Dogs love spending time outdoors, but they need a way to stay contained and safe from dangers. If you don’t have a fenced-in yard or electric fence, an outdoor dog kennel is a perfect option. A kennel gives your dog the benefit of playing outdoors in the sunshine and fresh air while keeping him safe and secure. Don’t forget that keeping your dog safe outdoors, also means protecting them from the sun, especially if you live in a place that has lots of sunshine year round. Read more on the best products for protecting your dog from the sun.
We looked at dozens of outdoor dog kennels in order to find the best, highest-quality, most secure outdoor dog kennels at any budget, based on factors such as size, quality of materials, Amazon ratings, and other considerations. We narrowed our search down to five of the top-rated kennels that are on the market today.
We’ve identified the Lucky Dog Pet Resort Kennel with Cover as the best kennel overall. While it’s a little pricier than some of our kennel picks, it’s made from high-quality steel and includes a heavy-duty waterproof cover. These features, coupled with the fact that it’s easy to assemble, make it an excellent choice for smart dog owners.
The 5 Top-Rated Best Outdoor Dog Kennels
|Best Overall||Lucky Dog Pet Resort Kennel with Cover||4.3|
|Runner Up||Advantek Pet Gazebo Modular Outdoor Dog Kennel||4.4|
|Best Budget Buy||Oxgord Heavy Duty Portable Metal Exercise Dog Playpen||4.5|
|Best Large Outdoor Dog Kennel||BMS Large Dog Kennel||4.2|
|Best Dog Run and Kennel||K9 Kennel Store 8’ X 16’ Welded Wire Ultimate Dog Kennel System
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Our Top Pick: Lucky Dog Pet Resort Kennel with Cover
If you’re looking for a safe and secure outdoor dog kennel, the Lucky Dog Pet Resort Kennel with Cover takes the cake. This kennel is constructed with powder-coated steel for durability, so you can feel confident it will last for years to come.
Despite its heavy-duty looks, it’s surprisingly easy to assemble. In fact, you won’t need a single tool to put it together! This kennel also features a waterproof cover to keep your pooch safe even when it’s wet out. It even has raised legs so you can easily reach in with a broom or vacuum to clean the kennel floor.
The Lucky Dog Pet Resort Kennel with Cover comes in just one size, but it’s an incredibly roomy one. All in all, you can trust that your dog will love this kennel as much as you do! And at $173, it won’t set you back too much.
Lucky Dog Pet Resort Kennel with Cover Key Features:
- Waterproof cover to give your pet protection from the rain
- Made with high-quality powder-coated steel
- No tools required for assembly
- Hinged door with a lockable latch
- Raised legs to allow for easy floor cleaning
Our Runner-up: Advantek Pet Gazebo Modular Outdoor Dog Kennel
A bit more budget-friendly, but still an amazing option is the Advantek Pet Gazebo Outdoor Dog Kennel. This dog kennel features an 8–sided “gazebo” style with a waterproof cover. This kennel takes just minutes to set up, making it extremely portable for on-the-go lifestyles. It measures measures 60 x 60 x 60 inches and costs $180. Other sizes are available, although some features may vary.
Reviewers love the fact that it only takes five minutes to put together and that the sturdy construction holds up to their rambunctious pooches.
Advantek Pet Gazebo Modular Outdoor Dog Kennel Key Features:
- 8-sided, octagon shape
- Weather-proof cover to protect your pet from the elements
- Quick and easy set up making it “travel-friendly”
Best Budget pick: Oxgord Heavy Duty Portable Metal Exercise Dog Playpen
At just $80, the Oxgord Heavy Duty Portable Dog Playpen is the best dog kennel for budget-friendly pet owners who don’t want to sacrifice quality for price. Its 8-panel design allows for multiple shape configurations. When using all eight panels, it provides approximately 30 square feet of play space.
It’s made of durable rust-resistant metal with rounded edges to keep pets safe. It’s also easily portable – perfect for RVers who take their pets on the road. Reviewers love that it’s sturdy and can hold up to wear and tear from their pooches.
Oxgord Heavy Duty Portable Metal Exercise Dog Playpen Key Features:
- 8 panels made from quality-constructed metal
- Rust-resistant coating to ensure durability and longevity
- Easy portability with long rods to hold the kennel in place
Looking for more pet playpens? Check out our list of The Best Playpens for Dogs.
Best Large Outdoor Dog Kennel: BMS Large Dog Kennel
If you’re looking for a kennel that will give your dog tons of space to run and play, look no further than the BMS Large Dog Kennel. It’s made with heavy-duty welded steel and measures 90 x 45 x 69 inches providing your dog with more than enough space to exercise, do his business, and even take a nap.
It features a waterproof tarp to protect your pooch regardless of rain, hail, or shine. At just $230, it’s one of the best value options for the size. Though they admit that it’s a bit time consuming to put together, it’s worth it in the end for a solid and sturdy kennel that will stand the test of time.
PetSafe Box Kennel for Pets Key Features:
- Measures 10 x 10 x 6 feet– perfect for large breed dogs
- Heavy-duty welded steel
- Easy assembly
- Full-sized door for easy entry and exit.
- Waterproof tarp
Best Kennel and Run: K9 Kennel Store 8’ X 16’ Welded Wire Ultimate Dog Kennel System
If you’re looking for the best all-in-one package, look no further than the K9 Kennel Store 8’ X 16’ Welded Wire Ultimate Dog Kennel System. This is a monster dog kennel that includes a canvas covered area for your dog to get some shelter and an extended area for him to run. It also includes a swivel feeding bowel so you can feed your pet without going into the enclosure, a tile floor to prevent dogs from digging out of the kennel, and its own septic system for easy waste disposal.
At $1,935.00, it’s certainly not a cheap option, but the K9 Ultimate Dog Kennel System offers everything you could want in a dog kennel and run. It’s the perfect option for dog owners who need to leave their dogs outside for an extended period of time or those who run their own dog-boarding facility as it can safely house multiple dogs at once.
K9 Kennel Store 8’ X 16’ Welded Wire Ultimate Dog Kennel System Key Features:
- 8 X 16 feet of all steel construction with rust protection
- Swivel bowl system that allows you to feed your pet without entering the dog kennel
- Septic system for easy waste disposal
- An 8’ X 8′ canvas cover to protect your pet from the weather and sun
- Digging prevention system to keep your dog from digging an escape route out of the kennel
Who Should Buy an Outdoor Dog Kennel
Your dog provides you with undying love and companionship. In turn, you should provide him with everything he needs to thrive. Dogs are at their best when they have a chance to run and play in the outdoors and breathe in the fresh air. However, you can’t just open your door and let them outside. There are just too many dangers for free-roaming dogs, such as cars, other dogs, and the possibility of getting lost. Not to mention the fact that it’s illegal in most places. Dogs need a space outdoors that will keep them safe and contained – and one they can call their own.
Outdoor kennels are a great option if you plan on leaving your dog unsupervised for a short while. While they’re not meant to house your dog for long periods of time, they are a perfect option to keep your dog contained a few hours each day. Many owners of dogs who display destructive behaviors in the home opt to place their pets in an outdoor kennel when they go to work each day. Additionally, dog owners who travel or live in an RV take portable dog kennels to allow their dogs to get some fresh air at their campsite. Dog kennels are also a great option for those running their own dog-boarding facility as many can hold multiple dogs at once.
Important Features to Consider
An outdoor dog kennel should be safe and secure. It should hold up to the harsh outdoor weather and wear and tear from your dogs. Here’s what to consider when selecting an outdoor kennel for your dog:
- Material. Most dog kennels are constructed of stainless steel, galvanized steel, or another heavy-duty material. Different materials will provide a wide array of durability and protection against rust. Dog kennels also use a variety of materials to keep the dog secure within the enclosure, such as wire, metal, chain-link, or heavy-duty plastic. Some dogs are escape artists and can break through weaker types of material, so it’s important to think about the temperament of your dog.
- Size. Outdoor dog kennels come in a large variety of sizes. The dimensions of the kennel that you want will depend on your dog’s size and how many dogs will be using the enclosure. You want to ensure that the kennel you choose provides your dog with enough spaced to move around and play. You also want to consider the size of any extra items you’ll be placing other items in the kennel, such as a food and water bowl or a bed.
- Weather resistant. If you’re planning on keeping your kennel outdoors, you’ll want it to be sturdy and stand up to all types of weather.
- Covered roof. Some kennels come with covered tops of varying material, such as canvas, tarp, and weather-resistant fabric while others do not. Roofs provide dogs with UV protection from the sun and keep out rain and snow in the winter.
- Number of Doors. You’ll also want to consider how many doors you dog kennel has and how large those doors are safely let your pet in and out.
- Locking system. A lot of locking mechanisms may be easily outwitted by smart dogs. Some kennels provide their own dog-proof doors while others require the use of a padlock.
- Flooring. Some dogs can escape kennels by digging through the dirt floor. If your dog is a digger, look for flooring or digging bars that sit at the edge of the kennel.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an outdoor dog kennel?
An outdoor kennel is basically an enclosure where you can keep your dog safely contained outside your house. Outdoor dog kennels are available in a variety of different materials, colors, and designs.
What is a dog kennel and run?
A “kennel” typically refers to a confined space where a dog can sleep and eat. A “run” is typically an exercise run where the dog can play and exercise. Commercial kennels, like the ones you’d see in dog shelters, have a small space (the “kennel”) attached to a larger space (the “run”). Many of the kennels you’ll find on the market for household use are large enough to accommodate for both the “kennel” and the “run”.
Can a dog live outside?
Dogs cannot live outside. Dogs are extremely social creatures and crave human companionship. Making them live outside deprives them of their natural desires and leaves them lonely and isolated. Dogs are also at risk for overheating in the summer and frostbite in the winter. It’s important to know when your pooch has had enough outdoor time and is ready to come indoors for comfort and safety.
What size outdoor dog kennel do I need?
There is not a one-size-fits-all kennel. Dogs all have different breeds, ages and sizes, which you need to take into consideration when selecting a kennel. You shouldn’t put your dog in a kennel that’s too small or he can feel suffocated and uncomfortable.
A good rule of thumb is to choose a kennel that’s at least three times as big as your dog. This gives him enough space to walk around and sprawl out to sleep. You’ll also want the sides of the kennel to be high enough that your dog can’t jump out. If it’s covered, make sure your dog has enough room to stand up completely straight with a little room to spare.