As a pet parent, you can not always be home or attentive to your dog’s whereabouts. And if you do not have the facility of a fenced yard or an electric door, the safest option for your four-legged friend is to stay cooped up in the house. However, much like humans, confinement can be very damaging to animals. Your dog’s mental and physical health can be adversely affected if you work long hours and leave it in the house or it craves attention all night with nowhere to go. A simple solution to this is an outdoor kennel for your fido! With an outdoor kennel, your dog can be exposed to fresh air and sunlight and will have abundant space to move around. The circumscribed kennel will also keep your dog within safe bounds so that it does not run away or get injured. However, the overwhelming types, sizes, and factors to consider before making your choice can be pretty daunting. Therefore, we have compiled a detailed guide on the top-rated outdoor dog kennels in 2024.
Functional, heavy-duty, and cheap, the welded wire kennels are the most popular amongst dog owners. Available in various shapes and sizes, welded wire kennels are generally constructed from pre-assembled gates and panels. The panels are made from black powder-coated galvanized steel to prevent rusting and protect outside elements. Because the parts are pre-assembled, you can easily expand/shrink the enclosure in size as per your requirements.
Boxed wire kennels
More expensive than their simpler counterparts, boxed wire kennels’ construction depends on the shape of a, you guessed it, box. The only difference between a simply welded wire kennel and this type is the quality of panels. The construction process is relatively similar.
Chain link kennels
Due to multiple factors, chain link kennels are on the costlier side of the spectrum. Even though the pre-assembled hardware, including the chain-link grid, latches, and gate, might not be as expensive, the installation is complicated and costly. To install a chain link kennel, you must cement the floor first so that poles around which the grid goes can settle into the floor. The installation process also implies that the chain kennel is permanent, difficult to modify, and not portable. However, the cemented flooring makes it easy for your dog to move around, it is easier to clean, and you can customize the interior as you wish.
These kennels comprise high-quality, thick plastic and are generally small and very portable. Plastic kennels are also easy to clean and maintain; however, their small size might not be suitable if you intend for your dog to stay in them for a longer time.
Mostly foldable and lightweight, soft crates comprise durable fabric. These types of kennels are generally very transportable and small in size. If you often travel with your pets, this is a great choice.
The size of an outdoor dog kennel depends mainly on two factors: The space available and the size and temperament of your dog.
The first factor is an obvious one. Depending on the amount of space you have, you can decide on the size of the kennel. It is always better to ensure that you spare maximum space for your pup’s comfort.
The second factor emphasizes your dog’s characteristics. Naturally, a giant dog would require a wider expanse than a smaller dog. Also, if your dog tends to get anxious and jumpy, a smaller, confined space will not be suitable.
The material of a dog kennel determines its durability because it should be outside; it is susceptible to damage by outside factors such as rusting and corrosion. To prevent this, look for stainless steel, galvanized steel, or metal covered with a weather protectant. Some kennels made up of heavy-duty plastic can also function very well. However, if your dog is a chewer, you must ensure that the kennel material is not toxic.
Some kennels come without a roof; however, roofing is crucial for a pen. If you already have a roof-less kennel, you can get a roof or shelter installed separately. Roofs are usually made from water-resistant materials like tarp or canvas to keep the rain and snow at bay. Some also reduce the intensity of the harsh UV rays. A slanted rooftop will work best as it will let the rain and snow slide off with ease.
Sometimes the grass or uncemented floor of your backyard can suffice as the flooring for an outside dog kennel. However, it is better to get proper flooring installed as uncemented floors tend to get messier and make your pup dirty as well. If your dog is a digger, then grass is a big no-no. You can opt for PVC flooring, which is easier to clean and maintain. Cementing the floor is also mostly sufficient and is also easy to clean. Depending on your dog, you can also go for specific floor types like foam if you have an older dog suffering from arthritis.
When you put your fluffy and fido in their pen for the first time, supervision of their well-being is vital. They may react negatively in the beginning due to the change in environment and lockin. This situation may lead to your dogs making escape attempts by digging or chewing at the kennel walls or lock. Here are two key factors which must be in mind to ensure the safety of your dog:
The material of the kennel must be chew-proof under all circumstances. It is an obvious necessity if your dog has a destructive habit of chewing, but most dogs, when on edge, tend to chew. This habit can have severe consequences like choking. Your dog may also chew through a lock to escape, which defeats the purpose of a kennel.
A solid latch and locking system are critical to the security of your pup. Animals are much more astute than we give them credit for, and a determined dog can escape from just about anything. Therefore, you must install premium locking to prevent this.
It is also essential to consider that not only do you not want your dog to escape, but you also do not want him to be kidnapped or harmed by a stranger. A good lock will keep such offenders from entering your dog’s pen.
Portability is a significant factor to consider, especially if you move around a lot or travel with your canine best friend. Weight plays a vital role in determining portability in assembled cages. If you build the kennel, the wheels add to its portability. On the other hand, pre-assembled kennels with separate panels and hardware are incredibly portable, and you can set them anywhere.
Access to Food And Water
Some high-end dog kennels come with food and water bowls attached to the panels. You can swing these bowls back and forth inside and outside the enclosure so that you do not have to step into the kennel to refill them.
If you like to take your four-legged friend camping with you or you travel a lot, the portable playpen from Zampa is a splendid product. This pen is fully collapsible, and you can easily store it in the bag. The material is durable, lightweight, and waterproof, and the windows and doors have a mesh-like fabric cover for maximum breathability and light in pen. Four metal spikes for safety purposes and eight panels, the Zampa playpen also features interior and exterior pockets to store dog accessories and personal items. This pen is 36 inches in diameter and 24 inches in height, adequate for small to medium-sized dogs. You can zip the mesh roof as needed.
Made from heavy-duty steel, the Lucky dog kennel is the perfect combination of functional and portable. It comes with pre-assembled modular panels, which are very easy to set up with the help of tightening clamps. When set up, there is a 1.5-inch gap between the kennel and the floor, which aids in easy cleaning to maintain the hygiene of your dog’s environment. You can cover the steel roof with a durable, waterproof cover that comes with this kennel. Sturdy, elastic cords hold the cover in place, preventing rain, snow, and debris from entering the kennel. The dimensions of the kennel with the cover on are 4 by 4 by 4.6 (feet).
Made from heavy-duty, welded, and coated steel
Easy to set up
1.5-inch bottom gap aids easy cleaning
Comes with a durable, waterproof roof cover
Advisable ground anchoring, requiring some extra work
The Pet Trex metal playpen is an exercise kennel that you can set up in minutes without any tools. The package includes eight panels, all measuring 30 by 24 inches which one can assemble into multiple shapes of your liking. The panels feature a black, electro-coat finish which makes the kennel weather-proof. A doggie door is also part of the kennel, which offers easy access to the pet parent. The door has a double latch for maximum security. This package also includes slide-bolt latches and ground stakes to anchor the kennel firmly to keep the pen in place. The most outstanding feature of this kennel is the unique fold-down design which means the entire setup can be disassembled and folded into a compact shape.
If you search for a relatively bigger outdoor kennel, the BestPet Dog kennel is noteworthy. The kennel includes pre-assembled heavy-duty steel panels and a high-tensile wire gauge. The panels and mesh are welded and later coated to make them rust-resistant and weather-proof. The assembly is undemanding and quick, taking an average of 30 minutes for a complete setup. This package also includes a waterproof, rip-free cover that fits snugly over the steel roof. This cover prevents rain, snow, and debris from getting into the cage and lessens harsh UV rays. The measurements of the kennel are 7.5 x 3.75 x 5.8 Feet which is big enough for almost all dog breeds.
Heavy-duty steel panels and high-tensile wire gauge
As the title suggests, the outdoor kennel from Dog Pen offers a vast, safe place for your canine companion. Made from heavy-duty wires, the panels come pre-assembled. The setup process is straightforward and painless, with multiple configurations possible per your liking. Because the assembly process is so easy, it is also very convenient to expand and shrink the size of the kennel as your needs change. You might doubt the portability of a kennel of this enormous size; however, the panels are lightweight and collapsible. The dimensions of each panel are 32 by 40 inches, with their ends rounded. The panels are coated for rust resistance.
Easy to set up
Portable despite its bigger size
Heavy-duty panels which are rust-resistant
Bigger and stronger dogs can knock it
People Also Asked
Q: Can I let my dog stay in the kennel all day?
A: It is not advisable to keep a pet in a kennel for long. A kennel ensures your dog’s safety when you are unavailable for supervision. If a dog stays in a kennel for a long time, it can get anxious, irritated, or sad.
Q: Does the placement of the kennel matter?
A: Very much so. Even though setting up the pen in a corner might seem like the best option to avoid any hindrances, your dog may feel left out and isolated. Therefore, make sure you place the kennel in a place where your dog feels happy and secure. Also, consider natural shade and tree placements when setting up the kennel.
Q: Is it morally wrong to put my dog in an outside kennel?
A: Indeed, keeping your pup inside the house with you is always recommended. However, it is not wrong for a dog to stay in an outside kennel for a few hours when you are unavailable. Some dogs are also too big, and it is more comfortable for them to sleep in an outdoor kennel overnight.
Amber grew up having golden retrievers and will always have a special place in her heart for the breed. Her love for all things "dog" helped her become a general manager at a small kennel in Ohio for several years. Acquainting dogs and understanding both their needs and limitations have given her deep insights into the boarding process many dogs face in their lives. From consistent details to play time to food and bed time, Amber will always remember the small influences she was able to present to every pooch she cared for.