Large dogs, small dogs, puppies: Whatever size your precious fur babe may be, setting up a warm dog house for them to rest and relax in is an investment they’ll deem pawsitively fantastic!
Dog houses have evolved over time, going from the simple DIY “Snoopy” house to models of all shapes and materials that are highly functional for different reasons.
We understand how imperative it is to spend money on a dog house that will last years and make your dog feel happy and comfortable. We’ve put together a list of the best dog houses on the market that appeal to every pet owner.
In this list, we’ll scope out plastic, wood, insulated, igloo and fabric dog houses. Each material used has its own advantages and disadvantages, which we will get into in more detail later.
What matters most is what you want it for and what you expect to get from using it.
These 5 factors are important to consider before making your choice:
Size: From puppy to XL dogs, how big should the doghouse be? Your doggo should be able to enter through the doorway with ease and have enough room inside to stand up or sit down without hitting the walls or ceiling. She should also be able to turn around and lay down without any strain.
Climate: If you live in a region that gets chilly and your dog lives outdoors, we recommend looking at heated dog houses or a dog house heater. These houses and products are designed to keep out the cold and moisture.
Travel: Do you travel frequently or enjoy weekend romps in the woods? If that’s the case, easy assembly and portability are useful features that fabric dog houses offer.
Materials: You may love that easy-to-fold fabric dog house, but will it hold up against puppy teeth that have already proven their deadly impact on your shoes? Know your dog’s personality and be mindful when choosing a house based on materials. If they’re prone to being destructive, plastic or wood is the way to go.
Indoors or outdoors: How much time will your dog spend indoors or outside? If your dog will be indoors and you want something for her to relax in during outside play time, opt for a simple structure that is lightweight, portable and easy to clean.
If you want to add features later on, like a solar panel, pet supplies or fan, then you have the versatility. You might even want to consider something low key, like a puppy playpen. If Fido will be outside primarily, invest in a heavy-duty, weatherproof dog house.
Interested in how you can make a solar powered dog house by adding your own solar panel? This video shows you how it’s done.
The Best Heated Insulated Dog Houses for 2020
If you’ve done your homework and know exactly what type of dog house you want, then it’s time to introduce the ultimate list of the best dog houses on the market. We’ve scrutinized quality, reputation, price and materials that don’t disappoint when it comes to convenience, reliability and comfort.
Plastic Dog Houses
Plastic dog houses are built tough, with heavy-duty plastic walls, flooring and a roof that keeps out rain without having to rely on weatherproof chemical coatings. It also stands up against chewers and energetic dogs.
If basic is what you’re going after, look no further than this excellent model by Suncast. The durable weather resistant plastic walls keep rain out along with the slanted roof design. Vents on the walls ensure enough air is getting to your pup.
It’s easy to set up, as the walls snap together. The only issue is thin flooring that is not raised. Water can leak in from the bottom of the house, but it’s nothing a few added bricks for suspension can’t fix.
This plastic house is not insulated, but you can add your own foam to the walls or layer some dry straw on the floor for extra warmth during the cold months.
Here is another basic plastic dog house that is a little bit pricey for what it offers, but still gets the job done and keeps rain out if you want a durable shelter for your furry friend. It’s also large enough for big dogs, which is a size that can be difficult to find when it comes to dog houses.
There are feet attached to the floor that gives the house a boost, so you don’t have to worry about rainwater seeping inside.
The house itself is not insulated whatsoever, so lower your expectations for cold weather and prepare to get creative with your own warming techniques. Place a heating pad or straw on the floor and reinforce those walls with foam.
Small dog owners who need a strong plastic dog house- this lightweight option is easy to assemble with included screws and features holes on each wall for ventilation.
You get what you pay for: a basic A-frame plastic dog house. But, if basic is what you’re going for, then this is a reliable and convenient choice that will last against those rainy days.
The cold is another story though. Bear in mind that this dog house was not made to handle the winter. You will have to add your own insulation, such as foam, heater box or a heating pad if you plan to use this outdoors during winter.
This plastic dog house is all about convenience. No tools are needed to snap this together, making it easy to remove the roof for stealthy cleaning.
The house is only insulated by design, with an igloo shape and over-extended ridges to keep rain out. The floor is also raised to avoid seepage.
For extra ventilation, we don’t recommend adding electric heaters or lamps because of the dome-shape, cozy interior. Instead, add straw bedding to the floor and seal the ventilation holes on the back wall to protect from the weather conditions.
Versatile when it comes to dog size and budget-friendly, this plastic dog house is another basic option that is spacious and easy to assemble in less than 5 minutes without any tools.
But, with a basic dog shelter, you need to add your own insulation if you plan on using it outdoors during the winter. That means installing a heater or bedding.
We also noticed that construction is quite lightweight and wouldn’t stand up very long against a rambunctious doggie. It would be a good idea to add anchorage, such as ties or bricks to weigh it down in the yard.
Heavy duty with 2 walls of plastic, this is a slightly insulated option for the hot and cold weather to keep the interior temperature stable, but if you plan on using this dog house for extreme temperatures- add warm bedding or foam.
We love that it’s easy to assemble and features ventilation windows on the upper part of the walls. It doesn’t require any tools and even comes with holes to tie down the house for added stability.
The only problem with the holes though, is that if you don’t use them, rain could potentially seep in through the removable floor. Decide whether or not the tie holes are a priority and fill them with calk if not.
This is a cute and stylish wooden house for small dogs, but don’t expect heavy-duty status against extreme weather.
It’s a relaxing hideaway for your pup that looks nice indoors or outdoors. For outdoors use, the construction is water resistant, but with an open door and no added ventilation on the walls, be wary when it comes to cold and hot weather.
The construction guide is easy to follow, but one issue we found with this dog house involves the pre-drilled holes. Some of the holes didn’t line up accurately, making it difficult to screw them together unless forced.
We love this wooden eco-friendly dog house for the quality construction and the versatility.
The wooden walls are made from thick cedar planks with a raised floor to keep out water and a slanted roof. The doorway is open, so you’ll need to finagle a covered door (if you want it). Just add warm bedding or a dog heater and you’re good to go. The walls are already waterproof and non-toxic.
Construction requires some tools and a bit of skill more so than say, a snap together plastic house, but the instructions are clear and easy to follow. It took us about 20 minutes to set up.
This wooden dog house is expensive but built tough. The thick wooden walls are reinforced with stainless steel and it’s made to stand up to outdoor elements.
Waterproof with a slanted asphalt roof makes this dog house another worthy opponent against the rain. You can add your own foam to the walls, pet heater, bedding or even a solar panel to the flat roof if you want to heat it up for winter.
What do we love about this dog house? It comes in multiple sizes that incorporate XL size dogs!
The construction is basic, with a spacious interior and raised flooring. The pinewood is soft and we felt it be a bit flimsy. We recommend adding another waterproof coating to last through heavy rain if you live in a wet region.
Stylish and easy to assemble, you get top-quality for what you pay with this wooden dog house. Cedar is used for the construction, which is sturdy and pest-repellent.
The floor is raised to keep out moisture and the slanted asphalt roof kicks leaks to the curb. Better yet, this is one of the few dog houses that includes a self-closing door flap to shelter the interior from cold streams.
If you want to use it for the cold months, you’ll have to spend a bit more to insulate it yourself, but it is easy to transform. This is an all around versatile dog house that is built to last.
Made from sturdy wood and built to take on the rain, this dog house offers fantastic quality at a low price.
The off-center door and raised floor keep water from reaching inside and it’s a breeze to clean since you can open up the roof.
We also liked the fact that if you want to insulate this dog house for the cold, there is a separate insulation kit you can purchase that fits the shape of the house.
We noticed that sunlight streams through the crevices of the wooden slats. Be mindful that if you want to use this in the cold, you’ll have to calk up those spaces in the walls to make a difference in the temperature within the house.
It’s expensive, but it’s straightforward and built to last. This small sized dog house is your quality answer to something basic that can go indoors and outdoors while adding a stylish look to your home.
It comes with the typical rain safeguards, such as a raised floor and slanted roof. It also features ventilation slats on the side walls to keep airflow moving.
Here is a unique dog house design that is built to accommodate two dogs or an XL dog.
The sturdy wood construction, covered doors, and raised flooring keep the inside dry during rain, but for the cold, you’ll have to add your own warm bedding.
Although the house is built to withstand rain, there is no asphalt or waterproofing on the roof. It held up fine and stayed dry when we tested it with water, but it’s something to keep an eye on in case of heavy downpours.
Yes, it’s expensive. But, this wooden dog house appeals to those who want a basic, handsome structure that fits a diverse range of dog sizes.
The floor is raised and the roof is covered in asphalt to keep the rain out, which is plus if you want to use this outside.
One thing that made us weary is that the floor popped out without much effort. This can be fixed yourself, but for the price, you would expect better quality.
Insulated Dog Houses
These dog houses are the best for cold and hot weather regions. They are usually constructed from plastic or wood and lined with thick EPS foam. The door is covered to keep out wind and the floor is raised to keep out moisture.
These houses may include features that let you add other methods of insulation, such as a hole for a heater cord to run through.
This is one of our favorite picks for versatility. Though expensive, the quality is sturdy and the design doesn’t leave out any checks on the list for ultimate insulation.
Whether you want to use this inside or outside, this fully insulated house can be used in hot or cold weather to achieve a moderate interior temperature.
It already comes lined with foam insulation, but there is also a special hole built for a heating apparatus cord to pass through. For hot weather, there are air vents on the sides that can be opened for airflow.
One word: Big dollars! Yes, this is an expensive addition to your backyard, but the durability and size of this dog house make it worth it.
This house is constructed using a special laminated panel system to keep it standing strong and also insulated against the harshest of elements. The door slides open and shut to further insulate, and the spacious interior makes it suitable for dogs weighing up to 220 lbs.
This is a smaller insulated dog house by ASL Solutions that can incorporate a solar panel with a cord that powers an exhaust fan. Therefore, this dog house stays at an even temperature during the winter and summer.
The door is specially designed to let your dog in or out while sealing out harsh weather to further keep things warm and toasty inside.
You can’t beat the quality and it is one of the only models on the market that readily accommodates a solar power system.
We love how this dog house is stuffed with 3 layers of insulation, but the quality of the materials could be better.
The wood seems a bit soft and will not stand up to chewers or boisterous doggos. The wood floor, though raised to prevent water seepage, is thin as well. You would definitely need to add straw bedding or a heating pad to garner sufficient warmth during the winter.
For the price, it is well insulated and spacious for large dogs, but the materials used to leave one wondering how long this house will last.
Igloo Dog Houses
The igloo dog house works to regulate temperatures within by using a dome design borrowed from the Eskimos.
You can count these as insulated dog houses that are built for prolonged outdoor use in cold or hot weather. They stay at a moderate temperature year long and do not require extra insulation, save for bedding if desired.
Built to tackle the extremes, you can count on this igloo house to stay warm during the cold months and dry for the rainy season, with an off-center tunnel door, raised floor that also drains and vented ceiling that facilitates airflow.
The price is expensive, more than we believe it should cost for what is offered. But, the plastic walls are thick and heavy-duty and you don’t have to add much in terms of heating, save for a nice warm blanket or heat pad.
This dog house isn’t really an igloo shape, but it uses a round pod-like design and the moderate temperate underground in the yard to facilitate a comfortable atmosphere for your dog. Clever, right?
It’s simple: you dig a hole and bury the thing. The doorway sits 3” above the ground to keep rainwater out, and 6 stairs lead down into the belly of the structure. You add straw or bedding of your choice and the natural climate regulation of the soil does the rest.
The only miff we encountered with this dog house is cleaning. It’s not too fun trying to wedge a human body down there to administer a thorough scrub.
Fabric Dog Houses
Disclaimer: Do not expect this type to stand up against harsh elements or dogs that jump and chew.
The fabric dog house is best used for travel, camping and for light outdoors/indoors use. It’s easy to set up without any tools, often folding down and sliding snugly into a lightweight travel case. They also are washable and waterproof against light rainfall.
You might want to invest in some anchors to hold it down if it doesn’t already come with an anchorage system. This is important because it will hold the tent firmly in place and keep it from being blown or knocked over.
Small dogs can reap the benefits of this tent-like house, whether it’s taking a nap under shade or escaping from the rain.
It’s easy to assemble by sliding the poles that make up the frame through holes in the canvas. The material is waterproof and easy to clean, with an uncovered front entrance.
The floor is mesh, which makes it great for keeping dogs cool, but it might be loose and uncomfortable to lay upon. Therefore, depending on what your dog prefers, you can buy a plywood board to fit on the bottom for added support if needed.
This pop-up dog tent receives top ranks from us, both for quality and features.
It’s easy to assemble and fold down for transport if you like to spend time outdoors and it comes with ground anchors to keep the tent solidly in place.
For rainy situations, the lightweight material can take some rain but will leak under a heavy downpour. If it’s a little bit chilly outside, this model comes with its own thick sleeping pad for added comfort.
From thick plastic walls that seal out rain to the spacious interior that accommodates most dog sizes, we love the thought and planning that went into this design.
For our plastic pick, the Suncast DH350 is a prize, both in price and quality. You can find a fitting size for your dog, no matter if she’s big or small and the solid plastic walls do a good job of keeping out the rain.
If you prefer wood, we love the Petsfit model, as they have taken their time to design a top-of-the-line wooden dog house that is built cedar tough, is spacious and easy to assemble.
The INDIGO igloo dog house is an insulated design that we love for the simplicity. The dome-shape bends the elements to your favor without having to invest in tons of extra insulation products and energy.
About Alexandra Animalso
I was raised to be a dog person. My first Shepherd grew up as I did and wanted to be where I was at all times. I got my second dog as a 16th birthday present, and her loyalty for me was just as strong as my first. I hope that my contribution to Animalso will help others find dogs who give them that same unconditional love.