An outdoor dog kennel is part of canine essentials, if you plan to have an outside dog or even confine your home pet to the outdoors for a few hours each day (while you are working).
It is important to look for a sturdy, roomy and airy kennel that gives your pet plenty of everything they need.
That’s security, space and some much-needed sunshine.
It’s the first part of that equation that’s tricky here.
When you go shopping for that large outdoor dog kennel, everything looks identical.
And with some greasy hard sell, you can be swayed into buying cheap Asian-made kennels that are nothing to write home about.
Thankfully, we are here. (What would you do without us?)
Outdoor Dog Kennel Review Center 2019
|#1 - Lucky Dog Modular Box Dog Kennel with Waterproof Cover||99%|
|#2 - MidWest Homes Outdoor Dog Kennel||96%|
|#3 - Lucky Dog Uptown Welded Wire Kennel||93%|
|#4 - Precision Pet Courtyard Kennel Exercise Pen||89%|
|#5 - Advantek Pet Gazebo Modular Outdoor Dog Kennel||85%|
To bring you the best outdoor dog kennels, we visited farms in the countryside which have always been the outdoor watchdogs’ turf. We spoke to pet owners who have always kept their dogs in large outdoor kennels and had a lot of important things to share with us.
Armed with that information, we hit the city next and spoke to urban wannabe farmers with thumbnail-sized lawns who had their own favorite kennels to recommend. Then we set out to know what the internet thought about our kennels.
How we picked the best outdoor dog kennels
As mentioned earlier, we considered the room inside the kennel, the sturdiness of the metal wire frame, the security (latch), assembly and dismantling (for portability), sun protection (roof) and lastly, the price.
Let’s go over that again.
- The size: All the kennels in this list are available in different sizes. Ensure that you measure your dog from the tip of their nose to the tip of the tail and leave at least a feet of empty space on either sides. That should be the bare minimum size of your outdoor dog kennel. The most spacious ones in this list are the MidWest Home Kennel and the Lucky Dog Kennel.
- The Wireframe: The wireframe needs to be at least 8 gauge thick stainless steel. Anything thinner can and will be chewed through from the inside or even from the outside (urban predators). Despite what the manufacturer says, always coat it with Rustoleum or any other sealant to prevent rusting.
- Security: Most outdoor dog kennels have a single door with a latch for protection. The quality of the latch is important as it will prevent breakout attempts. But this is not really a deal breaker as you can always buy an aftermarket latch and lock it.
- Portability: Not all dog kennels are portable. If you intend to travel frequently with your pet, you might want to check out the Advantek pet gazebo or the Precision Pet Courtyard pen.
- Price: Last but not the least, we have outdoor dog kennels in a variety of price ranges. We hope that you can find one that fits your needs and your pocket.
After sifting through thousands of customer reviews, these are the pick of the lot.
#1 – Lucky Dog Modular Box Dog Kennel with Waterproof Cover
One of the first ones that caught our eye was the Lucky Dog Modular Box kennel. This is a wire frame or a chain link dog kennel with enough room for even the largest of dog breeds.
It is available in three sizes by the way.
The largest one is 10 feet long and stands 6 feet tall. It gives enough space for the dog to stand, stretch out and even walk around.
8 gauge welded wire mesh
The wire mesh is made from heavy duty 8-gauge steel. That’s about 4.36 mm thick and is as sturdy as they come.
Even if your pet’s watched one Prison Break episode too many, they won’t be able to chew their way out of this one. On a positive note, nothing gets in either. Coyotes, Raccoons or even Cougars for that matter.
As is the case with any wire mesh styled cage or crate, there’s ample sunshine and air for your pet. They can keep their watchful eye on the surroundings and spontaneously do their rapturous bits when they see you walk in from a distance.
The wire mesh features 1-inch extended legs that allow easy cleaning with a hose. You can also use a removable plastic cage floor if you wish to keep your pet off the ground. Just slide out when the pet is outside the cage and clean it.
By the way, there’s a large door that allows easy access to the indoors. At times when you want the pet to be confined inside, this can be secured with a padlock.
The Lucky Dog Modular Box Dog also features a waterproof rain cover that keeps Fido dry on a rainy day and protected from the sun otherwise. Personally, we’d always keep an outdoor dog kennel in a shaded area anyway.
Coming back to the roof, it’s not the heaviest grade roof that you can find. But it does the job.
Why we like this
- Spacious large outdoor dog kennel
- 8-gauge steel wire mesh frame
- Airy, with ample light
- 1-inch extended legs
- Large door to easily access the cage
- Waterproof rain cover
- The wire frame might need a rustoleum coat to seal it.
- No assembly instructions provided. Check YouTube tutorials.
#2 – MidWest Homes Outdoor Dog Kennel
This one from MidWest Homes for Pets is a beauty. It is a heavy duty chain link dog kennel that stands 6 feet tall, 10 feet long and 10 feet wide.
It is also available in smaller sizes for small breeds. But one thing’s for sure. Your pet will never feel cramped or claustrophobic in this one.
This also makes it a great choice for a rabbit house or a chicken run by the way.
Easy set up
Detailed setup instructions are included in the package and you should be able to set this up in minutes (with an extra pair of hands to help).
It’s almost a no-tool set up. Just a couple of wrenches should suffice.
The design is a patented one with rounded corners. There are no sharp edges on the inside that can harm your pet. And the chain link makes it very sturdy and wobble free even if your pet stands up and leans against the frames.
We aren’t sure about the gauge of the steel used for the wire mesh. But it’s extremely sturdy and chew proof.
There’s a large door that allows pets to get in and out easily. The latch is not the best. But you can easily secure it using para cord or something more secure. Not a deal breaker.
The MidWest Home for pets large dog kennel features a sunroof, made of woven polyethylene which the manufacturer claims, protects your dog from almost 80% of sun exposure.
We vouch for this. We have seen this kennel being used in a backyard with ample sunlight and the pet was cool and relaxed in his corner of the cage completely unaware of it.
But, the sunroof is secured to the frames using plastic zip ties, which may not hold up to the extreme cold in the winter. Like we said earlier, just use something that’s more durable to secure it.
Why we like this
- Beautifully designed outdoor dog kennel
- Three sizes
- Ample room
- Thick steel wire frame
- Chain Link design
- Secure latch on the door
- Sunroof that keeps 80% of the sun out
- The plastic zip ties. You will need to look for sturdier alternatives to secure the roof to the frames.
#3 – Lucky Dog Uptown Welded Wire Kennel
The Lucky Dog Uptown Wedled Wire Kennel is perfect for small backyards that cannot house a 10-foot-long large outdoor dog kennel.
This is a much smaller, albeit, roomy dog kennel that is easy to assemble and comes with a pitched roof for sun and rain protection.
A sturdy wireframe design and elevated feet complete what is a well-rounded package.
The Lucky Dog outdoor dog kennel is available in three sizes. The largest one is 6-feet-tall, 4 feet wide and about 8 feet long. If you only use the kennel for a few hours every day, you can buy a slightly smaller model which is again 6 feet in height, 4 feet in width and just 4 feet in length.
This may not suffice for larger dogs to stretch out mind you. But it is roomy enough for a few hours of rest or outdoor time. The compact footprint is perfect for urban homes with limited backyard space.
This is one of the only kennels that we have seen with a pitched steel roof frame and a heavy duty waterproof cover. This prevents waterlogging and dirt and debris from building up on the roof. Just hose it down for a quick cleanup. Likewise with the inside of the cage. The elevated feet make it easy to sweep or hose down.
UV resistant paint
The Lucky Dog outdoor kennel has a UV resistant powder coating that does not chip, crack or peel with sun exposure.
While the wireframe itself is coated, we’d still recommend a rust coating to prolong its lifespan. Also, ensure that you stake it to the ground, especially if high speed winds are common in the area that you reside in.
This may also be essential while housing large dogs that can stand up leaning aginst the frame.
Why we love it
- Available in compact sizes
- Sturdy wireframe
- Pitched roof with heavy duty rain cover
- Sturdy c
- Available in three sizes, one of which is compact enough for small backyard use
- Elevated feet for easy cleaning
- UV coated wireframe that does not deteriorate with sun exposure
- A large dog has chewed its way out of this one. That’s only one incident among hundreds of other positive reviews. A faulty batch maybe?
#4 – Precision Pet Courtyard Kennel Exercise Pen
This one’s not exactly a dog kennel for housing your pet. Instead, it is an exercise pen that can give your dog their daily dose of sun and wind without letting them out of your sight.
The neighborhood chipmunk can entice them all they want. They will stay secured without being limited by a leash.
6 sturdy, interlocking panels create a spacious play area that give the dog enough room to do their favorite doggy things.
Adjustable pen size
The Precision pet outdoor dog kennel features an easy drop-pin assembly that allows you to customize the size of the play area. If you have a large rambunctious puppy, just expand the play pen to make it roomier.
It has a drop-pin design that makes it effortless to set up and customize. Just lift the pin, readjust the panel and drop it in again to secure it.
The panels are pretty sturdy. But a large dog might be able to topple it. So, secure it using the ground stakes included in the pack.
Portable dog kennel
The easy assembly and folding also makes this a great portable dog kennel. It’s heavy mind you. Weighs almost 90 lbs. But you can easily load one panel at a time into your car or RV and have peace of mind with you.
Add some polyethylene fabric on top and you are protected from sun and rain as well.
Almost forgot to mention that each panel is 3 feet long, 3 feet tall and 6 feet wide. It has a removable door for easy access into the play area. Thankfully, the door is about 6 inches above the bottom. So the famed puppy crawl will not allow them to break out of this one.
Comes with two sets of drop in pins. Large ones for the outdoors that go into the ground to secure it and shorter ones for patios that won’t scratch or damage the floor.
Why we like it
- Outdoor dog kennel and playpen in one
- Budget priced
- Extremely easy setup
- Size adjustable
- 6 interlocking panels
- The pen is only 3 feet tall. If a large dog really wanted to get out, they’d probably be able to jump over it. Get a roof folks.
#5 – Advantek Pet Gazebo Modular Outdoor Dog Kennel
What better than a portable pet gazebo that can be setup in minutes and folds down into a compact unit that can be accommodated in a tote?
That’s the Advantek Modular outdoor dog kennel for you.
A sturdy, dog kennel with a stainless steel wireframe design, that works perfectly for both large and small yards.
Three sizes, attractive colors
The Advantek gazebo range is available in three sizes.
The smallest one is called the advantek cabana and measures 48L x 48W x 48H in.
The medium sized one is the Original Pet Gazebo that measures 60L x 60W x 60H in. whereas the largest one is called the Pavillion which measures a whopping 90L X 90W X 90H.
All models are available in Aztec gold, a metallic color, other than black.
All models have a pitched roof with a protective vinyl covering.
Assembly is extremely easy and two people should be able to set this up in less than an hour. Thankfully, Advantek doesn’t cut corners when it comes to instructions. They are detailed and illustrated.
Bunch of very useful accessories
Depending on whether you are using it at home in the backyard or during a camping/hunting trip, you have the option of buying some very useful accessories from Advantek.
We really love the reversible rip stop nylon shade that can be attached to the side of the kennel and gives your pet a cool, shaded resting place.
Also, the pet gazebo tote bag is really useful for travel.
If you wish to extend your gazebo into two (You have the option to do that as well), for use as a rabbit playpen or a chicken hide, you can buy the gazebo corridor cover which keeps the connecting area shaded too.
Why we like it
- Easy to assemble
- 8-shaped octagon that looks stunning
- Pitched roof with rain cover
- Available in Aztec gold metallic color
- Portable for carrying during camping/hunting trips
- Reversible rip stop nylon shade for covering the sides
- Tucks into a tote after dismantling
- Poor quality lock on the door. Just replace it with something sturdier if you are using this to house an escape artist.
A Buying Guide to Choosing the Perfect Outdoor Dog Kennel
One of the things that you may want to get for your dog is an outdoor dog kennel. Outdoor dog kennels can be really useful when it comes to keeping your dog in a safe place and for training as well. An outside dog run can allow them to exercise when you don’t have fencing around your yard, and there are lots of other benefits to having an outdoor dog pen as well. But how do you choose which dog kennel to get? That’s exactly what we will be discussing this buying guide.
There are a lot of things that go into choosing the right dog kennel. You have to be aware of the materials that these dog kennels are made out of, what sorts of kennel sizes are best for which breeds and which size of dogs, when to choose a large outdoor dog kennel and when to get a smaller one and a lot of other things that all go into your buying decision.
An outdoor dog kennel is not an inexpensive purchase, so you want to make the best decision possible. Dog kennels are not prohibitively expensive, but you are going to be spending more than if you were just to get your dog a carrying crate or wire cage. However, the cost depends upon what sort of material you choose and how much of an outdoor dog cage you are going to need.
What is an Outdoor Dog Kennel?
But before we get into that, you have to understand exactly what an outdoor dog kennel is. Some people get outdoor dog kennels confused with other types of dog pens. For example, many people confuse the small wire cages that you use for training or to hold your dog what you travel for outdoor dog kennels. But the truth is, outdoor dog kennels are more like fencing. Your dog kennel will be big enough for your dog to run around freely and get plenty of exercise and it should be large enough to where you can put a dog bed, dog bowl or automatic dog feeder and other comforts.
The reason that you should have a place for dog food from one of the dog food brands you use as well as something for your dog to do like interactive dog toys or puzzle toys for dogs is due to the fact that your dog will be spending a great deal of time inside your large outdoor dog kennel. This is not a dog crate that you will be using rarely; this is a full-size dog playpen complete with all the comforts of home and a dog house with the bed inside of it. Your dog kennel is a place for your dog to spend hours in while you are at work, and still be able to move around and take care of business. Your dog kennel will take up a pretty significant part of your backyard – unless it is extraordinarily large – so it is a pretty serious investment.
The Benefits of Outdoor Dog Kennels
There are a lot of benefits to outdoor dog kennels. One of the best ways to find out if your dog kennel is big enough is by using a dog activity monitor that will tell you whether they are getting enough exercise. If not, then it is likely that your dog kennel simply does not have enough room for them to move around. For people that don’t have a lot of time to take their dog on walks, a large dog kennel that is outfitted with indestructible dog beds or play toys will definitely help to ensure that your dog gets everything that they need even while they are locked in their kennel.
However, you do not necessarily have to lock them in their kennel all the time. In fact, you can even put an electronic dog door on your kennel so that they are able to go in and out whenever they choose. Some people are very restrictive with their dogs, using a GPS tracker for dogs to know where they are and keeping them locked in kennels for the majority of the day. This is usually due to being busy rather than any sort of malice towards their dogs, but the result is the same: dogs that do not get enough exercise and freedom are going to be miserable. Make sure that you are putting your dog in their kennel for as little time as possible and that you are still taking them on walks and playing with them.
Another major benefit to having an outdoor dog kennel is that you can use it for various tasks that you had trouble with before. For example, if you want to groom your dog, you can put them in the kennel and they will have nowhere to go if they do not like the sound of your dog hair dryer or the feel of your dog brush. This is also the case with a dog shampoo. If you have to do a puppy shampoo, and your dog does not ordinarily like water, you will be glad that they are only able to go around the kennel instead of running out of your yard across the street because you do not have an electric fence.
What Size Do You Need?
The size that you need is definitely the most important consideration when it comes to choosing a sturdy outdoor dog kennel. There are two schools of thought when it comes to how much size you should give your dog. Some experts recommend that your dog should have just enough room to sit and stand up and be able to turn around in a full circle. They should also be able to lie down and stretch out. That obviously doesn’t leave very much room for any of the items that we discussed earlier – such as a doghouse or any of the accessories that you might include in a dog kennel – but there are other experts that disagree with this.
Those experts think that you need to give your dog about twice that much space so that they can run back and forth in the kennel and get plenty of exercise. If that’s the case, then you’re going to have plenty of room to put a doghouse in as well as some of the other accessories. You do want to make sure that your dog house is either right in the middle of the dog kennel or somewhere out of the way so that you can give them enough room to run from one end of the kennel to the other. You can choose whichever you like, but if you have the budget for it, going bigger is definitely better because you want your dog to get exercise while in the kennel.
If you are getting a dog kennel for your puppy, then you probably want to go with the same size that you would get a full-time dog. There really isn’t such thing as giving your dog too much space in a dog kennel, and since this is such an expensive investment, getting a kennel that will fit your dog after he or she is fully grown makes a lot of sense financially.
Types of Kennels
There are three different types of kennels that will be discussing. These are the basic types of kennels that you will find, and the most common materials the kennels are made from. There are other kennels out there that you can find that are made of plastic or wood, but they do not offer the same benefits that these kennels do. For one thing, wood and plastic often restrict your dog’s view. That’s not the purpose of a kennel. Let’s look at three of the best big dog cages for outside and the materials that they are made from.
Welded Wire Kennels
Welded wire is the first material that will be discussing for the quality dog kennels that you are considering. Welded wire kennels are definitely one of the best outside dog kennels ideas because they allow the dog outdoor kennel to be strong and sturdy but not overly expensive. They also have a couple of other advantages.
But the first thing you want to understand is exactly what these welded wire kennels are. The welded wire kennels are made from panels that you put together yourself. The panels are preassembled, but the kennel itself is something that you will be constructing. This gives you a major advantage over some of the other types of kennels that are out there – the fact that you can add on more panels later and expand the size of your dog kennel.
If you build your kennel and you find that your dog does not have enough room, or you buy it for a puppy that has now grown to be a full-size dog, then you are able to add on more welded wire panels later to make a bigger kennel. This is one of the best reasons to go with this material when it comes to choosing yours, and welded wire panels are not that expensive.
Boxed Welded Wire Kennels
Boxed welded wire kennels are the next material that we will look at. Black welded wire kennels are usually constructed in a box shape and many come with tarps so that you can protect your dog from both the rain and the sun. The difference between this material and the regular welded wire kennels is that these panels are a little bit stronger and therefore more expensive. They are also painted with a coat of protectant that keeps your panels safe from the elements for a long time.
You are still going to be assembling your dog run with top using the hardware that is provided with the kennel and in whichever shape that you want to make it. That’s the beauty of both welded wire kennels and boxed welded wire kennels. Since you have the freedom to place your panels just about anywhere, you can go around obstructions and set up your kennel even if your yard is oddly shaped or does not have very much room in one direction or another. Neither one of these kennels are difficult to set up, and they are both going to be a lot less expensive than if you were to have chain-link installed in your backyard.
Chain Link Kennels
Chain link kennels are the last type of kennel material that we will be talking about here. Chain link kennels are pretty common, but they are more expensive than the other types of kennels that we discussed above. That’s because chain-link may require a cement foundation with the anchor poles placed into the cement and then the chain-link run along those anchor poles. That means that they are a permanent fixture in your backyard, so you definitely want to get it right the first time. However, the cement floor does provide a place for your dog to run easily and make for easy cleanup if there is an accident.
The problem with chain-link kennels is that you are probably going to have to have someone come out and install them for you. However, you can customize them pretty much any way you want within the cement foundation. The door that is built onto these kennels is really heavy duty as well. Chain-link kennels work best when your dog has a propensity for escaping from there kennel or if you have a valuable breed that someone may want to steal. You can put a lock on your chain-link kennel and make sure that your dog doesn’t get kidnapped.
Choosing Kennel Covers
Something else that you will want to consider is a kennel cover. Some kennels already come with covers as we discussed earlier, but if not then you can go out and get your own kennel covers and provide your dog some protection from the elements. You can get kennel covers that cover all sides, or you can just get roof protection. The reason that these kennel covers work so well is that your dog actually enjoys being in a place where they are protected on all sides but one. This allows them to face the front and know that a threat can only come from one direction like when they get into their den.
But even if you don’t get covers for the sides, you should still get some kind of covering for your roof. Your dog can go into the doghouse when the sun is too hot or the rain starts falling if you have one inside the kennel, but they may prefer to stay outside of possible, and providing them with shade or of roof that keeps the rain off of them might be just what the doctor ordered. You will have to decide for yourself.
Factors to Weigh Before Buying a Kennel
There are a number of factors that you want to look at carefully when you are buying a dog kennel. Each of the three factors that we will be taking a look at are important considerations when evaluating your choices. All three of them are vital to the happiness of your dog inside of the kennel. However, they are also vital for your own happiness and how conveniently you will be able to maintain your kennel. Let’s look at each of them in turn.
Security: Security is extremely important when it comes to buying a dog kennel. Security means both keeping your dog in the kennel and keeping other people from getting inside that may want to kidnap your dog. In both cases, the answer is pretty simple. Make sure that you lock your kennel with a sturdy lock before you go anywhere for more than an hour or two. You may even want to spray something like chew stop spray onto the lock to prevent your dog from trying to get out. You may also want to install security cameras or other monitors to keep track of your dog.
Placement: The placement of your outdoor dog kennel is pretty important. Just like with the doghouse or any other place that you keep your dog, you do not want to be too far away from the action. However, you do not want it to be too close either. If you keep your dog tucked away in a corner than he or she is going to feel like it is a punishment to go into the kennel. You don’t want to give that impression. But you also want to have your kennel in an unobtrusive place so that you can have the majority of the backyard to yourself.
Cleaning: Cleaning is important. You want to make sure that you have access to cleaning your kennel. If you have a large kennel made out of chain-link on a cement foundation, then it is probably as easy as walking in through the front gate. On smaller kennels, this can be more challenging. You definitely want to keep the kennel clean, especially if you have to leave your dog in there for several hours and they use the bathroom while they are in there. You have to be able to get in their daily or even more often to clean the kennel before you can put your dog back into it.
Accessories for Your Dog Kennel
You may want to think about some accessories for your dog kennel as well. We are discussed the fact that you can put a dog house in there which will allow your dog to have a place to go and some shade in case the sun gets too hot. But there are other accessories that you may want to put in your dog kennel as well. For example, you could put some toys for your dog to play with. If you’re going to be leaving your dog in the kennel for a long time, then you may want to put food and water dishes in there.
You may even want to upgrade to an automatic food dispenser or a water dish that continues to refill itself. You obviously do not want to leave your dog in the kennel for long periods of time unsupervised, but if your dog gets hungry while you are at work, it can be useful to have these food and water dishes there to dispense food when it’s feeding time and to always make sure that the dog has water.
As far as toys, there are lots of dog toys out there that your dog will enjoy. You can put a ball in there that they can play with, or you can even upgrade to one of the automatic fetch machines on the market these days. Those machines will throw a ball which are dog can then go chase. This doesn’t work unless your kennel is pretty large, and you definitely don’t want your dog to get hit with the ball a high speed so you want something that gently toss the ball out and then away for the machine to reload.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is there plenty of considerations when it comes to buying an outdoor dog kennel. You definitely want to make sure that you know how big your dog kennel needs to be by ensuring that the minimum size is big enough for your dog to stretch out and stand up with the ability to move around a little bit. If you’re going to be putting other items in the dog kennel such as a dog house, then you may want to go with a little bit bigger kennel.
As you have seen, there are multiple materials that the best outdoor dog kennels are made out of. You can choose to go with materials that cost less but are not as sturdy or a full chain-link dog kennel with a concrete foundation. You can use the former indoors, but the latter is pretty much restricted to outdoor use. Hopefully, you have a much better idea on how to choose a dog kennel now.