Dog House Buyer's Guide

Introduction to Buying a Dog House Online

If you poke around the web, you'll find that many of the sites selling dog houses are featuring the same or very similar models. That's because there are a relatively small number of manufacturers (wholesalers if you will) actually building the houses and most of the dog house store fronts on the web represent their retail distribution network.

Some of the biggies in the wholesale business are Ware Manufacturing Inc., Petmate, and Blythe Wood Works. That's a little helpful background information to keep in your back pocket.

At the retail level, there are quite a few companies selling dog houses on the web including the big names such as Amazon, Target, and Wal-Mart. There are also a number of more specialized outfits. Some of the latter include Adams All Natural Cedar,, PETCO, and PetSmart. 

When it comes to buying a dog house, keep in mind that you have a much better chance of getting your questions answered by these more specialized retailers. The big guys may provide a cheaper price (sometimes) but the specialized retailers will provide better product expertise.

Decisions, decisions, ...

Buying a dog house isn't rocket science but if you've never gone dog house shopping before, you may be a bit overwhelmed at first. That's because you have a number of decisions to make: 

  • How much do I want to spend?
  • What size house does my dog need?
  • What style of house (classic Snoopy, log cabin, etc)?
  • Wood, plastic, or metal?
  • What kind of wood?
  • Centered or off-set doorway?
  • Asphalt shingle, metal, or wood roof?
  • Painted or stained? 
  • Insulated? 
  • Heating/cooling system?

In all likelihood, your buying decision will be largely influenced by how much you want to spend and what particular style of dog house catches your fancy (kind of like buying a car). But you want to do right by your dog and make an informed decision. Right? Well, that's why you're reading this buyer's guide. So pat yourself on the back and keep on reading...

Buy a Dog House Online? Are you nuts?

You may be thinking: "Why in the blue blazes would I want to buy a bulky item like a dog house online? Won't I pay a fortune in shipping? And, what if the house is the wrong size for my dog?"

These are excellent questions and deserve to be addressed. First off, dog house technology has evolved along with the Internet so that many of the houses sold online feature a break-down modular design. The walls, the floor, the roof, deck, etc. are all separate panels that are shipped as a fairly compact bundle in a cardboard box. It's just a matter of screwing and bolting the pieces together.  In many (perhaps most) cases, shipping is free. Even for the larger, heavier houses, shipping is seldom more than about $50.

Alright, maybe "free" shipping really means that the price of the dog house was jacked up accordingly. But, I'll bet if you do a little comparison shopping, you'll find that the total cost of an online house purchase compares quite favorably (OR better) to that of a house purchased from a local store. This assumes you can find a decent selection locally and then you still have to get it delivered to your home somehow. That's two more reasons for buying a dog house online.

But what to do if you purchase a dog house online and find out that it is too small or too big for your pet? Well, this shouldn't happen if you've done your due diligence and consulted this page on sizing a dog house. And, of course, I'm sure you spent a few minutes to create a cardboard mock-up with the same dimensions as the house you purchased. You did this right?  Talk to me man...

But, let's hypothesize that due diligence slipped through the cracks (your whiny brother stopped by and distracted you from the task at hand), so you're stuck with the wrong-sized dog house. (Heck, the same situation could happen with a local purchase). Well, the good news is that most reputable vendors will allow you to return the house within 30 days. The bad news is that you'll probably have to pay return shipping. So, just order the right size house in the first place and this will all be moot.

Advantages of Buying Online Versus Buying from the Local Pet Shop

Undoubtedly, the biggest advantages of buying a dog house online are selection and competitive pricing. Our friend, the Internet, offers a number of mechanisms for finding the best price on products. These include things like price comparison services, discount coupons, auction sites like eBay, and classified ads.

This page will help you find the best deal on a dog house. It offers specific suggestions for finding discount coupons, effectively searching eBay, and which price comparison engines are best.


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