35 Outdoor Dog Kennel Ideas - Backyard Boss
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35 Outdoor Dog Kennel Ideas

If you’d rather not leave your dog indoors alone when you go out, you might decide to put Fido in your backyard while you’re not around.

But for shelter and shade, your dog needs a comfy kennel with robust flooring and a roof that doesn’t leak. If you don’t know how to build a dog kennel, the prospect of taking the DIY route might be somewhat daunting. So, here are some cheap dog kennel ideas for those on a budget and a few designer dog houses for pampered pooches who won’t settle for less than the best!

Read this guide for 35 outstanding outdoor dog kennel ideas!

Outdoor Kennel Tips

Here’s what to consider when choosing a backyard outdoor kennel for your dog.


Outdoor dog kennels and pens can be made from:

  • Metal
  • Plastic
  • Chain link
  • Wood
  • Steel wire

The kind of material you choose for your kennel setup depends on whether you go for a homemade kennel or a purpose-built one.

The material you go for will provide various degrees of longevity, and the kennel’s ability to withstand chewing and escape attempts might be important, too, depending on your dog.

Weather Resistance

The kennel or dog pen you choose must provide shade and shelter. So, you want something that’s cool in summer and weatherproof and warm in the wintertime.

Open Top or Enclosed?

Some outdoor kennels are completely enclosed, whereas others have an open top. If you have a canine escape artist or you’re worried that predators might attack a tiny dog, you’ll want a kennel with a top.

If you go for an open-topped kennel, you might want to purchase a weatherproof cover for it, too.

How Many Doors?

Some kennels feature double doors to prevent the dog from dashing out when you enter. If you have an exuberant dog, that might be something you want to consider.

Digging Prevention

Some dogs are determined to get out and explore the outside world while you’re not around, and digging their way out of a kennel is the preferred option.

If your dog is a digger, choose a kennel with a sturdy floor or digging bars around the edge that stops the dog from burrowing under the kennel wall and getting out.

What Size Kennel?

The kennel must be the correct size for your dog. To work out the perfect fit, use the following formula:

Length = Dog’s length from nose to tail tip + dog’s height from the ground to the elbow

Width = Width across the dog’s shoulders + two-and-a-half inches, and the result times two

Height = Height of dog from the top of the head or tip of the ears to the ground + three inches

As a minimum, the dog should have ample space to stand up, turn around, sit down, and lay flat out on the ground inside the kennel.


Choosing the right location for the kennel is crucial for your dog’s safety and comfort.

Prevailing Weather Conditions

You need to bear in mind the prevailing weather conditions in your location when choosing where to put your kennel.

In a windy area, you need to make sure that the wind won’t blow straight into the front of the kennel, bringing rain or dust with it that would make life very unpleasant for your dog. Also, make sure that the kennel’s foundations are strong enough to anchor the structure firmly so that it doesn’t blow away.

In hot climates, the sun can present a very real danger to your dog if he can’t find shade. Put your kennel in a shady spot or at least where the sun can’t shine directly into the structure.

Safe Ground

Ideally, you want to put your kennel on the rising ground so that it won’t flood during wet weather. The location should also be flat for your dog’s comfort and the kennel’s stability.

Close to Home?

There are pros and cons to putting your dog’s kennel right next to your home.

If the kennel is too close, you’ll have to put up with barking, a doggy smell, and flies. However, you’ll also be closer for feeding and watering your pet. Access to plumbing and electrical connections is also more convenient if the kennel is closer.


Although overhanging trees might provide shade, they can also be a nuisance in that fallen leaves need cleaning up, and falling branches can present a safety hazard for your dog during storm season.

Are Outdoor Kennels Safe for Dogs?

Yes, well-built, secure outdoor kennels are safe for dogs provided that they are correctly located and used:

  • A poorly constructed, unstable pallet kennel and runs that aren’t securely built can be very dangerous for your pet.
  • You must also make sure that your dog has constant access to fresh, clean water.
  • You need to clean the kennel regularly to keep it hygienic. A dirty kennel attracts flies and vermin, which bring disease with them.
  • Be aware of the emotional needs of your dog. Some breeds, such as English Teddy Bear Goldendoodles, are highly social animals that suffer from separation anxiety if kept isolated from their human family for long periods. Watch out for destructive behavior such as barking, chewing, and digging, which can be signs of stress for your dog.
  • Don’t use an outdoor kennel in extreme weather. Your dog shouldn’t be left outside in severe heat or cold when temperatures are over 80° Fahrenheit or below 50° Fahrenheit.
  • Provide some shade for your dog. Some dogs can overheat very quickly, even on relatively mild days, if they can’t get out of the sun.
  • Ensure that part of the kennel or dog pen is covered so that your dog can take shelter from the rain if he needs to.
  • Make sure that the kennel is 100% escape-proof.
  • Don’t leave toys in the kennel. Dogs can easily choke on a torn toy or squeaker, and you won’t be around to avert disaster if the worst happens.

35 Outdoor Dog Kennel Ideas

Here are 35 excellent outdoor dog kennel setup ideas to inspire you and thrill your furry friend!

Pre-Built Kennel and Purchasable Dog Kennels

Let’s start with a range of kennels that are ready-made and good to go:

1.     Arf Pets 3 Door Soft Crate Kennel

Arf Pets 3 Door Soft Crate Kennel
Image credits: Arf Pets via Petco

The Arf Pets three-door Soft Crate Kennel is a portable, collapsible kennel that features a sturdy, lightweight steel frame and a mesh cover to provide excellent ventilation for your pet on warm days.

The kennel’s base is water-resistant, and the whole thing is machine-washable for convenient, hassle-free cleaning. The crate has three entrances and comes with a carrying strap for easy travel.

2.     Aspen Pet Traditional Kennel

Aspen Pet Traditional Kennel
Image credits: Aspen Pet via Amazon

Okay, so this is actually a travel kennel, but you can also use it as a portable outdoor shelter in a dog run.

The carrier has wire vents and a raised-up interior so your dog won’t overheat. Your dog gets to enjoy a panoramic 360-degree view and excellent airflow. The kennel is waterproof for quick and easy wipe-down cleaning.

3.     Petmate Two Door Top Load Dog Kennel

Dog laying inside Petmate Two Door Top Load Dog Kennel standing on mustard-colored carpet.
Image credits: Petmate via Chewy

Here’s another well-designed travel kennel that can double as a portable outdoor shelter that’s ideal if you and your dog are planning a road trip.

It features wire vents for excellent ventilation and robust plastic construction that’s easy to clean. This kennel also doubles as a cat carrier if you have a multi-pet household.

4.     2 In 1 Dog Kennel

Dog standing inside a 2 In 1 Dog Kennel sitting on green grass.
Image credits: PetSafe via RadioFence

This rust-resistant, galvanized steel kennel is simple to assemble and comes with step-by-step instructions and an owner’s manual.

The kennel has a gate that’s pre-assembled for convenience, and you can set the whole thing up in two different configurations to suit the size of your dog.

5.     Beige/Black Castle Run Metal Yard Kennel

Dog laying inside Castle Run Metal Yard Kennel standing on green grass.
Image credits: K9 Kennel via Wayfair

This kennel is designed with the needs of large dog breeds or multiple dogs in mind.

The kennel features partial flooring and anti-digging bars. There is a handy swivel bowl feeding system and a large personal access door. For super-easy cleaning and excellent hygiene, the kennel has a septic tank system, and you get a pooper scooper included.

Your pooch can enjoy a sheltered run under the cozy dog house, and the run has partial anti-digging bars to keep your furry friend secure.

6.     Advantek Pet Gazebo Dog Kennel

Advantek Pet Gazebo Dog Kennel
Image credits: Advantek via Chewy

This 360-degree, travel-friendly kennel has a secure spring-pin locking door and a handy drop-down window for treating or petting your dog.

The cage is simple to assemble without tools and is ideal for indoor and outdoor use. The frame is made from durable, double powder-coated steel so it won’t rust, and there’s a weather-resistant nylon polyester roof cover to provide shelter for your pet from the elements and airborne predators.

7.     LUCKUP Heavy Duty Dog Cage Strong Metal Kennel

LUCKUP Heavy Duty Dog Cage Strong Metal Kennel
Image credits: LUCKUP via Amazon

For medium to large dogs, this heavy-duty, corrosion-resistant steel dog cage is perfect for outdoor use as a portable kennel.

The double-locking door keeps escape artists securely safe inside the kennel, and the two-door access system makes it easy to interact with your pet. The crate has 360-degree locking casters so that you can move the whole thing around to find the perfect comfy spot for your dog.

For easy cleaning, the kennel features a slide-out plastic tray.

8.     Lucky Dog Uptown Welded Wire Dog Kennel

Lucky Dog Uptown Welded Wire Dog Kennel
Image credits: Lucky Dog via Chewy

Your dog can enjoy some outside time in safety and comfort in this welded, powder-coated, wire dog kennel.

The kennel is raised off the ground so that uneaten food and waste drop through, and the steel roof has a waterproof tarp cover featuring UV protection to keep your dog safe from the sun’s harmful rays and provide shelter on wet days.

There’s a locksafe gate to keep your pup from straying.

9.     New Plastic Dog Kennel

New Plastic Dog Kennel
Image credits: Etsy

This premium plastic kennel can be used indoors as well as outdoors and is super-simple and quick to clean, making it perfect for pets with allergies.

The kennel features ample air ventilation slats to ensure that your dog enjoys excellent ventilation and airflow on warm days.

To assemble the kennel in minutes, simply use the easy plug-in system.

10.     Cottageview Dog Kennel

Cottageview Dog Kennel
Image credits: RadioFence

The Cottageview Dog Kennel is a very stylish portable kennel that’s ideal for keeping your dog secure and safe while you’re not around.

The black powder coating finish is rust-resistant, extending the life of this well-made, robust kennel. The kennel has a specially designed SunBlock top feature to protect your dog from the sun’s damaging UV rays and offer valuable shade on hot days.

The whole thing can be assembled in less than one hour and comes with a one-year limited warranty.

11.     You & Me Classic Dog Kennel

Dog standing halfway in a You and Me Classic Dog Kennel and looking into the camera.
Image credits: You & Me via Petco

This plastic dog kennel is designed for use both home and away.

The kennel is made from sturdy, high-impact materials and includes a secure stainless steel latching door and 270-degree ventilation to keep your dog comfortable in warm weather.

The kennel is very easy to put together without the use of tools.

12.     JAXPETY Large Dog Uptown Welded Wire Kennel

Dog sitting in a JAXPETY Large Dog Uptown Welded Wire Kennel that stands on green grass.
Image credits: JAXPETY via Amazon

This large kennel is constructed from strong commercial-grade steel and has a smart black powder coating finish, so you know that the kennel won’t rust.

There’s a fitted, removable top canopy to protect your dog from UV injury and rain. The small gauge grid mesh is designed to keep predators out, and even the craftiest pet can’t open the specially designed security latch.

13.     Black Exercise Dog Pen

Black Exercise Dog Pen
Image credits: BestPet via Wayfair

This black exercise dog pen features an eight-panel design that allows for multiple configurations, making this metal mesh dog run perfect for use at home and away.

The heavy-duty wire is weatherproof and robust, and the pen comes in multiple heights to accommodate different sized dogs.

14.     Zampa Portable Foldable Pet Playpen

Zampa Portable Foldable Pet Playpen
Image credits: ZampaPets via Etsy

This soft, foldable portable kennel can also double as a playpen for your furry friend.

The playpen can be set up and taken down in just a few minutes and folds down to a compact size for storage when not in use. The kennel also has an attached floor to keep out dampness and drafts.

15.     Gray Basic Yard Kennel Tile Flooring

Dog inside a Gray Basic Yard Kennel with tile flooring.
Image credits: K9 Kennel via Wayfair

Most portable mesh dog kennels don’t have flooring, so this product is ideal. The snap-together, waterproof floor tiles are perfect for keeping your dog off cold concrete or dirt, providing a comfortable flat surface for your pet to lay on.

There’s virtually no gap between the tiles, so you don’t need to worry that the damp will seep through and chill your pet.

16.     Pets Imperial Extra Large Insulated Wooden Dog Kennel

Pets Imperial Extra Large Insulated Wooden Dog Kennel standing on a lawn.
Image credits: Pets Imperial via Amazon

This luxurious wooden dog kennel has a removable floor for easy cleaning, and the roof opens up to allow extra ventilation on hot days.

Insulated panels are designed to keep the kennel cool in summer and warm in winter, and the kennel sits on rot-free plastic-capped feet. You can adjust the kennel legs’ height so that the structure always sits level, even on uneven ground.

Do-it-yourself Dog Kennel

If you’re into DIY, here are a few homemade dog kennel ideas.

17.     DIY Dog Wooden Kennel

DIY Dog Wooden Kennel
Image credits: bitowski via Instructables

This dog kennel is built from wood and has a weatherproof plastic roof to provide your pet with shelter in less-than-perfect weather.

18.     Wooden Doghouse

Wooden Doghouse

This traditional design dog kennel is built from wood and is topped off with a tiled roof to keep the wind and rain out.

19.     Pallet Dog House

Pallet Dog House
Image credits: DIY Craftsy

This stylish, practical dog house is made from upcycled pallets. This dog house design is an excellent way to create a cheap, functional kennel that looks great too.

20.  DIY Outdoor Dog Kennel

German shepherd resting in its wooden kennel
Image credits: Depositphotos

This dog kennel is quite straightforward to put together if you have some experience in DIY and carpentry. Paint the dog house to match your home or decking for extra style!

21.     Winter Proofing Your Outdoor Dog Kennel

Winter-proofed outdoor dog kennel standing on snow-covered lawn.
Image credits: movemaine via Instructables

If you live in a region where the winters are harsh, you’ll need to know how to keep your pet comfortable when he’s enjoying some time outside in his kennel.

This guide shares some practical tips on how to winterize your outdoor dog kennel.

22.     DIY Outdoor Kennel YouTube Tutorial

This idea for an outdoor corral for your dog is simple to do and doesn’t require too much DIY experience.

23.     Arizona Dog Kennel

Arizona Dog Kennel standing outside a house.
Image credits: OK Corrals

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to build your own homemade Arizona Dog Kennel from scratch.

This kennel is designed for a multi-dog household and can accommodate larger-sized dogs.

24.     Dog House Kennel

Dog House Kennel standing on a gravel driveaway.

This large kennel is a very professional-looking job with an indoor area and chain link-style outdoor run. The roof of the kennel is fully waterproofed to keep your pet sheltered in all weathers.

25.    Wooden Double Kennel

Instagram post of the Wooden Double Kennel while under construction.
Image credits: patronnedesigns via Instagram

This stylish wooden double kennel design accommodates two dogs of medium size. The kennels have flooring and are also covered to offer protection from the rain and sun. Also, the front of the kennel is fitted with barred windows for extra ventilation.

26.    Houdini Dog Kennel

Three photos of the Houdini Dog Kennel, from under constructions to finished product sitting on a lawn.
Image credits: Turtske via Instructables

If you have a dog that’s also an escape artist, you need to check out this homemade Houdini dog kennel!

This plywood kennel features a no-escape design that will keep even the most determined pooch safely confined.

27.    Horizon Structures Commercial Kennels

Puppy lying outside two DIY dog kennels.
Image credits: makALEX via Depositphotos

These two dog kennels are designed to accommodate dogs of different sizes. Both kennels are built from reclaimed wood with simple metal roofs, simply held in place with breeze blocks.

28.    Horizon Structures Commercial Kennels

Horizon Structures Commercial Kennels standing on someone's property.
Image credits: Horizon Structures

Horizon Structures invites you to visit their factory premises with your dogs and try one of their top-quality kennels for size.

Before making the journey, why not visit the website and take a virtual tour of all the designs of outdoor kennels that the company manufactures?

29.    Shady Outdoor Kennel

Instagram post screenshot of the Shady Outdoor Kennel with two dogs inside.
Image credits: auntiebethspetservice via Instagram

This outdoor kennel offers plenty of space for your dog to stretch his legs or take a nap. The owner has arranged a simple canopy over the top of the kennel to keep the elements out and the pups cozy inside.

30.    Inescapable Dog Walk To Connecting Building

Two photos of the inescapable dog walk, connected to a building, with one dog inside on the right photo.
Image credits: katerlyn via Instructables

This cleverly designed dog walk provides a sheltered area where your dog can relax and play without any chance of him escaping.

The dog walk is made from five-foot metal fence panels, matching gates, and polycarbonate panels to create the roof.

31.    DIY Dog House With Deck

DIY Dog House With Deck sitting on a beautiful lawn.
Image credits: Jen Woodhouse

This stylish wooden dog house features a sloping roof, decking area, a food and water bowl holder, and there’s even a handy shelf where your pet’s favorite toys can be kept safe.

The kennel is so smart it looks more like a fancy man-cave or garden shed and even boasts a raised wood floor.

32.    Wooden And Wire Dog Run

This simple video tutorial shows you how to create a simple dog run using just some wood and wire fencing. You don’t need advanced DIY skills to do this job, just the help of a friend and a few basic tools.

33.    Outdoor Wire Mesh And Wood Dog Run

Instagram post of the finished Outdoor Wire Mesh And Wood Dog Run, built on someone's property.
Image credits: designsabh via Instagram

Just because a dog run is homemade, it doesn’t have to look untidy! This super-smart dog run really adds a touch of style to the outside of a house while keeping Fido contained.

34.    DIY Metal Outdoor Dog Kennel

Dog sitting in a green tub inside the DIY Metal Outdoor Dog Kennel on someone's property.
Image credits: True Value

If you want a basic, easy-to-construct outdoor dog run that you can move and take down if you need to, this could be just what you’re looking for.

Check out this guide to find out how to do it.

35.    K9 Dog Kennel

Six photos of the K9 Dog Kennel, from various angles and three photos of before it was stained.
Image credits: ToHate-59 via Instructables

Doctor Who fans will love this K9-shaped dog kennel!

If you’re into DIY and you want to make something eye-catching and practical, why not give this project a try and be the talk of the block with this super-cool retro kennel!

Make Your Dog Happy

Dogs love to spend time outside in the fresh air, and if you don’t want to leave your dog inside your home alone while you’re out at work, a well-constructed outdoor kennel could be the answer.

Make sure that the kennel is large enough for your dog to be able to stand, sit, turn around, and lay down, and protect the kennel from the elements so that your dog is safe and comfortable.

We hope you enjoyed this list of 35 of the best outdoor dog kennel ideas and took some inspiration from it. Please go ahead and share it!