Last updated: August 7, 2021

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Welcome to our big dog house test 2021. Here we present all the dog houses we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best dog house for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to when you want to buy a dog house.




Summary

  • Dog houses are part of every dog's basic equipment, as they provide a quiet retreat and protect the dog from the weather in the garden.
  • Dog houses come in a variety of materials. While fabric houses are only suitable for indoors, wooden and plastic houses can also be used outdoors
  • When buying a dog house, make sure it is the right size. It should neither be too big nor too small.

The Best Dog House: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a dog house

Why should I buy a dog house?

For many dog owners, the dog house is part of the basic equipment along with the dog collar and leash, and for good reason: it offers the dog a place to retreat to at any time and protects it from the weather.

Hund in weißer Hundehütte

Every dog should have a place to retreat to, and a dog house is the optimal solution for this. (Image source: unsplash.com / Mysaell Armendariz)

Even though dogs are very social animals that like to be in the company of people or other animals, you should give them the opportunity to retreat to a quiet place.

A dog house is the best solution for this. You can place it indoors or outdoors in the garden. It is the dog's own home in the house (or in the garden), where it is not disturbed and can have its peace and quiet whenever it needs it.

If the dog house is set up in the garden, it also offers protection against the weather. It not only protects our four-legged friends from wet and cold, but also offers them protection from the sun in summer.

What size of the dog house should I buy?

The size of the dog house is an important criterion. The size of the dog house must be adapted to the size of the dog, it must neither be too small nor too big.

If the dog house is too small, the dog will quickly feel cramped and in summer it can cause the house to heat up too much.

If the dog house is too big, the feeling of security and retreat for the dog is quickly lost. In addition, with an outdoor kennel, the dog is not able to keep the kennel warm with its own body heat in winter.

To find the right doghouse for your four-legged friend, there is a formula with which you can calculate the optimal dimensions:

  • Height: 1.2 times the height of the dog
  • Length: 1.2 times the length of the dog
  • Width: 1.0 times the length of the dog
  • Doorway: 0.8 times the height of the dog's shoulders

How much does a dog house cost?

Dog houses are available in different price ranges. The price depends mainly on the size and material of the kennel. But the brand and the equipment of the dog house also lead to the different prices.

For example, you can get smaller dog houses made of fabric for as little as 20 euros. Large, weatherproof wooden dog houses can cost several hundred euros, depending on the manufacturer and equipment.

Type Price range
Fabric dog house 20-50 Euro
Plastic dog house 40-150 Euro
Wooden dog house 50-300 Euro

So the price depends very much on your own requirements and the area of use of the dog house.

Can I build a dog house myself?

If you don't want to buy a dog house, you can also build one yourself. The possibilities are virtually unlimited.

With the right tools and a bit of craftsmanship, you can make a dog house according to your own ideas and requirements.

If you are not so experienced, you can use prefabricated building instructions or ready-made kits.

What alternatives are there to a dog house?

Alternatives to a dog house can be, for example, a dog kennel, a transport box or a dog bed. In the following table you will find a short overview of these possibilities:

Type Description
Dog kennel A dog kennel is suitable for animals that do not live in the house but in the garden. The kennel provides a safe shelter for the dog and helps to increase the animal's resistance and performance.
Dog transport box A dog transport box helps the dog survive journeys stress-free and safely. It is primarily used to transport the animal to the vet or on holiday. However, it can also serve as a sleeping place and retreat in the house.
Dog bed/dog sofa A dog bed or dog sofa is a sleeping accommodation for dogs. However, it can also be used as a personal place for the dog to retreat to and have peace and quiet.

Decision: What types of dog houses are there and which one is right for you?

If you want to buy a dog house, there are three basic types to choose from:

  • Dog house made of fabric
  • Plastic dog house
  • Wooden dog house

We would like to give you a brief overview of the materials and their properties in the following table:

Fabric Plastic Wood
Suitable for outdoors? No Yes Yes
Price Cheap Medium High
Look Often not very appealing Often not very appealing Nice look
Maintenance Difficult to clean Low maintenance High maintenance

Depending on what requirements you have for the dog house and how you want to use it, a different type is recommended for you. In the following sections, we would like to go into more detail about the advantages and disadvantages of the materials and make it easier for you to decide what to buy.

What are the characteristics of a fabric dog house and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Fabric dog houses are a simple means of providing your dog with a retreat within the flat or house.

They are usually relatively inexpensive; you can buy fabric dog houses for between 20 and 50 euros.

They are also easy to set up, as in most cases they simply fold up or can be assembled in a few minutes with the help of Velcro or zips.

Due to the material, they are also very light and therefore easy to transport. Another effect of the soft material is that it is not necessary to equip the house with blankets.

Advantages
  • inexpensive
  • light weight
  • easy to assemble
  • soft
Disadvantages
  • not suitable for outdoors
  • difficult to clean
  • relatively quick wear

However, the area of application of dog houses made of fabric is also limited exclusively to indoor use, as the material is by no means weather-resistant.

Furthermore, it is important to make sure that the house is suitable for the washing machine, as otherwise it is very difficult to clean and quickly becomes a dirt trap.

When buying a dog house made of fabric, you should also make sure that it is of high quality, otherwise it can wear out very quickly.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a plastic dog house?

A plastic dog house is characterised above all by the functionality of the material. Since the material is weatherproof, the plastic dog house is suitable for outdoor use.

Advantages
  • durable
  • suitable for outdoor use
  • low maintenance
Disadvantages
  • not environmentally friendly
  • material may contain harmful substances
  • often not visually appealing

It is also very easy to clean, as you can easily treat it with water. This means that it is no problem to remove even heavy dirt.

Since the plastic hut is very resistant, it is also very robust and durable.

When buying a plastic dog house, however, it is important to make sure that the material is free of harmful substances.

Many synthetic plastics contain additives that give the plastic certain properties. These additives can be released into the environment over time and thus harm the animals. Therefore, you should always check the ingredients before buying to avoid this danger.

Even if there are no dangerous additives, plastic is not particularly environmentally friendly and often the plastic dog houses are not of a high quality.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a wooden dog house?

A wooden dog house offers natural robustness, which results in a long service life of the dog house.

The wood also has good insulating properties and provides a good climate control in the house.

Since wooden dog houses are very stable, they can easily withstand the weight and movements of the dog and are therefore also well suited for larger dogs.

Advantages
  • good insulating properties/beautiful air conditioning
  • long life
  • beautiful appearance
  • stable
  • environmentally friendly
Disadvantages
  • high price
  • high maintenance
  • high weight

In addition, wooden dog houses offer a beautiful appearance and are very environmentally friendly. However, you usually pay a relatively high price for the high quality of a wooden dog house.

Furthermore, the maintenance of the material requires a lot of care and because the dog houses are very heavy, they are not so easy to move.

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate dog houses

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many possible dog houses.

The criteria you can use to compare the dog houses with each other include:

  • Size
  • Weather resistance/outdoor suitability
  • Insulation
  • Cleaning
  • Assembly

Below you can read what each criterion is about and find out why it makes sense for you to buy a unit based on the criteria or not.

Size

As already mentioned, the size of the dog house is of great importance. It should be neither too small nor too big for your dog to accept the kennel and feel comfortable in it.

You can find out how to determine the right size for your dog in the guide. There we have a formula for you, with which you can calculate the optimal size of the dog house.

Using these measurements, you can then choose a dog house from the wide range on offer or build one yourself.

Weather resistance / outdoor suitability

Another important aspect is the location. Do you want to offer your dog a place of retreat in your home or should the dog house be placed in the garden?

If the dog house is only to serve as an indoor retreat, the material does not have to be weather-resistant. In this case, a fabric dog house is particularly suitable. These are relatively inexpensive to buy and easy to set up. Above all, they offer your dog a warm, soft retreat.

If you want to put the dog house outside, however, the material should be weather-resistant so that you can enjoy it for a long time. Plastic or wooden dog houses are suitable for this purpose. Both variants are weatherproof and offer your dog an optimal shelter and retreat even in cold, wet weather.

To find out whether a plastic or wooden dog house is more suitable for you, you can take a closer look at the respective advantages and disadvantages in our decision section.

Insulation

If the dog house is to be used outdoors, the question of insulation arises.

This is particularly useful if the dog is to be able to stay outside in its kennel for a longer period of time. Then insulation protects him from the cold and he can stay there even in winter when it is snowing or stormy.

You can make sure that the dog house is insulated when you buy it, or you can install insulation later.

You can choose between artificial and natural insulation materials. However, it is especially important that you insulate not only the walls but also the floor of the kennel, as your dog cools down most quickly from the floor.

You can also equip a dog house with a heater. However, this is not absolutely necessary if the dog house is well insulated in other ways and the dog does not spend all its time outside.

Cleaning

When buying a dog house, you should be aware that it also needs to be cleaned regularly. However, in most cases this can be done quickly.

Small dog houses made of fabric, as well as blankets that are used as a base, can usually be cleaned in the washing machine.

Plastic dog houses can be swept or vacuumed at regular intervals and wiped with a damp cloth if they are normally dirty.

You should avoid using chemical or toxic cleaning agents; a wet cloth and a little washing-up liquid are sufficient.

For dog houses that are insulated with natural materials such as straw, you should also remember to replace them regularly.

Facts worth knowing about dog houses

Where should the dog house be placed?

When setting up the dog house, you should always make sure that it is placed with the door facing the house. This way the dog always has the house in view and does not feel excluded.

This is so important because dogs are pack animals and they always want to keep an eye on the people who are part of their pack.

You should also make sure that the dog house is placed in a quiet, sheltered spot. This is especially important in the summer, so that the dog is not exposed to full sunlight, but finds a shady place to retreat to in the kennel.

How should the dog house be equipped?

When equipping the dog house, it also depends on how it is to be used. Will it only serve as a retreat for your dog, or will he spend most of his time in it?

Husky schaut aus Hundehütte

If you want your dog to be able to spend longer periods of time outside all year round, it makes sense to insulate the dog house well so that your dog doesn't get cold. (Image source: unsplash.com / drz)

A dog house should never be without a water bowl so that the dog has the opportunity to drink at any time. This is especially important in summer.

To increase the dog's comfort factor, you can also put a blanket in the kennel. If you take a blanket that your dog is already familiar with, this can also make it easier for him to get used to the hut.

In winter, a thermal blanket can be used for additional insulation.

Image source: 123rf.com / 15612449

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