Shopping

The 4 Best Dog Houses For Cold Weather

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.

Daniel Tadevosyan / Shutterstock
Updated: 
Originally Published: 

This may go without saying, but insulation is the key thing to look for when shopping for the best dog houses for cold weather. While it’s generally best to keep your dogs indoors in between walks and outdoor play sessions during winter months (especially overnight!) an insulated outdoor dog house can give your pup a place to get away from wet or cold weather when they’re spending time in the yard. And, as you've probably encountered thus far, not every outdoor dog shelter is designed for cold climates.

Ideally, every part of the house from the floor to the walls and ceilings should have insulation. You also want to make sure any dog house you consider purchasing for cold weather is elevated above the ground, weatherproof to withstand the moisture from rain and snow, and fitted with a closing door, insulated dog door, or flap to keep out the wind.

When deciding on what size to buy for your dog, the general rule of thumb is that a dog house should be at least 25% longer and wider than your dog's own measurements. They should also have enough space to be able to turn around easily. Lastly, providing your dog with a self-regulating heating pad or heater inside their dog house will help make them as comfortable as possible during the colder weather, and making sure they have a warm dog jacket for winter weather can also keep them toasty.

With that in mind, here are some of the best dog houses for cold weather you can buy.

1

A Well-Insulated Plastic Dog House With A Self-Closing Door

For taller dogs, especially breeds like Greyhounds and Whippets, this "dog palace" by ASL Solutions is the best choice. Although the width is smaller than other houses on this list, this dog house is extra deep and tall, standing over 2.5 feet in height. The entire structure is raised 4 inches off the ground, and it contains a superior amount of insulation to keep your pup toasty on chilly nights. The plastic exterior is insulated with up to 4 inches of recycled foam in every panel of its construction including the floor. (Although, if you live in a really cold climate, you might want to consider purchasing the company’s separate floor heater as well.) This home's self-closing door is also a great feature, as it even contains a small window so your dog can gaze out.

Helpful Amazon review: “We now have two of these dog houses for our German shorthairs, critical in our climate where the temperatures can drop to zero degrees. Both our older dog and our puppy love their homes and spend even the cool winter months in them. Highly recommended.”

2

A Popular Igloo-Shaped All-Weather Dog House

  • Also available on Petmate, $132, and Petco, $128
  • Interior size: Not provided, but the exterior measures 43.8 x 34 x 25.8 inches

This igloo-shaped dog house from Petmate is designed with larger dogs weighing 50 to 90 in mind, and is an affordable all-weather option. Its floor is raised off the ground, and the walls are made of plastic that’s thick enough to provide some insulation, though if you live in a colder area, you might also want to add Petmate’s quilted nylon pad for additional floor insulation. A vent in the roof keeps air moving, while moats around the sides of the exterior ensure that the dog house stays dry. The extended offset doorway should prevent the worst of the wind and wet weather from entering the dog house, but you can buy a door flap separately to more securely keep the weather out.

Helpful Amazon review: “My dog needed a comfy shelter while I'm at work. I ordered the Petmate Indigo Dog House for her, and she is very comfortable with it. I just put some straw on the floor, and she can retreat from the rain and keep warm and dry. Durable and functional — a great dog house!.”

3

A Cozy Wooden Dog House For Extra Large Dogs

  • Interior size: 39 x 25 x 27 inches

This large dog house has a cozy, wood cabin appearance, and it's great for dogs under 154 pounds. While it's not specifically mentioned by the manufacturers, many reviewers have mentioned that the lumber exterior is water-resistant. The inside walls are composed of timber, Styrofoam, and plywood insulation for maximum insulation and protection against the elements. In fact, the manufacturer claims that the walls are 150% thicker than those of other outdoor dog kennels.

Additionally, the house is raised 2 inches above ground and has plastic caps on its feet to keep the wood from rotting. Its floor is removable, and its roof can also be opened up for easy access to the inside, making it easy to clean. The entrance is simple to use and covered in plastic flaps to block the wind. For the affordable price point, all these features make this shelter a great deal. Plus, you can always purchase a dog-safe heating pad for extra warmth. For example, one of these popular heating pads for dogs should lay nicely on the floor of this house.

Helpful Amazon review: “We’ve had this house now for several months. This was perfect during the winter months. We put hay in the bottom and a self heating pad over that, and it kept our dog very warm during the winter. During the coldest days after we first got it we would go out and check the temperature inside the house, and each time it was very toasty. I love that it is off the ground and kept out of snow, water and mud.”

4

A Folding Wooden Dog House With An Optional Insulation Kit

  • Also available on Walmart, $210, and Chewy, $178
  • Interior size: 40.5 x 25.25 inches (height not given, but exterior height is 33.12 inches)

When the weather gets chilly, you’ll want to fit this dog house from Midwest Homes For Pets with the brand’s canvas and foam insulation kit (sold separately), which keeps the dog house’s interior warm and cozy. Insulation aside, the dog house itself looks adorable and is constructed from water-resistant wood and stainless steel, with an asphalt-covered roof. The house sits on posts to keep it off the ground, each of which has an adjustable foot so you can ensure the whole thing sits level even when the ground isn’t flat. The large dog house is meant for medium and large dogs weighing up to 80 pounds. While no door flap or cover is provided, you can fashion one yourself out of cheap vinyl flaps, which multiple users reported using as a homemade dog door. Other than that, the dog house is super simple to assemble and put away — just fold or unfold the house, add or remove the roof, and add or remove insulation if you’re using it — no tools required.

Helpful Amazon review: “I usually never write reviews but this deserved one. This is SO much better than I expected! It took me less than 10 minutes to set up (including removing the packaging). It literally just unfolds. It seems pretty sturdy.. I got in halfway to feel it out & it didn't creak or bend or anything. It holds my 50lb fur baby no problem (I got the Large size).”

5

Also Nice: A Heater That Works With Most Dog Houses

Turn any outdoor dog house (sold separately!) into one that’s warm enough for cold weather with this Hound Heater. The 300-Watt heater can mount securely on the wall of standard or igloo-shaped dog houses, where it provides dry heat. It senses the dog house’s temperature so that it turns on only when needed (you can set the thermostat using a dial). In order to keep things safer for your pup, it has rounded corners, an internal heat shield to protect everything you don’t want your dog to encounter, a durable steel construction, and a sturdy cord that’s designed to resist chewing and covered in a protective stainless steel spring. The cord is 6 feet long and can plug into an ordinary three-pronged outlet, but you can also buy a version with a 10-foot cord from the same Amazon product page, or use a 3-wire 18 gauge grounded extension cord that’s rated for outdoor use.

Helpful Amazon review: “I am now into the second winter with this product. It continues to perform as advertised. I have it connected to a smart switch. I am able to tell my Echo device to turn the heater off and on. I also have a timer set so I don't leave it on overnight. One of my dogs just LOVES to be out in the yard. With this heater in his dog house I know he has a warm dry place to crash and I feel good about letting him be outside in the winter if he wants. Purchased this heater to install in our Dog Palace Dog house. The dog house is plastic and insulated.”

This article was originally published on