Good dog houses are an important part of protecting your dog from the weather. It’s a long term investment. You will need spend some money to get ones that will holdup to the damage that some dogs inflict on their homes.
Here are the two that I use right now.
Impact Dog Condo
The Impact Dog Condo is the best dog house I have ever owned. It’s also the most expensive. The design is very similar of the K9 Kondo Dog Dens that are no longer being made. The aluminum construction has held up well for me even with my most destructive dogs.
They are well insulated and will protect dogs in extreme weather. The lift up roof allows you easy access to clean the insides and add litter, bedding or other inserts if you prefer. The door design can be locked in the open or lowered position depending on the temps. My dogs enjoy spending time on the flat roof year round. You can easily add a hound heater if you live in a sub zero climate. It never gets cold enough here for that to be an issue for me.
I expect I’ll eventually move all my dogs to these as other houses wear out and my budget allows the expense.
K9 Kondo Barrel Kit
Still one of my favorites especially for those of us that live in warmer climates or have situations where you can bring dogs inside if it gets freaky cold.
The K9 Kondo Barrel kit allow you to turn a 55 gallon plastic barrel into a dog house that is light and comfortable but solid and very difficult for dogs to damage. Barrel kits are a super affordable dog house option especially if you can find free or inexpensive barrels.
It requires that you provide the plastic barrel and some basic assembly is required. If you can handle a saw and a screwdriver, you can put this kit together in a couple of hours.
You can buy it in two options
The door only option is good for folks that want to hang their barrels on chains attached to their kennel runs or the rafters of their roof. I’ve seen it done well but it’s never worked out for me.
I prefer the full kits for the legs and the plywood deck option for dogs to lay on. (The plywood is not included)
I recommend that you find your plastic barrels before you order. They are pretty easy to come by if you look around. I want to know what has been in my barrels and prefer food grade and unused when I can find them. I also prefer my barrels to have an open top with the ring closure.
When I set up a K9 Kondo with this style barrel, I’ll put the door on the “bottom” of the barrel and the use the lid as access to the inside of the barrel for easy cleaning and to add and remove bedding. They are also much easier to add a Hound Heater if needed.
You will also find the kit much easier to install with a barrel that has a lid. After doing a few barrel kits without the lid, I’ll never go back.
If you can’t find local barrels or prefer to buy new barrels, Uline is a great company to use
Other options for finding good barrels From the K9 Kondo website
“NOTICE ON BARRELS
We regret that we can no longer provide barrels with our K-9 Kondo doghouse kits. The cost of shipping has become very expensive, with some barrels costing as much as $100 to ship to some locations. Good quality used 55-gallon plastic barrels cans be routinely obtained from local car wash businesses, bottling plants, or found in the Yellow Pages under “Drums & Barrels.” Barrels with a minimum bottom diameter of 21 inches are required and can have a maximum diameter of up to 24 inches for the K-9 Kondo doghouse kit. Barrels smaller than 55 gallons or of steel construction will not work with the K-9 Kondo kit. A little bit of searching will save you a lot of money while still providing your dog with a comfortable, yet indestructible animal shelter. New barrels can be purchased from Rural King farm stores.
Also, used food grade barrels can be found at a number of locations nation wide by contacting Blue Barrel Systems
Overall, I have enjoyed using these houses and my dogs love the design especially the rounded bottoms of the barrel. It’s like a dugout den that appeals to the wolf in them.
The only issue that I run into is that I have not found a good deck option that some dogs can’t chew up. I expect there is some thing I could add to the edge but it’s just never worked out for my tough chewers. I eventually have to replace the top decks.