If you’re wondering what kind of dog house you should get, this guide has some really useful tips for you to consider.
We’ve outlined the main types of dog houses and what the things to look out for with each type might be.
From indoor, to outdoor, to traditional box shaped, to igloo – there’s a few different types and kinds to consider.
Let’s take a look!
What Kind Of Dog House Should I Get? – 7 Tips To Help You
The type of dog house can be categorised by the following types:
- Cheap, or Higher Priced Dog House
- Indoor, or Outdoor
- Wood, Plastic or Another Material
- Traditional Box Shaped, Or Igloo
- Insulated, or Un-Insulated
- How Weather, or Cold Weather
- Small, Medium or Large
You can read more here about the best of each type of one of the above dog houses.
1. Cheap, or Higher Priced Dog House?
One of the main things that people consider is the price.
When it comes to dog houses, the main difference between the cheap dog houses and the more expensive ones are:
- Cheap dog houses usually come with no insulation
- Cheap dog houses are usually made of cheaper less durable material – usually a weaker plastic
- The actual construction of cheap dog houses is weaker when you put the dog house together
- Cheap dog houses usually come with no extra features like an electrical cord inlet/outlet hole
- Cheap dog houses usually have a construction which is not weather resistant – let’s water in very easily
Having said that, if the dog house is going to be under cover, and the area you live in isn’t overly hot or cold, the a cheap dog house might work out OK for your situation where strength, weather resistance, insulation from the hot and cold and extra features aren’t as much of an issue.
- Compare the cheap Sunhouse DH350 Dog House (on Amazon)
- ….to the Petmate Indigo Igloo Dog House (on Amazon), ASL Solutions DP Hunter Dog House (on Amazon) and ASL Solution Dog Palace Dog House (on Amazon)
The Sunhouse is what is considered one of the cheaper dog houses on the dog house market.
When comparing it to the Petmate and ASL Solutions dog houses, the plastic is weaker, the construction is weaker, the design is not as water or weatherproof, and there’s no insulation or ventilation apart from the dog house door.
Unlike the ASL Solutions dog houses, it also doesn’t have an electrical cord input/output hole in the back of the dog house for things like heated dog pads or dog house furnaces in the winter.
2. Indoor or Outdoor Dog House?
A pretty simple question – do you intend to put the dog house outside or inside?
The main difference between outdoor and indoor dog houses are
- what they look like – indoor dog houses usually look nicer to go with inside decor
- what they are made of – indoor dog houses are usually made of fine or soft materials like fine wood, neoprene, or poly fabric
- how they are constructed for strength – outdoor dog houses are constructed for more strength with harder plastic and hard woods
- and how they are designed for being weather proof – outdoor dog houses are usually designed to keep out water and wind. NOTE: not all outdoor dog houses are designed to be exposed – some are outdoor dog houses but can only be put undercover (under a patio for example)
You can also get a hybrid dog house/crate that can be placed indoors OR outdoors undercover.
- Compare the indoor Casual Home Wood Crate House (on Amazon), Merry Products Wood Pet Home (on Amazon), and Best Pet Supplies Pet Tent (on Amazon)…
- ….to the outdoor Petmate Indigo Igloo Dog House (on Amazon), ASL Solutions DP Hunter Dog House (on Amazon) and ASL Solution Dog Palace Dog House (on Amazon)….
- ….to the indoor/outdoor Elitefield 3 Door Folding Soft Dog Crate (on Amazon)
The first thing you can say about the Casual Home Wood Crate House, Merry Products Wood Pet Home, and the Best Pet Supplies Pet Tent is that they all look lovely.
The Casual Home and Merry Products dog homes are both crafted wood products that have that classy touch to fit in with other furniture and decor. The Pet Tent would look really cute sitting in your lounge room.
They are built for looks over outdoor durability and weatherproofing is the main point we are making.
The Petmate Indigo and ASL Solutions dog houses, as mentioned above, are built for keeping the weather out, and to last a number of years with their strength and good design. They can be used under cover or exposed to the weather.
The Elitefield Dog Crate is a portable dog crate and pet home making it very versatile. It’s an undercover outdoor pet home, but can also be bought inside. The walls are mesh – making it good for ventilation in the summer.
Something to note when buying a dog house – make sure you read the product description and check it is rated for outdoor use in direct exposure to the weather, as opposed to just a general outdoor dog house they may or may not be able to be used in direct exposure.
3. Wood, Plastic or Other Material?
When you are considering material, you’re really considering the strength and durability of the dog house.
As a general rule:
- The hardened plastic dog houses are the strongest and most durable dog houses, and they are made of the best materials like special resins that are UV protected.
- A step down from that in strength and durability, you have the outdoor wooden dog houses
- The next step down is the cheap plastic dog houses
- And then you have the indoor dog houses which are more built for their looks
- Compare the hardened plastic Petmate Indigo Igloo Dog House (on Amazon), ASL Solutions DP Hunter Dog House (on Amazon) and ASL Solution Dog Palace Dog House (on Amazon)….
- …to the outdoor wooden Pet Squeak Arf Frame Dog House (on Amazon)
- …to the cheap plastic Sunhouse DH350 Dog House (on Amazon)
- …to the indoor Casual Home Wood Crate House (on Amazon), Merry Products Wood Pet Home (on Amazon), and Best Pet Supplies Pet Tent (on Amazon)
The Petmate and ASL Solutions dog houses are extremely sturdy (if you touch the Petmate Igloo – it feels like a rock), and very weatherpoof.
The Pet Squeak Arf Frame Dog House is very strong too, but the wood is not as durable over time (due to shrinking and cracking) as the hardened plastic.
The Sunhouse plastic won’t crack like wood, but the plastic itself is not as strong.
The Casual Home, Merry Weather and Best Pet Supplies dog houses are all designed for inside use and to look good against home decor, not to be ultra strong and weather proof. Although the two wooden dog home are quite strong as they are made of wood.
4. Traditional Box Shaped, or Igloo?
Whether you get traditional box shaped or an igloo doesn’t matter a whole lot.
The main difference is:
- An igloo dog house has a round dog house floor
- An igloo dog house has an extended entry/exit way to protect against weather and cold/heat
- Compare the igloo Petmate Indigo Igloo Dog House (on Amazon),
- ….to the traditional box shaped ASL Solutions DP Hunter Dog House (on Amazon) and ASL Solution Dog Palace Dog House (on Amazon)….
The two dog houses are made by different companies, and have slightly different designs.
Pick the one with the best features for you.
5. Insulated of Un-Insulated?
Insulation can play quite a large role in a dog house if you live in hot climates or cold climates, as opposed to somewhere where the weather is more in between and mild.
The obvious differences between insulated and uninsulated are:
- Insulated has insulation in the walls, ceiling and floor of the dog house
- Insulated does a better job of keeping the cold out
- Insulated does a better job of keeping the heat out
- Insulated does a better job of making the inside environment comfortable
- Compare the un-insulated Sunhouse DH350 Dog House (on Amazon)
- ….to the insulated ASL Solutions DP Hunter Dog House (on Amazon) and ASL Solution Dog Palace Dog House (on Amazon)
The Sunhouse is an outside dog house that has no insulation. What you see is what you get – the plastic the dog house is made of is what stands between your dog and the outside elements.
The ASL Solutions dog houses on the other hand has up to 4 inches of real recycled foam (Styro/EPS) insulation (used in construction) in each panel in the walls, ceiling and floor for comfort and for a healthy temperature.
Experiments have been conducted specifically with the Dog Palace with and without insulation, with the results as follows:
- The results of the experiment tested heat retention inside the Dog Palace using a common 100 watt light bulb (no other source of heat). At an outside temperature of 40°, the insulated Dog Palace was 70° inside, while the Dog Palace without insulation was approximately 45° inside. At an outside temperature of 0° degrees, the insulated Dog Palace was 30° inside while the Dog Palace without insulation was approximately 4° inside. An average dog’s body heat will raise the temperature inside the Dog Palace 25° in the winter without the floor heater; therefore, if the outside temperature is 25°, with an average dog inside the Dog Palace the temperature was approximately 50°.
These results should be taken as general feedback of the performance of the dog house, and results are not typical for every dog and situation/climate.
6. Hot Weather, or Cold Weather Dog House?
We actually wrote guides on the:
- Best Insulated Dog House For Cold Weather and Winter
- Best Dog Houses For Hot Weather and Summer
- Best Dog House For Both Cold and Hot Weather
You certainly want to look for a dog house with insulation to keep both heat and the cold out.
For summer, you want a dog house with ventilation holes/vents.
And, an electrical cord outlet/inlet hole helps in winter for heated dog beds, mats and dog house furnaces.
You may also be interested in reading these guides on heating and cooling:
7. Small, Medium or Large?
A pretty simple one – get a dog house based on your dog’s size.
Unfortunately for people with extra large and giant sized dogs, your options are more limited.
Consider two things when it comes to sizing:
- The size of the inside of the dog house (so your dog can stand up and lay down comfortably)
- The size of the dog door/opening for your dog to fit through
Both the Petmate Indigo Igloo Dog House (on Amazon), and the ASL Solutions DP Hunter Dog House (on Amazon) and ASL Solution Dog Palace Dog House (on Amazon), have a range of different sized dog houses for small through to larger dogs.
As a cheaper option, the Sunhouse DH350 Dog House (on Amazon) can fit dogs up to about 90lbs.
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