best outdoor dog kennels

All dogs need time outdoors, whether they prefer to sunbathe or chase squirrels. Although the outside world is a fun and exciting place for dogs, it’s not always the safest. Outdoor dog kennels are an excellent tool for keeping your dog free from harm when basking in the sun and breathing in that fresh air.

In this helpful guide we will outline why outdoor dog kennels can be so beneficial, and under what circumstances. We conducted extensive research on kennels to bring you our top recommendations, and we even share components to consider when deciding which one to purchase. Let’s begin!

6 Benefits of Using an Outdoor Dog Kennel

There are several notable benefits of using an outdoor dog kennel other than just keeping your dog safe. We highlight some of them here:

  1. Can be used indoors as well: A kennel is deemed to be appropriate for the outdoors when it is durable enough to stand up against extreme weather like heat, rain and snow. What’s great about the outdoor dog kennels on our list is that they can easily be moved indoors if necessary. They can be used as your pup’s regular crate or playpen.
  2. Double as a cat enclosure: Many people use outdoor dog crates as an outdoor play area for their cats! Isn’t that brilliant?! Cats deserve some time outside as much as dogs do, and an outdoor kennel will keep them safe and secure while enjoying the fresh air. Don’t have cats? Outdoor dog kennels can be used as chicken coops also!
  3. Great alternative to an enclosed backyard: If you have an outdoor space for your dog but it won’t keep them secured and contained, an outdoor dog kennel is an excellent solution. They can enjoy some unsupervised time outside taking in all of the sights and sounds.
  4. Appropriate for campsites: If you’re heading out on a camping adventure but don’t trust a leash to keep your dog safe while you’re at the campsite, an outdoor kennel is your answer! Your dog will be safe in the kennel while you construct your campsite or take care of other duties.
  5. Suitable for dog sports or events: If you participate in a dog sport, you’ll need to keep your pup crated during down time. An outdoor dog kennel which can be folded and transported would be excellent for this type of situation. These types of kennels are meant to be sturdy on a variety of surfaces.
  6. Ditch the wireless fence: Using an outdoor dog kennel is safer, cheaper and healthier for your dog than a wireless fence.

When is it appropriate to use an outdoor dog kennel?

Outdoor dog kennels can be helpful in a variety of situations. Some appropriate circumstances to consider using an outdoor dog kennel include:

  • You spend a lot of time outdoors and your dog wants to be a part of it, but you don’t have an enclosed backyard.
  • You want your dog to be able to spend some unsupervised time outdoors.
  • You’re participating in an outdoor dog sports competition.
  • Perhaps you’re hosting an outdoor BBQ and your pup wants to be included, but you need to keep them from devouring the chicken wings.
  • You are camping or taking advantage of an RV campsite.
  • You are having work done inside your home and you need to keep your dog safe outside in the meantime.
No matter what your needs are, it’s important to buy a sturdy outdoor kennel that will be reliable. To find one that’s best for your dog, we outline some necessary components in the next section.

5 Components to Look for in an Outdoor Dog Kennel

A quality outdoor dog kennel will keep your dog safe and secure while being durable under severe weather conditions. Here are some other components to consider:

  1. Size: The size of outdoor kennel you purchase will first be determined by the size of your dog(s) that will be making use of the kennel. If you plan to house more than one dog in the kennel, you’ll want to buy one big enough to accommodate them all without the space being overcrowded. You will also want to consider how much additional interior space the kennel will need to comfortably hold a bed and water dishes.
  2. Material: Outdoor kennels are generally built from stainless steel, galvanized steel or another heavy-duty metal. Each material offers different durability and advantages such as rust-resistance. If you have a strong dog who tries to chew through their kennel or lunge at it, stray away from buying a kennel made of plastic or wire.
  3. Covered roof: Most of the outdoor kennels on our list have covered roofs to offer your dog shade and protection against weather. Some roofs are weather-resistant, while others are not. Be sure to look for this benefit when choosing an outdoor dog kennel.
  4. Locks: Some outdoor kennel have simple slide latches and others may require a padlock. If your dog has been known to outsmart their previous kennels, you’ll want to consider a sturdier locking system.
  5. Flooring: Many outdoor dog kennels aren’t built with any type of flooring. This feature typically makes cleaning up and moving the kennel easier. However, if your pup is a digger and the kennel is placed in the grass or dirt, you may find your dog trying to dig their way out.

Overall Best Outdoor Dog Kennel

Lucky Dog Uptown Welded Wire Kennel

Key Benefits:

  • Waterproof cover included
  • Roof pitch allows rain, snow and debris to run off
  • Raised legs for sweeping or hosing out the kennel
  • No tools required for assembly

We love this outdoor dog kennel from Lucky Dog for several reasons. First and foremost, it’s a great price for the size, reliability and ease of construction. It’s built with welded steel bars which are covered with a rust-resistant coating. The panels and door come preassembled, and they quickly connect without the need for tools. Simply tighten the hand clamps and your dog is ready to enjoy their new space.

It’s important that your dog has shade to protect them from the elements, and the Lucky Dog outdoor dog kennel comes with a waterproof cover. The cover has a layer of UV protection so it won’t easily crack or tear. The pitched roof designs means that rain, snow and leaves will run off instead of settling on the roof. This kennel is easy to clean because it’s tall enough for you to walk into it, and it has raised 1.5” feet. The raised feet give you the ability to sweep or hose debris out from the kennel. The Lucky Dog kennel is available in three sizes and it’s highly rated by other pet parents for its stability and reliability.

Pros:

  • Available in 3 sizes
  • Easy to clean
  • Simple construction with no tools required
  • Pitched roof with a waterproof cover to protect your pet
  • Rust-resistant

Cons:

  • May require anchoring to the ground in certain outdoor conditions

Advantek Pet Gazebo Outdoor Dog Kennel

Key Benefits:

  • Included polyurethane reversible cover
  • Great for travel
  • Available in 4 sizes
  • A variety of accessories are available to best suit your situation

Runner-Up Best Outdoor Dog Kennel – The Adventek outdoor pet gazebo is designed for luxury and comfort. The versatile octagon design allows you to create multiple kennel configurations. You can attach these kennels to each other to construct a large space for several dogs without the need for additional parts. The low-profile design along with the weather resistant cover provides plenty of protection for your pet against sun, rain and other elements.

The Adventek outdoor pet kennel is neat because you can purchase a variety of accessories to go along with it. These items include a travel bag, a side sunshade and a corridor shade cover for kennels that are connected. This outdoor dog kennel assembles in minutes without any tools. It’s easy to disassemble as well, so you can travel with it as necessary. We love the versatility of this dog kennel, and it’s available in four sizes to best accommodate your needs.

Pros:

  • Can connect multiple kennels without any additional parts
  • Accessories are available to enhance the kennel
  • Comes in four sizes
  • Low-profile construction with weather resistant cover for premium protection
  • No tools required for assembly

Cons:

  • Anchors may be required if you have a large, powerful dog who likes to plot his escape

BestPet Large Dog Steel Kennel

Key Benefits:

  • Constructed from a rust-resistant metal
  • Waterproof, UV-resistant cover
  • Can be connected to other kennels
  • Durable materials will hold up against extreme weather

Best Budget-Friendly Outdoor Dog Kennel – This affordable outdoor dog kennel is great for residential or professional use. The heavy-duty steel bars are welded before being coated with epoxy to prevent sharp edges from injuring your dog. The steel construction is rust-resistant for premium durability and longevity. The waterproof cover is included with this kennel and it will keep your dog safe from weather and debris. It also has an additional layer of UV protection so it won’t crack, fade or peel due to sun exposure.

This outdoor dog kennel does require some assembly but you will not need tools according to other dog parent reviews. It’s easy to assemble and you can fold it to move the kennel indoors or to another area. The BestPet outdoor dog kennel is a good budget-friendly option that will keep your canine pal happy and protected.

Pros:

  • Assembles and folds down easily
  • Innovative steel welding construction
  • Multiple kennels can be connected together
  • Durable materials and cover will stand up against weather

Cons:

  • May not be strong or sturdy enough to contain an aggressive chewer or escape artist

3 More Top Outdoor Dog Kennels

ZENY Foldable Metal Exercise Pen

This product from ZENY doubles as a dog kennel and exercise pen. It can be used indoors or outdoors to contain your dog and keep them safe. The kennel is made from heavy-duty, rust-resistant metal so it’ll be appropriate for extended outdoor use. The panel design allows this pen to be quickly folded down for storage, transport or travel. It has step-through door access as well as two sliding bolt latches. We recommend this outdoor dog kennel if you will be frequently moving it. It will also be best for lower energy dogs who don’t exert much force.

PawHut Outdoor Galvanized Metal Dog Kennel

This outdoor dog kennel is great for large dogs, as it boasts a tall, wide design. The tall door swings open so you can walk in and out of the kennel to clean it or tend to your dogs. Raised legs allow debris to be swept out of the kennel so you can ensure your pup is always relaxing in a clean space. The roof cover is included, and it will protect your dog from sun, snow or rain. The pitched roof allows for runoff which can be cleaned up and removed. This large outdoor dog kennel is durable, made from rust-resistant materials and can be quickly assembled.

Neocraft My Pet Companion Outdoor Dog Kennel

The Neocraft outdoor dog kennel will stand up to the Earth’s elements with its steel frame. To save pet parents time and energy, there are no tools necessary for the simple assembly. This kennel folds flat so you can travel with it or store it at any time. You can even purchase a separate carrying case. There is a sun protection cover included with this Neocraft outdoor kennel, and it comes in a camo design if you’re into that sort of thing! This kennel comes in two sizes and multiple additional accessories are available for purchase.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is an outdoor dog kennel? – An outdoor dog kennel is an enclosure which is meant to keep your dog safe and contained outdoors. They are meant to house dogs for only a few hours at a time. Outdoor dog kennels are available in a wide array of sizes, materials and designs.
  • Can my dog live outside in their kennel? – No. Dogs are pack animals who need love and companionship to thrive. By leaving your dog outside you are depriving them of basic natural desires. Living outside can also be incredibly dangerous. If you believe your new dog will need to live outdoors, it’s probably best to not adopt one.
  • Are outdoor kennels good for dogs? – Yes, if you use it properly. Outdoor dog kennels should not be used to permanently contain your dog. They should be used as a tool of enjoyment and safety. These kennels should only be used for a few hours a day or when otherwise necessary, as long as your dog isn’t in danger.

Conclusion

An outdoor dog kennel will make an excellent addition to your home, backyard or travels. They are highly versatile and often feature a variety of helpful options. When making your final purchase, remember that your dog’s safety and wellbeing are always the priority.

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