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Have you been thinking about getting an outdoor dog kennel for your large dog?
If you don’t have a fenced yard, an outdoor kennel can be a great way to keep your dog outside safely when you aren’t home. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes with materials of varying durability.
Outdoor dog kennels for big dogs can be pretty expensive, though, so you don’t want to just pick one up at random and hope for the best.
That’s why we’ve put together this list of the best outdoor kennels for large dogs. Additionally, we’ve included tips on how to choose the best outdoor kennel for you and your big breed without blowing your budget.
Best Outdoor Dog Kennels for a Large Dog
1. Advantek Pet Gazebo (Our Top Pick)
Easy to put together without any tools? Check. Covered, to help protect your dog from the elements? Check. Ability to combine more than one gazebo for a customizable configuration, without needing to buy anything extra? Check. Access panel to give your dog food or water without the risk of them escaping? Check.
The Advantek Pet Gazebo is our top pick because it has every feature you could ask for, and the largest size is 7.5 feet tall as well as across, making it plenty big enough to house your favorite large dogs together.
- Easy to put together and take apart with no tools
- Includes weather-resistant cover
- Customizable configurations with other Pet Gazebos
- Galvanized steel construction with polyester canopy cover
User Reviews: Dogs who are determined will find a way to get out of this thing. Also, the top may need to be replaced occasionally if left outside year-round. However, most people love this gazebo, and the large size comfortably fits two Great Danes and an adult human. People have set this up inside and outside and are happy with the results either way.
Bottom Line: If your dog is an escape artist or has bad separation anxiety, this probably isn’t the best outdoor kennel. However, if your pup is already crate trained and won’t try to escape, this might be the best outdoor dog kennel for a large dog on the market.
Looking for something a little simpler? This folding exercise pen is easy to set up and takedown. It also folds flat for easy transportation and storage. The 48” height is ideal for dogs who are under 30” tall. Included ground anchors mean the pen stays where you set it up.
- Included ground anchors
- Easy to set up and takedown with no tools
- Optional tops sold separately
- Includes secure double latch door
User Reviews: If you don’t get a tall enough pen, dogs can jump over it, and larger dogs can move the enclosure if they want to (especially indoors where it can’t be secured to the ground). Otherwise, this is an effective exercise pen, and the most common word found in the reviews is “easy.”
Bottom Line: This won’t contain a large or determined dog. However, for dogs who already understand boundaries, this is one of the best exercise pens you can buy. It’s very easy to set up, take down, and move as needed.
This rust-resistant galvanized steel is sturdier than many of the other exercise pens you’ll find on the market today. It comes with both short and long pins to help you secure it outside in any type of ground. You don’t need any tools to put it together.
- No tools required to put it together
- Folds flat
- Versatile – panels can be added or removed
User Reviews: A handful of people reported that this outdoor dog kennel was damaged during shipping. Otherwise, the most common word found in the reviews is “sturdy.” This one will probably be able to hold less-cooperative dogs better than some of the other kennels on our list.
Bottom Line: If you need something sturdy, this exercise pen is a great option, as long as it doesn’t arrive damaged from shipping.
This welded wire kennel by Lucky Dog is sturdier than many of the other outdoor dog kennels on our list. It includes a steel roof frame and a waterproof cover, which are great options for an outdoor kennel. The modular panels attach together easily.
- Includes steel roof frame and waterproof cover
- 5” raised legs make it easy to clean
- Easy to assemble with no tools
- High-quality welds and powder coating mean no sharp edges
User Reviews: Despite its sturdy appearance, determined dogs are still able to escape this model. If you have a dog that likes to climb or find other ways to escape, the Lucky Dog Welded Wire Kennel may not be right for your dog. However, most people love this kennel (and so do their dogs).
Bottom Line: This tall, skinny Lucky Dog kennel is a different shape than many of the other kennels on our list. That may or may not be just what you’re looking for.
This heavy-duty outdoor dog kennel offers great variety in the number of ways you can set it up. You aren’t forced to do either a circular or rectangular shape – you can even make an L-shape or add in dividers.
- Many ways to configure it
- Folds flat for easy transport
- Rust-proof and weather-resistant
- Includes anchor stakes for outdoor use
User Reviews: There are several complaints that the gate falls off pretty easily. Otherwise, most people are satisfied with how sturdy this kennel is and how easy it is to put together.
Bottom Line: If you need the flexibility to make an outdoor dog kennel any shape you need, this is probably your best bet.
If you’re looking for a simple, foldable exercise pen for your dog to use outdoors, this might be just the one you’re looking for. It gives your dog about 30 square feet of room to play in and comes in heights as tall as 40”.
- Constructed from sturdy rust-resistant coated metal for increased longevity and durability
- Rounded edges and rust-resistant coating keep your dog safe
- Collapses for easy storage and transport
- Add or remove panels to change the size or shape
User Reviews: There are a fair number of reviews complaining about this outdoor kennel arriving damaged or rusting. There are also a few reports of puppies getting their paws stuck. However, the majority of people love this kennel and talk about how easy it was to set up.
Bottom Line: This probably isn’t the best fence to contain small puppies, since they can get their paws stuck and injured. However, it otherwise seems like a good product.
This is one of the taller outdoor pet pens out there, coming in heights as tall as 48”. That makes it an excellent option for people with large dogs. It folds flat for easy storage and uses epoxy-coated wire for long-lasting safety.
- Variety of heights to choose from, as tall as 48”
- Comes with 4 anchors to secure pen to the ground outdoors
- Available in black and silver
- Includes secure double latch door
User Reviews: There are a few reported problems with the clips that attach the panels to each other breaking or getting lost. A handful of people called this kennel “flimsy.” However, most people love how versatile and collapsible this kennel is.
Bottom Line: As long as you don’t have a strong dog that will test the limits of this pen, it’s a good option at a reasonable price.
If you’re looking for more of a cage-style kennel, SMONTER has you covered with this heavy-duty dog crate on wheels.
- Heavy-duty steel frame with upgrade anti-escape lock
- 3 doors for easy access to pets
- Easy to assemble
- Rust- and corrosion-resistant
User Reviews: The most determined dogs are still able to escape this kennel. However, it is strong enough to contain most dogs. One reviewer even called it “Alcatraz.”
Bottom Line: If you have a dog who has escaped every other kennel you’ve tried, this may be the answer you’re looking for.
Things to Consider Before Buying an Outdoor Kennel
There are many things you should consider when buying an outside pet kennel. Without proper planning, you could waste a lot of money on something that doesn’t fit your needs, is uncomfortable for your dog, or just doesn’t hold up to the wear and tear you plan on putting it through.
Here are some of the most important things to consider before buying dog kennels.
Kennel Material, Weight, and Strength
Anything that’s going to spend most of its time outdoors needs to be exceptionally durable. What is the kennel made of? How long will it last? Is it heavy enough not to get blown away during a storm? Is it strong enough to withstand your dog’s best escape attempts?
You might be able to save money in the short-term by getting an outdoor dog kennel made of cheaper materials. However, it won’t matter how much money you save if your dog breaks out of the kennel, or it blows down the street during a storm.
Professionals recommend that at least part of the outdoor pet kennel is covered. That helps to provide your dog shelter from both the sun and rain or snow.
However, a cover made from cheap materials may not last long. Don’t invest in a kennel whose top may fall apart within a few weeks or months.
Is the top of the kennel enclosed? Keep in mind that your dog may be able to jump or climb much higher than you expect.
Even if you have little dogs, enclosed tops help protect them from coyotes and other animals. That’s why it’s usually worth the money to invest in a covered, enclosed kennel top.
If you live in a humid area, you may need to worry about your kennel rusting. This is especially true if you live on the coast and always have salty sea air beating everything up.
Spend a little more money now on a large dog kennel that will resist nearly everything Mother Nature throws at it. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself frequently replacing it.
Food and Water Attachments
Your dog should always have access to clean water, and you might choose to feed your dog in their outdoor kennel, too. While you may be able to just toss in bowls, it may be less of a hassle to get a dog kennel that has built-in attachments for food and water.
Number of Doors
How many doors does a kennel have? How many should it have? You may only need one door. However, multiple doors can be handy, especially if they’re designed in a way that allows you to get your dog in and out of the kennel without escaping.
Size and Shape (Kennel Run, Boxed Kennel, Dog Cage)
How big of an outdoor kennel do you need? There are varying types, sizes, and shapes available with a variety of functions.
- Kennel runs are the largest. They’re usually long and narrow and are often big enough for dogs to run back and forth in.
- Boxed kennels are smaller than kennel runs, but they’re still bigger than the average dog crate. Your dog should have plenty of room to move around.
- Dog cages are the smallest and are meant to contain your dog without taking up too much space. Some cages may be used indoors as well as outdoors.
What type of locking mechanism does the kennel have? Many intelligent dog breeds are smart enough to escape nearly any enclosure. Other dogs can simply muscle their way past weak locks.
Research the locking mechanism before buying an outdoor dog kennel that your dog could escape from while they’re unsupervised.
Many dog breeds LOVE to dig. An outdoor dog kennel won’t do your pup much good if they’re able to dig out from underneath it. Look for kennels that have built-in “digging bars” to help keep your dog contained.
How portable does it need to be? Some people plan on setting up an outdoor dog kennel, then not moving it again. Others want the flexibility to move the enclosure anytime they see fit.
Decide where and how you plan to use the kennel before you choose whether you need one with wheels or not.
Outdoor Kennel Safety
Kennels are generally a great way to protect your dog and keep them safe when you aren’t around to watch them. However, kennels can become dangerous if you aren’t careful. Here are some important safety tips.
Make Sure Your Dog Always Has Water
Dogs have a higher body temperature than humans, so it’s easier for them to overheat. That’s one reason it’s crucial to ensure that your pup has access to clean water all day long.
Don’t Use Outdoor Kennels in Extreme Weather
An outdoor kennel can become dangerous for your dog if they’re locked in it during extreme weather. Bring your dog inside if your area is expecting thunderstorms, a blizzard, or other weather hazards.
Since it’s so easy for dogs to overheat, it’s crucial that they have a shady spot to lie down in during the day. If you don’t have a shady area already available where you can put the outside dog kennel, then be sure you get one that is enclosed and comes with a cover over at least part of the top.
See if Your Dog Can Escape
Many dogs are excellent escape artists. You want to find out whether your dog can escape the kennel before you leave them alone.
When you first get your outdoor dog kennel set up, find a spot where you can watch your dog inside the kennel without them seeing you. Watch them look for weak spots.
If your dog does escape, you may need a different option. Or, you may simply need to get creative with the one you already purchased.
Remove Potential Hazards
Is there anything near where the kennel is set up that might increase your dog’s desire to escape?
For example, a favorite toy that’s left within sight but outside of the enclosure could cause your dog to try to escape until they either succeed or hurt themselves trying.
Outdoor Dog Kennels FAQs
Do you still have questions about finding the best outdoor dog kennels? Here are answers to some of the most common questions about outdoor kennels for large dogs.
What Are Outdoor Kennels Used For?
Dogs love being outside, but it isn’t safe to leave them out if you don’t have a fence or another way to contain your dog. An outdoor kennel is an excellent way for your dog to safely spend time outside without you needing to worry about their safety.
Ideally, your dog shouldn’t spend more than a few hours at a time in an outdoor kennel. Most dogs prefer to spend as much time inside with their people as possible, so it isn’t fair to force them to live outside all the time.
Why Should I Get a Kennel for My Dog?
There are many good reasons to get an outdoor kennel for your dog. Primarily, though, you should get your dog a kennel if you want them to be able to spend time outside unsupervised safely.
Can My Dog Live Outside?
Most dogs prefer to live inside with their people. However, there are some dogs that can be happy living outside under the right circumstances.
This is especially true for northern dog breeds who are happiest in cold temperatures and become hot and uncomfortable inside a home that’s always 70 degrees.
If you plan on keeping your dog outside most or all of the time, there are a few other things you need besides just an outside dog kennel:
- Shelter (a doghouse is ideal)
- Constant access to water
- An area to live that is cleaned often – don’t force your dog to live in their own filth
What’s the Difference Between an Outdoor Dog Kennel and a Doghouse?
If you’re new to the idea of keeping a dog outside, you might be wondering about the difference between an outdoor dog kennel and a doghouse.
Outdoor dog kennels contain your canine but don’t provide much (if any) shelter from the elements. A doghouse can be used inside a dog kennel (if it’s big enough) to provide your pet with protection from sun, rain, wind, snow, and other elements.
A doghouse by itself usually isn’t enough to contain your dog within your yard. Most doghouses are enclosed on at least three sides, but the dog isn’t “locked” inside.
Many people choose to use a doghouse inside a dog kennel. One is not a replacement for the other.
What Is the Best Type of Flooring for Outdoor Dog Kennels?
Most dog kennels don’t come with flooring included, so you’ll have to decide what type of flooring you want for your pup. Do you intend to keep the kennel on a patch of grass or a slab of concrete? Maybe you don’t need any other flooring.
Or, you may choose to add rubber or PVC flooring to the bottom of your dog’s outdoor kennel. These things can make the kennel more comfortable or easy to clean.
It’s essential to consider your dog’s needs. Do you have an elderly dog who will benefit from an elevated dog bed to keep them comfortable? Or do you have a puppy who is likely to pee and poop a lot, and you need flooring that’s easy to clean?
Wrapping Up: Choosing the Best Outdoor Dog Kennel
We’ve covered a lot of information here. Hopefully, we’ve given you everything you need about the best large outdoor kennels for your canine. Feel free to ask us any questions.
What do you think? Did we miss any of the good reasons you keep your dog in an outdoor kennel?
Let us know in the comments below!