Outdoor Dog Kennel | Keeping Your Pet Safe Outdoors

There are many people that leave their dogs outside when they are heading out to work.  Some owners just leave their dogs loose in the backyard.  Unfortunately all dogs can not be trusted to roam free, without disastrous consequences.  For those dogs, the solution is to buy an outdoor dog kennel.

Outdoor dog Run screenshot
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Having your dogs in an outdoor dog kennel allows you to confine your dog in a safe and secure environment.  Their safety is our biggest responsibility.

Making sure you get the right size and shape of outdoor kennel is important.

Outdoor kennel vs Indoor one

There are lots of people that kennel their dog inside the house, when they go out.  I call these crates, but they can also be called kennels.

Outdoor kennels, are completely different from indoor ones.  The typical indoor crate/kennel is a smaller style crate, that dogs can just stand up and turn around in.  They typically lay down inside, and rest while waiting for us to come home.

This is a completely different concept, than a kennel that is outside.

Outside kennels are much larger, and taller.  They provide a completely closed in area that the dog or dogs, can move around in.  Dogs can enjoy the fresh outdoors, where they can enjoy the sun and play in a safe secure area.

There is even the option to build a kennel area, with a longer added on area sometimes called a dog run.

Benefits of an outdoor kennel or dog run

Keeping your dog in a kennel, provides them with safety and keeps them away from toxic or dangerous things in your yard that could potentially harm them.

Inside the kennel is also a great place to place a water dish, some toys and even dog food if you want them to eat while you are gone.

An outside pen, can also be used to train your pet to go do their business in a specific area.  Every time they need to go outside, you can take them to the kennel and shut the door.  This way the dog will do their business exactly where you want them too.

Building the kennel in more of a dog run style, will allow your dog even more space to move around, maybe even run in that area would provide good exercise.

Different kennels to choose from

When purchasing a kennel or dog run, you need to size up the area in your yard where you want the kennel to be. Measure exactly how wide and long you will need.

Dog kennels can be made from chain link, wood, or even plastic.  They come in variety of different sizes and shapes, square, rectangular, and even a circular style pen.

The most popular kennel style is a chain link that is made of commercial grade steel.  They are usually purchased as a kit, and come in pieces, that you assemble together.  The kit usually includes a gate to come in and out of and 4 sides that connect to each other.

Outdoor Dog Kennel

Even the circular style pens can be made out of a metal, chain link, Durable Black E-Coat Finish or gold zinc.  The circular pens, sometimes will even fold flat for easy transportation or to be easily disassembled when needed.

When deciding which style will work for you, depends on what your plans are for the space.  Deciding to make a dog run as well as a kennel area, by choosing a rectangular or square shape will make this a lot easier.  This will allow you to extend the space and add a longer run length wise by attaching it to one of the 4 panels.

Years ago, I had 3 big dogs, that could not be trusting in the house alone roaming free when we left.  We decided to create a kennel as well as a run for the dogs.  Because there was 3 dogs in the space, we wanted to add extra room, for them to really be able to move around.

First we bought a square size kennel with 4 panels and a gate, that was about 10 x 10 x 6.  We then left off the back or end panel and purchased a few separate sections of chain link and attached 3 extra lengths on each side. At the end we put the final panel to close everything in.  This then gave us a really great pen area for the dogs.

This particular design was rather large pen, but we had a big yard and space wasn’t an issue.

With limited space, you can still create a much smaller kennel for your dog.  The kits come in pretty much any size that will work for you.

Outdoor dog kennel shop now

Added bonuses

The pen has sides, that are open and allow air flow and your dogs to see outside into the yard.  Now when bad weather hits, we need to provide covered shelter for them.  Leaving dogs outside, can expose them to the beating sun, rain, wind or even possibly snow.

Some kennel kits do come with a cover that provides the needed covered shelter.  If your kit doesn’t come with the shelter cover you need, don’t worry, as you can purchase that separately.

Outdoor Dog Kennel Cover

The other really great option is to put a dog house, right inside the pen area.  This gives your dog a great space to escape the outdoor elements.

My neighbor has 2 dogs and really doesn’t have much backyard space to build a pen.  The best way for him to come up with extra space, was to put the pen between the houses.  This allows the dog to have shelter from the side of each house.

One bonus that you can get with certain pens, is the option to have 2 gates.   Having 2 gates, will allow you to access the pen from either end.  Now depending on where you assemble your pen in the yard and will determine if you have the space for 2 gates.

Depending on where in the yard you decided to assemble your pen, the floor of the pen maybe just dirt.  Now we all know that dirt, rain and dog paws, don’t go well together.  You don’t want to come home and have to start bathing your dog from all the mud.

Years ago, I chose to put a gravel and crushed rock base down.  Now we have more options as far as the base goes. One cool option I found is, to purchase artificial grass, that has drainage holes and can be easily hosed off with a garden hose.

You can purchase it in specific sizes and if you need to, it can be cut down to the exact size that you need.  This ground cover will protect your dog from any mud or wet area.

Dog kennel roundup

Creating a safe, secure outdoor space for your dog, allows you to leave your home knowing that your dogs are in a safe space.

Whether you decide on a small or large outdoor dog kennel, your dog will be safely away from destroying your beautiful plants or digging holes in your yard.

The other concern with leaving your dog’s to roam free rather than being in a dog run or kennel, is the great escape worry.  What I mean by that is sometimes dog’s can be master escape artists.  Nobody wants to come home and find that their dog has found a way to get out of the yard.

Some areas still use meter readers to come and read your power or water meter and they need access to your backyard.  They come to yard, open the gate and forget to properly shut it on the way out.  Just like that, your dog escapes the yard.

Providing your dog with a great outdoor kennel, will just allow everyone to have a great piece of mind.  Every dog is different, so just make sure that you are getting the right outdoor dog kennel to match your dog.

outdoor dog kennel CTA

If you are looking for similar information about protecting and keeping our dogs safe, check out these posts.

Cool Dog Houses | Home Sweet Home

How to Buy A Dog Crate | Which One Is Right For You




14 thoughts on “Outdoor Dog Kennel | Keeping Your Pet Safe Outdoors”

    • Hi Andy,
      Thanks you for your comment. It sure must be tough having to walk them all the time.
      I sure do like having a yard for my boys. But I understand that we have to just do the best we can and live and care for our dogs with as much love as we have. Best of luck to you.

  1. Thank you for this great post!

    I actually have an outdoor kennel (I’ll call it a pen because it’s pretty small) that I got when my mother-in-law moved in so we can watch her during her knee replacement surgeries.  It was used to keep her dog separated from our dogs because we weren’t sure how they’d interact with each other.

    I hadn’t really considered getting a true outdoor kennel until recently.  My Jack Russell has discovered the fun of being outdoors when it’s recently rained and there’s soft ground to tear up and get covered in.  A kennel might make it a bit easier to contain the damage or prevent it altogether.

    I also have concerns of her digging under the fence and taking off or, even worse, getting into a fight with neighbor dogs.  They do like to bark at each other through the fence.

    This post gives me a lot to consider.  I’m thinking of setting up a rather large area with both solid and soft surfaces, sun and shade, etc.  I know it will cost a bit and take up some room but, in the long run, it will offer a secure and safe place for my family members.

    Thanks again,


    • Hi Scott,

      I really appreciate you sharing your own stories about your Jack Russell. My previous dogs, were extremely destructive, and could not be left to roam free in my backyard.  I was also worried about the digging and finding a way out of the yard.

      Having a dog next door can certainly change the situation and make it an even more important to build a space away from the other dog.

      It sure sounds like you could be building a lovely area for your dog. I love your idea of shade and sun. Putting different surfaces down, is also a very cool idea. 

      Best of luck and if you do decide to build that space, I would love to see the finished product.

      Thanks again Scott.


  2. Hey Coralie,

    I’ve always seen outdoor Kennels but indoors is something I don’t see anyone doing much. I know it might be due to factors like not wanting the dog to come in dirty the furniture or maybe one of the family members is allergic to furs but apart from that, is there any other reason? I for one think they should be let roam free 😀

    • Hi Riaz,

      Thank you for your comment. Many people use indoor kennels when they are away at work, especially when they have puppies. It can be very dangerous to leave a little dog alone in the house for long periods of time. I believe that as a dog gets older, yes they earn the right to roam free, but not right away.

      For big dogs especially, outdoor dog runs also protect them from getting into something dangerous, or from even escaping or being kidnapped.


  3. Hi Coralie

    I am very glad you wrote this article as I have a neighbour whose had a dog who thinks he is an escapologist. I can understand the problem of keeping dogs outside safe, stopping them escaping and  being injured. Plus at the same time stopping them from being dog knapped as some pedigree dogs are stollen to demand.

    I will pass you article to my neighbour, who will find it enlightening.



    • Hi Antonio,

      Thank you for sharing your comments on my post, I really appreciate. Unfortunately you are right, about dogs being kidnapped right from the backyard. I know where I live, it does happen.  It is something, I am always conscience of it.

      Dogs that are big escape artists, I think benefit the most from an outdoor kennel. It is a safe space, that they can stay in for as long as you need.

      I appreciate you sharing this post with your neighbor, and I love that people continue to share dog stories and adventures, even when they aren’t the ones with the dogs. Thank you


  4. Great post! This is extremely helpful for dog owners, especially those who go to work for extended periods of time. I never like the thought of leaving a dog indoors for the entire work day, so it’s always very helpful to have a post like this that provides some really solid outdoor kennel choices. I like the idea of building a kennel into a dog run as it’s nice to provide that extra space. I have bookmarked your page and will keep in it mind for future kennel purposes and for recommendations to friends. Well done!

    • Hello Pentrental,

      Thank your for your comments on my post. I agree with you 100% that leaving your dogs inside all day can be a long day for your dog.  I always liked the idea of an outdoor dog kennel, I used it faithfully with my previous dogs.

      Now I also know, that it is not good for every dog. It is important to know your dog well enough to understand how they will do in an outside kennel.

      I look forward to you checking back on my website and I will continue to post great information for dogs and dog owners.

      Thank you


  5. I remembered when I first left my Shiro at home alone (husky puppy), it was the worst mistake of my life. Shiro was my first dog and I did not even learn about his behavior traits. He tore the place down, brought down and chewed all my books and my clothes (he doesn’t do shoes). When I came home he would gave me that innocent look, what mommy? Lol Having a kennel would fix all of those problems. Having the outdoor kennel will be a great choice as well but how tall do they have available. My Shiro can really jump high so I was wondering if he can just escape and be naughty or not. Can you customize the outdoor kennel?

    • Hi Nuttanee,

      I always love hearing your stories about your dog Shiro. Wow your poor house.  Puppies can be a real handful, in the beginning, for sure.  And we do know that dogs cannot be trusted alone in the house, and they do love to chew.

      To help answer your question about outdoor kennels, yes you can purchase many different shapes and sizes.  The height of most of them is generally 6 feet tall, but because of Shiro’s great jumping abilities, you may want to put a cover on it. This will stop him from being able to jump over and escape.

      Best of luck with your Shiro and thank you for your comments.


  6. Hi Coralie,

    I enjoyed this post because it gave me some good options to consider for an outdoor dog kennel. I have 2 dogs about 20ish pounds apiece. We have a beautiful backyard, but recently we’ve started having issues with the dogs digging. So we’re going to have to confine them. I like the idea of having a kennel area and then an attached dog run that they can move around in more freely. Do you know if there are any kits of that nature sold? I’d rather not have to find chain link sections to attach if I don’t have to go that route. The simpler the assembly is, the better for me. Thanks for the info!

    • Hi Linda,

      Thank you for your wonderful comments. It is so difficult to try to maintain a beautiful yard with dogs, and I give you credit for doing it. I am sorry to hear that your dogs are now starting to dig, that can be a tough habit to break. Sounds like a dog run, will be a perfect spot to keep them out of trouble.

      To answer your question about a kit that comes with the run addition, the largest I have seen is 10ft in length. I am not sure how big you were thinking, but that size may work for your medium size dogs.

      I hope this helps. I really appreciate you sharing your dog adventures with me.

      Best of luck.



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