7 Best Outdoor Dog Kennel – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Dogs are animals that tend to get bored easily if not kept occupied. One of the best ways to overcome boredom is to leave them outdoors to explore their surroundings in cases where the pet parents have ample yard or backspace. But the major concern is its safety when an electric fence or parapet wall is missing. 

An outdoor dog kennel is advantageous in such situations as these not only provide the canine with access to fresh air and sunshine but also requires minimal pet supervision. Especially large and working breeds enjoy being outdoors as they get more workouts in addition to their traditional walks. Many canines prefer being outside than indoors when their pet parents are outside most of the day.

This article will not only provide insights into an outdoor kennel, factors that need to be considered during the selection criterion and will also review the best outdoor kennels available in the market.

What is an Outdoor Kennel? What are They Used For?

Outdoor dog kennels are closed enclosures that can accommodate one or several dogs for longer periods. Primarily, dog cages for outside usage are pivotal to people who like to keep their dogs outdoors or simply cannot allow them to spend more time inside the house.

Secondly, dog boarding or shelters and canine breeders use kennels to safely contain dogs for some portions of the day or in the night when their parents are on vacation or as temporary homes to accommodate abandoned dogs. Lastly, farmers are seen to place their working dogs in kennels overnight.

How can one differentiate between an outdoor kennel and doghouse?

The only major differences between an outdoor kennel and a doghouse are in its construction and look.

The former sports a metallic construction like that of the playpens and can contain more than just one canine whereas the latter has a more decorative look.

Both are constructed to look like minified human houses that provide the pets not only with their own cozy space but also allows them to turn around in all directions.

7 Best Outdoor Dog Kennel

#1. Lucky Dog – Heavy Duty Welded Wire Dog Kennel with Cover and Frame

Lucky Dog - Heavy Duty Welded Wire Dog Kennel with Cover and Frame

Key Features
  • Secure high-quality welds
  • Hassle-free latch and locking system
  • Tool-free assembly 
  • Weather-resistant
  • Easy to maintain

The Lucky Dog complete box kennel can be used for residential as well as professional use. The steel bars and wire mesh are perfectly welded before coating it to refrain sharp edges that can harm the pet. The heavy-duty kennel is rust and corrosion-proof.

The gate of the outdoor enclosure swing opens freely for easy access. The latching system is also seen to secure the gate firmly and can also be locked with any basic padlock.

The kennel comes with a waterproof cover and steel roof frame that perfectly fit it and the enclosed area is weatherproof. The added UV protection prevents ripping, cracking, fading, or peeling of the kennel this adds to its durability. 

The strong elastic cords are seen to not break or stretch thereby hold the cover securely for a snug fit. The roof pitch refrains from the accumulation of water, debris, and light snow.

The 1.5 inches raised legs aids in hassle-free enclosure cleaning and prevent the buildup of debris. This outdoor dog pen includes pre-assembled modular panels and hand tightening clamps. Hence can be assembled without the aid of any tools. The manufacturer recommends ground anchoring.

  • Affordable
  • Durable
  • Secure and safe
  • Modular design
  • No Sharp edges
  • Reviews suggest that the height is misleading

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#2. Yaheetech Heavy Duty Foldable Metal Outdoor/Indoor Kennel

Yaheetech Heavy Duty Foldable Metal Outdoor Indoor Kennel

Key Features
  • Steel panel with hinged door
  • Rust- and waterproof
  • A dual secure latching system
  • Comfortable and secure
  • Eight anchor stakes
  • Easy to set up
  • Portable and foldable
  • Spacious

Yaheetech heavy-duty indoor/outdoor kennel works great as a puppy playpen or as an exercise area for non-climbing small animals. The pet playpen is built up of sturdy premium iron black finish rustproof metal for enhanced durability.

The metal insert rod adds on to the stability of the pet kennel. The rounded edges increase pet safety. The steel panels with a hinged door and two J-shaped latch bolts ease the pet entry and exit. The doors are partly raised off the ground to refrain them from getting caught on grass or uneven surfaces.

The eight-panel design allows for multiple shape configurations: rectangle, square, round, and so on. The dog pen is foldable and portable as only the eight individual panels need to be connected.

  • Many pet pens can be connected to form a larger one.
  • Durable and sturdy
  • Lightweight
  • Weatherproof
  • Slightly expensive

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#3. Advantek Pet Gazebo Outdoor Metal Dog Kennel

Advantek Pet Gazebo Outdoor Metal Dog Kennel

Key Features
  • Reversible umbrella proof
  • Weather-resistant
  • Suits for pets up to 180 pounds
  • Compact and long-lasting
  • Hassle-free assembly

The luxurious outdoor Pet Gazebo offers a unique octagonal design and is constructed with sturdy powder coated AztekGold durable finish steel construction with a newly designed umbrella roof frame. The kennel can be set up without the aid of any tools and is travel-friendly also. 

The pen also includes a weather-resistant polyethylene reversible cover that protects the canine from harsh weather climates. The pen is available in three different size variants and is designed for pets up to 180 pounds. The gazebos can be linked together for extending the pet play areas.

  • Unique design
  • Reversible weatherproof cover
  • Portable 
  • Space saver
  • Small dogs pass through the bottom bars

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#4. Giantex Large Dog Kennel with Roof Cover

Giantex Large Dog Kennel with Roof Cover

Key Features
  • Galvanized steel frame construction
  • Rust and corrosion-resistant
  • Lockable door latch
  • Steel wire ties
  • A superior door hinge design
  • Weather-proof

The Giantex kennel is built up of galvanized steel that keeps the pet safe from harsh weather and is durable due to the rust and corrosion resistance. Lockable steel door latch and steel wire ties are included for extra safety. The kennel can be easily assembled due to the presence of a quick-connecting frame. The superior door hinge design is seen to stay firmly in place even after several years of use.

  • Weather-resistant
  • Durable
  • Hundred percent complete steel frame
  • Easy installation
  • Safe and secure design
  • The height of the kennel is misleading

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#5. ZENY Foldable Metal Exercise Pen 

BestPet Dog Crate Pet Kennel Outdoor Cage

Key Features
  • Durable environment protective construction
  • Secure and comfortable design
  • Safe slide bolt latching system
  • Step-through door
  • Sized for pets up to 25 pounds
  • Foldable and travel-friendly

The ZENY heavy duty pet playpen is made of durable satin black electro-coat finish iron metal for enhanced durability. The pen includes solid latches and stakes that improve the security of the pet. The insert rod and link shaft ensure the stability of the pet playpen and the step-through door eases the entry and exit of the pet.

The 16 panels design allows for multiple shapes configurations and the expandable pet playpen also provides 66.52 square feet of enclosed area for pets. This heavy-duty kennel can be assembled without the aid of tools and are also seen to quickly collapse for convenient storage and portability. 

  • Fits firmly on the grass platform
  • Durable and sturdy
  • Space saver
  • Portable and rustproof
  • No protective top cover

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#6. BestPet Dog Crate Pet Kennel Outdoor Cage

ZENY Foldable Metal Exercise Pen

Key Features
  • Heavy-duty welded steel kennel
  • Water-resistant and UV protection top cover
  • Simple assembly and disassembly
  • Spacious secure area
  • Weatherproof

The BestPet Dog Crate Pet Kennel is built of a high tensile-strength wire gauge. The epoxy coating finish makes the crate last long and is also seen to provide resistance against rust, corrosion, and fading. This dog cage is ideal for training and transporting well-behaved pets.

The waterproof cover, steel roof frame fit, and the enclosed ends of the heavy-duty crate is seen to provide complete protection from elements like sun, rain, snow, and debris. Added UV protection prevents ripping, cracking, fading, or peeling of the rooftop. 

The roof pitch refrains from the accumulation of water, debris, and light snow. This pet crate can be set up easily and are also seen to come down easily hence are travel friendly. 

  • Heavy-duty
  • Weightless
  • Easy assembly
  • Spacious
  • The height of the kennel is misleading

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#7. PawHut Large Outdoor Dog Kennel

PawHut Large Outdoor Dog Kennel

Key Features
  • Long-lasting durable frame
  • A reversible and protective tarp covering
  • Spacious interiors
  • Hassle-free latching and locking gate

The PawHut Covered Dog Box is a strong cage with a tarp canopy constructed with 100% commercial-grade galvanized steel for enhanced durability and reliability. The cage weighs 150 pounds hence can accommodate and stop the largest dog breeds from turning it upside down. This model does not need to be anchored into the ground when used outdoors. The bottom of each pole of the kennel is flat hence when used indoors there is no damage caused to the floors. Each panel comes separately hence the cage can be arranged in any design as an individual wish.

One of the best deals of this kennel is its canopy top. This is reversible, weather, and UV resistant. The metal dog playpen not only keeps the pet secure and safe from predators but also can grow with the pet as multiple kennels can be connected without additional parts to create a larger enclosed area.

  • Durable and reliable
  • Ground anchoring is not required
  • Reversible and weather-resistant canopy
  • Flat pole bottom for indoor use
  • Assembling is tedious

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What are the benefits of an outdoor dog cage?

  • The pooches get an opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors without getting lost.
  • Pet parents can use these confined areas for pet training.
  • Keeps the pet safe and secure without constant supervision.
  • Protects the puppies and sick canines from outdoor predators.
  • Provide the dog with some extra workouts.

What are the safety measures that one needs to follow when using an outdoor kennel?

The following safety precautions need to be followed:

  • Refrain leaving the pets in outdoor kennels for longer periods in harsh weather conditions. 
  • Place plenty of drinking fresh water inside the kennels especially during the scorching summers.
  • Test the security of the kennels for individual dogs.
  • Invest in kennels with top covers or place the cage in shady areas outdoors.

Note: The exact temperature range, a dog can tolerate is based on its size, health, breed, and fur length. A vet will help to know the temperature tolerances of any dog breed.

What are the different types of outdoor dog kennels that are commonly available?

The outdoor dog kennels are categorized into the following

Kennel runs: These are spacious, gated, and covered kennels that can be used for long stays. Here a person can enter the kennel to place food and water or to clean it. They are commonly used in dog boarding and shelters. 

Boxed kennels: Roomy spaces that can be used for short stays. Mostly used by breeders and farmers.

Dog cages: These are small and tight spaces that are mostly used to house the dog outdoors during the nights.

How to Choose the Right Size Dog Kennel and Run

The kennel size is the pivotal factor that one needs to consider before investing in an outdoor kennel. The table and guide in the next section will aid in choosing the right size outdoor dog kennel:

Pet weight (kg) Kennel size (Length x width) Dog breed examples
8 to 10 24 x 18 inches Pug, Shihzhu, Lhasa Apso, Cocker Spaniel, French bulldog
11 to 18 13 x 22 inches Pazenji, Corgis, English bulldog, Normal poodle, Malinos
18.5 to 32 36x 26 inches Labradors, Golden retrievers, German shepherds, Boxer, Dalmation
32 to 40 42 x 34 inches French Mastiff, Bull Mastiff, Rottweiler, Giant Schnauzers
41 to 49 48 x 36 inches English Mastiff, St. Bernard, Kangal, Tibetian Mastiff
50 Plus 48 x 36 inches Napolean Mastiff, Great Dane, Akitas, Burmese mountain dog


Note:  If a dog’s weight falls in between two pet weight categories, experts recommend selecting a size up kennel.


What are the factors that need to be considered while choosing an outdoor kennel?

The following section provides complete details of the factors that aid in zeroing the apt and comfortable dog outdoor kennel. These items are practical tools, that needs to be pondered on:


One of the pivotal factors for kennel selection. The weight of the dog breed aids in deciding the right kennel size. The table guide above will provide more insights into the kennel sizing.

Kennel type

Based on the type of usage one can either choose a dog cage, boxed or kennel runs as discussed above.

Construction material

Outdoor kennels are mostly built up of either chain link, steel wire, or expanded metal. These materials vary in the durability levels. Steel and metal are the strongest and are also seen to prevent the growth of microbes and germs. The material choice decides the look of the kennel. One needs to choose the right material based on individual pet requirements and investment budget.


Escape artists can bite hard and bend bars. In such cases, a sturdy construction kennel that lasts long needs to be considered.

Roof material cover

A tarp-style or equivalent cover is seen to protect both the dog and the pen’s frame from extreme elements like heat, wind, snow, and rain. 

Access points

The number of entry or exit points also play a pivotal role. Some models come with double-safety doors that refrain the pooch from rushing out once the owner enters the kennel. On the other hand, some have waist-high doors that enable the owner to place food and water into the enclosure without disturbing the pet.

Top envelope

Outdoor kennels come with either open or enclosed top parts. Experts recommend covered tops for small canine breeds as the risk of dangerous predators is high outdoors.


A comfortable foam-like cushion is recommended for dogs that stay overnight in the kennel. Other options include PVC, plastic, or grass. Choose a flooring that is easier to clean using a pressure washer, disinfectant, and an odor eliminator.

Locking systems

Choose kennels with unbreakable and secure latching systems. Some pooches learn to break open with trial and error methods.


Zero on kennels with lockable wheels. This will aid in the hassle-free movement of the kennel when needed and the locking system will lock the wheels in the designated place.

Food and water attachments

One can also look for kennels with pre-attached bowls for food and water. These dishes are seen to be connected to panels whose movement is flexible that is, they can be moved around and to the outside of the enclosure. This allows one to fill water and food without getting inside the kennel.

How to clean an outdoor dog kennel?

Even though most of the dogs do not have an accident or use its kennel as a bathroom area. One needs to clean and the kennel every 10 to 15 days to remove hair and dirt. 

The following steps need to be followed during the cleaning and disinfection process.

Wash accessories

Remove the dog from the kennel and place it indoors or in another secure place. Remove the accessories like food and bowls, toys, and bedding. Clean the water and food dishes with soap and air dry. Wash the bedding and toys as recommended by the manufacturer. 

Dispose of the solids and wet waste

Remove all solid waste including hair and feces with the aid of a shovel or scoop. Spray wash the kennel.

Disinfect the kennel

Dilute the disinfectant solution as recommended and spray the solution all over the kennel surfaces and leave to stand as instructed on the product label.

Scrub clean

Scrub the walls of the kennel off to remove tough stains and dirt with the aid of a scrub brush or a large broom with stiff bristles.

Rinse and dry 

Rinse the kennel thoroughly with water. Experts recommend using hot water if available. Allow the kennel to air dry and replace the cleaned bowls, bedding, and toys.

Final thoughts

Kennels and outdoor dog runs are great tools of pet management that every pet parent needs to consider. They not only help keep the dog safe but also confine it to an area that requires minimal supervision. These kennels also provide great mental stimulation for the pet as they give them a chance to run around.

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Yeshwanthi Kamalraj
Yeshwanthi Kamalraj is a freelance copy editor, Pet sitter, and content writer who mainly focuses on scientific journals and health-related web pages. Before becoming a freelance content writer Yeshwanthi worked for Cenveo publishers as document analyst for various science journals published by Taylor and Francis Journals and later continued as a freelance copyeditor for the same publishers. Post marriage in 2009 Yeshwanthi developed a keen interest in pets after her husband and she brought a labrador puppy home. This interest helped her to explore a new niche of the pet sitting world whose journey is still on. Yeshwanthi is a dog lover who in her freetime enjoys listening to music, cooking, and meeting new people.


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