It is best to keep your furry friend indoors when winter comes, but this isn’t always possible, and some dogs want to sleep outdoors at night.
Weird as it may sound, they think that they can better protect you from the outside.
If that’s your dog, make sure to invest in a high-quality shelter to keep them safe and comfortable from the winter’s bitter cold.
And below are the 6 best dog houses for winter you can get today!
Our Top Pick
|Editor’s Choice - Petsfit Dog House||4.5 out of 5.0 stars||
(S) 33.7" x 22.6" x 23.1"
(M) 40.8" x 26" x 27.6"
(L) 45.6" x 30.9" x 32.1"
|Best Value - Petmate Indigo with Microban||4.5 out of 5.0 stars||
(M) 37.5" x 30.5" x 22.8"
(L) 43.8" x 34" x 25.8"
(XL) 51.5" x 39.3" x 30"
|Best Insulated - ASL Solutions Dog Palace||5.0 out of 5.0 stars||47.5" x 31.5" x 38.5"|
|Pets Imperial Extra Large Insulated Wooden Norfolk Dog Kennel||4.0 out of 5.0 stars||39" x 25"x 27"|
|Petmate Precision Extreme Outback Log Cabin||3.0 out of 5.0 stars||
((S) 35.2" x 25.4" x 5.1"
(M) 45.5" x 26.5" x 27.5"
(L) 46.1" x 32.7" x 5.3"
(XL) 49.6" x 39.4" x 6.7"
|Pet Zone Cozy Cottage Weather-Resistant Dog House||2.5 out of 5.0 stars||33.13" x 27.63" x 24"|
** Best Insulated Winter Dog House Comparison
Editor’s Choice - Petsfit Dog House
Are you looking for a dog house to keep your pup warm in winter? Consider the Petsfit Dog House, easily one of the best you can find on the market.
It has an off-the-ground design and adjustable feet to keep the moisture and dirt away. It also comes with door flaps, which can prevent the cold air from getting inside, and that’s something most dog houses don’t have. Combined with a waterproof slanted roof to ensure water will not sit on top of it, not to mention the roof is also hinged to allow for easy access and cleaning.
This best dog house for winter is very durable, made of kiln-dried cedar planks, perhaps the best wood for making wooden dog houses as it doesn’t get damaged easily, plus is resistant to insects and pests. For this reason, you would expect a higher price tag but is worth it.
- (S) 33.7″ x 22.6″ x 23.1″
- (M) 40.8″ x 26″ x 27.6″
- (L) 45.6″ x 30.9″ x 32.1″
Best Value - Petmate Indigo with Microban
What makes this dog house stand out is its igloo-shaped design to prevent ice and snow from accumulating on top and the offset doorway that offers better protection against the cold weather and rain.
It also has a small air vent on the roof to allow for a continuous flow of fresh air to keep your furry friend comfortable inside. Plus, its raised floors and side moats to drain off moisture and help your pup stay warm and dry through the night.
The Petmate Indigo also features a heavy-duty wall finished with Microban Antimicrobial Product Protection that deters the growth of stain and odor-causing microorganisms, making it one of the best dog houses for winter.
- (M) 37.5″ x 30.5″ x 22.8″
- (L) 43.8″ x 34″ x 25.8″
- (XL) 51.5″ x 39.3″ x 30″
Best Insulated - ASL Solutions Dog Palace
Do you find most dog houses aren’t enough to protect your four-legged friend from the harsh winter? Check out the ASL Solutions Dog Palace, the best-insulated dog house available.
It essentially has everything that you would want in a winter dog house. All panels are filled with Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam, commonly used in homes and buildings to retain the heat. It also includes a floor heater and a self-closing insulated door to keep your dog warm on chilly nights.
What’s more, it is equipped with self-storing window panels, giving you the ability to reposition from a closed position to a cross-ventilation position in the summer without needing the use of any tools. Cleaning this house is also a breeze as the floor is sloped and has a drain hole that allows the water to escape easily.
- 47.5″ x 31.5″ x 38.5″
4. Pets Imperial
Extra Large Insulated Wooden Norfolk Dog Kennel
As you may have already known, wood is a natural insulator that can preserve heat and warmth inside. So, this large wooden dog house that consists of timber, Styrofoam, and plywood board can undoubtedly protect your furkid from the cold weather.
The Pets Imperial Insulated Wooden Dog Kennel is elevated with adjustable rot-free plastic cap feet, keeping your pup away from the cold ground. Plus, the door flaps to prevent the cold air from getting in, hence more comfortable.
Additionally, the roof can be opened up, and floors are removable, so there shouldn’t be any hassle when cleaning this winter dog house. And thanks to its 2 support rails, it can accommodate large dogs that weigh up to 150 pounds.
- 39″ x 25″x 27″
5. Petmate Precision
Extreme Outback Log Cabin
As you can see, the Petmate Precision Extreme Outback is another wooden dog house, made of natural cedar wood treated with a weather-resistant coating to protect your fido from the elements.
Like most dog houses on the market, it features an off-center door that allows your furkid to stay farther away from the door when it gets too cold. Plus a slanted, weather-resistant asphalt roof to repel rain and snow. It is also elevated and has adjustable feet to provide stability on all types of surfaces.
The flip of it is that there are no door flaps to block the cold air from sneaking in. Also, it is not insulated at all, which you would expect from a cheaper product.
- (S) 35.2″ x 25.4″ x 5.1″
- (M) 45.5″ x 26.5″ x 27.5″
- (L) 46.1″ x 32.7″ x 5.3″
- (XL) 49.6″ x 39.4″ x 6.7″
6. Pet Zone Cozy Cottage
Weather-Resistant Dog House
At first glance, it looks like an ordinary plastic dog house, but the truth is that it comes with double walls, which will surely provide some degree of insulation to keep your pooch warm. That said, lack of proper insulation makes it suitable for mild winters only.
The Pet Zone Cozy Cottage Dog House is durable, treated with a UV protective coating to protect your dog from the harmful ultraviolet radiation. It also has adjustable vents to allow for proper ventilation. Additionally, the roof is removable, so cleaning it is an effortless task.
The best part is it doesn’t require any tools to put together and only takes about 5 minutes on average to assemble.
- 33.13″ x 27.63″ x 24″
Why is an Outdoor Winter Dog House Important?
Just like humans, dogs will certainly need shelters to protect them from the cold weather, wind, snow, and rain in winter, ultimately keeping safe from frostbite and hypothermia. While dogs have a furry coat to help them retain their bodies’ heat, it won’t be enough to do the job when it becomes too cold.
Also, not all dogs are the same. Short-haired breeds such as Bulldogs, Beagles, and Greyhounds are more susceptible to low temperatures. And these breeds will undoubtedly need a dog house due to their lack of natural insulation.
There are also breeds like Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies that have a thick heavy coat. Though they are indeed more tolerant of cold, that doesn’t mean they are comfortable sleeping in frigid temperatures. Frostbite and hypothermia can still occur if left outdoors for an extended period without any protection.
When is it too Cold for Dogs?
Regardless of the breeds, dogs will need a winter dog house to protect them from the cold. Otherwise, they will be at risk of frostbite and hypothermia, which is potentially life-threatening. Now, the question is, how cold is too cold for dogs?
Well, this will obviously vary depending on a few things, for instance, the type of coat, body size, fat levels, age, and if they have any existing health condition. But in general, dogs will start to get uncomfortable when temperatures drop below 45°F, especially for breeds that are cold-averse.
Regular Dog Houses
vs. Insulated Dog Houses for Winter
Before going into the buyers’ guide, first, you will need to understand the difference between a regular dog house and an insulated winter dog house so that you can pick what’s best for your pup.
A regular dog house is just a standard shelter for dogs that offers protection against various weather conditions. While you can use it in most seasons, it will not be enough to keep your four-legged friend warm in winter, except for those designed to protect dogs from cold weather. For instance, dog houses that come with an offset doorway, off-center door, or a thick wall and door flaps.
Insulated dog houses, on the other hand, are specifically made to help dogs through harsh winters. This type of dog house typically comes with a thick layer of insulation, such as Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam and Styrofoam, for enhanced heat retention.
The Best Dog House for Winter
When choosing a dog house for winter, there are a few things you need to take into consideration to ensure your fido’s comfort.
Ideally, you would want to choose a dog house that is very well insulated like the ASL Solutions Dog Palace, if budget permits. Otherwise, you can also pick the ones with a thick wall, and of course, those wouldn’t provide as much warmth, but you can always put a heated bed and blanket inside when it gets too cold.
2. Door or Door Flaps
It would also be better to pick a winter dog house with a door as it can keep the cold out and warm air in, or at least choose the ones that come with door flaps like the Petsfit Dog House and Pets Imperial Insulated Wooden Dog Kennel to protect your fido from rain and snow. Note that some dogs may need extra training to use a door, especially if you have a timid dog. So, getting a dog house before winter is a good idea.
3. Elevated Floor
Consider an elevated winter dog house as it can keep the moisture out, hence more comfortable for your furry friend. Also, the surface would be warmer for them to sleep due to the simple fact that the house doesn’t sit directly on the cold ground.
The best dog house for winter should be well built and sturdy enough to ensure it can withstand storms and strong winds, ultimately preventing it from collapsing and injuring your pup. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to know the quality until you test it out yourself, and the best you can do is to pick those that are reputable.
5. Easy to Clean
As a responsible pet parent, you know how important it is to keep the dog’s house clean. So, it’s probably a good idea to choose something easy to clean, and those with a removable roof and floors will make cleaning a breeze.
Dog House Accessories You May Also Want to Consider to Help Your Pup Stay Warm in Cold Weather
1. Heated Dog Bed
As you can imagine, letting your canine sleep on the hard floor of the dog house won’t be comfortable, plus it can cause a lot of pain, especially if they have orthopedic problems such as arthritis and hip dysplasia. With a heated dog bed, it can make your pooch’s sleeping area warmer and more comfortable. Not to mention, the heat can also relieve their muscle and joint stiffness.
Keep in mind that if you are getting a heated bed, particularly for outdoor use, you would want to select the self-warming type that doesn’t need electricity to operate to prevent electrical shock and burns.
2. Dog Blanket
Another thing that you may also need is a dog blanket. It can add a little bit of additional insulation to ensure your pup can sleep better in winter. Opt for the ones made of sherpa, fleece, or microfiber plush as they can retain your dog’s body heat very effectively.
3. Heated Water Bowl
Keeping your dog hydrated in winter is equally important as it is in other seasons. Though you can put a standard dog water bowl right outside their house to ensure they can easily access it, you will have to check it regularly and replace the water when it is frozen. To save yourself the hassle, consider getting them a heated water bowl instead.
DIY: Build Your Own Insulated Dog House for Winter
For those trying to save a few bucks, have a bit of time, and some carpentry skills, you would probably be interested in building an insulated dog house. Note that if you don’t have the tools already, the cost will be higher, which essentially means you may be better off to buy a dog house off the list to save yourself time and energy.
There are tons of different DIY dog house designs available online, and as a result, we won’t be able to give you step by step instructions on how to build one as that will depend on the style you pick, but there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
1. Find the Right Blueprint
First of all, you will need to find the right blueprint. Make sure to choose a project that is not too difficult for you to build. And of course, you would want the design to have all the features we mentioned earlier in the buyers’ guide, such as an elevated floor, a door or door flaps, and a removable roof.
2. Consider the Dimensions
You want your four-legged friend to be able to fit through the door and stay inside comfortably at the end of the day. So, ensure to measure your pup’s size and pick what’s best for them when searching for the designs online.
3. Get All Materials Ready Before You Start
Be sure to gather all the materials that you need and store them in the same place before you start building. Keep looking for things while you are halfway through will surely slow down the project and cause frustration.
4. Check to See if Everything is Built Correctly
Remember to check the dog house when completed before using it, for instance, see if the edges are sealed properly and if there’s a leak in the roof. Also, make sure there are no nails, screws, or other sharp objects left inside to prevent your canine from getting injured.