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The Top Dog House Types For Each Climate

What is the best dog house for each climate type? When you’re trying to decide which dog house to buy, the choices can be a little daunting.  And big-box stores may or may not want to guide you in a particular purchasing direction. So, how do you determine which dog house is best?

See which dog house is the best for your climate!

Well, first you need to have a dog house. If you don’t have one, you can start by building a basic dog house and then adjusting or renovating it to suit the climate. And you need to know the basics of doggy homes. Remember, if it rains a lot where you live, it will need to be waterproofed in one way or another. If you don’t have a doggy home, take a look at this video about how you can build your own for cheap.

Check out the video about building your own nearly free dog house by Farmer Jer of Dog House Times.

You can see the plans here.

Dog House Considerations

There’s a number of things to consider when looking at a dog house for your dog.  I’ve reviewed a bunch of the readily available dog houses and can tell you, most of them are pretty crappy.

There are those who would tell you that a plastic dog house is a great idea because it will last for centuries.  The truth is that most dogs, that is most dog breeds do not live past 25 years. Many breeds of dogs only live 10-15 years.  So, why have a crate that will outlive not only your dog but you as well? And we know how harmful plastic is to the environment.  

With that in mind, I’m not going to throw a bunch of affiliate links for plastic dog houses at you.  Not without some serious consideration into its feasibility. I have no interest in duping you, the clever reader, into buying something that I wouldn’t buy myself. And without further ado, let’s dive into the subject of which dog houses are best and for which climate they are best for.


Since many areas have multiple climates, sometimes a dog house must be suited for multiple conditions.  One of the benefits of where I live, is that we have tropically hot, beautiful summers, but we also have frigid-cold, freezing winters.  And we get a lot of rain, snow, ice storms, and wind. Our buildings have to be able to withstand near arctic-like freezing winters and blistering hot summers and everything in between.  

I’ve reviewed some of the basic climatic regions and here is a basic summary of how it’s broken down for temperature regions and zones.

Climate Zones

Climate Type – Arctic/Polar

A scene typical of the arctic climate type.
An Arctic Fox hanging out on the snow in the arctic/polar climate type.
  • 0 and below (Celsius)
  • 32 and below (Fahrenheit)
  • Precipitation – Snow, Ice, Freezing Rain
  • Hazards – Freezing, Frostbite, Death (for the wrong breed for the climate)

A good old Canadian winter.  Or Russian. Or anywhere that gets snow and bitter cold for any length of time.  This would include, of course, multiple countries across the globe, no disrespect if I haven’t mentioned yours specifically.

The point is that a nasty cold winter counts as an Arctic or Polar zone when we are talking about our pooches.  And if you have a dog breed that can handle such a climate, having an insulated dog house or better yet a heated one, is a nice gesture towards keeping your dogs healthy, and maybe even alive.  

Where I live, due to the extreme winter weather, most of us keep the dog indoors in the wintertime.  There are breeds that are well suited to the cold though, such as Huskies. These breeds have no problem tolerating a bit of zero degree weather and even take temperatures well below that for periods of time.


The dog house for these conditions needs to be waterproof and well insulated.  I also recommend having a heater to maintain a nice temperature inside.

Dog House Door

The door is a good addition when it comes to a dog house for a cold climate or season.  Take a look at my article on dog house doors for more information on types, but my favorite at the moment is a double strip curtain.  Even better if you line the inside with strips of cotton. Some dogs may need a bit of coaxing with a treat to learn to push their way through, but once they figure it out and do it a few times, it will be no problem.

Climate Type – Temperate – Cool

A typical temperate climate type picture.
A person walks their dog in a North American forest on a cool day.
  • 0-10 degrees Celsius
  • 32-50 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Precipitation – Rain
  • Hazards – Mold, Damp Conditions

Nearly all dog breeds will survive in a temperate cool environment.  Some species, such as hairless breeds, or breeds that come from tropical to extreme heat regions may suffer in this zone if they are kept in the lower end of the temperature range for extended periods.  Dogs that do not get a winter coat may feel some discomfort in this temperature zone.  

There are a few creatures that tend to live in this sort of climate that you need to try to keep your dog away from. One in particular that comes to mind is our stinky friend, the skunk. They may look sweet, but they spray a horrid smelling scent that will stick to your dog for months. They can also carry rabies, so best to make sure you do a bit of prevention like keep your garbage locked up and don’t leave extra dog food out at night unless your dog is attending it. And if you have a small dog, don’t leave it unattended.

Dog House Recommendations

A dog house should be made to retain heat and fight against molds and moisture build-up by having ventilation or even a dehumidifier (on a luxury model).  Rain is often an issue in this zone, so the roof should be suited according to the typical conditions where you live.

Insulation should be present but does not need to be much.  Depending on what the dog house is made of, the construction itself may provide enough insulation for this temperature region.

Climate Type – Temperate – Warm

Summer day and a beautiful sunrise in the distance as a young girl walks with her dog.
A girl walks with her dog.
  • 10-25 degrees Celsius
  • 50-77 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Precipitation – Rain, Thunderstorms
  • Hazards – Mold, Damp Conditions

The ideal temperature for most dog breeds is a temperature in the temperate/warm range.  This range is cool to room temperature. As most dog breeds have fur, this is actually the ideal range for most breeds.  

Dog House Recommendations

A dog house suited for this climate temperate range will be more focused on fending off elements such as wind and rain.  Insulation is not required in this temperature range. Open concept dog houses with removable panels are a cool idea for warmer days.

Climate Type – Tropical

A picturesque view of a hut in the tropical climate type with a dog watching onward.
A tropical hut with a dog watching on.
  • 25-40 degrees Celsius
  • 77-104 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Precipitation – Rain, Thunderstorms
  • Hazards – Mold, Damp Conditions, Humid/Hot Conditions

Most dogs will do just fine in these temperatures, except those who have thick coats suited to cold conditions.  You have to keep an eye on dogs like that in these warm regions and make sure they get enough water and shade to stay cool.  

Dogs with thin coats will love these temperatures but again, keeping them hydrated is very important.  Also giving your dog a place to rest in the shade, like a dog house. That’s another reason why a dog house is an excellent care strategy.

A dog stands panting in the heat.
Don’t forget to keep your dog hydrated!

Dog House Recommendations

Dog houses for this temperature region do not need to have much if any insulation.  The key is air circulation, shade, and protection from the sun, wind, and rain. You can use the sun to your advantage here by setting up a fan powered by solar.

Climate Type – Extreme Heat

A hot and dusty desert scene.
The hot and dusty scene of extreme desert climate type.
  • 41+ degrees Celsius
  • 105+ degrees Fahrenheit
  • Precipitation – If you’re lucky.
  • Hazards – Extreme heat brings extreme weather, heat stress, dehydration, heatstroke, and possible death depending on how hot it gets.

These sorts of temperatures make people feel uncomfortably hot.  And at around 50 degrees Celsius, people tend to start dying off, so let’s not go there.  Assuming you are dealing with the low to mid-40s (Celsius), then you definitely want to do your best to keep things cool. 

Dog House Recommendations

Shade, breeze and cool is the goal of any kind of shelter in these kinds of temperatures.  You definitely do not want something that will soak up heat in the sun, that’s for sure. Insulation for keeping a dog house cool is just as important as insulation to keep a dog house warm in cold weather.  Having a white color is helpful as well if the sun beats down. This will absorb the least amount of light/heat from the sun compared to a dark-colored house. Open concept dog houses are great for these hot climates.  Just remember to keep lots of water in a shaded area where your dog can have a cool drink.

Pro Tip:  Add shade to the entire dog house by adding a sunshade over the entire roof of the dog house itself.  Think of a beach umbrella for your dog house. This will add an entirely new layer of protection from the blistering sun and help your dog house stay cool.  Adding a fan and even a solar panel to power the fan is a great idea too. Take a look at my article on dog house solar projects for more.

The Mystery That Is Humidity

Okay, so humidity really isn’t a mystery at all.  We know exactly what humidity is as well as what the effects are on how it makes you feel.  For example, a damp, cool room will ‘chill you to the bone’ compared to a room of the same temperature, but low humidity.  

High humidity areas make it difficult to sweat.  I found this to be an issue when I visited the eastern side of Central America, along the Caribbean coast.  The weather was very hot and very, very humid. You would sweat and it would just sit on your skin, the air already saturated with moisture and ready to burst.  That’s why each day there would be torrential rain that would cover the entire area in a blanket of water. The humidity was crazy. We’re talking 40-45 degrees Celsius with 80-100 percent humidity.  The local dogs would run and jump into the water to cool off, and we followed their wisdom here.  

Is Humidity Bad For You?

Humid conditions, or damp conditions as we like to refer to them when the temperature is on the cooler side, can be bad for us.  Everyone has heard the expression to catch a chill, which is easy to do when it is cool and humid. Viruses and bacteria seem to do well in these conditions, much to our discomfort.   And mold, well let’s just say mold loves damp, cool and humid air.

So, when you have a humid environment, you need good airflow to reduce the potential for mold.  Whether it’s cool, warm or hot, humid stagnant air spells mold and fungus. This is where having a properly insulated and vented dog house is essential to battle mother nature’s finest tiny micro-organisms. Make sure you choose the right building materials when you are looking at dealing with a humid climate.  

What Most Dogs Like Best

For the record, it is my belief that dogs fare best when in the same atmospheric conditions as people.  That being said, I am referring to the preference of the majority of people with regards to stable room temperature and humidity levels.  According to the Oxford dictionary, room temperature is about 20 degrees C or 68 degrees F. I have found, in my experience with dogs, that they too prefer this temperature.  And they seem to prefer it with a relative humidity of between 50 and 60 percent. I find in the winter, when the humidity here drops dramatically, both my dog and cat alike are more prone to skin irritations which cause itching.  There have often been times when I thought my pets had fleas but found that there was no evidence of this and that it was flaking, dry skin that was likely the culprit. I have not seen this as being an issue in the warmer and thus more humid months of the year.

Doggies Like Their Comfort

Given dogs’ preference for comfort, much akin to our own, it stands to reason that a dog would prefer a more comfortable accommodation.  And building a comfortable dog house is relatively simple, and relatively inexpensive compared to what you can pay for an uninsulated plastic dog house.  Check out the video and plans I made for making your own simple wooden dog house. It’s easier than you think to build. I actually had a lot of fun building the dog house for my dog, which is what the video is all about.  

If building one isn’t your thing, then you can either buy one of the fabricated ones or find someone to build it for you.  There are some fairly decent ones out there, but you’ll never get one with the quality of a good old fashioned carpenter unless you pay top dollar or do it yourself.  

With that in mind, I’ve gone through some of the dog houses for sale, and here are some of the choices that I might consider if I were buying one instead of building it myself.

Budget Dog Shelters

These are your very basic forms of dog houses.  No bells and whistles here. And they are budget-friendly, which is a bonus if you’re on a tight budget. Often times, the best dog houses come out of this group. Why? Because they were home made. I’d pick the wood plank dog house I built for my dog Kiki any day over a cheap plastic dog house from the big box store. I’m proud of the build. Just remember, if you’re going to build your own, pick the right kind of wood, especially if your dog is a chewer.

Medium Cost

These dog houses are those which aren’t budget, but they aren’t a Taj Mahal either.  I like to think of these as being your standard, run of the mill, ‘hotel quality’ sort of dog houses.  They won’t break the bank and won’t keep you up at night because the dog would rather sleep in your bed.

Quality Houses

The quality dog house is that which comes with a few features, and often the price reflects it.  This is your ‘hotel with a view and possibly a pool’ kind of quality. They are typical of better quality construction than a standard sort of doggy home, and usually cannot be purchased at most big box stores.

Luxury Houses

These dog houses are those which are usually custom-built.  Often one-of-a-kind pieces, these are the fine works of art you will see on my Pinterest account in the dog house ideas board.  

Best Dog House Common Questions

Can A Dog House Be Too Big?

Simply put, yes.  A shy or anxious dog may feel better in a smaller dog crate.  A smaller house gives a sense of security to a dog who shows signs of anxiety or stress.  These kinds of dogs do not fare as well as outgoing, playful dogs who appreciate a larger doggy home where they can romp around.


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