How to Choose a Dog House

If your dog enjoys spending time outdoors, a proper dog house is a must for his happiness, health, and well-being. Warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and dry at all times, selecting the perfect dwelling takes the right amount of thought and planning.

So what do you look for in a dog house? Do you want a simple one or would you prefer an insulated dog house to help shield your pet from cooler temperatures. To start, size is the most important factor. Big dogs need bigger dog houses. Your pet must be able to comfortably fit inside. All the features in the world will do him no good if he or she can’t fit. Your dog should be able to stand, turn around, and lie down easily.


Wood is the best and most common material for dog houses construction. Metal and plastic absorb heat and cold, fluctuating with the weather and providing a less-than-perfect environment in extreme weather conditions. When choosing wood, make sure it is not pressure treated and be wary of any toxic substances, such as paint and stains. A good rule of thumb is that if it is safe for kids, then it is safe for your dog. It is also important to look for any sharp edges on the house and to make sure any hardware is well concealed to minimize the chances of your dog getting hurt and needing a trip to the vet.


Some luxury details are more practical than indulgent, such as an elevated floor, which will help control parasites and reduce the chances of flooding. Made from heavy-duty, water-resistant canvas, floor pads add extra insulation and comfort to the inside of the house. Also, weather flaps or doors help break the wind and blowing rain. A hinged roof makes clean-up a snap for the owner, and operable windows can add comfort and ventilation during summer months.

So when shopping for a dog house, remember that one size doesn’t fit all, safety comes first, and it’s okay to splurge for what really matters!

Popular Dog Houses

  • Published:
  • Updated: 10/24/2017: 8:24:33 AM ET
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