If you want to know what the best option is for your dog when you are out doing your job, or travelling, or just out for a couple of hours, you probably want to weigh up what the options are to keep them in.

When it comes to your dog, there are going to be advantages and disadvantages for each option of keeping your dog when you are gone.

For example, some people like to give their dog free rein over the house when they are out, while some like to keep them gated in a bathroom, laundry room, or in a mess room.

But two of the most popular options are keeping your dog in an indoor crate, or in a kennel which will usually be outdoors and insulated.

For dog owners, there are actually quite a lot of differences between crates and kennels, and a lot which dog owners are not actually aware of.

If you as a dog owner are more aware of these differences, then you will be able to make a more informed decision on what will be best for your dog.

By knowing what is best for your dog, as well as you as its owner, you will be able to have the easiest time.

When it comes to the terminology, the main difference between these two is that crates are nearly always used indoors only and size wise, they are going to be a little bigger than the size of your dog.

This is designed to give your dog a sense of security and safety. A kennel on the other hand is going to be much bigger than a crate, and these tend to be a semi-permanent structure which is kept outdoors.

They will usually have an outdoor run attached. These are useful for keeping a dog in the backyard for just a few hours, or could be where they stay permanently.

Now you know the main differences between dog crates and dog kennels, we will have a deeper look into each of these options so you can surmise which will be the best option for you and your dog!

Dog Kennel

You will occasionally hear kennels being referred to as doghouses, and these are structures which are usually semi-permanent and almost exclusively kept outdoors.

They can be found to look like smaller houses, and they will usually feature a slanted roof which helps with giving your dog shelter as well as protecting them from the elements.

While these dog houses are usually enclosed, they will sometimes also have a run attached to them which will be for giving your dog kennel fresh air, or access to a bathroom space.

When it comes to different types of outdoors kennels for dogs, there is a massive variety which you can find, but generally speaking they are all made to last for a while and will withstand the elements and will be able to put up with a good amount of wear and tear.

The materials which these enclosures are made with are made so they will prevent any deterioration, as well as protect your dog effectively.

Compared to a dog crate, these dog kennels will also need a bit more attention from the owner when it comes to upkeep. However, the more high quality a kennel you get, the more low maintenance it will tend to be.

For example a higher range dog kennel will feature easy clean siding, as well as a water-resistant floor too. If you are a dog owner who will likely be out for most of the day, then we think that this option is a great idea.

They tend to be a much more pleasant space for your dog to spend time in compared to a more tight and cramped crate.

If you know that the weather will be good, or if you trust that the kennel is properly weather proofed, then keeping your dog out in a kennel is a great idea.

The proper kennel will make sure that your dog has security, but also that they are protected from any weather, whether this is rain and the cold, or the heat of direct sunlight.

Having the gated area outdoors is always a great option to provide fresh air as well as giving a space for necessary bathroom breaks.

If you have a working dog as well, this space is usually a great space for them to have when they are not doing their job, and will help them have time to properly relax.

If you are wondering what type of dog tends to thrive using an outdoors kennel, they are usually the best for; dogs which are a larger breed, dogs which work, dogs which are more likely to have destructive behavior when their owner is not about, dogs which prefer being outdoors, and dogs who have more frequent bathroom habits.

Dog Crate

Dog Crate

As we mentioned in the introduction, a dog crate will tend to be just a bit bigger than your dog’s full size, and this will help give them a necessary sense of security and safety from the world around them.

By using a dog crate, you are preventing your dog from being able to roam around your home freely and this is something which is useful for most dogs.

These crates are great to stop your dog getting into any trouble when the owner is gone. Using a dog crate also helps prevent any accidents when you are potty training your dog.

The crates for your dog will come in quite a wide variety of materials, with some of the most popular being metal as well as plastic.

Like the name suggests, crates are designed to have open walls, this does not help keep your dog warm, but it will help with aeration as well as visibility.

Compared to a dog kennel, dog crates do not need nearly as much maintenance, and not much upkeep either. A dog crate will need occasional cleaning, and of course you will want to keep your dog’s bedding in the right place.

You might also want to provide your dog with some towels or blankets to help them stay warm. A lot of dog owners also keep dog toys and safe chews in the crate so they will have what they need to stay busy but not get overly excited.

When it comes to the type of dogs which will do the best in a dog crate, there are; puppies which are going through potty training, dogs which will have more bad behavior if the owner is not around, and dogs which have any separation issues or anxiety and need to stay indoors.

Dog kennel vs Dog Crate FAQs

Can I Use A Kennel Instead Of A Crate?

When it comes to using a kennel instead of a crate, you want to consider the different factors and how this will impact how your dog is wherever they are being kept.

If you want to try keeping your dog in a kennel, you will want to consider what the conditions are like outdoors and whether the kennel will be sufficient to keep your dog protected.

If you think that it is safe to keep your dog in a kennel, then it is worth trying out, but you will want to see how your dog reacts to it, and see if the reaction is fine and you can repeat it.

Otherwise, it might be better to keep your dog in a crate where you can keep a closer eye on it. When it comes to kenneling against keeping in a crate, it all depends on the conditions and the temperament of the dog.

Is It Cruel To Keep Your Dog In A Kennel Overnight?

It can be cruel, but it can also be completely fine to keep your dog in a kennel overnight. This all depends on the conditions where your dog is kenneling.

If you do not think the kennel will be able to protect the dog from the elements overnight, and will make them cold and uncomfortable, then this is cruel.

However, if you have seen that your dog is comfortable staying in a kennel overnight, and that they are sufficiently warm and protected, then kenneling your dog is fine!

Is A Dog Crate The Same Thing As A Dog Cage?

Yes, you will sometimes hear a dog crate being referred to as a dog cage. So if you have found a dog crate which you want to buy, but it is called a dog cage, then do not worry as it is essentially the same thing (see how much a dog cage usually costs here).


Hopefully this article has given you all the information you need to be able to make an informed decision on whether a dog kennel or a dog crate is a better choice for your dog.

This will all depend on the temperament of your dog, and the conditions they are staying in, but keep in mind there are other options than just these two.