It likely goes without saying that if you have a dog, then you will need a dog house. While that fact may be a given, what is not so easy is figuring out which dog house would be the best purchase for your four-legged friend. With dog houses coming in tons of different sizes, shapes, colors, and materials, trying to narrow down your favorite pick can be time-consuming and frustrating. This is where we can help.
We’ve reviewed the top-rated sellers and categorized the options into our best picks to help make your decision easier. We reviewed dozens of dog houses across numerous categories: wooden, plastic, indoor, outdoor, soft, small, and large. We then narrowed down the list to the top choices with a summary of their best features.
The Arf Frame Dog House stands out as our Top Pick due to a number of awesome features. As a conventional A-frame wooden house, the Arf Frame is probably what you picture when you envision the traditional dog house. The overall quality, attractive design, affordability, and positive reviews are what makes it our best overall choice. Keep reading for more details on the Arf Frame and our other picks for top-rated dog houses.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Dog Houses
|Editor's Picks||Brand||Amazon Rating|
|Best Overall||Arf Frame Dog House||4.4|
|Runner Up||Merry Pet MPS002 Wood Room with a View||4.1|
|Best Budget Buy||Petmate Barnhome III||4.1|
|Best Wooden Dog House||Petsfit Dog House, Dog House Outdoor||4.1|
|Best Plastic Dog House||Suncast Outdoor Dog House with Door||3.8|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Our Top Pick: Arf Frame Dog House
Taking all factors into consideration, the Arf Frame Dog House stands out as our top choice. Designed to be affordable yet durable, the Arf Frame is built with Cunninghamia Lanceolata wood — also known as ‘white cedar’ or ‘stained whitewood.’ White cedar has a pleasing, fresh aroma and is naturally non-toxic and resistant to pests and strong weather.
The Arf Frame comes in four different sizes suitable for any pooch, and is designed to be “close fitting”, so you may want to size up if your pet likes to stretch out. The Arf Frame is easy to assemble, requiring a few common tools and only 20-30 minutes of your time.
This special dog house features a raised floor and a sloping, overhanging, sheet-lined roof to ensure your pet stays dry. The floor panels are simple to remove for cleaning and easy reinforcement in the winter.
In addition to the four sizes, the Arf Frame comes with a 1-year guarantee and features three different styles: dark-trim (pictured), natural-trim, and Arf Pink for your pet princess.
Arf Frame Dog House Key Features:
- Easy to assemble
- Attractive white cedar wood
- Naturally rot and pest resistant
- Raised, removable floor panel and sloping roof to keep your dog dry
- 4 sizes and 3 styles
Our Runner Up Pick: Merry Pet MPS002 Wood Room With a View
For smaller dogs, you can’t go wrong with the Merry Pet – our runner-up pick.
If you are searching for a versatile house for your smaller sized dog, our Runner Up Pick for the best dog house is the Merry Pet MPS002 Wood Room with a View. The product name says it all — this dog house features a second story so your pet can enjoy a scenic view over the yard. The Merry Pet is a very attractive dog house made from kiln-dried cedar that is good for indoor or outdoor use.
The wood construction guarantees the Merry Pet is durable, and although it comes stained with attractive natural wood colors, you can restain with any color of your choice without damaging the material. Even though this house is two stories, it is easy to clean with removable roof and floor panels. The Merry Pet also comes with a raised floor to keep your pet dry when the ground is wet.
Assembly will take 20 minutes or less with included hardware and instructions, and the purchase includes the main house, stairs, balcony, and lattice fencing for the top level. Some reviewers also purchased colorful pillows to add comfort and appeal.
Currently priced at $61.99, this is an affordable wooden dog house. Many reviewers found that the house is best for dogs that are under 20 lbs. Reviewers that also have a cat noted that their feline companions love the top level!
Merry Pet SP002 Key Features:
- Two stories with a staircase
- Lattice fence for the top level
- Attractive kiln-dried cedar construction
- Removable roof and floor panels for easy cleaning
- 20-minute assembly with hardware included
- Designed for pets under 20 lbs.
Best Budget Pick: Petmate Barnhome III Dog House
For a top-quality doghouse that is easy on your wallet, give the Petmate Barnhome III Dog House a look. The barn-shaped Petmate is a solid choice when your goal is a no-frills dog house that will keep your pet sheltered and comfortable. Quick to assemble with only two pieces, the Petmate’s plastic design also makes it very easy to clean with nothing more than a garden hose.
Constructed from a tough plastic material, the Petmate is guaranteed to last through the most difficult weather conditions. It features rear ventilation drafts to promote air circulation, and it provides improved insulation to help keep your pooch warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The Petmate has a rimmed roof and elevated interior flooring to help keep your pet dry.
The Petmate comes in three different sizes (and price points), assuring that you will be able to find one that suits your needs. Make sure to check the sizing chart to help find the perfect one for your dog. Some reviewers have also found the Petmate to be a great house if you have feral cats in your yard.
Petmate Barnhome III Dog House Key Features:
- Very affordably priced
- Three different sizes and price points to suit your specific needs
- Easy to assemble and clean with only two pieces
- Tough plastic will withstand tough weather and will never rot
- Rear ventilation, raised flooring, and a rimmed roof help keep your dog comfortable and dry
Best Wooden Dog House: Petsfit Outdoor Doghouse
For that classic wooden style, have a look at our top wooden house — the Petsfit Outdoor Dog House.
If your preference is a classic wooden dog house, the Petsfit Outdoor Dog House is an excellent pick. It gets our top nod for wooden houses because of several fantastic features. Constructed of natural cedar wood, it looks great in the yard and holds up well through all weather conditions.
While the wood construction has that traditional look, the Petsfit also has a contemporary design with a removable roof and floor for easy cleaning. The house is waterproof and the sloping roof is made from asphalt — protecting your pet from rain. It also features adjustable feet to make sure you can raise it high to keep your pet dry. Many customers also purchased the optional insulation kit for colder climates.
The Petsfit comes in four different sizes — just make sure to check the dimensions and read the reviews to get a good sense of what size works best. And while it does come with pre-drilled holes and instructions, you will need a few basic tools to assemble the Petsfit.
The Petsfit does come in at a higher price point than some of the other dog houses we’ve reviewed, but the quality cedar is rot-proof and should last for at least three years, according to the manufacturer. The water-based paint should be safe for your pet, and it won’t peel as the house ages.
Petsfit Dog House, Outdoor Key Features:
- Four sizes to fit any sized pet
- Removable roof and floor for easy cleaning
- Adjustable feet to raise or lower the house as needed
- Weatherproof wood exterior and asphalt roofing
- Easy to assemble using basic tools and pre-drilled holes
- Durable kiln-dried cedar and natural stained colors
Best Plastic Dog House: Suncast Outdoor Dog House with a Door
Our top choice for a plastic house — the Suncast Outdoor Dog House.
If durability is one of your main factors, then check out our top plastic dog house — The Suncast Outdoor Dog House with a Door. The Suncast is made with a super-sturdy resin material that can withstand the elements, and it’s easy to assemble with no extra tools required.
The Suncast comes in a single-size to eliminate any guessing about which size is best suited for your dog. While the product details state that it is large enough for dogs up to 70 lbs., one reviewer found that her 120 lb. German Shepherd can rest in the Suncast just fine.
The snap-together construction makes the Suncast roof easy to remove for cleaning, and the house is well-ventilated through multiple vents so your pooch will stay cool in the summer. This house also comes standard with a removable weather-resistant vinyl door to help your dog rest comfortably.
Currently priced at a mid-range $78, you can rest assured that you are buying a reliable dog house at a reasonable price. With thousands of Amazon reviews and answered questions, you also have pages of information to ensure that the Suncast is a great fit for you and your dog.
Suncast Outdoor Dog House Key Features:
- One size for dogs up to 70 lbs.
- Constructed of durable resin material
- Easy to assemble snap-on parts
- Removable vinyl door to keep your dog protected from weather
- Roof is easily removable for cleaning
- Multiple vents for comfort
Who Should Buy a Dog House
While the answer to this question may seem obvious at first glance, there are many considerations when deciding if and when you should purchase a dog house.
Perhaps the number one reason to buy a dog house is if your dog spends a lot of time outside. If you have a fenced-in yard, but nothing to protect your pooch from the sun, wind, snow, or rain, then a dog house will be a great purchase. (If your yard is not sufficiently fenced-in, you’ll also want to check out our review of the best wireless dog fences to keep your pup safely on your property.)
A dog house is also naturally warmer or cooler than the atmosphere (depending on the season), so your dog can stay comfortable year-round. Those who live in colder climates can purchase optional insulation packs for many of these dog houses for an extra layer of warmth.
An outdoor-loving dog isn’t the only reason one may want to purchase a dog house, however. Many dog owners buy indoor dog houses to serve as an attractive dog bed, and to give their pet a “room” of its own to relax in the often-busy living areas.
Finally, dog houses don’t have to be just for dogs. Cat owners purchase dog houses, particularly the indoor and double-decker varieties, to give their cat a place to call home. Many cats love a comfortable house for some alone time. If you have feral cats in your yard, a small outdoor dog house is a great option to keep them comfortable in bad weather.
Important Features to Consider
A dog house should do a few things very well. Here is what to consider when selecting a dog house.
- Durable and attractive construction. The most popular options for dog houses are wood and plastic. Whichever way you decide to go, the material should be able to stand up to any harsh weather and also look good in your yard. You can get a sense of the quality through the reviews as well as whether the manufacturer offers a money-back guarantee.
- Size. Make sure you know your pet’s length, width, height, and weight before picking your dog house. Getting your dog to stand on a scale can be a challenge, so ask your vet if they have that information on record. Many dogs like a house that is just big enough for them to walk in and turn around easily, so you don’t have to purchase one that is too large.
- Climate-appropriate. Pay attention to how well the house suits your region. If you live in the rainy northwest, you may want to consider a more durable plastic house, for example. Or if you live in the southwest where the summers can be really hot, you want to make sure the house has plenty of ventilation to provide good air circulation. Waterproof seams and floors that elevate off the ground are good qualities to have in any climate.
- Easy to assemble. You want to look for something that is easy to assemble, yet sturdy enough to last for several years. The product description will often specify how long it will take to build, as well as what tools (if any) you will need. You can find this information in the reviews from other purchasers if not stated in the product description.
- Easy to clean. Read into the reviews or product description to see how easy the house is to clean. Many dog houses now feature removable roofs and floors to help make this task a piece of cake.
- Warranty. While some of these dog houses are pretty inexpensive, many of them cost a few hundred dollars or more. If you are going to spend a sizeable amount on a dog house, make sure to look into specific warranty details. Regardless of the price, the length of time a company will guarantee its product says a lot about how confident they are in the dog house’s quality.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are dog houses good for dogs?
The short answer here is…. yes! Dog houses are great for both outdoor and indoor dogs. If your dog spends a lot of time outside, then the dog house helps to keep them warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and protects them from rain, wind, hail, and snow. It also gives them a warm and dry place to lie down.
If your dog stays indoors primarily, then a dog house can still be a great purchase. It gives them a nice dog bed and their own “room” for when they want to relax.
Dog houses now are generally constructed with non-toxic materials, so you can rest assured that the house won’t make your dog sick. It’s always a good idea to consult with your vet before purchasing a new dog house just to be sure your pup will be healthy and happy.
What are dog houses made out of?
Dog houses are most commonly made from plastic or wood, with some variation of those two main materials. The plastic dog houses are designed to be wind and rain repellant, very durable, and easy to clean. With a decent scrub from time to time, a plastic dog house could last a lifetime.
If you prefer a more classic-style, wooden dog houses are as traditional as picket fences and apple pie. Wooden houses are commonly made from a cedar variation as it is sturdy, has a pleasant aroma, and is naturally pest-resistant. But a house can be constructed from many different types of wood — check the descriptions for details.
How can I keep my dog house warm?
The first thing to do is to make sure that the dog house is draft and drip-free. Ensure the house is properly sealed — no amount of insulation material will keep your pup warm if the house is wet or windy. Secondly, make sure the floor is elevated off the bare ground to keep any moisture out from below.
Another tip is to move the dog house near another shelter like a tree, hill, or even beside your house to deflect some of the wind and rain.
There are items you can buy to insulate the dog house — in fact, many manufacturers sell an insulation pack that was specifically designed for the house purchased. You can also buy a doggy door for most houses. If your pooch will settle for nothing but the best, then you can buy a heated mat for the dog house floor.
What size dog house do I need?
Another important factor in keeping your dog house warm and comfortable is to purchase the correct size. In general, a dog needs just enough room to walk in the house, turn around, and lie down. You may be tempted to buy something very large and roomy, but this makes the house more difficult to insulate. More room equals more open areas for hot or cold air.
In order to choose the best size, measure your dog’s height, length, width, and (if possible) weight. The Q&A section in the product description should also answer questions as to what size fits many common breeds.
Other Dog Houses We Reviewed
In addition to our top 5 picks, we also reviewed 20 other dog houses. Even though they didn’t make the top 5, all of these dog houses are fantastic options for you and your pup. The information you will need to compare each one is included with the listing.
Wooden Dog Houses
The Boomer & George is a spacious house that features a very large front porch — perfect for your pup to lounge or nap. The house comes with a small window to promote inside air flow. This house is best fit for dogs up to 25 lbs. according to reviewers.
- Solid wood construction
- Attractive stain
- Front porch
- Elevated floor
This is an outdoor wooden dog house that comes with an asphalt roof and door flap to give your pet sheltered from the rain. It has plastic adjustable feet to keep the floor off the wet ground. This house is good for smaller and medium size dogs.
- Natural cedar wood
- Water-based paint
- Door flap
- Slanted asphalt roof
- Best for small and medium-sized dogs
The Pet Squeak Doggy Den is a classic-style dog house made from naturally weather-resistant and non-toxic wood. Easy to assemble, the Pet Squeak is lightweight, durable, and has a raised floor to keep your pet dry.
- S, M, and L sizes
- Easy assembly
- Door that closes
- White cedar wood construction
Cost: $84 (S), $112 (M), $145 (L)
This is a beautiful dog house that features an attachable porch sitting area. The house looks great indoors and outdoors. Reviewers love the porch area for times that their dog wants to lounge outside the house comfortably.
- S, M, and L sizes
- Raised floor
- Sloping waterproof roof
- Attachable porch
- White cedar wood
Cost: $90 (S), $125 (M), $138 (L)
The Precision Pet Log Cabin is built to last through a very sturdy hardwood and stainless steel design. It comes in four different sizes to accommodate any sized pooch.
- S, M, L, and giant sizes
- Raised floor
- Offset door
- Sealed coating
- Solid wood and stainless steel construction
Cost: $90 (S), $105 (M), $126 (L)
This classic-style dog house from Tangkula is designed with an attractive fir wood and red asphalt roof. The adjustable, extra-high plastic feet enables you to keep the house level on uneven ground.
- Three different sizes and two different styles
- Fir wood with draft-resistant tongue and groove design
- Asphalt roof
- Classic A-frame style
Cost: $89 (S), $106 (M), $126 (L)
This Tangkula two-story house is constructed with an attractive gray and white fir wood that looks good both indoors and out. This house is best for dogs under 20 lbs., and reviewers noted that the stairs are often too far apart for the very small pups to climb.
- Fir wood construction
- Removable front door
- Second story balcony with wooden fence
- 30 minutes estimated assembly time
Cost: $75 (M), $95 (L)
The Trixie is a solid pine dog house with a tongue and groove design to reduce drafts. It is suitable for pets up to 95 lbs. — so your retriever or shepherd should feel right at home.
- Great for larger dogs
- Tongue and groove design and weatherproof sealer to resist tough weather
- Removable roof and floor for cleaning
- Plastic dog door sold separately
- One year warranty
Cost: $94 (M), $135 (L)
Plastic Dog Houses
ASL’s Dog Palace is the house to get for colder climates. You can also purchase an optional floor heater to ensure maximum warmth.
- Durable plastic construction
- Filled with recycled ESP foam insulation
- Optional floor heater
- Sized for medium to large dogs
The Aspen is a great no-frills option when you are looking for a great house that won’t bust the budget. This durable house is excellent if your dog likes to chew. Reviewers found that a few tweaks such as sealing the rear vent and closure tabs can ensure the Aspen stays dry.
- Four different sizes that fit dogs from 15 -90 lbs.
- Easy snap-together assembly
- Plastic construction that is easy to clean
Cost: $40 (S), $54 (M), $59 (L), $73 (XL)
The Confidence Pet Dog House is an attractive plastic house that is perfect when bigger is better. One reviewer found that her two 75 lb. dogs can both fit together! The plastic construction is durable, but it will benefit from added insulation in cold climates.
- Spacious with large door opening
- Easy to assemble
- Three sizes
Cost: $75 (M), $100 (L), $120 (XL)
The Indigo is an igloo-style house designed to be durable, warm, and dry. It features an offset door and large interior to protect your pup from the wind and rain, and it is built with microban antimicrobial material to prevent bacteria growth.
- Extended, offset doorway
- Easily removable roof for cleaning
- Roof vents allow for air circulation
- Constructed with microban to prevent bacteria growth
- Three sizes best suited for medium to large dogs
Cost: $102 (M), $176 (L), $263 (XL)
The Iris is an excellent choice for an affordable igloo-style house. Igloo houses feature a large interior to keep the house warm, and the Iris has an adjustable ventilation cap to promote air flow. Reviewers found this house very easy to assemble with just a few snap-together pieces.
- Durable plastic construction
- Adjustable ventilation cap
- Snap-together construction takes just seconds to assemble
- Best for medium-sized dogs like corgis and beagles
The Tuff-N-Rugged stands out for its double-walled plastic construction. This extra layer provides more insulation than a single wall, and it has a sliding vent on the roof to promote circulation. Reviewers attest to the Tuff-N-Rugged’s exceptional insulation capability.
- Double-walled construction for enhanced insulation
- Easy assembly with no tools required
- Earned a Consumer Digest best buy award
- Removable roof for cleaning
- Accommodates larger dogs up to 125 lbs.
Houses for Small Dogs
The Etna is a portable cot with a waterproof cover that would work great for camping and road trips. The mesh floor is elevated to keep pets dry, and the metal frame ensures durability. The fabric material means this should only be used in warmer weather, however.
- Water-resistant cot and cover
- Fabric material
- Elevated mesh floor
The Milliard is a nylon house that is small, portable, and waterproof. It is constructed with velcro and zippered fasteners — so no tools required to assemble. A unique feature is a back door to prevent your small pet from being cornered by a larger animal.
- Nylon material
- Zipper and velcro fasteners — no tools needed
- Comes with a cushioned floor pad for added comfort and warmth
- Great for very small dogs and cats
This Tangkula house for small dogs features a window and porch area. Reviewers love the gray color, and state that it holds up well to heavy rain. This house is best for dogs around 5 lbs.
- Window and front porch
- Fir wood construction
- Hinged roof for easy cleaning
Indoor Dog Houses
Designed to be durable, affordable, and comfortable — this Always-Quality dog house is a great budget choice for your small pet. Strong yet lightweight, it is easy to assemble with nothing more than a screwdriver. It also features three different color options to suit your style.
- Plastic parts are easy to assemble with a screwdriver
- Raised floor to keep your pet dry
- Screen for ventilation
- Three color options
The Best Pet is a small indoor house crafted with soft polyfoam material. You just zip it together and your pup is good to go. It also comes with a dual-colored plush pillow for ultimate comfort.
- Soft polyfoam material
- Machine washable
- Zips together — no tools required
- Comes standard with a pillow
The Senyepets is a soft house made from polyester and zips together in seconds. The Senyepets comes with a cozy pillow for your pup’s comfort as well. This house is best for dogs under 20 lbs.
- Soft polyester material
- Comes standard with an additional pillow
- Zippers and magic tape fasteners
- Anti-skid base to help keep them in place
Cost: $40 (L), $50 (XL)