Plastic Dog Houses vs Wooden Dog Houses: Which is Better?

Plastic Dog Houses vs Wooden Dog Houses: Which is Better?

A dog house or kennel provides a secure and comfy home for your beloved pet, giving them a designated place to eat, sleep and relax. This gives them somewhere in your home or garden that is exclusively theirs, which can bring them a sense of safety and belonging.

Dog houses come in a whole range of shapes, sizes and designs to suit any requirements you may have. Indoor houses or kennels are generally lightweight and washable, where they may simply be a larger version of a traditional soft dog bed.

Outdoor houses or kennels have different design features in order to keep your pet safe and warm in your garden. These are generally made from plastic or wood, where both present different benefits for pet owners.

Read on to find out more about which material is best, and how to choose an appropriate outdoor home for your dog.

Why Provide An Outdoor House

Some dogs prefer to live in the comfort and warmth of your home, whilst others are more suited to an outdoor environment. There are a number of reasons why you my give your dog the option of an outdoor home, such as:

Giving your dog their space – dogs can be territorial and restless if they feel like they don’t have a space to call their own in your home or garden, where an out-house or kennel ensures they always have a place to go to relax or sleep

Protecting your home and garden – giving your dog a designated place to go can limit their need to interact with or damage furniture, or disrupt other areas of your garden

Allowing for extra outdoor time – an active or energetic dog will relish the extra outdoor time that a kennel could provide, where they can make the most of your garden area on their own terms

Supporting training efforts – an outdoor home for your dog can help them to become toilet trained as well as providing a stress-free area that will help to minimise destructive behaviours

Features Of Outdoor Dog Houses

A dog house or kennel will vary greatly depending on the size and preferences of your dog, as well as your budget. But most houses consist of similar features, designed to make the structure safe and easy to clean. These include:

●     Insulation for warmth

●     Safety doors for extra security

●     Liftable roofs for easy cleaning

●     Awnings for shade

●     Built-in food and water vessels

●     Open entranceway for easy access

●     Washable floor pads

●     Storage for toys and games

Plastic Or Wood

When shopping for your new dog house, the main two options you will have to consider are whether you will opt for a plastic or a wooden structure. Both represent specific strengths and challenges, with various characteristics that will suit different kinds of dog.

Here’s an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of both:

Choosing Plastic

A plastic dog house or kennel will be available in a wider variety of colours and shapes than a wooden alternative. This makes a good option if you’re after a particularly bright or synthetic colour shade for your dog’s new home.

Plastic options are generally more budget friendly, where this material is cheaper to source and more readily available than wood alternatives. It is also a more lightweight option, which may reduce delivery costs.

A plastic interior is easy to clean and care for, where a smooth synthetic surface can easily be sterilised and decluttered. Plastic is resistant to damp and mould caused by wet weather, meaning your kennel will stay in top shape for longer.


Whilst plastic is waterproof and generally a good insulator in that it can trap heat, it will not act as an effective thermal conductor, meaning in cold weather it won’t keep your dog as warm as a real wood alternative.

Plastic is also not as durable as a wood kennel, where it won’t last as long before it begins to degrade, especially in persistent bad weather. This may be worsened by your dog chewing the plastic casing, where the emergence of holes or tears will impact the level of warmth and security that the kennel provides.

Choosing Wood

A wooden dog house or kennel is an excellent natural insulator, and will keep your dog warm and dry throughout the cooler months. When it is well built, a wood kennel will withstand a range of weather conditions, as a highly durable option for your dog.

Choosing a wooden dog house may be the perfect addition to your garden furniture, where a wood structure can match decking, benches and garden sheds that you’ve already purchased. Its natural look will also complement pre-existing planting and landscaping.


As a wooden shelter is a more durable and high quality structure, it will generally be more expensive than plastic alternatives. As a heavier structure, it could be difficult to manoeuvre, with potentially high delivery costs.

Wooden dog houses are more resistant to chewing and degradation from the weather, but as a natural material, it can be tough to clean. Cheaper wooden structures may also be vulnerable to rot. This can be overcome by fitting a synthetic base layer to the floor of the structure which can then be removed and washed.

Environmental Considerations

When making your choice, you may also wish to consider the environmental impact of your purchase. Plastic is manufactured using finite resources, but you can invest in a recycled or refurbished product.

Equally, with a wooden structure you may prefer to choose a supplier who can guarantee its materials are sustainably sourced. If you’re planning to stain or varnish your wood kennel, it is best to choose an environmentally friendly product to avoid impacting the biodiversity of the surrounding area.

Safety Precautions

Housing a dog outside does bring with it a number of risks that an indoor pet wouldn’t be exposed to. Threats from the weather, wild animals and pet thieves all make your dog vulnerable when it is being kept outdoors.

Having a secure and sturdy kennel or dog house helps to protect against these risks, where it is vital your dog house has proper thermal insulation for the winter as well as ventilation and shade to prevent sun exposure. Safety doors and additional security cameras can protect your pet from thieves and potentially harmful wildlife.

It is also important to consider your dog’s temperament when housing them outdoors. Certain breeds, as well as older or unwell dogs are not suited for external living. If your dog does prefer to sleep outside, then it is essential that this is balanced with proper socialisation and indoor time during the day. It is also recommended that your dog is not kept on a leash or rope when housed outside.

Dog breeds that generally adapt well to sleeping outside include Huskies, German Shepherds, Wolfhounds and Rottweilers. Types that are more suited to an indoor lifestyle generally include Bulldogs, Pugs, Greyhounds and Terriers. It is always recommended to consider your dog’s individual personality and temperament before housing them outside, no matter the breed.

High Quality Wooden Dog Sheds From Keighley Timber & Fencing Ltd

At Keighley Timber, we provide a broad range of sturdy timber dog kennels and runs to suit any pet. They are designed to last, using the best tanalised timber which is guaranteed to be rot resistant and durable for at least twenty years. We also offer a bespoke design service where we can build your kennel according to your unique specifications.

Keighley Timber also has a range of other wooden buildings available to buy, including garden sheds, workshops, summer houses and children’s playhouses. All of our products have the option of being made to order according to your requirements. We also offer a reliable shed delivery service with every purchase, where your new structure will be constructed and installed by our team of professionals.

We offer both ship and log cladding types, which are always finished to the highest standard. All our timber is delivered to us from reputable forest sources, where our cutting, sizing and construction processes are always completed by our expert team.

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