removable floor for cleaning
- The door is not lockable.
- The slatted design allows wind drafts to enter the cage. You might have to insulate this in the winter.
#2 – Suncast DH350 Dog House
The Suncast DH350 is a budget-priced large dog house.
It is constructed from resin and features a crowned floor. If you are shopping for one or even two economical dog houses, then look no further.
This is sturdy, roomy and with some minor modifications, can be weatherproofed for sun, rain and snow.
Assembles in minutes
The Suncast DH350 is designed for fast, easy assembly. The only caveat is that you’d have to assemble it in the place where you intend to keep it.
The dimensions are fairly large and the pitched roof will not fit through a standard sized door.
Thankfully, it mostly comes preassembled and the neatly labelled parts make it a no-brainer.
Roomy and sturdy
A plastic dog house doesn’t seem too reassuring, especially when the market is crammed with wooden dog houses.
But don’t let the unassuming appearance fool you. This one is as sturdy as they get. We spoke to a pet parent who spoke at length about how the Suncast DH350 had outlived a pricier wooden dog house through a storm.
True, it might start to peel in a year or two in extremely hot conditions. You might also need to insulate it during freezing winters. But those are just minor niggles.
Otherwise, it is extremely roomy, has a removable roof for easy cleaning and is available in different sizes.
- Budget priced large dog house
- Easy to assemble
- Can be used indoors and outdoors
- Comes with vinyl lettering for your pet’s name
- Removable roof for cleaning
- Crowned floor
- Tough, durable plastic construction
- Will need insulation during the winters
#3 – Precision Pet Extreme Log Cabin
The Precision Pet Extreme Log Cabin is a stunner.
The natural wood finish with black accents will easily blend into any backyard or patio.
It is spacious, weather resistant and has a raised floor that keeps your pet well protected from the elements.
At the same time, it costs half of what a similar dog house from a popular brand would cost.
Solid wood, stainless steel hardware
A lot of wooden dog houses look amazing on the internet. But are actually made of MDF or cheap wood composites that start to rot when stored outside.
The Precision Pet dog house is made from heavy duty wood. It weighs almost 48 pounds when assembled. And this extra weight keeps it rock steady even on a windy day.
The wood is rot and pest resistant and the raised floor with the individual height adjustable feet allows you to store it outside, irrespective of the surface level.
Slanted, rain-resistant shingled roof
The slanted, rain-resistant asphalt roof ensures that water or snow doesn’t get accumulated. This prevents ice dams from forming on them.
Also, Precision pet sells a separate insulated cover that fits the dog house snugly. This makes it so much easier than having to make a DIY insulated cover for the winters.
One minor grumble that we have with this large dog house is that it doesn’t have a hinged roof. To make up for this, the manufacturer has made a really wide off-centered door that allows you easy access to the inside.
But that would still mean crouching on your knees. A hinged roof would have made the dog house easier to clean as well.
- Heavy duty wooden dog house
- Solid wood construction
- Rot and pet resistant
- Rust resistant stainless steel hardware
- Natural wood or gray finish with black accents
- Slanted, rain-resistant asphalt roof
- Insulated cover available for purchase
- Raised floor
- The roof is not hinged. So you’d have to clean the dog house using the door instead. That’s not a deal breaker though.
#4 – Merry Products Wood Pet Home
The Merry Products Wood Pet Home has such a cute design that you’d be forced to store it in your living room.
Most pet parents who own this certainly think so.
It is a dog house with a balcony, latticework frames for the sides and a set of side steps that allow your pet to easily climb on to the balcony for relaxation.
Solid wood construction
The dog house is made from kiln-dried cedar, which makes it very lightweight. Perfect to move around the house if need be. It has a raised floor which keeps doggy away from a wet floor.
By the way, it is designed for small dog breeds or cats only. It is 21″ long x 29″ wide x 26″ tall. That’s sufficient for a 10 to 12-pound dog at best.
If you plan to keep this outdoors, then we recommend that you stake it to the ground to prevent your pet from tipping it over. Also, a UV sealant wouldn’t hurt.
Easy to clean
The Merry Products Wood Pet Home comes with a removable roof and floor panel that make cleaning the dog house a breeze. If your pet is resting on the balcony (which most dogs love to do), you can just slide out the floor panel and scrub it clean.
Else, you can remove the roof, lift your pet out of the dog house and clean it.
Just wipe it with a damp cloth and allow it to air dry.
The side steps can be swapped with aftermarket dog ramps if your pet finds them too shallow or slippery.
- Cute design with a bottom lounge and a resting balcony on top
- Solid wood construction
- Removable roof
- Raised floor for easy cleaning
- Side steps allow the dog to climb to the balcony
- May not be suited for outdoor use
#5 – Petmate Barnhome III Dog House
The Barnhome III from Petmate is a no-frills attached, barebones plastic dog house that works equally well for both outdoor and indoor use.
It is made of tough and thick plastic that does not rot or need a sealant, ever.
Assembly is a cakewalk as there are just two pieces that snap together. It might look more like a portable dog carrier but it’s far from it.
It is a good quality outdoor dog house that will keep your pet warm and dry.
Available in four sizes
The Petmate Barnhome III is available in four sizes ranging from extra small to extra-large. The largest one is suited for dogs that are up to 90 lbs. But we have seen it house a 110 lbs. dog with some room to spare.
In fact, we were surprised when we saw it because the pictures don’t do justice to the actual size. You can be rest assured that your pet will have plenty of room.
Also, since it has a barn-styled design, there’s a thoughtfully placed rear ventilation system that keeps the dog house airy during summers.
The door is wide enough for easy entry and exit for the pets and there’s a door flap sold separately that will prevent rainwater from entering.
Sturdy Plastic with a fair amount of insulation
The packaging on the Petmate Barnhome III Dog House mentions that it’s insulated. And we have spoken to many pet parents who use it outdoors with just a few towels or a cushion thrown in. No extra insulation at all.
But, if weather conditions are extremely cold, we recommend that you use some Mylar blankets to make an insulated cover for it, in addition to the blankets/rug.
On a positive note, this large dog house can easily sustain strong winds without being staked to the ground.
- Simple but effective barn shaped dog house
- Tough, durable and thick plastic construction
- Available in 4 sizes and two colors
- Fits pets from 15″ to 28″ tall
- Easy assembly
- Removable top cover
- Raised lip on bottom panel
- Easy to clean
- Will need to be insulated in extremely cold conditions
Choosing the Best Dog House: A Buying Guide
Just like people, dogs need a place that they can call their own. For most dogs, that is their dog house. You can put a dog house indoors or outdoors, and they have some pretty big benefits for your dog that you should know about. In fact, many experts say that dogs actually need their own houses and space, and to not provide that for them might actually raise your dog’s anxiety levels.
But understanding that you need a dog house doesn’t actually help you choose one. There are certain things that you want to understand about size, material and location before you buy, and there are a lot of options out there, so it can be useful to narrow down your choices to a few dozen or less.
In this buying guide, we will be going over all the things that you need to know about buying a dog house. There are a lot of places that you can make a home for your dog including a dog crate, dog playpen or outdoor dog kennel, but a dog house may be the best option of all. Let’s start with looking at the reasons why you might need a dog house in the first place.
Why Should You Buy a Dog House?
There are a lot of reasons why you should get either a large dog house or a small dog house for your puppy. Even though modern domesticated dogs spend most of their time inside human spaces, most of them still have a need for their own space. That’s because dogs are descended from wolves. Wolves created a den where they could be safe and secure among all of the dangers of the wild. This was often a cave or shelf, although little burrows that were dug out of the sides of a hill were also pretty common.
You see, your dog wants to be somewhere where they have security. If you can give them three walls that remind them of a den that their ancestors may have used, and they can feel secure because they are able to see forward to the only direction were danger can come, you can do a great deal to reduce a dog’s anxiety levels. That is especially true for dogs that have problems with loud noises or lots of foot traffic inside your home. Having a safe place to go can be pretty important for a dog, and dog houses provide exactly that.
Of course, there are other reasons that you may want to get a dog house as well. For example, if your dog house is located outside, it can keep the rain off of your dog, warm him up in the winter or stay cooler in the summer and provide shade from the sun.
There are several different materials that dog houses are made from, and you will have to choose what sort of material is going to work best for your dog, your personal preferences and your budget. The material that you choose isn’t all that important in the grand scheme of things, simply because your dog will probably be happy in a dog house made of any material as long as the other factors are correct – factors like size, shape and location. However, you still should be aware of the options you have.
Wood: Dog houses made of wood are fairly inexpensive, and they can be really beautiful. Wooden dog houses can be found at many pet stores and online retail locations that sell the best wooden dog houses, and the only real disadvantages that they have is that would can sometimes rot and so they may not last as long as dog house is made of other materials. In addition, if you do not cover the floor properly or make sure that you maintain your dog house, there is a small chance of your dog getting a splinter.
Plastic: Plastic dog houses also have their disadvantages, but the advantages of them far outweigh the negatives. Plastic dog houses will last forever, they come in really stylish designs and you can get them in any size or shape that you want. The only real disadvantage with plastic dog houses is that they can get a lot hotter in the summer because they retain heat better and can be very warm to the touch. They also retain cold.
Steel Dog Houses: There are steel dog houses out there as well, although mostly people call these kennels. You can get wireframe kennels that will allow you to convert them into a dog house by adding side and ceiling panels that block all of the sides except for one; making it into a place where your dog will feel secure. These have the advantage of being more ventilated than other types of dog houses. However, that also gives them the disadvantage of not keeping your dog warm enough during the winter months.
Insulated: You also might want to look into getting an insulated dog house, which stays really warm in the winter and cooler in the summer, although you should probably use cooling pads for dogs or cooling vests for dogs to get the best result. Insulated dog houses cost a little more than other dog houses, but they can be a great investment if you’re planning on putting the dog house outside.
The Size of the Dog House
So, how do you choose the size of your dog house? The answer to that starts with understanding why dogs love their dog houses and what they use them for. Dogs are descended from wolves, and as such, they are used to living in dens. The benefit of a den for a dog is that they are able to crawl into their den and curl up to sleep while feeling totally secure because they are surrounded on three sides by a wall and can keep their eyes on the front entrance. Wolves and dogs created these dens – or took advantage of natural formations – because the threat of predators was very real. Even though it is been a long time since domesticated dogs had to worry about that sort of thing, they still have it in their DNA.
So, what you need to keep in mind about the dog house that you get is that it should be just big enough for your dog to go into and be able to turn around comfortably. Some people get really big dog houses so they can add things like indestructible dog beds, interactive dog toys, a dog bowl filled with dog food or even an automatic dog feeder. But your dog doesn’t really want that in the dog house. Your dog wants a den where they can go to feel secure and get a little rest and anything that is too large is going to not serve its purpose. You can keep the water bowl and dog food container outside of the dog house. Of course, you can add a dog bed,but just make sure that it is just snug enough to fit into the right-sized dog house
One more thing to think about when it comes to size: it is perfectly acceptable to buy a dog house that is a little larger than your dog if they still have some growing to do. They may not be as comfortable in it until they get to that size, but it will save you a great deal of money and dogs grow pretty fast.
Essential Dog house Features
There are certain features that you will want your dog house to have. These are essential features that you definitely cannot do without. There are some additional features that we will discuss a little later that you don’t necessarily have to ensure are present in the dog house that you buy, but the ones that are listed here are essential to every dog. While most of the dog houses out there will have these features automatically, there are a few that do not so you should be aware of what they are and how important they are before you start narrowing down your choices in dog houses.
Raised Floor: A raised floor is one of the most important things you can have in a dog house; you definitely do not want your pets sleeping on the bare ground or even on the carpet if you can help it. Dog houses that are placed outside should have a raised floor at least two inches off the ground. This allows your pet to remain isolated from the heat or cold that they would otherwise be exposed to with the dog house doesn’t have a floor. You can put something in there for your dog to lie on that would not be affected by the elements like indestructible dog beds or a blanket.
Ventilation: Your dog needs to be able to breathe and there should be plenty of airflow throughout the dog house. This is not only important to your dog being able to receive oxygen, it is also important because otherwise the odor would get really strong and it would be a place where disease could run rampant. Make sure there is plenty of ventilation with any of the dog house is that you buy.
Protection from the Wind: The wind can be pretty cruel in certain areas of the country, but even where wind is usually mild, there should be some sort of wind protection. That’s why dog houses should have three walls with the opening on the front. If you can wall off most of the dog house, then your dog will be completely protected from the wind while they are inside the house.
Shade: Your dog needs to have a roof on the dog house because it offers shade. It also insulates the dog house for winter months, but the most important thing is that it offers them a chance to get out of the sun when they want to. Almost every dog house comes with the roof automatically, but there are few out there that do not or sell the roof separately.
A Doorway: You should definitely have a doorway instead of just an open side. If you build three walls and leave one side open so that they can enter and exit, it is not going to be nearly as comforting to them – or as regulated temperature wise in the winter and summer months – as a dog house that has four sides with one side having a doorway cut into it. Again, most dog houses are already designed this way, but you want to keep this in mind anyway.
Waterproof Roof: Almost all of the dog houses out there have waterproof roofs, but it is worth asking about or checking the manufacturer specifications. There are some cheaply made dog houses out there that do not have waterproof roofs, and while you can cover it with a piece of plastic or a dog car seat cover to keep out the rain, it is just easier if the roof is already waterproof
Optional Dog house Features
There are some optional features that you will want to consider as well. These are features that are not absolutely necessary like the previous ones, but they are still things that you want to keep in mind because they could make your dog happier and improve their time in the dog house. Depending upon the climate, some of these will actually be required.
Door: You may want to consider a door for your dog house. Previously, we talked about having a doorway installed, but some people actually nail up pieces of plastic that your dog can go in and out through which offer more protection against the sun and especially keep the heat in the dog house in the winter. You obviously don’t want a door that your dog cannot get through when he wants to get into his dog house, but there are ways that you can set up a door that your dog will be able to use anytime he or she wants.
Removable Roof or Cleaning Access: You’ll need to clean your dog house once in a while. You can get a vacuum for dog hair that can do a pretty decent job – at least when it comes to hair removal – but you still want to be able to get in there and clean the dog house regularly in order to prevent disease and eliminate odors. This is especially true if this is an indoor dog house.
Heating: In the winter, you may want to heat your dog house. You can put a heating pad in there, and as long as you have an insulated dog house, then your dog should be able to retain the heat for a long period of time and even when the temperatures drop. That will depend upon whether you have a large dog house or a small dog house, but the best dog houses are specifically made for that size and age of dog. Just make sure that you have extension cords that your dog will not be able to chew through if the heating pad is electric.
Solar Fan: Alternatively, you need to keep your dog cool in the summer and that’s where solar fan can come in. Dog houses can get pretty warm in the summer, and a solar fan that kicks in when the temperature inside rises too high will mean that your dog will be more willing to use it.
Overhang: An overhang can offer shade to your dog and allow them to lie out front of their dog house when they want to instead of having to go inside. This is a great way to give them a place to hang out during the peak of the day when the sun is at its hottest.
Ramp: You may need a dog ramp if your dog is disabled or has a hard time getting around due to arthritis or other medical problems. This is due to the aforementioned raised floor. Most dogs are able to climb onto raised floor easily, but dogs that are disabled or have medical problems may not be able to do so.
Dog House Accessories to Consider
Some accessories that you may want to consider for your dog include some interactive dog toys or puzzle toys for dogs that they can play with near their dog house. You do not want your dog to feel as if their dog house is a punishment. You want them to find it a fun place to go and a secure place to hang out.
Giving them some of their favorite toys can be helpful in establishing the dog house as a place that was set up specifically for them out of love instead of somewhere that they do not want to go. This is especially helpful for people that have not had a dog house but have had to put their dog into a crate to transport them. You have to make clear that there is a difference between the two.
Something else that people install near their dog house, especially if they have a very small yard, is a dog treadmill that allows them to run and get exercise. Going out on walks is really fun for dogs, but some dogs need more exercise than others.
Where to Buy a Dog House
There are lots of places where you can get a dog house. There’ll pet warehouse is online, major retailers like Amazon and then there are the stores that exist in your very own city or town. There probably several different stores that sell only pet products as well as department stores that sell dog houses. That’s why you have to narrow down your choices and find out which dog houses are the best, because choosing the right one can be challenging when there are so many people selling them and so many different models and types of dog houses out there.
Of course, the best way to do it is to look at the list of the top dog houses out there and choose from one of them. These reviews have already been narrowed down to the very best that the Internet has to offer, and these are some of the most advanced, secure and safe dog houses out there for people that want the best for their pup.
Additional Dog House Tips
Some other things to keep in mind when it comes to having a dog house starts with making sure that your dog house is somewhere near the activity. You don’t want your dog to feel isolated when he or she goes to their dog house. Instead, you should place your dog house somewhere near the action – but not right in the middle of it – so that they can take a break if they want and go lay down but still be able to see what is going on and come out and participate if they want.
You also want to make sure that your dog collar and dog harness cannot get caught in the dog house. This usually isn’t a problem unless there are protrusions or you are using a wireframe dog house with its own covering. Most people will not have this problem, but it is something to keep in mind because you don’t want your dog to get snagged and not be able to pull away.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that there are lots of dog houses out there to choose from, but you need to know certain information in order to choose the best one for your pet. Factors like size, construction material and placement of your dog house are all important to the happiness of your pet. You definitely should get them a dog house, because having a place that they can call their own and go to lay down when they want some relaxation time is important. But you want to choose the best one.