A quality, functional doghouse is essential if your canine pal spends significant time outdoors, especially in inclement weather. While some people design and build their own dog houses, there's a wealth of options for anyone in search of a dog house with the exact right size, best possible materials, and long-lasting sturdiness.
“An outdoor dog house protects dogs from the elements,” explains Janet Cutler, PhD., a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant at SeniorTailWaggers.com. “This means that you want to make sure that it provides warmth and protection from any rain or snow in the cold and provides shade and protection from rain or other weather in the heat. The house should have some ventilation, especially in warm climates, and have some insulation or the ability to add bedding for colder weather.”
Our best overall pick, the Petsfit Wooden Dog House, features three colors and a smart, functional, weather-resistant design in three sizes. But we also have recommendations that may fit your dog and home even better.
Here are the best dog houses.
Petsfit Wooden Dog House
Top opens for easy cleaning
Three colors and three sizes
Adjustable feet for leveling
All-wood construction with pleasant cedar smell
Not well insulated
Constructed with Finnish spruce wood, weather-resistant asphalt shingles, and stainless steel parts, the Petsfit Wooden Dog House's solid construction makes it a clear standout and our favorite overall dog house. It has both clean metal lines and a cabin aesthetic. Plus, it smells like cedar inside.
The Petsfit dog house is also practical, with a slanted roof and translucent door flaps, so your dog can find refuge from rain. Plus, the roof of the Petsfit Wooden Dog House opens up like a trunk or chest, with pneumatic braces that make it easy to lift the top and clean inside. The floor—made of the same spruce slats as the exterior walls—is similarly easy to remove and clean.
This dog house is best in warmer climates, since it's not very well insulated. The floor, for example, is lifted off the ground, to increase airflow and keep the interior dry, but in cold weather this would feel like drafts coming from between the floor slats. But if you want to try it out in colder weather, Petsfit sells a separate Dog House Insulation Kit that fits snugly inside.
The all-wood construction of the Petsfit dog house also has some trade offs that come with an all-wood construction, like creaking floorboards and maintenance. Just like with a wood porch or deck, you may want to treat the wood for extra weather resistance on occasion.
While the largest version of the dog house—which is available in three sizes—is built for dogs up to 80 pounds, we believe this dog house is better suited for medium-sized pooches, and have a separate large breed recommendation. Petsfit also offers a dog house with a window and an adorable little porch, suitable only for very small dogs.
The Petsfit Wooden Dog House comes with pre-drilled holes, so some assembly is required. However, it's easy to situate in your yard or other outdoor space, since it also includes four adjustable feet for easy leveling.
Price at time of publish: $190 (Medium)
Dimensions: 33.5 x 22.5 x 23 inches (small), 41 x 26 x 27.5 inches (medium), 45.5 x 31 x 32 inches (large)︱Materials: Spruce wood stainless steel, asphalt︱Weight: 32.2 pounds (small), 46.3 pounds (medium), 55 pounds (large)︱Colors: Light gray, yellow and white, red
Best for Large Breeds
PetMate Aspen Pet Petbarn III Plastic Dog House
Made in the USA
Easy to clean
Affordable and durable
Its polypropylene plastic
Appropriate for dogs 50 to 90 pounds, this large doghouse is simple to assemble without tools. Although plastic has its drawbacks, it is also durable, rot-resistant, and easy to clean. Customers and their canine pals like the extended roof rim over the door that diverts rain and snow from the entrance. The raised interior floor provides insulation from the ground. This barn-shaped doghouse is also designed with rear ventilation that allows air circulation to keep them cool during hot weather and smelling clean year-round. The top is sturdy enough to bear the weight of the dog too if they’re a fan of parkour.
Owners of giant breeds should measure carefully before committing to this purchase. This doghouse is also available in extra-small, small and medium sizes.
Price at time of publish: $93
Dimensions: Large 38 x 29 x 30 inches︱Materials: Plastic︱Weight: 26 pounds
Best for Small Breeds
Merry Room with a View Pet House
Also appropriate for indoors
Smells like cedar
Bottom is elevated off the ground
Kiln-dried, humidity-resistant wood
Not made to endure extreme weather conditions
Stairs are too narrow for some dogs
If your little dog likes to get up high for a view, this is the doghouse for you. In addition to a cozy place to sleep, this shelter comes with stairs that lead to a veranda on top of the house. The veranda is lined with attractive lattice to prevent falls. To make it last, the pleasantly-scented wood is treated with a non-toxic, oil-based stain. It’s lightweight and easy to assemble and move. The roof top and bottom are removable making them easier to clean.
The top has a 50-pound weight limit and a limit of 100 pounds for the bottom. A screwdriver is required for simple assembly.
Price at time of publish: $84
Dimensions: 28.5 x 21.7 x 25.7 inches, door is 11.3 x 9.3 inches︱Materials: Canadian hemlock︱Weight: 9 pounds
Best for Rain
Ferplast DogVilla Dog House
No tools required for simple assembly
Doesn’t include a door
If you live in a rainy climate like the Pacific Northwest, rain protection is very important. Made in Italy, this doghouse’s ventilation and draining system keeps the kennel’s interior dry and cozy. Inside, the bottom is designed so that water drains toward small slits that let water escape while allowing some fresh air flow. Feet raise the house off the ground for added insulation. The robust plastic is waterproof, anti-shock and UV resistant.
Special aluminum edges around the front entrance prevent damage from chewing. The most unique feature is a side drop down door that becomes a porch for nice weather. You can place the porch on either side of the house during assembly. Although a door flap is not included, one can be purchased separately from the manufacturer.
Price at time of publish: $120
Dimensions: 28.8 x 23.2 x 20.9 inches (small), 34.7 x 28.4 x 25.6 inches (medium), 43.7 x 33.1 x 31.1 inches (large)︱Materials: Plastic︱Weight: 41 pounds
Best for Hot Weather
TRIXIE Natura Classic Dog House
Weatherproof sealing inside and out
1 year warranty
Not appropriate for winter without modifications
Similar in look and design to our best overall pick, this doghouse also has a slanted asphalt roof that opens, a raised floor and adjustable feet for leveling. Plus, elevated off the ground to increase air flow. It’s made from traditional pine with a glazed, treated, weatherproof finish meant to last.
Being able to open the top is ideal on warm weather days where your dog needs more ventilation. The removable floor also makes for easy cleaning. Small, medium and large doghouses are appropriate for up to 45, 70 and 95 pounds, respectively. A vinyl door flap is available for purchase separately.
Price at time of publish: $111
Dimensions: 33.5 x 23.5 x 22.8 inches (small), 40.8 x 26.8, 28.3 inches (medium), 45.5 x 31 x 32.3 inches (large)︱Materials: Pine wood︱Weight: 29 pounds (small), 41 pounds (medium), and 69 pounds (large)
Best for Cold Weather
Dog Palace CRB Premium Insulated Heated Dog House
Made in the USA
Styrofoam and EPS insulation
10-year warranty on house against cracking and breaking
Easy to assemble
Only comes in one size
The name has ‘palace’ in it for a reason. Your dog will stay comfy and cozy thanks to the insulated design that includes two to four inches of insulation in the sides, floor, roof, and door. They’ll be warm in the cold months and cool during the warm months. An easy pass-through, self-closing door keeps the heat in no matter how often your dog runs in and out.
If that weren’t enough, your dog will appreciate the built-in 300-watt MET certified heater with a digital thermostat. It even has a remote, so you can adjust the temperature without putting your boots on. The temperature is adjustable in a range between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Designed to suit multiple or extra-large dogs, the door accommodates dogs up to 27 inches at the shoulder. The bottom half of the door is removable, and it can be held or tied open, but will not stay open on its own.
Raised flooring insulates the doghouse from the ground. A simple, sloping drainage system in the floor keeps the home dry and makes it easy to clean. When the weather is just right, you can open two side windows for excellent airflow. For warm months you can add a CRB Dog Palace Solar Fan that’s sold separately to move the air.
Price at time of publish: $600
Dimensions: 45 x 45 x 46 inches︱Materials: Plastic and steel︱Weight: 96 pounds︱Colors: Brown and tan, gray and taupe
PawHut Cabin Style Dog House
Fun, rustic look for the yard
Good airflow for hot days
Only made for dogs up to 53 pounds
If you’ve ever wanted a “home” for your dog, you’ll love this cabin style dog house that has a peaked roof, a window and a covered front porch. Like many of the other doghouses in this list it has a raised floor that protects them from insects, a slanted asphalt roof, and wood construction.
Fir is one of the strongest wood fibers available, so it can handle up to 176 pounds in the main living room and 110 pounds on the porch though it’s designed for dogs under 53 pounds. Stylish and functional, it makes an attractive addition to your yard, patio or other outdoor areas. Some assembly is required.
Price at time of publish: $420
Dimensions: Interior 46.5 x 29.5 x 40.8 inches︱Materials: Fir wood︱Weight: 55 pounds︱Color: Yellow or gray
We like the Petsfit Wooden Dog House because it comes in three tasteful colors and its functional design includes an elevated floor, an asphalt roof that opens, and stainless-steel hardware. For very large dogs, check out the Pet Mate Aspen Pet Petbarn III Plastic Dog House instead.
What to Look for in a Doghouse
Consider Your Climate
The type of doghouse that’s right for you and Fido is highly dependent on the range of temperatures and weather your dog will experience throughout the seasons.
“Dogs need to have protection from the cold and wind, as well as the sun when hot. In the cold, having bedding to help with warmth is recommended,” Janet Cutler, PhD., a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant at SeniorTailWaggers.com, told The Spruce Pets. “Additionally, dogs need to have the option to stay dry, especially when it’s cold."
Select a doghouse that will ensure that you err on the side of caution during temperature extremes.
Materials & Finish
Most doghouses on the market are made of either wood or plastic. If your dog is a super chewer, you might want to opt for natural fibers. Although wood doesn’t stand up to moisture the way plastic does, it’s beautiful, stylish and more environmentally friendly. Plastic may be more durable than wood, but once it’s broken, it's generally not repairable the way a little glue, a new board and some new screws can be for a wood doghouse.
Not all wood is alike, however. Check the thickness of the wood and the level of insulation, if any, before you buy. Some wood doghouses are made from thin interlocking planks or full panels that could break easily if your dog is rough on their home. Sturdy wood can mean that your doghouse is also not easy to move.
Be sure to consider the wood finish if your doghouse will be exposed to any weather. Look for a waterproof finish, or an unfinished product that you can treat with exterior paint or a water-resistant stain.
Opt for stainless steel hardware that will hold up longer in outdoor weather. Make sure your roof is slanted, not flat, so that snow and rain will slide off. And opt for those with asphalt or other roofing material since the roof is the first place to leak and often the reason you need a replacement.
Size, Safety & Comfort
It’s important to choose the right size doghouse for your pal to ensure their long-term safety and comfort.
“Similar to indoor dog crates or kennels, dogs should be able to walk in, turn around, stand, wag their tails, and lie down stretched out on their side,” Dr. Cutler said. “Water should be accessible at all times. Dogs will also need access to a potty area outside their shelter and area for them to get some exercise or move around.”
Be sure to measure your dog to ensure you’ll get the right size doghouse. Many websites include diagrams on how to use your pet’s measurements to select the proper size.
Is it okay for dogs to live in a doghouse all year?
“Some dogs can tolerate living outside in a doghouse all year. This depends on the breed of dog, and you want to make sure that they’ve had time to get acclimatized to the temperature,” Dr. Cutler said. “In the cold, having clean, dry bedding can help to keep your dog warm. Having plenty of ventilation and shade in warm weather is important as well. Pay close attention to your dog to ensure they are acclimatizing well if there are really quick swings in temperature.”
Do igloo dog houses keep dogs warm?
“Many of the same considerations for outdoor shelter also apply to igloo dog houses,” Dr. Cutler said. “Most have ventilation within them and doorways that try to prevent too much wind or rain from entering the main area.”
Why Trust The Spruce Pets?
Having had at least two cat and two dog companions in her home for the past 35 years Lorraine Wilde included products she’d be willing to have in her own home. When researching these doghouses, she evaluated customer and professional reviews and the quality, safety, and functionality of each product.
Wilde holds a Master’s degree in environmental science. She does this work to help consumers make healthy, informed, and environmentally conscious choices to protect their pets, their families, and our planet.
Janet Cutler, PhD, is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant at SeniorTailWaggers.com.
She holds a Ph.D. in animal behavior and welfare from the University of Guelph. She is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB) specializing in cat and dog behavior, and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA).