It is going to be really cold out soon (if it isn’t already!) and you are going to need the best winter dog house to fit your needs.
Many dogs like to be outside, although it is not safe to leave them out in the elements whether you are home or not.
You have so many options to choose from when it comes to protecting your pooch from the cold and snow.
Will you choose fancy and elaborate or simple and insulated? Check out our picks for the best winter dog houses.
Related: best dog house bedding
Tips for Choosing the Best Winter Dog Houses
Affiliate links included below. If you make a purchase, we earn a commission at no extra cost to you.
Let’s start with the basics, shall we? These are the things you need to consider before you begin your search.
I suggest writing down notes before you even open up a web page to look for the best winter dog houses!
1. Your budget
Don’t you just love when people say “money shouldn’t be your first concern…” when they’re trying to get you to buy something? Let’s be honest: money is ALWAYS the first concern.
Not all of us have thousands of dollars for an insanely awesome custom-built outdoor dog house. Some of us may not even have hundreds of extra bucks laying around!
So yes, while you should always get the best that you can afford, you do need to sit down and figure out exactly how much that really is.
Don’t take out a second mortgage on your own home to give your dog the fanciest house on the block!
2. How much time will your dog spend in it?
After your budget, this is really the biggest consideration.
If you just need something that your dog can hang out in for a few minutes while you’re all playing outside, you don’t need anything super fancy.
On the other hand, if your dog will be spending more time in the house, you’ll want something that will keep him warm and totally sheltered from the elements.
While I’m not a proponent of leaving a dog outdoors at all during the winter (or hot summer, for that matter), I do understand that sometimes it’s unavoidable.
In those cases, you’ll want to take a look at the heated option below.
3. Your HOA rules
The last thing you want to do is build a crazy cool winter dog house only to be told that it violates your Home Owners Association rules!
Even small structures could be banned depending on placement.
The best thing to do is to contact your HOA president and ask, because this is not one of those “better to ask forgiveness than permission” times!
Seriously, they can make you tear down your expensive dog house if it violates the rules, so don’t mess around here. 😀
While style is really the last thing that I would consider, it’s definitely something to think about.
After all, no one wants a giant eyesore on their property!
- You can get fancy with your dog house and get him one that has a front porch (yes some come with front porches!)
- For those cold yet sunny winter days when he wants to enjoy the fresh air.
- There are some that look like a barn too!
- Another favorite of mine is one that allows him to catch some rays on the roof. He can enjoy the warmth inside his house, and when he wants to fresh air and sunshine, he can climb a couple steps and lay on the room (don’t worry about him falling off, there is a cute railing).
Our top 3 Picks for Winter Dog Houses
1. Insulated Dog Houses
An insulated dog house will keep the elements and biting wind from affecting your dog while he is outside. There are many options when decided on which one will suit your needs best.
- Walmart (online, not so much in stores) has a great variety and in all different price ranges from just under $70 for your most basic style to more than $500 which includes a heated pad and a closing door.
- Another site to search is ClassyPetShop you can get a live person on the phone to help you out! They also offer free shipping to most places in the US and Canada.
- We also found some great insulated winter dog houses on Amazon for reasonable prices.
- Etsy is fantastic if you have a higher budget and want something totally unique for your dog. Just expect to spend quite a bit more, especially on shipping!
2. Heated Dog Houses
A heated dog house is going to be a step up from the insulated.
Many houses that are not necessarily heated can have a heated pad added to them.
Target has a good selection, but your best bet is to check out their website.
Again, Amazon is another great source for heated dog houses in every price range.
Some even have a front porch (they look better than my house!)
3. The Igloo
Don’t worry, these won’t be made of ice and snow like traditional igloos (unless you want to get out there and build it every few days when it melts).
The name comes from the dome-like shape!
Due to the shape of the igloo, you won’t have to shovel off the roof, it will fall right off because it is round all the way around.
You can find these at any pet store as well as Target or Walmart. Shop around and price match at their websites. Amazon has them for around $65.
When choosing a dog house for your the winter, you have so many options to choose from, you are sure to find one that you like the looks of and he likes the warmth of.
Even though an insulated or heated dog house will help protect him against the elements, it is not safe for him to be left outside for extended periods of time if you are not home.