best dog kennel for outdoor use

Top five: best outdoor dog kennel

If you are planning a long term stay on a campsite, you might want to consider an outdoor dog kennel instead of a dog tent. If you are looking to buy a dog tent, check out my article here. For car camping or RV-ing an outdoor dog kennel can work very well. Don’t forget to add some of your dog’s favorite blankets and bedding. If you choose the best outdoor dog kennel, it will stand the test of time. You can use an outdoor kennel in the backyard at home while supervising your dog. You may find this helpful when you have guests for a barbeque. A kennel at a cottage or cabin you visit frequently can help your dog to feel secure. A playpen is also a great idea to bring to the park, beach, or on a camping trip. Many dogs who are crate trained enjoy having their own area to retreat to knowing that is a space of their own. Although these kennels are intended for outdoor use, some can be used indoors too.

Even with a kennel, you should never leave your dog unsupervised, especially overnight. Your dog could have an encounter with wildlife, hear scary loud sounds, or try to escape. This practice is very out of date, and most dog owners today consider their dogs to be a part of their family. Dogs should be welcome indoors and out!

Best outdoor dog kennel for small dogs

Zampa Portable Foldable Pet playpen

If you have a small dog who you aren’t too worried about breaking out of there, a playpen might work.  This cute playpen is foldable and easy to transport. You can unzip the mesh sides and top for extra airflow. This can be handy if you allow your dog to walk in and out of the kennel as he or she pleases. I like that it is reinforced in areas that dogs and cats would likely chew, so it’s very durable. There are also stakes to hold it securely to the ground for outdoor use. This kennel can be used indoors and outdoors. Check price here.


  • Water-resistant
  • Reinforced areas where puppies are prone to chew
  • Steaks to the ground for stability
  • Foldable
  • Includes carrying bag
  • Durable
  • Outside pockets and water bottle holder
  • Customer service support after-sale
  • Available in four colors
  • Cats like it too
  • Attached floor
  • Available in 3 sizes
  • No assembly required
  • Easy to clean


  • This is fabric, so it may not be suitable for very active young puppies
  • May be difficult to fold up to fit into bag

Cutest outdoor dog kennel

Petsfit Dog House

Is snoopy in there? This is without a doubt the cutest on the list. With a little window for airflow and a porch for your pooch to lounge, this little dog house has my heart. I also like that the roof is flat, so your pup can lie on top of it if they want to. Some dogs enjoy climbing on top of their dog houses. The elevated floor is good for temperature regulation. It will keep your pooch’s delicate paws off any hot or cold ground. This is available in a range of sizes, but always make sure to measure before you buy. You want to make sure your dog can be comfortable standing up and turning around. Check price here.


  • So cute! The cutest here
  • Window for airflow
  • Raised floor
  • Flat roof so your dog can stand up or lay on top of it
  • Attractive wood finish
  • Insulation kit is available for cooler temperatures
  • The roof has hinges, and you can open it up to check inside
  • Water-based paint is safe for your pup
  • Adjustable feet
  • Pre-drilled holes for easy assembly
  • sturdy



  • Not as portable as some of the other options on this list. But it could be fit in a larger trunk of an SUV or truck depending on the size purchased
  • May need to be sealed with a weatherproof protectant if you have a lot of moisture in your climate
  • Some assembly required


Best outdoor dog kennel for large dogs

MidWest Homes for Pets XXL Giant Dog Crate

Even if your dog isn’t a “Giant” breed, they will appreciate the roominess of this crate. The classic cage look isn’t my favorite. I like playpen or dog house styles better. But, you can’t beat the practicality and price for a large dog. It can be combined with sun covers for hotter days to provide your pooch with shade. You can also attach a crate cover to take away from that rough and tough cage look.  Don’t forget to add a mat and blankets for comfort. This crate is easy to fold up for transport, but since it is metal it is quite heavy. This can be used indoors and out. You will likely need a friend or family member to lend a hand packing it up in your trunk. Check price here.


  • Durable
  • Can fit even the largest dogs comfortably
  • Can be combined with sun covers and crate covers to improve the appearance
  • Folds up for transportation and storage
  • Available with two doors or one door
  • One year warranty
  • Rustproof
  • L-hook construction ensures sides are secure
  • Drop pin latches


  • Very large, so takes up a lot of space
  • It is recommended for two people to assemble because of the size


Best outdoor dog kennel for backyard use

Advantek Pet Gazebo

Are you looking for something a little more attractive to keep set up at all times? A pet gazebo may be a wonderful addition to your backyard. My favorite feature of this is the umbrella roof. This really elevates the look from a basic crate and provides shade. If you enjoy entertaining in the backyard but you have an active puppy, this is a great solution. You can keep your pup under supervision while in the backyard. The octagon shape is also space-saving, making the square footage larger than a rectangle. Check price here.


  • Octagon shape is space-saving
  • Umbrella roof for shade and shelter
  • Does not need any tools to assemble
  • Reversible cover
  • Single door access
  • Dropdown window to provide treats, toys, or water refills
  • Can be used indoor and outdoor


  • Cannot be left out in extreme weather. So if you get a lot of heavy rains or snow you may want to consider other options.

Best outdoor dog kennel for storage

ESK Collection 48″ Pet Puppy Dog Playpen Exercise Pen Kennel

If you are only going to be using a kennel when traveling, you need something that is easy to store when it is not in use. This is designed to be portable and includes a storage bag. It is lightweight with no assembly required. You can remove the bottom floor for cleaning or for outdoor use on grass. I would hesitate to use this with an active younger dog (since it is made of fabric). But, it would be great for a small dog who is calmer or an elderly pooch.  This can also be used with cats or bunnies and other small pets. Check price here.


  • Very lightweight
  • Easy to assemble
  • Folds into a small storage bag
  • Available in three colors
  • Affordable
  • Made from oxford cloth (very durable)
  • The bottom is detachable for cleaning or outdoor use
  • Mesh sides and top
  • Exterior pockets
  • Very easy to store and transport


  • You may want to select metal for a very active puppy rather than a fabric option. Especially if you have a chewer!

Best outdoor dog kennel – my overall favorite

My number one favorite of these options is the Petsfit Dog House. I love the sweet dog house style and the fact that it is elevated is a huge bonus. Here in Ontario, Canada we have very harsh winters. I wouldn’t want my dog to be touching the ground outside for too long unless he was wearing booties. I like that this dog house can also be insulated with a pre-made insulation kit from the same brand.

Many dogs enjoy having a backyard dog house, and this would be great for a home, cabin, or cottage. I like cedarwood, and it probably smells really good because of that. The grey and white trim and little porch area are super cute. This is made of high-quality materials and intended to last the test of time. There is some assembly required. But, it is definitely easier than designing and building a dog house all by yourself! If you want to learn how to build your own dog house, check out my how-to article here.

Many dogs love having their own space where they can relax. It helps to encourage your dog to be more independent when you provide them with this type of space. I live in a downtown condo, but as soon as I have my own backyard I will be getting a cute dog house for my dog Thor to enjoy.


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