Best Winter Dog House: 8 Reviews and Buyer’s Guide
Winter is getting closer, which means that dog owners are thinking about how to protect the health of their pets. Some dogs sleep outside at night, and even breeds with heavy winter coats, such as huskies, are prone to frostbite and hypothermia. First, you need to decide on the best winter dog house that reliably protects from wind, frost, and snow. This is a stage of preparation for winter, which requires special responsibility. I have analyzed many options and collected objective reviews in order to offer you only the best models.
Overview of the 8 Best Winter Dog Houses
All models presented to your attention are of high quality. To create a list, I took into account the opinions of my friends and also analyzed hundreds of reviews on the Internet.
- BestPet Dog House: Best Winter Dog House Overall
- Petsfit Dog House: Easiest-to-Maintain Winter Dog House
- ZENY Dog House: Ideal for Small and Medium Breed Dogs
- Confidence Pet XXL Dog House: Huge Space
- Pet Republic Dog House: Budget Dog Kennel
- Confidence Medium Dog House: Best Price/Quality Ratio
- DEStar Dog House: High-Quality Material
- Petsfit Dog House With Balcony: Premium-Grade Dog Shelter
1. BestPet Dog House: Best Winter Dog House Overall
I can recommend this kennel not only because of the many positive reviews on the Internet but also because my dog loves it. Although it looks like a toy house, the construction is durable. Details are made of polypropylene. Assembly is also easy, it took me only 40 minutes to install the pet house in my backyard. There are two nail holes at the base of the construction, with which you can easily attach the house to a relatively soft surface, such as grass.
My dog weighs 60 pounds, but the manufacturer claims that their kennels are suitable for pets up to 100 pounds. There are three sizes to choose from. Stability is also provided by 5 round plastic legs at the base, placed in such a way that the pressure is distributed evenly.
Overall, this is a great outdoor dog house for winter at a reasonable price. For two winter seasons, it has withstood snow, rain, and strong winds, providing my pet with comfort. The manufacturer has added two vents, so this is a great option for summer as well. I recommend installing vinyl doors if it becomes cold enough in your region.
- Reasonable price;
- Cute design;
- Easy to clean as the surface is smooth, and the roof is detachable;
- Easy assembly;
- Waterproof thick material.
- There is no door.
2. Petsfit Dog House: Easiest-to-Maintain Winter Dog House
This house from the Pestfit brand is reminiscent of classic homemade kennels. My friend bought this item for her young shepherd dog. If you like this model but have a small-breed dog, you can choose another size (3 options are available).
The panels are made of Finnish spruce, and the roof covering is made of asphalt. This is a successful solution for a warm dog house for winter, as the dark waterproof material heats up easily and retains heat for a long time. However, my friend noted that she puts the house in the shade in summer for the same reason.
The manufacturer offers you a transparent entry flap that comes in the kit. It can be removed in summer and put back when it gets cold outside. The house is easy to assemble, as all parts are marked. The roof lifts and shock absorbers make changing mats and cleaning the kennel easier. A raised floor above the ground is a good solution for keeping your pet warm. On the other hand, my friend said that the spacing between the floor planks, although small, requires additional insulation or placement of blankets if you want to completely eliminate drafts in winter.
- Simple assembly;
- Easy to clean;
- Door flap included;
- The gaps between the floor panels must be additionally covered in winter.
3. ZENY Dog House: Ideal for Small and Medium Breed Dogs
This model is made of thick non-toxic plastic. It has a simple design, thanks to which it takes you no more than an hour to assemble it. Modern material is resistant to prolonged exposure to sun, wind, frost, snow, and rain. I know people who said that the house had withstood a fairly aggressive hurricane in Florida. This was possible since the kennel was attached to the ground with nails (the manufacturer added special holes in the base). The material itself also remained intact, except for a few chips.
The shelter has two ventilation holes to keep your pet cool in summer. The floor is raised above the ground, which provides the dog with comfort in winter. I like that the roof can be removed. Washing this construction is very easy: It can be done with a garden hose.
I decided on this model as a gift for my father, whose outside dog needed a new kennel. The father said that the animal sleeps in dryness and warmth. Even after a long downpour, the house inside was 100% dry. The downside was the lack of a door, but you can always attach a flap. Also, the model is not suitable for large dogs.
- Waterproof and durable;
- Easy to assemble;
- There is ventilation;
- The floor is raised above the ground.
- No door;
- Not for large dogs.
4. Confidence Pet XXL Dog House: Huge Space
I know people who purchased several of these houses for their dog shelters. It is great for large pets. This model gives enough space for large breeds to rest due to its size. Your husky or shepherd will be able to safely go inside, turn around, and stretch out.
The construction weighs 55.5 pounds, so it is also not easy to move or turn over. Plastic parts make it easy to clean the house. The assembly is quite simple, the manufacturer put in additional screws and stakes. The construction is designed in such a way that during snowfall or heavy rain, the pet remains dry. Air vents at the front and back provide air circulation. In a dog shelter with many pets, all things wear out faster. However, this dog house did not break even after some puppies actively gnawed at it. To avoid drafts in winter, you will need to purchase an additional door flap, as it is not provided.
- Enough space for large dogs;
- Durable and waterproof material;
- Easy to assemble and wash;
- Dual vents.
- There is no damper for the door.
5. Pet Republic Dog House: Budget Dog Kennel
If you are looking for an inexpensive dog house, the Pet Republic model is the best option. The price is good, but the quality is decent. You might need to make some modifications for cold winters. My friend bought this house two years ago for his two dachshunds. He noted that the design guarantees water tightness.
Snow does not accumulate on a sloped roof, as the angle of inclination is 50 degrees. For easy cleaning, you can remove the roof. All parts are made of PP plastic, which is durable but still not thick enough. If you live in an area with severe winters, my friend recommends adding extra insulation. The floor is raised 2.7 inches off the ground. This is the likelihood of dirt and water getting into the kennel.
If you are a happy owner of a small or medium-breed dog, this is a great option. For large dogs, it is worth looking for a more spacious shelter. A friend noted that the assembly took only 30 minutes. Plus, all the necessary screws were included.
- Dual vents;
- Low cost;
- Easy to assemble;
- Excellent support service;
- The plastic is not thick enough;
- There is no door.
6. Confidence Medium Dog House: Best Price/Quality Ratio
This model is suitable for pets of small and medium sizes. My neighbors use this kennel for their beagle who loves to play and sleep in the backyard. The neighbor said that for their needs, the construction would probably last for many years.
The kennel has ventilation holes. All parts are made of very hard and smooth plastic. This ensures fast cleaning. In addition, such material does not break or crack even if your pet likes to gnaw everything. Even after heavy rain, the neighbors did not notice the water inside. Although the beagle usually sleeps indoors at night in winter, its owners plan to add a damper to the door to keep out drafts.
- Waterproof and durable construction;
- Large space for dogs of small and medium breeds;
- There is ventilation;
- Reasonable price.
- Not suitable for large dogs;
- There is no door.
7. DEStar Dog House: High-Quality Material
I have several dog houses, and I purchased one of them back in 2019. This is a model from the DEStar brand. I can say that during the entire period of use, the material from which the kennel is made (waterproof polypropylene plastic) did not fade in the sun, did not crack, or break. I think this model will last for many more years. The manufacturer offers two sizes for different breeds of dogs.
The raised floor, dual vents, and thick plastic make this model an all-weather one. If you add a vinyl door at the entrance, this will be a perfect insulated dog house for winter. Stability is guaranteed thanks to the 5 legs on the base and the ability to fix the house to the grass with nails. Installing this shelter was easy enough, and the instructions from the manufacturer are clear even to a child. I like that the removable roof makes it easy to clean the house and ventilate it in summer.
- Sturdy and waterproof material;
- Several sizes for different breeds of dogs;
- Removable roof;
- Easy installation and maintenance.
- You will need to purchase an entrance damper for winter.
8. Petsfit Dog House With Balcony: Premium-Grade Dog Shelter
This kennel looks like a real little house for your pet. It is suitable not only for dogs but also for cats. The balcony not only gives more space to relax but also protects the room from the wind. The panels are made of durable wood that will not crack or crumble. To ensure air circulation and observe the street from the inside, the manufacturer added a small window.
The waterproof asphalt roof has a shock-absorbing mechanism that makes it easy to clean inside the house. The house stands on 4 strong legs, providing a distance between the floor and the ground. This means that your pet will be warm, and dirt and water will not fall on the floor. The design is easy to assemble, and all details have pre-drilled holes. This was a great gift for my colleague’s little dog. He installed a house on the veranda, and now the animal can spend more time outside, regardless of the weather.
- Cute design;
- Sturdy wooden construction;
- Additional space for rest;
- Easy to assemble and clean;
- Waterproof roof.
- Not suitable for medium and large breed dogs.
Important Features for Winter Dog Houses
Read this guide to know how to choose the best dog house for the winter weather. It is not necessary to buy expensive heated models. Proper house construction and simple additional modifications will help you provide a comfortable warm place for your pet even in winter. So, which features should be prioritized for a kennel?
1. Adequately blocks the wind
While it doesn’t matter much in hot weather, your pet can get sick on cold days if there’s a draft in the kennel. Therefore, the dog house should not have large gaps between the parts.
Many models do not have an entry damper. That’s why if it is cold enough in your area in winter, and the dog spends the night outside, think about additional protection in advance. Vinyl curtains are a common and convenient option.
2. Keeps your pooch dry
The roof of the kennel must be designed in such a way that moisture does not collect on the surface. Therefore, choose options with a sloping roof made of thick plastic, asphalt, or tiles. Such materials leave your pet dry even in heavy rain or snow.
If the house has a window, it should be with a transparent damper. You can purchase special options for windows and doors. They allow you to remove and install protection when you want. The raised base of the house is also an excellent solution that does not allow moisture from the ground to get on the floor.
3. Allows your dog to enter and exit easily
Before buying, you need to check if the pet will be able to freely enter its new kennel. If the entrance is too small for the size of the dog, it might simply refuse to sleep and play in the house. If you have a puppy, think about the size of the house it will need in a few months, depending on the characteristics of a particular breed. You might want to take a larger house if you have a small shepherd.
4. Provides your dog with an appropriate amount of space
Your pet is unlikely to want to sleep in a house that does not allow it even to turn around. On the other hand, a house that is too large for the size of the dog will not retain heat. Therefore, select an option that allows the pet to stand freely, turn around, and lie inside. If you are planning to add insulation and a bed for your pet, consider how much space is left for the dog’s body.
5. Is well-built, sturdy, and safe
The quality of the materials used for the house must be high. This will allow you to use the shelter for many years and ensure a safe place for your pet. Think about these points:
- Will the dog be able to chew through this material?
- Will the material cause allergies in the pet (some types of wood, paint, or low-quality plastic)?
- Does this model have sharp or flimsy parts that could injure the animal?
- Will the construction support my dog’s weight?
- Are there solutions that allow fresh air to circulate inside?
- Is the kennel stable enough to withstand strong winds?
Modern inexpensive models are usually made of high-quality plastic. This material is durable, strong, and waterproof.
How to choose the right size dog house?
1. Check the entrance
An entrance to the house that is too large isn’t needed, your pet will usually duck down to go inside. However, make sure that the entrance is not so small as to not let the animal through. Measure the height from the dog’s shoulder to the floor. The height of the entrance should be approximately 3/4 of this measurement.
2. Choose the house of the right length, width, and height
It is recommended that the height of the house be 25% higher than the height of your pet. In the same way, the best choice is the option in which the length and width of the inner room of the dog house are 25% more than the length and width of the dog’s body (when measuring the length of the tail is not taken into account).
3. Do not decide on a too-large house for winter
You should not exceed these figures by much and buy a huge house for a small dog if you want a kennel to protect your pet from low temperatures in winter. If the house is too large compared to the pet’s body, the space will not retain enough heat.
FAQ on Dog House for Cold Winter
Caring owners usually have many questions when choosing products for their pets.
What to put in a dog house for winter?
For heat retention, you can use cedar or pine wood shavings. Styrofoam is also an excellent option for insulation. Put plywood on top so that the dog doesn’t chew on the insulation. For softness, you can put blankets, sheets, and towels.
Are dog houses worth it?
The pet should have a dry, warm, and comfortable place to rest. If you live in areas where winters are very harsh, this is a must because your dog sleeps, walks, and exercises outside. Lack of proper protection from wind and frost can lead to hypothermia.
Which temperature is too cold for a dog in a dog house?
Small and old dogs will feel uncomfortable when the temperature drops below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. The critical point is temperatures below 20° F when the health of even the thick-coated winter large breeds is at risk.
Choose the Best Apartment for Your Pet. It is so important to provide cute pets with a dry and
warm place to rest, especially in winter. The right kennel is sure to please the animal and protect it from wind, frost, and snow. My absolute recommendation is BestPet dog house. The choice is yours because the owners know the needs of their pets better than anyone else. I hope the review and buyer’s guide will help you with the choice.
How much time does your pet spend outdoors in winter? What is your top priority when choosing a dog house? Share your opinion in the comments.