Written by Terry Smith
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Keep the pets safe and cozy with the best garden dog kennels (2021 Updated Review)
This article was last updated on September 25th, 2021 at 5:40 am
Garden dog kennels for your four-legged friend
Dogs make for great pets and unlike most other pets, they become part of the family and it’s hard not to treat them like one of your own. They might be hard work at times, don’t get me wrong, but you wouldn’t change them for the world! That means you want the best for them and you want them to be as happy as possible, and the great thing about dogs is that there are so many things you can buy to comfort them and really give them the best life possible.
That’s why plenty of people such as yourself love the idea of dog kennels, as it’s a product for your dog that can provide them with that extra bit of comfort and somewhere to go all year round, as well as keeping them safe at the same time. They are a luxury for your dog which may get quite costly, but I think they’re a must have for all dogs and I love them. They come in a huge variety too, so you can buy one which is best suited to your dog and its needs.
With that in mind though, I’ve heard from quite a few people that dog kennels can be one of those awkward items where because of the cost you might end up paying, quite a few people are unsure of which are the best kennels out there and what they might need to look for when buying kennels. So, I had a look and I did a review of dog kennels a year ago which looked at the best ones on the market, so I figured an updated review was necessary. As well as this, having a dog of my own running about everywhere I know a thing or two about kennels, so I wanted to share it with you to help you look for the right dog kennel for you. I had another, more fresh look at the market to see what it offers and you can read all about it below. As well as this, I’ve cleared up a few things about dog kennels to make buying clearer.
What actually is a dog kennel?
Commonly known as dog houses too, dog kennels are simply a small hollow unit shaped like a house (typically) which your dog can go in and out of as they please. Some owners prefer kennels with doors so that they can keep the dog in there, which is really useful in the puppy stage or in training. Generally speaking though, dog kennels are just houses for your dogs which are great for both inside and outside.
If you google it though, you might get mixed up with the other definition of dog kennels/houses, which are the businesses that will look after your dogs for a period of time. They have the same name, but the dog kennels we were talking about are the products that you can see from the images in this review. Don’t get mixed up!
Would my dog benefit from a kennel?
Short answer, yes! They might be domesticated but at the end of the day, dogs are animals and have wild instincts, and interestingly they like their hideaways and dens (or at least the option of one) and so they would greatly appreciate a kennel. They go a long way in helping dogs feel comfortable and safe, so that’s why I think they’re a must have for dog owners. On top of that, it’s great for a summer day where they can take shade, or even on a rainy day when they want to take shelter.
Are dog kennels expensive?
They can be, and it depends on the material it’s made from. Wooden kennels are typically more expensive, as are larger kennels, but plastic ones are generally cheaper. They can be cheap though, so it just depends on which one you end up buying!
Best Garden Dog Kennels list below:
- Gardiun Dog House (Best overall option for your dog)
- Pets Imperial® Medium Wooden Sussex Dog Kennel (Best wooden option)
- HugglePets Raised Plastic Dog Kennel XL Easy Clean Outdoor Pet House (Best for large dogs)
- CROCI Recycled Kennel Villa, 60 x 50 x 41 cm (Best for small dogs)
- GYMAX Wooden Dog Cat House, Waterproof Puppy Kennel Shelter with Roof Terrace and Stairs (Best indoor option)
- Large Waterproof Outdoor Indoor Plastic Pet Puppy Dog House Home Shelter Kennel (Best value)
Do people actually have dog kennels, or are they just a luxury?
Yes people do, and quite a lot of people do at that. It’s quite a common product for dogs but also they can be unheard of, simply because some people think they could be useless for their prices. That in mind, a lot of owners also know that their dogs would love them, and that they do have their uses, so they’re quite a common feature to most dog-owners gardens. You might hear mixed opinions too, but overall a lot of people find dog kennels useful and their dogs love them, so why not get one?
If you didn’t know much about dog kennels you hopefully will now, but either way, it still might be difficult to find the right kennel for you. There is quite a variety out there too, and because of this I wanted to give a few of them a try. I also wanted to see if any of the brands I looked at last time had reviewed their products, all with the aim of seeing which are the best dog kennel products out there. I actually found that a lot of the products I looked at last time aren’t available now, so I instead looked at what options there are now and gave them a good try. So, read on for the reviews of the dog kennels that are out there currently, and that will be followed by an FAQ to help you figure out what dog kennel is best for you.
1. Gardiun Dog House (Best overall option for your dog)
Specification: Material: plastic, Weatherproof: yes, Inner dimensions: 68 cm (L) x 43 cm(W) x 179 cm(H), Door dimensions: 57 x 30.5 cm
Now out of all the kennels I’ve looked at, both in the last review and this one, this is easily the best option there is and I could talk about it all day if need be. At first it seems like a pretty standard dog kennel, and you’re right, it’s the simplest it gets but it’s the most reliable and affordable there is. Let me explain further.
Firstly, this option comes with a few different choices for the style of house you want, so its standard option (the one I bought) is its resin option, but there are two wooden options which have different designs and another resin design option. These cost more, but nevertheless, having the choice is something you don’t get with other dog kennels. This wasn’t available to me last time, so I was pleasantly surprised to see that this dog kennel now comes with different choices based on what sort of style you may want. That aside, the standard resin option for £58.90 is easily the best option for me, as it’s just the right size for most dog breeds and is the most multi purpose. Because it’s resin and waterproof it’s designed to be suitable for the outdoors, but you could also have this one inside if you wish. It feels sturdy enough, and I’m confident that it will last you a long time. Other kennels are also resin though, so what did I think was so special about this one aside from its different options and reliability?
Well, firstly it was dead easy to assemble, and the brand has been spoken highly of too, so I already had a good opinion going into it. After I left it a while though, my dog took to this one the most and he looked most comfy in there, and no wonder, since it’s really smooth on the inside and it doesn’t feel like a rough (pardon the pun) product at all. It’s definitely cosy, well insulated and also dead easy to clean, I found, especially compared to the other options such as the wooden kennels. It looks good in the garden too as it has a more modern design, so this fitted nicely with my other modern-looking resin products such as my wheelie bin storage units and garden storage sheds.
So, it has all these benefits and honestly no negatives that I could think of, and I think it’s exactly what you need in a dog kennel. It looks good and isn’t too steep at all, so it’s already ahead in that sense. However, compared to other dog kennels in this list, this particular kennel goes above and beyond in terms of easy assembly, hygiene and comfort for dogs. It’s my go to for sure.
2. Pets Imperial® Medium Wooden Sussex Dog Kennel (Best wooden option)
Specification: Material: Aluminium / Plastic, Weatherproof: yes, Inner dimensions: 62 cm (L) x 68 cm(W) x 66 cm(H), Door dimensions: 31.8 x 33 cm
Now I might have loved the Gardiun kennel in option 1, but I do think that out of all the kennels in this list, this is probably the most aesthetic. It’s probably because of the wood effect, but it definitely is the nicest in that sense. There are a few other wooden options out there, most of which now aren’t available (I reviewed them last time and now they’re unavailable), but after a hard look I definitely think this one is the best wooden kennel option there is in terms of cost, ease of use and suitability for dogs.
It’s a handy and affordable kennel which I’d definitely suggest for the outdoors, and its treated wood means it should last you too. It has removable flooring for easy cleaning, which is simple enough to get out and will really make hygiene maintenance that bit easier. It has a foldable roof too, which is another handy feature. Its design means there is additional air circulation due to a raised floor, as well as wind resistance due to the plastic draught shield fitted at the entrance. It’s perfectly comfortable and also has anti chew strips around the pop hole, so you can feel reassured that your dog won’t be doing any damage to its teeth.
Overall I love the design of this kennel, but in particular its design features which provide the utmost comfort for your pets. That’s why it’s the best wooden option there is, and at only £84.99 it’s one of the most affordable wooden kennels there is right now. It’s easy to assemble, easy to use and your dog will love it.
3. HugglePets Raised Plastic Dog Kennel XL Easy Clean Outdoor Pet House (Best for large dogs)
Specification: Material: Polypropylene, Weatherproof: yes, External dimensions: 105 cm (L) x 96.5 cm(W) x 98.5 cm(H), Door dimensions: N/A
This is a new one that I’ve come across compared to when I last looked, but after some testing and a good look at other extra large kennel options, this one is definitely the best dog kennel for larger dogs or if you want more room for them. Its actual size is 105 (L) x 96.5 (W) x 98.5 (H) cm so it’s a fair bit bigger than most of your standard kennels, meaning it’s likely suitable for your large dog to be comfy in. At the price of £84.99 too, it’s extremely affordable for its size and so it’s really good value for money.
Like a few other kennels in this list, it has a raised floor to allow for extra circulation and it’s really easy to clean too, so it’s handy in that sense. It has a ramp going up into it too, and its corrosion—resistant plastic isn’t too harsh either, so it should be nice and smooth for your dog’s paws. The only thing I would say is that the entrance is quite wide/tall and has no shield, so it wont insulate too well and won’t be as effective as options 1 and 2 on a rainy day. Apart from that there’s no real design flaws, and this one looks good in the garden too.
So, if you have larger pets and you’re not too worried about the entrance size, I would say this one is the best extra large option there is and it’s the best value one too. Its good quality, it should last you and if I had a large dog, this is what I would go for.
4. CROCI Recycled Kennel Villa, 60 x 50 x 41 cm (Best for small dogs)
Specification: Material: 100% recycled plastic, Weatherproof: yes, Inner dimensions: appro 40 (L) x 30 (W) x 40 (H) cm, Door dimensions: appro 15 x 24 cm
This is another option that I really like and is actually relatively new to the market too, so I gave it a go and it definitely delivered. Firstly it’s dead cheap, so it’s probably the most affordable there is out there. It’s Amazon’s choice, as well as having plenty of positive reviews, so everything looked good.
After trying it out, I felt really happy with this one and I loved its simplicity. It’s 100% recycled, so good for the environment, but also safe for your dog and has been tested vigorously. It’s easy enough to set up and it should last you too, because whilst it may be recycled, plastic will be durable enough to hold together for a long time. That’s why this would be suitable for both inside and out, but I do think it’s only suitable for smaller dogs.
It has got room for some bigger dogs, but not much of it, so you’re better off using this for smaller dogs that have a fair amount of room left to keep them happy. It has no elevated floor for circulation which is a pain, but it does have side ventilation and also a sloped design for any fluids to flow to the vented side. Its design increases wind resistance too and so your dog should feel cosy in this one, especially on a rainy day. So with all this in mind, I was really pleased with it. The only reason it isn’t higher is simply because of its size-I prefer bigger dog kennels and also think it’s a lot more fun for the dog…but you can actually get a bigger version, so it’s all good!…(just not as cost efficient).
5. GYMAX Wooden Dog Cat House, Waterproof Puppy Kennel Shelter with Roof Terrace and Stairs (Best indoor option)
Specification: Material: Fir Wood, Weatherproof: N/A, Inner dimensions: appro 56 (L) x 56 (W) x 38 (H) cm, Door dimensions: appro 23 x 33 cm
This is another wooden kennel option, and whilst I personally really like it, it’s definitely one for smaller dogs and pets. It has a great design with a 2-tiered system which means your pet can go into the hollow kennel whilst also having the option to climb on top, so it makes for a bit of fun for them too!
It’s steady once its setup and despite being made from wood, coated with long term water-based paint which should keep it durable enough to last. It has an elevated platform to help circulation, so since wood is more vulnerable to rot and damp than plastic is, this is a really ideal feature. Since it’s on the smaller side too it would look great inside, and would actually be a really great feature to most homes, as the wood effect brings an entirely new aesthetic to the room. The only thing I would say is that it requires some construction, and it’s not a difficult build but it will be time consuming (more so than a plastic kennel to say the least) but this is down to preference.
Overall, a great little kennel but only suitable for small dogs. I would have it myself, but I actually prefer plastic options as I’m never too convinced by wooden features like this-unless I know what protective coatings it had. That said, I would love to have it indoors, so it’s all down to your preference really!
6. Large Waterproof Outdoor Indoor Plastic Pet Puppy Dog House Home Shelter Kennel (Best value)
Specification: Material: Eco Friendly Plastic, Weatherproof: yes, External dimensions: appro 82 (L) x 56 (W) x 71 (H) cm, Door dimensions: N/A
So this is another plastic kennel which is pretty simple, but I think it’s the best value one there is and it should do the trick just nicely once it’s all set up. It only costs £35, and yet it’s a pretty large kennel with some good looking colours that should brighten up your garden. It felt smooth on the inside and I got the feeling that my dog would be perfectly cosy in this, so I was already pleased with it.
It’s made from strong but eco-friendly plastic, so you’re getting the best of both worlds. It’s perfectly safe and should be fun for your dog, but since it’s got a large open front with no shield, I worry that it wouldn’t fare well on a windy or rainy day. That’s not the end of the world, but a smaller hole would be ideal. The only other bad thing about it is that it was more of a pain to set up than the others and the manual could have been clearer, but with that aside, it was great when it was up and was worth the time put into it.
So, if you want a quick setup or a kennel which defends well against wind or rain then this isn’t for you, but if that doesn’t fuss you then this is the best value kennel you’ll get on the market right now. I didn’t see this one last time, but i’d definitely recommend it to others for a good, reliable kennel.
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When it comes to dog kennels I’ve noticed both online and offline that there are quite a few questions surrounding them, so I did some research as well as acknowledging what I know from my experience to make an FAQ section to help with your dog kennel queries. I also went to Mr google to see what other questions are frequently asked, and the first thing I thought was that a lot of people are getting confused between dog kennel products and the actual businesses that keep your dogs. I mentioned this before, but it’s just important to reiterate: When buying dog kennels, make sure to add “products” onto the end or add “wooden/plastic” at the start just so google knows what you want.
Anyway, that’s the main thing I want to get across because it will make buying that lot easier. However, there are still a few questions that need answering.
Are dog kennels cruel or unethical?
Okay so the key thing with what you might have seen on the internet is that this is a question commonly associated with the businesses again, so just keep that in mind. That said, there are a few people who don’t like the actual products because they think it’s mean, and in honesty, it’s a fair bit of rubbish.
As I stated before, dogs like hideaways and their own dens if you like, so the option of a dog kennel is always going to be appreciated. If you have one with a lockable door that’s a different story, but dog kennels typically don’t have doors and it just provides that extra bit of shelter. So it’s not cruel, and if anything dogs benefit from them.
Wooden or plastic dog kennels?
For aesthetic purposes I would say wooden, just because they look a lot better both indoors and out and always help to bring that more natural feel into the home. That said, I don’t think they’re as durable as plastic products unless I know what protective treatment it has, but realistically this is down to preference. I would buy a wooden one for smaller dogs or for indoor use.
As for outside kennels, these are the most common and are the most affordable. Most plastic options will last you a long time and should be really weather resistant, so as long as there’s some sort of insulation or circulation design feature you should be okay. They will need a clean every now and then but that’s a given. They don’t look as good as wooden kennels but generally speaking most plastic options come in certain colours or designs which bring at least some aesthetic feel to them, so that’s down to preference. Overall, I would have plastic kennels for large dogs and for outside, as well as if you want to keep costs low.
What size kennel do I need for a smaller dog?
Most kennel sizes vary and so does every dog, but generally speaking a kennel suitable for smaller dogs should be at least 60cm long and 50cm high. This does vary, and not all small dog kennels will be this size, but many will be around these sorts of measurements. Make sure to check before you even consider buying a certain dog kennel online, because at the end of the day if it doesn’t fit, your dog won’t enjoy it. Whilst smaller dogs will fit in this space size easily too, it’s important to remember they will want some additional space to enjoy.
What size kennel do I need for a larger dog?
So larger dogs can really vary in size and if you have a super large breed (malamute, Dalmatian etc) you’re going to need one that’s not only long but also high up. So, compared to smaller kennels, larger kennels for large dogs should be at least 80cm long and 65/70cm high. Once again these won’t be exact, but most are around 80cm long and will vary in height. It all depends on your dog, so again, check this before you buy to make sure they will fit! Always go for extra room if the option is there, even if it costs more.
So that’s it for dog kennels but since dogs always vary in both size and behaviour, please do get in touch if you have any questions regarding dog kennels. It’s important your dog gets the kennel right for them and with the prices you could pay, it’s important to get it right both for you and your dog!