Our Top 3 Picks
Finding a dog enclosure that fits your needs and that your dog will enjoy spending time in is essential; not only for crate training but also when trying to give your new dog a safe space of his- or her own. There are multiple options to choose from; steel crates, large outdoor dog kennels and runs, wooden dog houses, portable pens and more, and it can be tricky to find quality products on a market where everyone seems to want their share of clients.
Quality, however, is important; not only for durability but also to ensure the safety of your much-loved fur friend. It is time to figure out if a large outdoor dog kennel is the right choice for you, or if you would be better off with an outside dog run, a doggy house or a simple small-breed dog crate.
- Certified content. This article has been fact-checked and verified by our veterinary advisor.
Approved By: Dr. Sara Ochoa, DVM
Notes from our DVM, Sara Ochoa: “Make your dogs kennel their own with a dog bed or blanket and a few toys. This will make sure that they love spending time in their kennel and not feel like they are being punished when going in their kennel.”
View The Best Dog Kennel Below
1. Advantek Pet Gazebo Outdoor Dog Kennel with Reversible Cover
This adorable outdoor dog kennel is perfect for dogs that like to hang out outside, but that do not have a dog run or a fenced-in yard. It is also great for outings with family and friends, as you can bring it with you and set it up in a matter of minutes. You can also buy several large outdoor dog kennels and connect them, for your pup to have additional space for moving around.
It is without doubts the best dog kennel for outdoorsy families, as each one has a roof for sun protection, and is sturdy enough also for larger dogs. It is an outdoor dog kennel with cover available in 3 sizes, and you can choose between two classy looking color options.
+ Sun roof for sunny days
+ Three sizes to choose from
+ Two color options: Aztec Gold and Dark Forest
+ Connect several outside dog enclosures
Why We Like It – The option to connect several kennels is perfect for families with more than one dog, or where you want to give your pooch the chance to move around in a safe enclosed space. Tip: add some mulch to make the floor more comfortable for your pup.
2. Lucky Dog Uptown Welded Wire Kennel
The sturdy wire construction of these outdoor dog kennels for dogs ensures the safety of your beloved fur buddies, no matter where you are! Put it in the yard for times when you can’t have them running around; or set it up at the beach, in the park or when visiting friends or family.
The tarp is waterproof to protect your happy fur friends from both drizzle and sunshine, and the panels are so easy to set up that even young humans in the family can pitch in and help. Get it in small, medium or large, depending on the size of your dog, and give your pooch a safe space that is big enough to even fit a dog house.
+ Quick assembly
+ Easy-latch and lock gate
+ With waterproof tarp cover
+ Raised legs for an easy clean
Why We Like It – The biggest attribute of this heavy-duty outdoor dog kennel is its size, as it is significantly bigger than many similar products.
3. Tangkula Dog House Outdoor Wood Pet Kennel
Get one of these big dog kennels for outside spaces for your furry family members and give them their very own (and very cozy!) home outside the main house. It is made of wood and therefore environmentally friendly, and these outdoor dog enclosures blend right in with any bushes, trees or flowers you may have in your garden.
Not only is it practical, but also great looking. It offers your pup a warm and dry space thanks to its elevated design, and the brown asphalt roof keeps water from seeping in from above. Get your dog the dog house they have always wanted, to make sure they are as comfortable as possible also when you are not with them.
+ Organic and stylish design
+ Waterproof roof and elevated design
+ Plastic feet to prevent rot
+ Treated to withstand the elements
Why We Like It – If you want to keep your yard looking great, one of these outdoor dog kennels will fit right in! The wooden design makes it both a comfortable outdoor dog crate and a yard decoration, and it is sturdy and well-built enough to withstand bad weather.
4. ESK COLLECTION Blue 45″ Pet Puppy Dog Playpen Exercise Pen Kennel
Use these large dog kennels outside or inside – or both, for small dogs and curious puppies, to stop them from getting into trouble. Keep in mind that you should always supervise your fur babies, as these are soft-sided dog enclosures, and that it does not have a roof to cover them from the sun if used briefly outside.
This dog playpen comes in blue, red, black and pink, is made with durable 600d Oxford material, can be folded up for easy storage and it has large breathable mesh windows and a door that opens and closes similarly to the door of a tent.
+ Ideal for puppies and young dogs
+ Removable bottom for easy cleaning
+ Windows with breathable mesh material
+ Foldable design for practical storage
Why We Like It – Puppies need a safe place to roam around, and you can place this dog kennel outside for a short outdoor adventure (great for socialization) or keep it indoors as fun and secure playpen.
5. Gelinzon Heavy Duty Dog Kennel with Patent Lock
These large dog outdoor kennels have wheels so that you can easily move it around the yard if needed (when cutting the grass and/or spring cleaning), and the wheels lock with a simple maneuver to prevent accidents. Its metal construction is durable enough to keep even the largest dogs in place, and it folds flat when not in use for practical storage.
The bar coating is non-toxic and safe also for dogs that tend to chew on their kennels, it is rust and corrosion resistant and it features one large door and a roof that opens for easy feeding. The bottom has a removable plastic tray which makes cleaning about as simple as it can be, and your dog gets plenty of airflows thanks to the lack of solid walls.
+ Removable bottom tray
+ Easy to assemble
+ Four lockable wheels
+ Non-toxic bar coating
Why We Like It – It is simple, sturdy and portable thanks to the wheels. This outdoor dog kennel for large dogs should be used when you need your dog securely enclosed but remember that there isn’t too much space for your pup to move around, meaning it should not be used for longer periods of time.
6. New World Folding Metal Dog Kennel Crate
With one of these large outside dog kennels, your dog gets his or her own little cozy space; and it is great for use as temporary storage when you have friends or family over for a BBQ, as an indoor crate or a large dog bed – allowing your four-legged pal to walk in and out as he/she pleases.
The simple steel construction is discrete enough to be placed in the corner of a room without becoming an eye-sore, and your dog will love the thin steel bar construction as it allows them to get a clear view of their surroundings. It is a portable outdoor dog kennel which folds flat so that you can take it with you when traveling.
+ Classic steel frame construction
+ Very light-weight and foldable
+ Available with single- and double door
+ With heavy-duty slide-bolt latches
Why We Like It – Sometimes the best thing you can do is to go with something simple! These inside and outside dog kennels for large dogs are popular for a reason – dogs love them, and they are easy to transport and to move around.
7. MidWest iCrate Starter Kit
Not sure where to start when crate training your dog? This large outdoor dog cage kit is the ultimate solution! It includes a sturdy steel crate that folds flat when not in use or during transport, a crate cover for those dogs that feel safer having something solid surrounding them (one or more sides can be left uncovered), a comfortable doggy crate liner and two stainless steel dog bowls that attach to the bars of the crate.
It is one of the best dog kennels you can get for your pup, and it comes with all the accessories you need to set your crate training up for success.
+ Includes crate, cover, liner, and bowls
+ Available in sizes XS-XL
+ Get it in black, blue or pink
+ Equipped with two separate doors
Why We Like It – These inside and outside dog kennels come with all the accessories a new dog owner needs to get started so that you can spend time with your new dog instead of wasting hours going from store to store.
Alternative: try an igloo dog house for a warm cozy house for your dog.
8. AmazonBasics Single Door & Double Door Folding Metal Dog Crate
With this product, you get that classic and sturdy metal construction; complete with two large doors and an optional divider panel – but at a lower price! It has all the classic features like two slide-latches on each door to stop your pup from getting out, a removable plastic tray to make keeping it clean as easy as possible, lightweight steel bars with non-toxic paint and the option to fold it flat when needed.
It is a durable dog cage for outside and inside uses, which will last throughout your pup’s life and work as a den for him or her to hide away in when some alone-time is needed.
+ Secure and heavy-duty door latches
+ Optional divider panel included
+ Available in multiple sizes
+ Quality product at an affordable price
Why We Like It – These dog kennels for large dogs and small dogs offer the same quality and functions as a more expensive competitor product would! You save money, without having to compromise on the quality.
9. EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate Kennel
If an outside dog kennel is not what you had in mind, then perhaps this soft-sided folding crate could interest you? It folds flat and sets up in a matter of second – no tools needed – and your pup will love the softness of the walls and the included bed liner.
These crates won’t work if you plan to leave your dog inside it while out and about, as they would be rather easy to chew through, but they are perfect to use as a den-like dog bed at home, or for car, bus or train trips (where you can keep an eye on your pup during the trip)! These adorable crates come in a variety of colors and sizes, have three doors (front, side and on top) and they are easy to clean and store.
+ With two accessory pockets
+ Soft and cushioned fleece liner
+ Free carrying bag included
+ Made with Oxford fabric and hex mesh
Why We Like It – With one of these crates, your dog can take a well-needed rest regardless of where you are, thanks to the light-weight design. Use it at home or take it with you on a camping trip! Do not leave the dog unsupervised in these dog enclosures outdoors, as they don’t withstand heat or rain.
10. MidWest Homes for Pets K9 Kennel
Have you ever felt like your four-legged family member deserves something more than just the average outdoor dog kennel? Then this extra large outdoor dog kennel might be just what you’ve been looking for.
It comes in three sizes, and the biggest one is large enough for your pup to move around! You can fit a dog house inside for cold or rainy days, and these outside dog kennels with roof help protect your best fur friend from both sunshine (the material provides up to 80% sunblock), rain and snow.
The rounded corners and heavy-duty steel frame make the construction both safe and easy to set up, and your dog will thrive in a spacious outside dog pen such as this affordable and portable option.
+ Extra space for large-breed dogs
+ Roof with 80% sun blocking abilities
+ Easy to set up and take down
+ 1-year manufacturer’s warranty
Why We Like It – Not all dogs benefit from being left in a cramped crate, and these large dog pens for outside use offer a suitable alternative.
Dog Kennel Buyers Guide
When you set out to find the perfect inside or outside kennel, there are a few things to consider first! Step one is to know what you will be using it for; will it be as a crate for when you are away, as a bed where the door will stay open, do you plan to leave your dog unsupervised outside or do you need a reliable playpen for young puppies?
By knowing why you want a dog kennel and what you want it for – you increase your chances of finding the right one. Once you have gotten this figured out, it is time to have a look at what to consider regarding each type of dog kennel.
Indoor Dog Kennels
There are two different ways you can use a dog kennel indoors – either as a crate to help with separation anxiety or as a dog bed. When you use it as a dog bed, the door usually stays open so that the dog can walk in and out as he/she wishes, and when used as a crate – the dog will often be left in there unsupervised. You can always try a dog anxiety vest to help.
If only planning to use the kennel as a bed, then any kennel will do! Soft-sided products tend to be popular, due to them having a “cozier” feel to them. However, if you intend to leave your dog in the crate when you go out – you need a sturdier product which they can’t chew themselves out of. In such a case, a steel crate is likely a better option.
Outdoor Dog Kennels
Now, placing dog kennels outdoors also requires some planning and preparation. If the dog will be left unattended, you need to make sure they are properly protected from the environment (sun, rain, cold and heat). An outdoor dog kennel with the roof is a good investment and depending on the size of it – you might want to consider placing a comfortable dog house inside.
An outdoor kennel for dogs also needs to be safe and 100% escape proof because you don’t want to come home only to realize your dog has pulled a Houdini and runoff. A dog outdoor kennel should always be placed where there is enough shade.
Portable Dog Kennels
If your intention is to move the dog kennel from time to time; perhaps take it with you camping, on vacation or when visiting the in-laws, then you need a product that is light-weight, easy to assemble and take apart, that does not take up too much space when not in use and that can be cleaned easily after an outdoor adventure. A large outdoor dog pen might not be ideal for this, and you should instead consider a soft-sided crate (if you will be supervising your dog while in there), or a foldable steel crate.
Will my dog like the kennel?
This almost always depends on how you use it, and if you give your dog enough time to get used to the kennel before potentially looking them in there. When done right, most dogs enjoy having their own safe space and can benefit greatly from it regardless of whether you use your dog kennel outdoors or indoors.
Best dog kennel for a small dog?
The ‘EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate Kennel’ if your small dog will be supervised while inside, or if you plan to use it for traveling, or otherwise the ‘MidWest iCrate Starter Kit’.
Related Review: Best Soft Dog Crate
Best dog kennel for large dogs?
If you want to give your dog some space to move around, the ‘MidWest Homes for Pets K9 Kennel’ outdoor dog pen makes a great option.
How do I introduce the kennel to my dog?
As with anything, a new kennel should be introduced gradually, no matter how you plan to use it. Leave it out for your dogs (with the door open) for a few days, to give them the chance to explore on their own, and then start trying to lure them inside with treats and rewards.
If possible, do not close the door until you see them being 100% comfortable in their new dog kennel. The key to success when crate- and kennel training is patience on behalf of the dog owner, and plenty of praise and treats.
Shopping for a dog kennel can be fun, provided you know what you are looking for and what to try and avoid. The most important thing to consider is safety, closely followed by comfort and convenience. A properly used kennel or crate can be a great asset in any dog-owning family and spending some time finding the right one will be well worth it in the end. A great place to look is online, as it allows you to browse through options and alternatives that might not be available at your local pet store.
If you are unsure of how to go about when crate- and kennel training your dog – ask someone who knows. Consult a professional trainer or look for tips and tricks on reliable websites. You don’t want to end up scaring or traumatizing your pup, as a kennel should be a place where they love to be, and not a place they fear or see as punishment. Make it a positive experience by practicing patience and by spoiling your pooch with treats.
Did you Know
Dogs have a natural preference for small, cozy and den-like spaces; which is why crate training often appears to reduce the dog’s potential anxiety when being left alone. Read more benefits here.
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