Best Dog Kennel Reviews & Complete Buying Guide

Best Dog Kennel Reviews

Are you looking for the best dog kennel? It’s not that hard to find one online but you probably know the quality ranges from the excellent to the barely adequate. If you’re going to use the kennel for an extended period or on a regular basis, you’ll want to make sure it’s as comfortable and well-designed as possible.
If you’re not sure which one to buy, then you’re in the right place. I’ve compiled a list of the top dog kennels. And if you’re completely new to kennels and crates, you may want to start with the guide below.

Difference between Dog Kennel and Dog Crate

When you shop for the best dog kennel, you’ll realise that the words kennel and crate are interchangeably used. But there are differences between the two. Basically, a kennel refers to the bigger variants used outdoors for yard area confinement or when designing a run. They are called kennel runs in shelters.
Crate refers to the small container, plastic or wire, which is used for house training or just a place where a dog can sleep. Essentially what it comes down to is a crate is portable and the one used in homes.
However, these differences are really just splitting hairs. If you’re going to buy one of these for your dog, the terms kennel and crate will be used to refer to the same product. Rather than worry about whether you’re using the right words or not, better focus on the essential features.

Why You Need a Dog Kennel

There are many products claiming to have the best dog kennel, but there are still some who don’t want to use one because it seems cruel. However, that is not true at all.

  • Properly used, a kernel provides your dog with a place to relax, a private area he can rest in. It’s not some kind of prison but rather a place where no one can bother him.
  • Once your dog learns to associate the place with sleep, he won’t pee there anymore, an important step in teaching bladder control.
  • A kennel also provides you with a sense of security. If you’re going somewhere for a while, you can put him in the kennel to avoid any trouble.
  • A kennel will also teach your puppy to relax. If your puppy or dog is too hyperactive and making mischief, put him in the kennel with some dog food and he should quiet down.
  • A kennel can be a comfortable place for your pup. Just make sure it’s large enough for him to stretch so he doesn’t have to feel confined. As long as he can stand up, stretch and turn around comfortably, that is enough.

Short Review Of Each Best Dog Kennel

Here is the short review of all the best dog kennel that we selected for you.

Lucky Dog Uptown Welded Wire Kennel

Lucky Dog Uptown Welded Wire Kennel

The Lucky Dog Kennel is quick to set up and well-designed for use outdoors. No tools are needed to assemble the cage, and its welded parts have coating protection for protection. It comes with a waterproof cover so he is shielded from debris, snow, rain and sun. As you would expect from the best dog kennel, the structure also has UV protection for pet protection. The gate is also easy to lock but is secure.


  • Quick setup.
  • Made from heavy duty steel.
  • Cover is waterproof.
  • Low maintenance.


  • Door is a bit narrow.
  • Fasteners could be better.

Summary of Customer Reviews

Many reviewers say it is one of the best kennel for dogs due to its quality. One customer said it’s ideal for his dogs and cats as well. Another reviewer gave it highest rating even though he had some doubts about its durability. However, he was convinced by the positive reviews and says the cover is durable. He also says it took less than an hour to assemble the unit.
Another customer saying it is ideal for her pet. While designed for outdoor use, the kennel can also be used indoors just like what one customer did. Another reviewer said the quality is exceptional and is the right size for his dog. What a lot of dog owners like about it is how easily it can be to assemble the structure compared to others.
One of the things you’ll notice with the Lucky Dog is how versatile it is. Some use it for cats while others for birds. Of course, not all the reviews have been favorable, but overall the impression you get is customers like it.

Advantek Pet Gazebo Modular Outdoor Dog Kennel

Advantek Pet Gazebo Modular Outdoor Dog Kennel

Advantek makes some of the best dog kennel and this is as good an example as any. its low profile design provides optimum protection for your dog even against the elements. A quick look at its design shows how secure its latch is. Its cover is reversible and built out of heavy duty polymer so it’s more durable than other kennels. It also has a capacity of over 100 pounds, suitable for large dogs.


  • Generous capacity.
  • No tool assembly.
  • Secure lock.
  • Weather resistant.


  • Door gap is wider than on other kennels.
  • A little heavy.

Summary of Customer Reviews

Man people who bought the Advantek consider it as one of the best kennel for dogs around. One of those who purchased the kennel says it is more than sufficient for his three dogs. He also says the kennel is easy to assemble and that it is secure. One reviewer simply said it’s a great product and that he would recommend it.
One of those who bought the Advantek says it “doesn’t get any better than this”. He also said the kennel is large enough for his 120-pound dog and is comparable to more expensive kennels. There are also those who were sceptical at first but became believers after setting it up.
There are also many reviews from customers who say they’re very satisfied with the design and construction. This is also the view shared by a lot of the other buyers who say it is safe and secure.
A few of the reviews are critical of some of the features, but as has been shown here, the vast majority are happy with the kennel and how it serves their purposes.

SmithBuilt Heavy Duty Dog Cage Crate Kennel

SmithBuilt Heavy Duty Dog Cage Crate Kennel

The SmithBuilt Kennel comes with top and side doors for easy access. One of the more common problems with kennels is how hard it can be to get a dog in or out of it. With the SmithBuilt, it is easier than ever. It is also available in various sizes so you can find one that is right for your dog. Its steel tray and floor grates are resistant to rust and corrosion so this is for long term use.


  • Available in different sizes.
  • Well-made casters.
  • Easy access doors.
  • Can be used outdoors and indoors.


  • Not strong enough for very aggressive dogs.
  • Instructions are sparse.

Summary of Customer Reviews

The reviews for the SmithBuilt mostly agree this is one of the best kennel for dogs. One of those who bought the kennel says his pet Boxer was able to break every kennel except this one. Another customer awarded the SmithBuilt 5 stars because it is heavy duty. She said her 90-pound dog had smashed three kennels, but that this one is holding up well. Another satisfied dog owner said the kennel took only 10 minutes to assemble.
One person was very satisfied with the kennel he bought two more. This is the exact sentiment shared by another customer who said the kennel is well-made and lasts longer than other cages. One buyer said he wasn’t sure if the SmithBuilt was going to work, but he says he’s happy with the results.
Some of the reviews have not been that positive, but when everything is taken into consideration you’ll see that majority are happy with it. As one customer said, he is more than happy to recommend it for those who need a quality kennel.

PetSafe Cottageview Boxed Kennel

PetSafe Cottageview Boxed Kennel

The Cottageview is made from durable materials, and its black powder finish is resistant to rust and corrosion. The best kennel for dogs are easy to set up and this is no exception as the instructions are clear. Even one person can put the thing together in an hour or less. You can configure the gate so it opens right or left for your convenience. The cage also comes in various sizes so your dog doesn’t have to feel cramped while in it.


  • Resistant to corrosion.
  • Expandable.
  • Simple setup.
  • Easy to follow instructions.


  • Latch design could have been better.
  • Accessory panels sold separately.

Summary of Customer Reviews

Most of the reviewers agree the Cottageview is one of the best outdoor dog kennels today. One of the many positive reviewers says the kennel is well constructed and it’s for indoor and outdoor use. One very happy dog owner said it’s the best thing he’s purchased for his dog. This is also what another reviewer said.
One of the features that reviewers really like is you can expand the panels. One customer said the kennel works great as is, but being expandable makes it better. One customer love this because it is easy to assemble compared to the others. Most of the buyers also said it comes in well packaged.
A lot of buyers and customers and it is appropriate for small and larger dogs. Other reviewers also agree to this. The consensus among those who purchased the Cottageview is satisfied with it. There are a few who aren’t completely happy with it. But when you look at all the reviews, most of them are satisfied with how it works.

MidWest Life Stages Folding Metal Dog Crate Kennel

MidWest Life Stages Folding Metal Dog Crate

The MidWest Life Stages comes with a solidly made metal door so your dog won’t be able to tear it up easily. The structure is sturdy and durable, which makes it durable and good for long lasting. The crate is foldable so it’s easier to carry when you’re travelling, so for transport and storage, the MidWest Crate is ideal. It also has rubber feet to shield the floor and the warranty is good for one year.


  • Durable construction.
  • Can be folded.
  • Locks securely.
  • Easy to carry.


  • More suitable for small and medium dogs.
  • Wire ends could use more sanding.

Summary of Customer Reviews

The reviews for the MidWest Crate are generally favourable, with many calling it one of the best outdoor dog kennels. A reviewer said it is larger than he thought it would be, but that it is more than sufficient for his German Shepherd. Another reviewer says the kennel takes only a few minutes to set up and the divider is really useful.
One of the reviewers also echoed the statement of other reviewers that it’s easy to setup. The customer, who gave the kennel 5 stars, says it’s appropriate for pet owners who want a kennel they can use as their puppy gets older. Another reviewer said it’s the “right size” for his pet and that the quality is very good.
One of the people who bought the kennel says it is “great” and he’s happy the unit is assembled. The MidWest has also gotten good feedback for it being easy to clean up compared to others. As is the case with other kennels and crates, not all the reviews speak highly of it. But when everything is taken into consideration, the MidWest delivers.

What to Look for in a Dog Kennel

When you search for the best dog kennel you’re going to come across three types, wire, plastic and travel dog crates.

Plastic: These are constructed from the poly blend with metal doors, solid bottoms and side panels with ventilation. These are great for giving your pet privacy.

Wire: Wire kennels provide ventilation, are portable and good security.

Capacity: Get your dog’s height and length and use those as guidelines to determine what the proper size is. If the kennel has a divider panel that is even better as it allows you to use the kennel even as your puppy gets older.

Safety: The kennel must be secure:, as that’s the primary reason why you’re buying it in the first place. Make sure that it is built with durability in mind.

Known Brands: This is not exactly a feature but is still important. Make sure you buy from a reputable company, one that knows how to make kennels.

Certification: Some kennels have certification from some organisation or authority, but this is not necessary. Having a certificate is nice, but even if a kennel does not have one, it does not mean they’re of poor quality.

Feedback: What type of feedback is the kennel getting? Do dog owners like it? Are dogs comfortable with it?

Design: Some dog kennels and crates have lots of features that you don’t end up using. Others have useful extras built in: do your research and buy the one that suits your dog.

Warranty: If the product has any defects, make sure you can return it and get a refund.

Think of Long Term: Buy a divider (if it not built in) so as your puppy grows, you can remove it and still be able to use the kennel.

More Things You May Also Need

Advantek The Pet Gazebo Ground Stakes

Advantek The Pet Gazebo Ground Stakes

Even the best gazebo needs support to ensure it remains to stand, and that’s what the Advantek round Stakes are for. These are heavy duty steel and designed for use with the Pavilion and Original Pet Gazebo.
The package includes several ground stakes, 4 cable shackles and anchor cables. These stakes are all built for long term use, and you can use these to permanently set down a pet kennel or gazebo.

Comfy Cushion Sleeper Mat

Comfy Cushion Sleeper Mat

The Comfy Cushion Sleeper Mat provides your dog with the comfort they need. The mat is soft and warm so he’ll be comfortable in the kennel. This bed is compatible not only for kennels but also crates, vehicles and carriers.
The mat does not have any raised components so your dog can rest easy. Since the bed is machine washable it isn’t a hassle to maintain, and it’s eco-friendly as well.

Lucky Dog Dog Kennel Weather Guard Shade Wind Screen

Dog Kennel Shade Wind Screen

Your dog needs protection from the wind and the heat, and that is what the Kennel Shade is for. You can install this easily via the elastic cords which connect to the chain link or kennel frame.
The Weather Guard eliminates up to 90% of the heat. The Weather Guard also protects your pet from light rain and the wind. It also provides optimum air flow for comfort.

Kennel Deck

Kennel Deck

This is a well-designed deck which will keep your dog dry and happy. With this, your dog receives much-needed warmth when the weather turns cold. A closer look at the surface reveals that it has a herringbone texture so the surface won’t skid.
The material is made from polypropylene so it is weather resistant. It is also large so your dog will have plenty of space. Thanks to its specially designed plastic resins, drainage is easy.

Custom Catch Personalized Dog Kennel Mat

Personalized Dog Kennel MatOne way to make a kennel more inviting is to place a mat in it. The Personalized Dog Kennel Mat can be designed so it has your dog’s name, and it is available in six text styles and seven colours so you can customise its appearance.
The mat is machine washable for easy cleaning. While it is designed mainly for use in kennels, you can also use this on carriers, crates and window sills. It is also durable and can be used extensively.

Ways to Clean Your Dog Kennel

Even the best outdoor dog kennel needs regular cleaning so he’ll enjoy spending time there. The following instructions apply regardless of the kennel’s size or design.

  1. Take your dog out of the kennel. Remove his toys, bedding, food bowl, drink bowl. Wash the bowls and disinfect them as per label directions. Rinse and try the bowls and toys. Wash his blankets and bedding in the washing machine. Disinfect his toys as well.
  2. Remove hair, faeces and other wastes in the kennel. Rinse the floor and the rest of the kennel with hot water.
  3. Apply disinfectant, making sure you follow the given directions. Be careful when applying bleach as it might damage the finish.
  4. Rinse the kennel thoroughly with water. Double check and make sure there is no residue left.
  5. For large kennels, you may need to scrub the floor and the sides with a stiff bristle brush. If it is really dirty, scrub the door, the sides, nooks and crannies.
  6. Once you have cleaned the kennel, wash and let it dry.

A few more maintenance suggestions

  • Clean and wash the bedding as soon as possible if there’s been an accident.
  • If the bedding has a persistent odour, use baking soda while washing it.
  • Wash the crate outside or in a well-ventilated area, as it can be messy.
  • Dogs have no problem with most cleaning solutions as long as they are properly rinsed. However, don’t use ammonia because dogs smell them like urine and might make them want to pee.
  • Do not wash the kennel until you have removed all the waste.
  • If your dog sheds heavily, you may need to vacuum the kennel and remove the hair.

Benefits of Dog Kennels

There are still a lot of people who don’t like to use kennels because it seems cruel. However, a dog kennel offers a lot of benefits.

  • Potty training: Having the best dog kennel makes it easy to potty train a puppy. By placing him in the kennel, he will quickly learn where it is appropriate to pee and defecate.
  • Place of rest: A kennel provides your dog with a place to rest and relax. By making the kennel more inviting – bedding, toys, food, water -, he will learn to love instead of fear it. Allow him to go there anytime he wants so he won’t look at it like a prison.
  • Protection: You can use a kennel to protect him from more aggressive dogs. You can also use the kennel as a resting area if he is injured or sick.
  • Security: You may put your dog in the kennel if there are visitors in your home.
  • Travel: Do you like to travel with your pet? Then you can use the kennel to safely bring your dog.
  • Teach proper behaviour: A kennel serves as the ideal means to train a dog.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How large should my dog kennel be?
Answer: The kennel needs to be large enough for him to stand comfortably and make a turn. He must also be able to stand without crouching.

2. Do kennels need assembly?
Answer: Yes, but usually it is straightforward and easy, especially those made of plastic.

3. Why should I lock my dog in a crate?
Answer: A crate isn’t really a cage as it is more like a den. You can make it more comfortable for your dog by providing him with bedding and food.

4. Should I buy steel wire or plastic kennels?
Answer: Plastic crates are portable, lightweight and ideal for travel. Steel wire is more durable.

5. Does a kennel really make housebreaking easier?
Answer: Yes, because puppies want to keep the place where they eat and sleep clean. You can use that to potty train him.

My Recommendations

I recommend the Lucky Dog Uptown Welded Wire Kennel. It is spacious, setting up is easy and its construction is one of the most solid I’ve come across. The inclusion of a waterproof cover is a nice addition and makes the kennel safe for your dog.  Lucy Dog has made several types of kennels and crates, and this a good one.
I would also suggest the Advantek Pet Gazebo Dog Kennel. I have seen and tried a lot of outdoor kennels, but this is right up there at the top. It is also one of the most beautifully designed as well. Its 100-pound capacity is also top notch.

Final Words

There has – and still is – a lot of misconceptions about dog kennels. To some, they’re nothing more than a cage where dogs are placed. This is not a fair assessment and as we have shown here, it’s actually very useful when it comes to training and caring for your dog.
By giving him the best dog kennel, he’s going to benefit the most in terms of training and proper behaviour. It can be confounding especially if you’re a first-time buyer, so I hope the information presented here was able to guide you through all the options.


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