When it comes to spending time with our dogs, I think it’s safe to say that 99% of the people in the community of dog owners cherish each and every single second that passes by with their furry buddy right by their side.
However, not all times can be spent right next to your dog, and this is something dog owners and their dogs have to learn to accept.
For example, think about medium to large breed dogs for a second.
Unlike small breed dogs that can perfectly spend the entirety of their day indoors without causing much problems, medium to large breed dogs can’t spend the majority of their day inside the house, and must spend adequate time outdoors instead.
In such cases, and to ensure that your dog has adequate shelter and a place to chill around in when spending time outdoors (in your spacious backyard, for example), investing in a dog house from the following list of best dog houses we’ve researched and put together is a must.
Our List Of The 5 Best Dog Houses – (Updated List For 2017)
Top Pick: Petmate Indigo Dog House with Microban
Pick #2: Pet Squeak Arf Frame Dog House
Pick #3: Merry Products Wood Pet Home
Pick #4: Suncast DH250 Dog House
Pick #5: TRIXIE Pet Products Dog Club House
*Note: The links in the table above, as well as several links in the remainder of the article below, will take you to over to Amazon.com where you can find out more information about the products, such as current prices and customer reviews.
Best Dog House Reviews – Our List Of The Best 5 Dog Houses Of Today
Pick #1 – Petmate Indigo Dog House with Microban
All Sizes: No matter what size your dog is, Petmate have got your back covered with this dog house.
Small, medium and large options exist for you to choose from depending on what range of weight (and size measurements) your dog falls within, with these 3 options supporting dogs that weigh anywhere between 25 pounds to 125 pounds.
Very Well Designed Doorway: This dog house has different sized doorways that differ according to whether you buy one of these things that’s a small size, medium size or large size.
In each of these 3 cases, your dog will find it very easy to get inside and out whenever they feel like it without having to bend down too much or cram themselves in a tiny space – a very important factor in motivating them to use the dog house you bought for them and not just leave it out there for no use.
Solid Built: This dog house is built with some of the strongest, most sturdy material you’ll ever see in a dog house, and has been proven to stand the test of time with many dog owners that have it located outside where it tends to get really windy.
Petmate also claim that this dog house makes use of “heavy-duty structural foam” in its overall design to give it that extra sturdy feeling and ability.
Dog owners that live in areas where it can get seriously windy have specifically praised the fact that this dog house can manage to “hold its ground” pretty well.
Perfect For Winter Rain: If you’re at all worried about your dog being outside the house during wintertime when rain can become intense, this is absolutely the best dog house for you.
This dog house was specifically designed to absolutely prevent any rain/water from making its way inside, thanks to the depth it enjoys as well as the raised floors it has.
Your yard (or wherever you may have the dog house located) may all become one big mess of water, but you can be sure that none of it will make its way inside this dog house.
Excellent Hygiene: One of the top criteria by which you should be able to tell whether a dog house is one of the best dog houses or not is how easy it is to keep it clean and healthy for your dog to be in, something which is guaranteed with this dog house.
The Petmate Indigo Dog House features Microban technology, which is renowned for its antimicrobial properties and ability to prevent mold, bad smell and harmful bacteria from developing in your dog house – all of which make it an unhealthy environment for your dog to be in.
Roof Vent: A nice and unique touch Petmate have added to this dog house is the roof vent on top of it.
Incredibly Easy Assembly: How easy it actually is to get the dog house good for use by your dog after purchase is a very important factor.
Many dog houses on the market require you to put an overwhelming amount of pieces together, that it almost becomes a DIY project that you wanted nothing to do with in the first place.
The good thing about this dog house is that it’s incredibly easy to assemble, where you can have your dog using it in no time and without needing any tools to put it together.
You can breathe a sigh of relief, as this isn’t even close to the effort required from you to put together other dog houses after purchase. All you need to do is hook up the pieces together in a task that takes you a couple of minutes and you’re good to go.
Very Unique Shape: This dog house has a very unique shape and design to it, whereby the manufacturers have made it out to look like an igloo.
Not that this is in any way, shape or form an igloo, but this is a very cool design, one of the coolest on the market if you were to ask me of my opinion.
If you currently live in a climate where snow is your long-time buddy, then having this igloo shaped dog house outside for Fido is a must!
Pick #2 – Pet Squeak Arf Frame Dog House
Easy Assembly: Even though this dog house isn’t as easy and time-efficient to put together as our #1 pick above, the Petmate Indigo Dog House with Microban, this dog house from Pet Squeak nonetheless deserves to be included under the category of “easy to assemble dog houses”.
As far as assembling this dog house so that your dog can start using it as their home is concerned (or at least one of their homes), you’re looking at around 20 minutes of screwing some nails here and there – possibly 10 if you’re well experienced in this field and know your way around with a screwdriver.
All in all, there are only around 9 pieces you have to put together before you can call this dog house a “job done”, translating to way less work than what manufacturers of other dog houses out there will have you working.
Also, and as we talk about in a section further down below, the more manual work required on your end to get the dog house ready for use, the more risks there are of something going on and damage occurring to the dog house, especially when it comes to tightening bolts into holes drilled in wood.
If you’re at all worried about this and/or want the easiest assembly process experience you can ever get with getting a dog house up and running, stick to our #1 pick above.
Smells At First: Upon arrival of their dog house and after they put the pieces together in order for their dogs to start using, many dog owners notice an awful smell coming from the wood which they think is something wrong with their specific dog house.
However, it’s often the case that after leaving it outside the house for a few days (a week or two at most) right after purchase, the bad smell eventually becomes a thing of the past.
Ideal For Indoors: Since our #1 and #2 picks above for the list of the best dog houses are best suited for outdoors use, we thought it would only be fair that we bring to light a dog house that’s best suited for indoors use.
More Than Just A Doghouse: When you first take a look at this dog house from Merry, you’ll immediately realize that this is way more than just your usual dog house.
This dog house serves two purposes in one product – it’s one of the best dog houses you can find on the market today, and it can also serve as a designated play area for your dog.
This dog house also has a small staircase your dog can use to climb up, as well as a balcony on top of the unit where they can chill out and relax if they’re feeling like a king/queen that day.
Granted that most dogs will just jump their way from the ground to the balcony and will avoid using the stairs, they still look awesome and give this dog house that extra “oomph” when it comes to aesthetics and overall design.
Long Lasting: Because this dog house is designed for smaller-sized dogs and is made with high quality material, you can expect it to last you for a few years without you needing to replace it.
Easy Assembly: As far as ease of assembly is concerned, this dog house is very much like our #2 pick above in terms of time and effort required.
In other words, it isn’t the hardest of jobs to complete and will take you an estimated 20 to 30 minutes to finish, even less if you’ve got experience in this field.
One thing you will notice during the assembly process, however, is how inviting this dog house is for your pets at home to have a try at it right away – sometimes even before it’s fully assembled.
This, again, goes back to the fact that this doesn’t look like a typical dog house, it looks like a large play area instead – one that dogs (and cats, if you’ve got any at home) are going to jump at their earliest convenience to try.
Why Does My Dog Need A Dog House?
You may have been advised by someone to buy a dog house for your dog without exactly being convinced as to why this is important for your pooch, in which case this section will clear everything up for you and let you in on the importance of having the best dog house at home.
Proper Shelter: So, supposing you have a medium to large sized dog at home that doesn’t like to spend a lot of time indoors in your house and prefers to remain outdoors, but the weather conditions outside are starting to become a pain.
What do you do? On one hand, Fido prefers to remain outdoors, but on the other hand you want their safety and well-being.
No matter what season it is, this can be a big problem any dog owner has to face. During summer time, the sun can get way too strong and the temperatures can rise way too much for your dog to be able to handle, in which case they need a spot of their own where they can enjoy some cool shade.
Or, in winter season the rain may range from a few drizzles here and there (which your dog will happily play under) all the way to an intense and lengthy rainfall, in which case your dog will want to go somewhere where they can wait the rainfall out, all while staying warm and feeling cozy.
All in all, a dog house will provide your dog with an instant-access to go place whenever they need to get some shelter without having to go inside the house – spelling convenience for them as well as convenience for you.
What Criteria Determines The Best Dog Houses?
So, what exactly differentiates the highest quality and best dog houses available on the market for any dog owner to buy from the other products that are average at best?
Every dog house manufacturing company and their mother seems to claim to have the “best dog house” on the market – what gives? Obviously, this is plain old marketing, but we’re here to set the record straight so you can make the best informed decision on this matter.
Let’s have a look at some of the most important criteria that determines which dog houses deserve to be called the best dog houses.
Proper Size: You and I don’t appreciate being crammed in a small space for any amount of time, be it a minute or an hour, and the same holds true for dogs.
The best dog house for your dog is one that supplies them with adequate space where they can fit in very comfortably inside, as well as a very easy and comfortable entrance and exit passage for them whenever they want to get inside or out.
If not enough room is available inside for your dog to stay in there comfortably, then they will do whatever they can in order to avoid being in there, which beats the purpose of spending money on a dog house in the first place.
For this reason, the manufacturers of dog houses that go on to be called the best dog houses make sure to provide their customers with different sized dog houses that cater to the needs of different sized dogs.
You’ll usually have the option of going with a small sized dog house for your small breed dog, a medium sized dog house for your medium breed dog and a large sized dog house for your large breed dog.
Aesthetics: Yes, how nice a dog house looks has 0 correlation to how well it does its job in real life, but let’s face it – we all love things that look good and are much more likely to be happy with our purchase if something looks great along with the overall theme of our home as opposed to it looking awful.
Materials Used: What type of materials used isn’t really a be-all end-all factor that determines whether a dog house is worthy of being called the best dog house there is or not, but it nonetheless is a very important factor that you should carefully take into consideration depending on the climate you live in and how the environment is over where you’re at.
For example, if you plan on having the dog house located outside the house where it snows most of the time, the best dog house for you isn’t the same dog house for someone that plans to have theirs located outside the house in a climate where it’s a moderate temperature for the majority of the year.
Durability: And, speaking of high quality materials used during the manufacturing process of the dog house, the best dog houses will be much more durable than some of the other options that will barely last you a single season before they fall apart.
Maintainability & Hygiene: The best dog houses will make it as easy as possible for you, the dog owner, to keep clean and maintain their condition at all times.
Just like you and I like to keep our own houses as clean as they can be (as far as indoors is concerned, at least), your dog will also greatly appreciate a clean environment where they’ll be spending ample amounts of time in.
Ease Of Assembly: Generally speaking, the best dog houses will be ones that require you, the dog owner, to do as least manual work setting it up as possible.
The less manual work required on your end to put screws in holes, line them up together, tighten them up, etc .. the less risks involved in something going wrong and damage occurring to any part of the dog house, most common of which are splits happening when dealing with dog houses made from wood.
As you’ve already noticed from our list of the 5 best dog houses above, our #1 choice is a dog house that requires you to do virtually no manual work at all, besides putting a few pieces together and calling it a day.
A Note About Extra Space And Dog Houses
There seems to be a very common misconception among dog owners when they go shopping for dog houses, where they tend to believe that the larger the dog house they’re buying for their dog is, and the more space there is for their dog inside, the more comfortable their dogs will be in it.
Unfortunately, this is nothing close to reality – reality is the complete opposite, in fact.
The space your dog house should provide your dog inside should be just the space they need. There should neither be an excess of space inside that’s put to waste, nor should there be a shortage of space inside that would make your dog very uncomfortable.
If the space inside is way too large for your dog, then you run the risk of having them feel very cold during winter time. Your dog’s body heat will be felt much more in dog houses that are just the size they need, as opposed to dog houses that are way larger than they need, which usually translate to all that extra space contributing to the cold feeling.
A Note About Dogs Getting Used To Dog Houses
If you have an adult dog that doesn’t have much prior experience with using and being in a designated dog house of their own, and you’re trying to get them to use such a dog house all of a sudden, then you could face some problems (don’t worry, solutions do exist, and they’re not that complicated).
9 times out of 10, your dog will be a little taken aback with all of this and may show some signs of not wanting to get in this dog house.
However, you should know that this is completely normal. Dogs that have been used to doing something their whole lives will show some form of stubbornness when it comes to trying new things, and using a designated dog house is a perfect example of this happening.
The good news is, your dog will start taking to their dog house and using it very comfortably and happily in no time.
As long as you stick to the likes of positive reinforcement, treats, rewards, praise, firmness and a whole lot of love throughout this all, your dog will start to love being in their dog house in no time.