Does your outdoor dog need a well insulated, durable and attractive looking dog house? Outdoor dog houses are a must for dogs who  spend time outdoors, but there are many types available including wooden dog houses, plastic, insulated dog houses,  portable dog houses and even the eco-friendly barrel shaped dog house.  Here is a little rundown of what you can expect from the different types of outdoor houses to help you choose one that meets your dog’s specific needs and lifestyle.

Wooden Dog Houses

To begin with, let’s review the classic, time tested favorite, the wooden dog house. These houses are popular because wood is one of the best insulators available.  Some varieties of plastic dog houses, such as the Dogloo, and other igloo dog houses, are built using foam insulation and do provide protection from extreme climates, but nothing beats plain old wood.  Another reason wooden dog houses are so popular is they are very attractive and durable.  A good quality wooden dog house with a durable finish can last you for years.  And then there is the aesthetics aspect.   Wooden dog houses come in many, beautiful styles ranging from cozy, log cabin dog houses with their own porch to the mansion dog house complete with patios and lattice fencing.  If you have multiple dogs, duplex dog houses give each dog their own space within the same house.  The downside to a wooden dog house is that they take some time to set up and can be heavier and more difficult to move around.  

Plastic or Igloo Dog Houses

Plastic dog houses are increasing in popularity. Not only are they easy to set up, but plastic dog houses can be shaped in styles that are not available in the wood varieties. For instance, one of the more popular plastic dog houses is the Dogloo,  a well insulated dog house that keeps your dog warm in cool weather or cool in hot weather. Its extended doorway also provides protection from wind and rain.  Some pet owners prefer using a plastic dog crate as a dog house as these can be used for both indoor and outdoors.  The downside is they lack insulation so you will want to make sure your dog stays warm by adding some good dog bedding and crate covers in cooler weather.

Soft Dog Houses or Dog Crates

Soft dog houses or fabric dog houses resemble a tent or soft dog crate.  These are popular choices to take along on camping trips or anytime you will need to contain your dog while outdoors or in temporary environments.  These soft dog houses are not recommended for chewers, diggers or destructive dogs. 

Other Styles

A few other styles of dog houses worth mentioning are metal dog boxes or aluminum dog houses  which are typically used by hunters who take their dogs along with them.  There are also inflatable dog houses and eco-friendly, barrel shaped dog houses made from old wine barrels.

If you are feeling espeically ambitious and have the time, skills (or the money) check out these custom made dog houses made to match your home.