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Top 10 Best Dog Houses for Winter

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The best place for your dog during the coldest months of the year is inside a safe and warm winter dog house. Dogs can get cold in winter months, and if your dog cannot be inside your own home, make sure to provide him with the best dog house for winter in order to keep him comfortable. Don't make the mistake of thinking that every dog house is made the same or that any dog house will provide your pet with the shelter that he needs in the wintertime.

The Best Dog Houses for WinterWinter nights get be extremely cold in many areas of the world, and in many US regions winter nights can be well below freezing. Let's not forget that in a few unlucky areas, even the days can be below freezing during the coldest parts of winter. Insulated dog houses for winter are designed to protect pets from that.

While some breeds can sustain more cold than others, there is no dog breed that is completely immune to very cold temperatures. So no matter what breed of dog you have, he's going to need the best dog house for winter if he has to spend long periods of time outdoors. Don't be misled into thinking that thick coated dogs will be comfortable outside in cold temperatures.

When is it too cold for your dog? Evidence shows that while this mostly depends on the size of your dog and his coat fur thickness, generally, anything 45 F degrees and below is too cold for dogs:

“…it is clinically accepted that indoor pets that are not acclimated to cold weather should not be left outside when the average daily temperature is below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.” Dr. M.A. Crist, a clinical assistant professor – [source]

We've done a lot of research and read through thousands of pet owner reviews to find multiple options for the best dog house for winter. Of course, you'll need to select a winter dog house that fits your needs and your Fido specifically, but here are ten great choices that we'll be covering in detail in this article:

Winter Dog Houses Price Quality Rating
Petmate Indigo Dog House with Microban $$$$$ A 4.3/5
Dog Palace Large Dog House by ASL Solutions $$$ B- 3.8/5
Confidence Pet Waterproof Plastic Dog Kennel Outdoor Winter House $$ D 4.2/5
K&H Manufacturing Outdoor Kitty House $  A+ 4.5/5
Suncast DH350 Dog House $$ C+ 4.0/5
ASL Solutions Deluxe Insulated Dog Palace with Floor Heater $$$ B- 4.1/5
Precision Pet Outback Log Exterior Dog House $$ C- 3.2/5
Suncast DH250 Dog House $$ A 4.2/5
Petsfit Dog House $$ B 4.2/5
Pet Zone Cozy Cottage Durable Plastic Dog House $$ B+ 4.1/5

* Click on the best dog house for winter for more information, prices and details. Scroll below to read reviews.

Winter Dangers for Dogs and Why Use a Winter Dog House

Best Dog House for WinterNo matter how big your pet is, or how thick yo

ur dogs' coat, they still need insulated dog houses for winter that provide a warm and comfortable environment. The key part of a good winter dog house is that it is designed to be insulated. Did you know that dogs are at risk for frost bite and hypothermia, just like us? Extreme cold and wind chills that fall below freezing can penetrate even the thickest fur, according to vets.

Your pet can develop hypothermia when his body temperature goes down to an unusually low level. Hypothermia is a dangerous condition that can result in your dog's nervous system being negatively affected. The rate of your dog's heart and the blood flow speed will lower as well, oxygen consumption increases by 300%, making Fido susceptible to various dangers and even death (Auld et al. 1980).

While hypothermia in dogs is dangerous, frostbite can become an even bigger problem. This is mostly because many pet owners are very late to recognizing frostbite on dogs due to their long coats. Sadly, they often realize that their dog is suffering when it's nearly too late. Finally, hypothermia and frostbite aren't the only reasons to safeguard your pet using a winter dog house; it's also all the winter elements.

Regular dog houses vs Insulated dog houses for winter

The Best Dog House for WinterFor dogs that stay outside during winter, any house is always better than no dog house at all. Worse comes to worse, you can always at the very least get a dog house heater for your pup's regular home. However, the main problem with regular houses when compared to insulated dog houses for winter is that they do not keep warmth inside very well. Even when using a dog house heater, it becomes a problem.

Unlike regular dog houses, majority of good quality insulated dog houses for winter are designed in a specific way and using special materials to protect dogs from winter elements as well as keep them warm. Here's what you want in your winter dog house:

  • An offset doorway to protect from rain, snow and provide wind resistance;
  • Full insulation using foam or other material to keep the inside warm;
  • Good roof and entryway ventilation for proper airflow;
  • Materials like microban to prevent growth of bacteria inside the house;
  • (Optional) Dog house heater ready for easy heater installation.

Supplying your pet with the best dog house for winter isn't just a nice thing to do to keep your Fido happy – it is a MUST-DO responsibility to keep your pet safe in the winter. A quality winter dog house may be a must-have all year round for some dogs that live outside or spend the majority of their time outdoors.

What Is the Best Dog House for Winter?
2017's top 10 best winter dog house options

1Indigo Dog House with Microban
by Petmate

Petmate Indigo Dog House with MicrobanThe first best dog house for winter on the list is a popular option among pet owners and a long-time best seller on Amazon. The Indigo Dog House with Microban is igloo-inspired and thus is dome-shaped. It is built from structural foam incorporated with the Microban technology which deters the growth of microorganisms that cause odor and stain. A small roof vent aids in the circulation of air in this best dog house for winter by Petmate. There is an extended doorway to provide cover from draft, rain and snow. The Extra Large Indigo dog house measures 51.5”x39.3”x30” and is designed for dogs less than 42” long from nose to rump and less than 31” tall.

If and when you decide on the Petmate Indigo Dog House with Microban to be your dog’s outdoor shelter, make sure that you measure your dog correctly and compare that with the dimensions of the size you’re buying. Sizing is critical when it comes to insulated dog houses for winter, because a size much larger than what your dog needs would be a tad too breezy while a smaller size would be uncomfortable. Your dog must be able to go in, head first of course, and then be able to turn around without trouble.

best dog house for winterThe slightly curved entry of this first best winter dog house provides some protection from precipitation and draft, but you’d need a tarp or flap door for heavy downpour or gusty winds. Expect this solidly-built shell to last a long while, so if you’re buying it for a puppy, it might be a good idea to keep in mind your dog’s adult size or at least its size in the next 4-5 years.

PROS:

  • Built from structural foam incorporated with Microban technology that deters the growth of microorganisms that cause odor, stains and mildew
  • Equipped with a roof vent that aids in air circulation
  • Extended, offset doorway for rain resistance & wind protection
  • Available in 3 sizes
CONS:

  • The largest size is only designed for dogs less than 42” long from nose to rump and less than 31” tall, so it may not be suitable for the largest breeds
  • Beware when ordering online, as some buyers noted that the dog house they received was scratched and too warped to put together

Most helpful review (read the full Amazon review): “When we took the house out of the box, I had to double-check that they didn't send us the wrong size. This house looks like a “medium”, rather than a large. It is important to note that the…”

 

2Dog Palace Large Dog House
by ASL Solutions

Dog Palace Large Dog House by ASL SolutionsThe second best dog house for winter is made of rotationally-molded (also called rotomolded) plastic panels. Unlike Petmate’s Indigo dog house which has an open entryway, this winter dog house from ASL Solutions incorporates an easy-push, auto-shutoff door. All panels, including the pass-through door and floor, are filled with insulating foam. Triangular windows provide ventilation in summer, but the panes can be closed to retain heat during winter. The floor is raised 4” from the base, and there’s a floor drain to keep the floor dry and make cleaning easier.

As with any winter dog house, correct sizing is the key. The Dog Palace Large Dog House by ASL Solutions has a usable interior space with a 24” width, 35.5” depth and 30.5” height. The door measures 15.5” wide and 18” high, and is 11” from the floor. The lower half of the door is hinged to the top half, but can be removed during training to encourage the dog to get in.

ASL's second best dog house for winter is so well insulated you’d stop feeling guilty about making your dog live outdoors in winter. The interior temperature of the insulated house gradually increases with your dog’s natural body temperature. If you’re using a dog house heater, you won’t actually need it to work all the time because the house’s own insulation does its part, too.

PROS:

  • Made of rotationally-molded plastic panels
  • Each panel is equipped with 2-4 inches of foam insulation
  • Features an easy pass-through, self-closing, well-fitted insulated door
  • Floor is insulated and raised 4 inches to offer a dry, warm bed area
CONS:

  • Because the insulation is blown in, it tends to settle and leave some spots uninsulated
  • Be sure to measure precisely, as some buyers say that this best dog house for winter was smaller than they expected

Most helpful review (read the full Amazon review): “Very sturdy and reliable. Works as stated, took a week for our 26lb dog to learn how to go in out with offering him doggie treats. Our dog goes in @ night now by himself and sleeps through…”

 

3Pet Waterproof Plastic Dog Kennel Outdoor Winter House
by Confidence

Confidence Pet Waterproof Plastic Dog Kennel Outdoor Winter HouseThe third best winter dog house on the list is constructed from durable molded plastic. It has a simple design with a pitched roof, front opening, ample headroom, and large interior space. Since this dog house from Confidence Pet is made of plastic, it is waterproof and easy to clean and maintain. You may choose from three sizes, starting from medium to extra-large. The largest size has room for two large Labradors. The opening measures 14.1” wide and 24.6” high, while the space inside measures 41.3” x 38” x 38.7”.

You may safely place this winter dog house in your yard or out on the patio. For winter, though, a dog heating pad would be a necessary addition. You may want to throw a dog blanket or tarp over the Confidence Pet Waterproof Plastic Dog Kennel Outdoor Winter House, too, since it has no door cover to keep the cold and precipitation out. The front opening makes it easy for your dog to get in and out and let the breeze in during warmer weather.

best dog house for winterThis is one of the more stylish and sturdy best insulated dog houses for winter on this list, with plenty of space, and for a basic all-weather environment, making it a good overall choice. However, this plastic dog kennel needs little adjustments with every change in weather. For instance, you’d need to add a heater and cover for cold or wet days, and you may need to relocate it to a more shaded spot in summer. It has no windows and its only source of ventilation is the front opening, so be sure that your weather conditions will be compatible with that aspect.

PROS:

  • Constructed from durable molded plastic, making it waterproof and easy to clean
  • Available in three sizes
  • All-weather design
CONS:

  • The largest size measures 41.3” x 38” x 38.7”, so this house may not be suitable for the largest breeds
  • Has no door, so the wind and snow can still blow in unless you put a tarp or blanket over the opening
  • No windows

Most helpful review (read the full Amazon review): “Once put together, it is a very handsome dog house. Had some small issues with the instructions but managed to put it together with assistance of my wife. Looks good and my…”

 

4Outdoor Pet House
by K&H Pet Products

Outdoor Pet House by K&H Pet ProductsK&H Manufacturing are well-known for designing great quality winter dog supplies and other dog heating products. Their Outdoor Pet House, which is originally is designed for cats, may also be a good option for puppies or toy breed dogs. This fourth best winter dog house is made of 600-denier polyester fabric with vinyl waterproof backing. There’s enough room for a tiny pet inside this cozy house which measures 14” wide, 18” deep, and 16” high. It has a typical gable house shape with openings at the front and back. The vent hole above the entryway adds to the airiness inside, while the eaves or extended roof protects from precipitation.

If you have frigid winters in your area, then it is advisable that you buy the heated version of this best dog house for winter. It comes with the Lectro-Soft heated pad and two door flaps to cover the openings. You may use the K&H Manufacturing Outdoor pet House outside the house but possibly in a roofed structure, such as the garage or patio. The material, though waterproof and insulated, is very lightweight and will give in to strong winds and heavy downpour or snowfall.

You’d receive this winter dog house folded and flat, but it is very easy to set up. The house has Velcro, hook and loop fastening, and zipper to connect every part securely. The assembled house would still be very light, fabric as it is, and could be easily knocked off by bigger pets, which may be an issue. The weight of the pet heated pad inside this winter dog house would help to make this more stable, not to mention that it would also be softer and warmer.

PROS:

  • Made of 600-denier polyester fabric with vinyl waterproof backing
  • Openings in the front and back of the dog house
  • Heated model comes with a heating pad and 2 door flaps to cover the openings
  • Material is waterproof and insulated
CONS:

  • Only suitable for toy breeds and very small dogs, measuring 14” wide, 18” deep and 16” high
  • Material is very lightweight, so this isn't a good choice for the best dog house for winter in extremely cold climates

Most helpful review (read the full Amazon review + PHOTO): “As most reviewers have mentioned, this house was easy to put together and we were impressed with the quality. We ordered the heated pad with the house. We've been feeding a feral female cat…”

 

5DH350 Dog House
by Suncast

DH350 Dog House by SuncastThe fifth best dog house for winter on the list comes from Suncast and it has a lot in common with the Confidence plastic dog kennel I mentioned in the third spot on our list. It has the same compact, pitched roof design and durable plastic construction. Assembly is easy, because parts click together and lock in place. This dog house has a distinct edge over the Confidence brand because its roof can be removed without need to take everything apart. Its floor slopes and drains to a channel along the interior perimeter. This pack includes a vinyl door to keep moisture away and personalized letters for your dog’s name.

The parts lock together so tight they’re like glued. That makes the Suncast DH350 Dog House leak-proof, but if you somehow find a leak, you would have to inspect where the parts meet and possibly disassemble and reassemble making sure everything fits to a T. This part where you can quickly disassemble and assemble this fifth best dog house for winter makes it perfect for bringing along during trips or vacations.

best dog house for winterPlastics generally degrade with constant UV exposure and become brittle in cold temperatures, but this dog house seems to tolerate extreme cold and warm temperatures really well, and many pet owners confirm the same after reading the reviews of this winter dog house. To improve insulation from the cold, you’d need a heating pad or blanket. If you’re anticipating rain or winter, you may raise the house because its floor is quite close to the ground. A few inches of bricks or lumber would be fine. This is a bit smaller than the Confidence dog house at its dimension of 33”x38.5”x32”, but it’s also very much cheaper.

PROS:

  • Durable resin construction
  • Easy snap-together assembly does not require tools
  • Comes with vinyl door flaps and letters to customize the dog house with your pet's name
  • Crowned floor with channel around inside edge captures fluid and keeps dog dry
  • Removable roof for easy cleaning
CONS:

  • Unsatisfied buyers say that the included door flaps do not keep the wind and elements out
  • Multiple reviewers say that this dog house is too lightweight and their pet was able to push the sides apart or push the roof off when unsupervised

Most helpful review (read the full Amazon review): “I live in Nevada where it gets hot, really really hot and with plastic items you can often get sun rot, so in choosing a dog house plastic is not always the best option. This Dog house has made it…”

 

6Deluxe Insulated Dog Palace with Floor Heater
by ASL Solutions

ASL Solutions Deluxe Insulated Dog Palace with Floor HeaterTalk about solutions, this dog house has definitely got it. The Dog Palace by itself mentioned above is already sufficient in providing heat during cooler temperatures. For very harsh winters, however, our sixth best dog house for winter from ASL Solutions – the Deluxe Insulated Dog Palace for more adequate warmth. The house is basically the same – EPS foam insulation on all panels, self-closing door, triangular peep-holes, and large interior space. The only difference is the 40-watt floor heater and fleece bed that come with this dog house.

One good thing about this sixth best dog house for winter is that it insulates the inner space both from too much cold and too much heat. The vents and heated floor of the ASL Solutions Deluxe Insulated Dog Palace with Floor Heater are nifty additions. You may also opt for the specially-designed solar-operated fan for optimum comfort and weather-adaptability.

It would possibly take 3 or 5 years before you’d notice that the ESP foam settles with time. It would cover less and less of the space it previously occupied and thus reduce the house’s ability to insulate. At any rate, you’d have the heater to protect your pet from the cold, though it would have to work longer periods than it used to. When it becomes too hot and you don’t have a fan for this winter dog house, it’s good to know that there are panels that you can remove to let the breeze in.

PROS:

  • Made of rotationally-molded plastic panels
  • Each panel is equipped with 2-4 inches of foam insulation
  • Features an easy pass-through, self-closing, well-fitted insulated door
  • Comes with 40-watt floor heater and a fleece bed
CONS:

  • Because the insulation is blown in, it tends to settle and leave some spots uninsulated
  • Multiple people who purchased this best dog house for winter say that it is not suitable for chewers, as their dog chewed off all of the plugs that were supposed to keep the insulation inside the walls

Most helpful review (read the full Amazon review + PHOTOS): “I have two of these. One is 5 years old, the other 3. Both of them have the same problem. The insulation in the walls has settled and only cover a bit more than the bottom 1/2. It is quite obvious when…”

 

7Outback Log Exterior Dog House
by Precision Pet

Precision Pet Outback Log Exterior Dog HouseIt's rare to see the best winter dog house to be made of wood, mostly because the good ones are usually too expensive, and cheap ones aren't insulated at all. For a wood house, this one is really affordable. This is a shed-type dog house with log-style cedar-stained wood paneling. This best dog house for winter has a slanted asphalt roof and black-brown trim that keeps the rustic log-cabin look well put-together. Plastic feet keep the floor of this dog house from Precsion Pet off the ground. A noticeable difference from other insulated dog houses for winter would be the location of the door which is off to one side instead of the usual centered placement. Dog owners often prefer this because when it gets too cold, their pets could snuggle farther away from the door and have a wider wall to protect them from the elements.

The wood panels are treated for weather-proofing, but it’s still wood and quite thin actually. Moderate rains might not cause so much of a problem because water would glide off. Snow would be a different matter, though, because it could accumulate and soak into the wood before dripping off. This would weaken the panel and cause it to rot, which is the main drawback of this seventh best dog house for winter. A coat of polyurethane varnish might be helpful in stretching the lifespan of the wood panels. The Precision Pet Outback Log Exterior Dog House should be a great dog house year-round if your winters are friendlier.

best dog house for winterThe large size of Precision Pet's winter dog house measures 45.5”x33”x33” and is designed for pets 70-95 pounds in weight. The roof is screwed together, but it would have offered more function if it were hinged. That would make cleaning and changing the beddings much easier. Nevertheless, design concept and visual appeal are great.

PROS:

  • Solid wood construction and weather resistant coating
  • Plastic feet and raised floor keep your dog warm and dry
  • Slanted asphalt roof
  • Door is off to one side, so your dog can snuggle up away from the opening to get away from the wind, weather and cold
CONS:

  • Some angry pet owners say that the wood is not treated well enough, and water eventually soaks into the wood causing rot
  • A few angry pet parents noted that the dog house they received leaked, which caused them to send it back

Most helpful review (read the full Amazon review): “I received this last weekend and my boyfriend was able to get it together in less than 30 minutes. Our 4 year old son “helped” him hold up the sides while he drilled, but I doubt the help was…”

 

8DH250 Dog House
by Suncast

DH250 Dog House by SuncastHere is another best dog house for winter that is made from synthetic resin molded into durable panels that snap together to form this leak-proof dog house. Like the Suncast DH350 mentioned above, it has a crowned floor, meaning the center is very slightly raised sloping downward to the edges. Thus water or any liquid will drain to the sides and onto the channel that runs along the inner perimeter of this dog house from Suncast. The floor dimension is 27”x35” and height is 29.5”. This dog house is designed for a 70-lb dog.

For its combined price, simplicity, functionality, clean look, and durability, this winter dog house can’t be beat. Like the bigger DH350, nothing comes close to its price considering size and make. The Suncast DH250 Dog House is fuss-free, easy to assemble, resistant to moisture, and its roof panel snaps on and off very easily. This makes cleaning fairly easy.

This provides a little degree of insulation because it is compact and sealed from three sides, but you can’t expect this to completely insulate your pet from freezing cold. It also comes with a vinyl door flap that could keep drizzle and slight rain at bay, but you’d need more than that for storms. You may also want to slightly elevate this because the floor is almost ground level. A good height would also make the built-in drainage work more efficiently. This winter dog house is lightweight and is easy to transport or relocate.

PROS:

  • Made from synthetic resin
  • Center of the floor is slightly raised, to keep your pet warm and dry
  • Floor dimension is 27”x35” and height is 29.5”
  • Easy snap-together assembly does not require tools
  • Comes with vinyl door flap
CONS:

  • Only suitable for dogs weighing less than 70 pounds
  • Unsatisfied buyers say that the included door flaps do not keep the wind and elements out
  • Multiple reviewers say that this dog house is too lightweight and their pet was able to push the sides apart or push the roof off when unsupervised

Most helpful review (read the full Amazon review + PHOTO): “This is an excellent dog house, for the price ($60 when we purchased it), and really deserves higher ratings. It's not perfect, but nothing else I saw anywhere near this price range even came close, in…”

 

9Outdoor Dog House
by Petsfit

Petsfit Dog HouseAt the ninth spot of best insulated dog houses for winter is something from Petsfit, and it has a number of good things going for it. First, the porch design is pretty irresistible. Second, the roof extends farther away from the doorway, thus providing it with ample cover to keep rain from dripping inside. Third, the roof is hinged – finally a roof that need not be detached when you need to clean the floor or check on the heater. Plus, this best dog house for winter from Petsfit has other details that you don’t want to miss – adjustable feet, waterproof asphalt roofing, porch for warmer weather, inner quarter for cooler weather, and windows for added ventilation. The walls are made of kiln-dried cedar.

This winter dog house is available in only one size, 33” x 25” x 23”. The room is only 16.5”x18”x16”, and that tells you that this is for small pets. This design deserves different sizes, or at least one bigger size. With a bigger dog, you’d need stronger flooring though. The floor in the Petsfit Dog House is made of slats spaced a bit apart, and they work fine for the small breeds this house is designed for. The gaps provide additional ventilation.

best dog house for winterFor winter, you’d need something to cover the window with, a heating pad, and lots of blankets to cover the airy flooring. Once again, we’d like to make special mention of the hinged roof. Your back would definitely appreciate the easy-lift opening – it would save you a lot of backbreaking chores and crawling to get daily tasks done. This is a well-made, well-designed dog house, but a bit on the expensive side.

PROS:

  • Porch design with slatted floor that allows for lots of ventilation
  • Roof extends past doorway, giving extra protection from the weather
  • Roof is hinged for easy cleaning
  • Equipped with  adjustable feet and waterproof asphalt roofing
CONS:

  • Only available in one size – interior measurements of 16.5”x18”x16”, meaning it's only suitable for small breeds
  • Some buyers were disappointed to find out that this best dog house for winter was not as sturdy as they had expected for the price

Most helpful review (read the full Amazon review + PHOTOS): “Love the dog house. We needed something off the ground since we occasionally get water up on the porch and didn't want our dog sleeping in a wet bed. This dog house appears sturdy, the roofing…”

 

10Cozy Cottage Durable Plastic Dog House
by Pet Zone

Pet Zone Cozy Cottage Durable Plastic Dog HousePet Zone Cozy Cottage Durable Plastic Dog House may look like the usual compact plastic houses you keep seeing, but it features something different. It is double walled. In a way, it’s similar to Dog Palace mentioned further up on this list of best dog house for winter, but this one is also different because it’s not filled with foam or any insulating material, which is why it's cheaper and ranked lower. Its double walls provide some degree of insulation, but not comparable to Dog Palace’s heat-intensifying quality. The roof can be removed to make cleaning easy. This dog house is made of durable plastic for dogs weighing up to 75 pounds.

Setting up this compact winter dog house is quite easy. The walls, roof and floor come as single molded plastic panels that click in place without need for tools. Clicking together five panels is a no-brainer, nothing could possibly be simpler. The Pet Zone Cozy Cottage Durable Plastic Dog House is very lightweight. That’s an advantage if you consider portability, but that can be quite annoying if your dog tries to turn it over or the storm blows it away.

best dog house for winterThere are holes for ground anchors, so you may want to get those when ordering this best dog house for winter. The description says that this is designed for dogs not more than 75 pounds, but take note that the interior dimensions of this dog house is 23”W x 28”D x 20.25”H. It would be more important to consider your dog’s girth, length, and height. Your dog must not only fit inside, it must also be able to turn around.

PROS:

  • Double-walled
  • Removable roof for easy cleaning
  • Made of durable plastic
  • This best dog house for winter is lightweight, so it can be moved easily
CONS:

  • Only suitable for pets weighing under 75 pounds
  • It's light weight, so it can be easily turned over by rambunctious dogs or strong wind

Most helpful review (read the full Amazon review): “This dog house is so cute. It's made out of the same kind of plastic that outdoor kids play equipment is made of, it seems very durable. It was easy to put together. It took just a few minutes. On the description…”


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