Dog kennels are perfect means to reduce the space your dogs can run, for a variety of reasons. They can be used for breeding, a small space for puppies to play in, or even just a closed off area where your dogs will be safe while you are out doing errands or work.
But if you have enough space in your home for an outdoor kennel, then you should really consider getting one for your precious pup!
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Why consider outdoor kennels?
Outdoor kennels come in a variety of types. Kennel Runs, Boxed Kennels, and Dog Cages are the main types of kennels that you can see in the market. Kennel runs are the largest out of the three, with the dog cage being the smallest and most versatile type of kennel.
The benefits of having outdoor kennels for your dog, especially for breeds that need a lot of space to live comfortably are as follows:
- Sanitary reasons. You can bring your dog outside while still keeping them inside their kennels while they need to relieve themselves. This way you can clearly see where they poop and can clean it up easily.
- Easy surveillance. If you have an outdoor kennel with enough space that your dogs can run around and play in, then you will have an easier time supervising them.
- Safe outdoor space. With an outdoor kennel, your dogs can enjoy the outdoors in a safe space where they are protected from harm.
- Can be a comfortable living space for outdoor dogs. If you have dogs who spend most of their time outside or even sleeps outdoors, a comfortable, weather-proof, and durable kennel that can withstand various climates can be their shelter.
Difference between indoor and outdoor kennels
Although there are kennel types that can be used for both indoor and outdoor use, outdoor kennels will usually have a wider and higher size to give your dog more space, or even accommodate a few more dogs.
Outdoor kennels will usually have more durable and weather-proof materials as well, since they will be exposed to the elements more than indoor kennels. And while some indoor kennels might have soft-sided walls, outdoor kennels need durable walls to keep the dog inside when they are used outdoors. Some even have removable roof covers to suit the climate.
Both can be equipped with locking doors, but some outdoor kennels are more like dog houses than crates, so some don’t need them. Most outdoor kennels are also not airline approved, since they serve more as fencing for the dog, rather than keeping them inside a crate for travelling.
Important features to look for in an outdoor kennel
Material and exposure to the outside
Outdoor kennels should be able to withstand rapid changes in climate, since they will be outdoors, exposed to sunlight, rain, snow, and even storm depending on the weather. Heavy-duty plastic, heavy wires, and even thick metal bars are great as outdoor kennels. Wooden structures are also suitable as outdoor dog houses if they are constructed properly.
Strength of material against dogs
The outdoors excites most dogs, so they will understandably be very energetic when they get outside. If you are leaving them outside to play, then the kennel you’ll choose must be able to handle their strength. There might be times where they slam into the walls of the kennels, so effective kennels should be able to withstand this kind of treatment.
Space where you will put the kennel
Some outdoor kennels can also be used indoors, but you must have enough space for the kennel for both you and your dog’s comfort. Make sure that the kennel you chose can fit inside your home or yard without being an inconvenience to your lifestyle. Tip: Put the kennel close to areas with good drainage, and keep them away from your neighbor’s line, so they won’t be disturbed by barking or other noises from your dog.
For outdoor kennels with doors, you definitely should have secure locks to prevent any dog from getting out of the kennel. These locking mechanisms are also vital to keep the kennel from collapsing on itself once you’ve assembled it.
One-way or two-way opening?
A lot of outdoor kennels offer two-way openings – either on two sides of the kennel or one where the roof opens. Roof openings are great for puppies who are not crate trained yet that you’d like to expose to the outside world. This way you can easily load the pup from the top opening of the kennel. Two-way or just one door is enough for crate-trained dogs.
Feeding method and water dispensers
Water dispensers should always be available for outdoor dog kennels. You can install a dispenser along its walls that your dog can easily reach, so they can drink whenever they need. Food, on the other hand, should be provided according to their feeding schedule as usual. Leaving food inside a kennel unsupervised may lead to messy situations.
Flooring and covers
If you are only leaving your dog outdoor for a few hours, you might not need any flooring for their kennels. But if they are going to be left alone outside most of the day, flooring as well as an overhead shelter is necessary to keep them comfortable. There are outdoor kennels that don’t have flooring and are much like playpens, but some do have flooring with sheet pans where you can put cushioning for extra comfort.
Wall height and wheels
There are outdoor kennels that don’t have overhead covers, so if you have a dog who’s a high jumper, consider getting a really tall outdoor kennel. If you want your kennel to double as a crate, then you should consider detachable wheels. They can be very helpful for transporting large breed of dogs for travel.
Best Outdoor Dog Kennels of 2019
Heavy-Duty Dog Kennel for Outdoor or Indoor Use – SmithBuilt Heavy 36” Hammered Silver Kennel
If you have a large dog who has a lot of strength, or a medium dog who can chew out of any crate, then consider replacing your old one with the SmithBuilt 36” Hammered Silver Kennel. The bars of this kennel are sturdy, heavy, and indestructible, making it impossible to be moved by your dog.
The SmithBuilt Kennel also has a two-way door system, one on the front and a top opening for easy loading. The locks are the dead-bolt type, so it’ll be hard for any dog to slip it open. It doesn’t have a sheet pan, but the wire flooring has a sheet pan if your dog accidentally pees inside the crate. It also has detachable wheels so you can easily roll it out to your yard if needed.
- Strong and indestructible construction
- Built for large breeds and strong dogs
- Two-way door system for easy loading
- Suitable for crate training
- Deadbolt lock to keep your dog inside
- Detachable wheels for transport
- Escape-proof kennel suitable for indoor and outdoor use
- Heavy weight might be hard to assemble by owners
- You might need to purchase a cover and flooring to make your dog more comfortable
Compact Indoor or Outdoor Kennel for Dogs – Aleko Indoor/Outdoor Dog Playpen
With just 5 x 5 x 4 feet dimensions, the Aleko Indoor/Outdoor Dog Playpen is a compact kennel for your energetic pet! It is high enough that your dog will have difficulty jumping over. Its open construction is great for outdoor use, since it won’t make your dog feel restricted and claustrophobic.
This spacious kennel is perfect for indoor and outdoor use, since it gives your dog ample space to find a position to sleep or play around. It doesn’t have a flooring, so your pup can enjoy the feel of grass or soil under their paws for a more authentic outdoor playing experience.
- High walls to keep dog inside and prevent them from jumping out
- No flooring means they can enjoy the grass and soil under their paws
- Wide space can prevent claustrophobia and add to their comfort
- Can fit their bedding and toys inside for entertainment
- Can be used for indoor or outdoor play
- Easy to assemble and dismantle
- No flooring and overhead cover for hot weather
- Not durable enough for strong, rowdy dogs
Great Outdoor Kennel with High Ceiling and Top Cover – Advantek Original Outdoor Gazebo
This octagon-shaped outdoor kennel is great for long, extended playtime outdoors! It has a durable umbrella-roof frame with cover, to keep your dog cool and comfy even in hot climates. It’s a completely covered dog kennel, with only one doorway for entrance and exit. It even has a drop-down window if you need to replenish their water or food during their stay inside the kennel.
The Advantek Original Outdoor Gazebo is also collapsible and easy to assemble, so you can bring this with you on outdoor trips, like camping or hiking, as the dog’s very own tent. Its overhead cover is made from weather-resistant polyethylene to keep your dog cool while outside.
- High gazebo with roofing for ultimate outdoor kennel
- Drop-down window for replenishing food and water
- Octagonal shape for maximum space
- Easy to collapse and assemble
- Perfect for outdoor activities, like hiking and camping
- Weather-resistant wire and roofing materials
- No flooring and sheet pan, so you might need to do regular cleanup
- Might be too weak for strong and rowdy dogs
Cheap but Effective Outdoor Kennel – Suncast Outdoor Plastic Dog House
The Suncast Outdoor Plastic Dog House is an adorable, weather-proof kennel that you can use indoors or outdoors. It has the shape of a standard doghouse and can be assembled pretty easily. It even has a flooring available, so all you need is a cushion or soft blankets to keep your dog cozy and comfortable for a slumber in their Suncast.
The Suncast Plastic Dog House also has a removable roof to make it easier to clean once assembled. It keeps rain out and protects your dog from the heat of the sun. No surveillance is needed with the Suncast dog house, and your dog can go freely in or out of the kennel whenever they want.
- Large-sized dog house for big breeds
- Weather-proof and durable plastic materials
- Has flooring for ultimate comfort
- Assembly is easy and has detachable roof for easy cleanup
- No locked doors and can be a comfy sleeping space
- Flooring may be a little thin and a bit of water may come in when it rains hard
- Dogs prone to destructive behavior may not be suitable for this kennel
Simple and Easy to Assemble Outdoor Kennel – PetMate Courtyard Exercise Playpen
The best feature of the PetMate Courtyard Exercise Playpen is its no-tool assembly. It provides spikes and pins so you can assemble it in no time. Its spikes can be inserted easily into the ground to keep the kennel steady even if your dog plays inside. The pins of its walls are also easy to install and guarantees a sturdy insertion that will lock the parts in place.
Each partition of the PetMate Courtyard Kennel is made from galvanized steel, making it resilient even when housing large and energetic dog breeds. Its walk-in door locks in place and can’t be easily nudged open by dogs.
This kennel’s versatile shape also gives you a lot of possible ways to confine your dog. They can be your standard kennel or a fencing equipment to suit your needs.
- Durable, galvanized steel materials are chew and claw-proof
- Open design makes for ample space for dogs to play in
- Spikes and pins keep the kennel in place, indoor or outdoor
- Easy to assemble and collapsible parts
- Versatile kennel that can also be used as a fence
- Walk-in door with locks that can’t be nudged open
- No roof and floor cover, making it unsuitable for rainy weather
- Height might be easy to jump over by large dogs
Tips on cleaning your outdoor dog kennel
- Remove everything inside the pen before doing anything
- Water-diluted disinfectant is enough to clean and sanitize the kennel
- Rinse with a blast-hose to remove any suds and any residue that was collected from your dog and outdoor environment