Any dog who spends a good portion of his day outdoors can benefit from a durable, insulated dog house that can withstand the wear and tear of the elements. Here is a quick overview of some of the pros and cons of different styles of dog houses and homes available and some tips for choosing one that works for you and your favorite hound.

Dog Homes Made with Wood Offer Great Insulation and Durability

Wooden dog houses are amongst the most common and the most popular types of outdoor dog houses. Wood will always have that charming, rustic look, but it’s also one of the best insulators when it comes to pet dwellings. Wooden dog structures, with proper care, are very durable and can last many years. You may not find the same variety of “shapes” in the wooden varieties that you find with plastic houses, but that doesn’t mean you are limited to the classic, snoopy style dog house. You will find some attractive and innovative designs in this category. For instance, there are Mansion dog houses that come complete with patios and lattice fencing. Log dog homes have their own front porch. Two story dog dwellings come with a rooftop patio for the pooch who likes to be able to see what’s going on around them and relax in the sun. And, if you need housing for multiple dogs, the duplex styles are a popular choice as this allows your pets to have their own separate rooms within the same house. Of course, one of the main downsides to wooden homes is that they do take some work to set up. Detailed instructions are usually included as part of the packaging or you can find instructional videos online, but if you’re not the type of person who enjoys the “some assembly required” part, you may want to go with a plastic style which is much easier to set up.

Plastic Housing – More Variety in Shapes, Better Portability and Easy Assembly

Plastic dog houses are another popular choice. These plastic houses come in fun shapes that aren’t available in the wooden varieties and they are generally very hardy and hold up well to the wear and tear of being outdoors. These plastic pet homes are generally very easy to set up, often requiring that a few pieces be clicked into place to get you up and running, which makes them a whole lot easier to move around. However, if you live in an area with extreme climates, you will want to make sure you choose a well-insulated dog house, as unlike the wooden variety, not all plastic dog homes are created equal in this regard. Dogloos are igloo dog houses and these have some of the best insulation in this category of housing. The igloo shape and entry tunnel also provides extra protection from the wind, rain, and elements. Plastic dog crates can be used as either indoor or outdoor dog homes or dwellings as well, although these are not insulated, so you will want to provide good dog bedding and a crate cover in cooler weather.

Portable or Fabric Dog Homes

If you are often on the go and need a place to keep your dog while out and about, you will want to look into a portable dog house. These structures resemble a dog crate or a dog tent. If you have a young dog or a chewer or digger, the plastic dog crate house may stand up better than the fabric varieties. A fabric or foldable dog tent or dog dwelling works well for the more mature dog. These portable structures are very lightweight and can be used to protect your dog in temporary outdoor situations, during vacations, camping trips, etc.

Other Styles of Dog Dwellings

There are some other lesser known types of outdoor dog houses, such as metal dog houses and dog boxes which are more of a specialty item. These are often used for hunting dogs and some can be placed in the back of a pickup truck. Barrel shaped dog homes are made using old wine barrels. This is a nice eco-friendly option but is also said to resemble the type of “den” a dog would naturally live in if he were in the wild.