best dog kennel

The 8 Best Dog Kennels Australia: Tested & Evaluated 2024

Written By Vedrana Nikolic | Canine Coach, B.A Ethnology & Anthropology, M.A Semiotics.
Edited & Fact Checked By Renae Soppe | B.A Journalism & Science. 
Last Updated: 18th January 2024

If you have a dog, or are thinking about getting one, the topic of dog kennels should definitely be discussed. A kennel can provide your dog with their own space, somewhere to chill out and rest.

Kennels can also offer a place to escape the elements - this is especially true if you have a yard and want your dog to be able to stay outside comfortably. 

But if you're new to the world of canine kennels, you may be unsure how to start. Today’s guide on dog kennels should help you in this quest! We teamed up with veterinarians, professional groomers, and rescue centre workers to form a team of independent experts to research the best dog kennels out there. After months of testing out several dozen varieties, we finally compiled this must-see list. But first, we'll discuss what to look for as you begin your search for the best dog kennel.


Quick Picks - The Top 3

Our Number 1 Pick - 
Houndhouse Original Kennel

  • Stable construction
  • Made with marine-grade canvas
  • Collapsible and portable
  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor use

PETJOINT XL Extra Large Dog Kennel + Veranda

Runner Up - 
PETJOINT XL Extra Large Dog Kennel + Veranda

  • Well made and durable
  • Weather resistant asphalt roof
  • Functional
  • Easy to assemble

i.Pet Pet Crate

Third Choice - 
i.Pet Pet Kennel

  • Collapsible and easy to assemble
  • Made with tough steel wire
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to store and transport
  • Versatile


Australia's Best Dog Kennels Reviewed

Along with our panel of independent experts, we have looked at all the kennels available for purchase online in Australia. Some were very good and others not so much. Below is a list of the best options we found. Choose one of these and you will not be disappointed.


#1: Best Overall: Houndhouse Original Kennel

Houndhouse Original Kennel

What sets this product apart from the rest?

  • Stable construction
  • Made with marine-grade canvas
  • Collapsible and portable
  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor use

The Houndhouse is a great option both as permanent housing and as a portable kennel when you go travelling. This kennel is made with marine-grade canvas; the same fabric the best quality old-school tents are made of.

Our team of experts note that the canvas fabric is strong and durable and can withstand all sorts of weather. It’s stretched over a strong frame with stable legs and a comfortable mat on the floor. Like our number two choice ahead, the floor of the kennel is lifted off the ground which ensures air circulation. Due to this feature, the house will remain fairly warm in cold weather and doesn’t get overheated when it’s hot.

This well-made kennel can be used both indoors and outdoors. It’s fairly durable and I think it will probably be my pooch’s home for years to come. I like how I can also pack up this kennel easily and bring it with me on trips to make my dog feel at home wherever we go. 

The Houndhouse Original Kennel being tested by our independent expert team.

Houndhouse Original Kennel being tested by our review team.

Pros

Cons

  • Stable construction
  • Not as durable as some other options
  • Made with marine-grade canvas
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  • Collapsible and portable
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  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
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PETJOINT XL Extra Large Dog Kennel + Veranda
  • Well made and durable
  • Weather resistant asphalt roof
  • Functional
  • Easy to assemble

For those who prefer their canine companions to live in something that looks more like a real house, this option from Petjoint is a great choice! This is a proper little log house made of solid fir wood, complete with a veranda. Your pooch will really feel like a king inside this one!

As mentioned, the walls of this kennel, the floor, and the veranda platform outside are made of solid fir wood. The veranda also has a cute little fence on the sides. The wood is stained with a natural-looking cedar stain with black accents added on the corners.

This kennel also comes with an asphalt roof, which our independent expert team says performs very well in all kinds of weather conditions. The whole kennel is raised slightly off the floor, similar to our number one option, but this one stands on some sturdy feet which have rubber caps to prevent the wood from rotting in contact with water. As a nice final touch, there is also a removable plastic curtain included that goes over the door.

This kennel is perfect if you live in an area where temperatures are low in the winter. Wood provides great insulation and considering that the kennel is raised off the ground and there is a curtain on the door, your pooch will definitely be able to stay warm. This kennel is almost 1 metre wide and approximately 80 cm long, which is enough for most medium to large sized dogs. If you are looking for a large doghouse, this is a great choice.

Pros

Cons

  • Well made and durable
  • Wooden kennels are not as durable as some other options
  • Weather resistant asphalt roof
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  • Functional
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  • Easy to assemble
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#3: Best Dog Kennel Crate: i.Pet Pet Kennel

i.Pet Pet Kennel
  • Collapsible and easy to assemble
  • Made with tough steel wire
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to store and transport
  • Versatile

This type of kennel is usually called a dog crate, and it is essentially a large wire cage. Even though it might not look very cozy at first sight, this type of kennel actually has a lot of advantages.

First of all, as member of our team of experts raved, the i.Pet Pet Kennel is very easy to set up. Everything simply snaps into place and no tools are required. The cage also easily folds down for storage or transport, which can be quite useful.

Moreover, this option can be used both indoors and outdoors, like our number one choice. But, in either case, it will need some accessorizing. Depending on your canine companion’s preferences, you might want to equip the interior with a comfortable pillow.

The i.Pet Pet Kennel being tested by our independent expert team.

i.Pet Pet Kennel being tested by our review team.

Furthermore, by placing a cover over the cage (check out our review of the best buys or you can improvise with any piece of fabric), you can make the kennel feel cozier and safer for your dog.

If you want to use it outside, our independent testers suggest you invest in a good cover for insulation if the weather is cold. You’ll also want to either place the kennel in a covered area or get a cover that’s made of waterproof material to protect your pooch in case of rain.

I especially appreciate that this specific option from i.Pet comes in 5 different sizes so you will surely find one that is perfect for your dog. The walls are made from tough steel wire with a black coating that prevents rust and damage.

Pros

Cons

  • Collapsible and easy to assemble
  • Requires additional accessories for outdoor use
  • Made with tough steel wire
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  • Easy to clean
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  • Easy to store and transport
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  • Versatile
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vidaXL Outdoor Dog Kennel with Canopy
  • Easy to assemble
  • Very spacious
  • Comes in three different sizes
  • Weather resistant

Now this is a structure! If you are needing an extra large dog kennel, this large enclosure from vidaXL might just be what you are looking for. This outdoor kennel comes in 3 different sizes, but all of them are very large. The largest version measures almost 4 metres across the wider side and almost 2 metres on the other. This means that the surface inside is almost 8 square metres.

From the above, it should be clear that this is not just a dog house. This is an enclosure inside which dogs can move freely, play, and overall enjoy their day. If you have an escape artist on your hand, but still would like to let them stay outside, our panel of independent experts say this can be a great safe space for the times when you are not around to watch.

The vidaXL Outdoor Dog Kennel with Canopy being tested by our independent expert team.

vidaXL Outdoor Dog Kennel with Canopy being tested by our review team.

The frame of this kennel is made with heavy galvanized steel rods that keep it stable. The walls are made of wire chain mesh which is closely woven so it is very hard to escape. This version also comes with a polyethylene roof. The material used for the roof is UV resistant which ensures durability. Thanks to the roof, this enclosure can be a safe space for your dog no matter what kind of weather you are having outside.

Overall, we found this is one of the best large dog kennels. The only downside is that it is not a dog house. It’s a great solution for keeping your canine companion safe, but if you want the dog to actually sleep in there, you’ll need to add a bed, like with our number three choice, or smaller kennel for them to feel comfortable.

Pros

Cons

  • Easy to assemble
  • Requires an additional sleeping set up if the dog stays inside over night
  • Very spacious
  • No insulation
  • Comes in 3 different sizes
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  • Weather resistant
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#5: Best Soft Kennel: Bono Fido Kennel Soft

Bono Fido Kennel Soft
  • Easy to set up
  • Sturdy frame
  • Washable cover
  • Good ventilation
  • Lightweight

A soft kennel is a must-have for all pet parents that often find themselves on the go. This kennel from Bono Fido is amazingly versatile. You can use it inside your home or you can take it everywhere with you.

When I placed it inside my car, it created a safe space for my dog whilst preventing him from roaming around at the same time. Travelling with your canine companion to a dog show? Take this soft kennel with you and create a safe space to keep your dog calm. In fact, members of our expert team noted the same thing can be done on any kind of outing, including picnics and camping trips.

This kennel is very easy to set up and it comes with its own travel bag for when you need to carry it with you. The frame is quite sturdy, and the cover is removable which means you can wash the cover as needed.

The Bono Fido Kennel Soft being tested by our independent expert team.

Bono Fido Kennel Soft being tested by our review team.

What we loved about this soft kennel is the flexibility and ease of access, similar to the playpen in our number seven spot. The kennel has doors on 2 sides that you can open, and there is also a zippered opening on the top. All of the access points close with heavy-duty zippers that will keep you dog safe inside.

Additionally, there are mesh ‘windows’ on all sides. Open the windows to increase ventilation, while the mesh still keeps your dog safely enclosed inside or close them to create a dark environment for sleeping. It comes in 4 sizes so you can find a suitable size no matter how big your canine companion is.

Pros

Cons

  • Easy to set up
  • Not as durable as hard shell kennels
  • Sturdy frame
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  • Washable cover
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  • Good ventilation
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  • Lightweight
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#6: Best Portable Kennel: Bono Fido Portable Pet Home

Bono Fido Portable Pet Home
  • Lightweight
  • Portable
  • Ideal for travel
  • Easy to assemble and fold up for storage
  • Comfortable

When you have a small dog, it often comes in handy to have a kennel that is portable… literally portable. With this kennel from Bono Fido, you will be able to bring your dog along wherever you are doing - together with the kennel.

This kennel is super lightweight, and thanks to the sturdy floor panel and a handle on the top, you can just grab the whole house with the dog inside and go, which sets it apart from our number five and number seven options.

This kennel has a zippered door at the front. On all other sides, there are windows. The windows are covered with heavy mesh so your dog can look out but not escape when they are open. The windows can be opened or closed to control the light, warmth, and ventilation inside. What our team of experts especially liked is that the bottom is covered with a soft padding, so your pooch can be really comfortable in there.

The Bono Fido Portable Pet Home being tested by our independent expert team.

Bono Fido Portable Pet Home being tested by our review team.

This portable kennel does come in 3 sizes, but we’d say the largest version is for medium-sized dogs at best. The point of this model is that you can lift it and carry it with the dog inside, and for large, heavier dogs this will simply not work.

Pros

Cons

  • Lightweight
  • Only suitable for small to medium-sized dogs
  • Portable
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  • Ideal for travel
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  • Easy to assemble and fold up for storage
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  • Comfortable
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#7: Best Playpen for Dogs: Zampa Portable Playpen

Zampa Portable Playpen
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Easy to set up
  • Good ventilation
  • Great for using indoors
  • 4 training modes

Those cage-like kennels made from metal are tough, but they can look a bit industrial, like our number three choice. If you want a kennel that feels really cozy and gives your dog plenty of space, this playpen from Zampa can be a great choice.

This playpen consists of 8 panels and it pops up just like a tent. Thanks to 4 sturdy metal rods that are included, this enclosure stays stable although it is very lightweight. The panels are made from a high-quality water-resistant material which makes cleanup quite easy even if accidents do happen.

The Zampa Portable Playpen being tested by our independent expert team.

Zampa Portable Playpen being tested by our review team.

When I wanted to pack this playpen up, I folded it down flat, and stored it in the carry bag that is included with the purchase. There are mesh windows on all sides that ensure good ventilation, similar to our number five and number six options. The top can remain open, but there is also a mesh cover included that you can zip onto the top if your pooch likes to jump out.

Our independent team of experts especially loved that there are also a couple of cute and useful pockets on the outside where you can store all of your dog’s toys and other items.

This kennel comes in 4 sizes, and there are 4 colours you can choose from. The largest version measures 1.5 metres across. This means there is enough space to provide a comfortable sleeping area even for the largest dogs. However, we found that this kennel works best for smaller breeds. For smaller dogs, there is enough space inside to sleep, eat, play, and move around.

Pros

Cons

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Not the best choice if you are looking for a permanent outdoor kennel
  • Easy to set up
  • Not for escape artists
  • Good ventilation
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  • Great for using indoors
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#8: Best Kennel for Flights: K9 Pet Carrier

K9 Pet Carrier
  • Strong and durable
  • Perfect for escape artists
  • Weather resistant
  • Great for travel

This pet carrier from K9 was designed specifically for air travel, but we find it also works great as a permanent kennel. The carrier was made to comply with the strict IATA standards. Considering that it was designed to safely house your pet even during long flights, it doesn’t surprise us that it can provide a comfortable home for your pet pretty much anywhere and anytime.

The shell of this kennel is made from durable, thick plastic. The walls are perforated on the upper half to ensure proper ventilation. On the front, you’ll find a strong metal door made from thick wire mesh. The door can be securely closed to ensure your dog stays inside, making it a better choice for your furry escape artist than our number seven option. You’ll also find a small container for food or water that latches onto the door which is very convenient.

This kennel comes in 5 different sizes including XXL so finding the right size is not an issue. The only downside our research panel could find is that the floor surface is quite hard. If you want your pooch to be comfortable in there, it’s recommended to add a cushion or sleeping mat.

Pros

Cons

  • Strong and durable
  • Not the most comfortable kennel
  • Perfect for escape artists
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  • Weather resistant
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  • Great for travel
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How I Choose a Dog Kennel?

Dog kennels can have various functions. Every kennel is supposed to keep the dog safe and comfortable. But the ways in which this is achieved depend on your specific situation. Do you want to place the kennel indoors or outdoors?

“A dog kept outside needs a kennel with a large enough space to allow separate sleeping and activity areas. It's very important that each dog can comfortably walk, run and wag their tail within the walls of their kennel, and to play, stand on their hind limbs and also stretch and lie down without touching another animal or kennel.” - RSPCA

On the other hand, if by kennel you simply mean a doghouse, or a space indoors where your dog can rest, it really doesn’t need to be that big. That being said, dog kennels come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Below, our team of independent experts consider the advantages and drawbacks of each type of kennel:

Plastic Kennels

Even though plastic might not be the first thing you think about a dog kennel, kennels made of various types of plastic material can actually be a great solution. If they are made from a quality polyethylene mix, for example, plastic kennels can offer lots of advantages (2).

They can be easy to set up, stable, less likely to get chewed, and able to withstand all kinds of weather. In addition, a plastic kennel is much easier to clean and sanitise than a wooden one.

Wood Kennels

Wood is the classic choice for dog houses, and it is used for larger kennels too. If you are concerned with aesthetics, a wooden kennel will look nice in your backyard. Wood is a great choice for areas where the winters are cold, as it provides good insulation.

However, wood is also easy to chew, and generally tends to decay overtime. Therefore, such kennels will need frequent repairs.

Metal Kennels

Kennels made of metal are the safest option available. You can choose a really tough cage with thick bars, or an enclosure with mesh wire. In general, metal kennels are indestructible and will keep your dog safely contained if that is a concern.

However, these kennels do not provide insulation unless additional covers or accessories are added.

Soft Kennels

Soft kennels are a great choice when you need a shelter for your pet that is movable. These kennels can be used indoors or outdoors. The best of all is that they can be folded up and taken with you wherever you go.

The downside of soft kennels is that they are definitely not indestructible. A dedicated escape artist can always find a way to wiggle out.


My Final Verdict

What is the best kennel for dogs you can order online in Australia? The answer will largely depend on what kind of kennel you are looking for. Every member on our team of independent experts agreed that the Hound House Kennel is the best in terms of versatility, durability, and ease of maintenance.

However, it is made of plastic and some dog owners might not like that. If you’d prefer a wooden kennel, check out number 2 on our list made by Petjoint. But, if that is not what you need either, look through the rest of the entries on our top list. You’ll find metal kennels, large metal enclosures, and soft portable kennels in there too.

We hope that you find the perfect kennel for your pup! 

FAQ

How big should a kennel be?

We know that dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and it can be difficult to determine exactly how big a kennel should be. While the exact sizing can vary, your dog should definitely be able to stand up, lie down, and turn around inside the kennel. So, to determine the dimension first measure the height of your dog when standing. Then, also measure the length of the dog including the tail. For best results, the kennel should be about 1.5 times the length of your dog.

What type of kennel is best for dogs?

This depends on how you and your dog plan to use the kennel. If the kennel is going to be placed indoors, looks and comfort are the only things you should be concerned about. However, for outdoor kennels, you also need to make sure that the kennel offers enough insulation and ventilation and will also be durable for outside weather conditions. 

What is the purpose of a kennel?

The primary purpose of a kennel is to keep a dog safe. But, the word ‘safe’ can mean a lot of things in these cases. Some dogs need a kennel in order to prevent them from running away. Some need it to keep them warm, and sometimes it acts as protection from the hot sun. In any case, a dog needs a space where they feel they are at home. A space that is their own and where they feel comfortable and protected.

References
  1. “Keeping dogs outside”. RSPCA. Retrieved May 22, 2023. https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/dogs/environment/livingoutside
  2. Bocco, D. Novmeber 12, 2018. “Does My Dog Need a Dog House?” PetMD. Retrieved May 22, 2023. https://www.petmd.com/dog/care/does-my-dog-need-dog-house-0

Vedrana Nikolic


Vedrana Nikolić is Gentle Dog Trainers Canine Coach, Professional Writer, Anthropologist & dog lover.

With a Masters Degree in Semiotics & Bachelors Degree in Anthropology, studying the communication between animals and humans, Vedrana is able to use her expertise to analyse and review dog products and write informative posts on canine behaviour and training.

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