Choosing the Right Size House for your dog is so very important!
Of course they need to be safely confined but they also need adequate shelter from the elements. They need to be protected from both weather extremes of heat and cold. The best way to do this is to ensure that they have a well-constructed doghouse and that it is placed in the right location.
Please bear in mind that some breeds with very long or short coats cannot tolerate extreme outside temperatures even when provided with proper shelter. Additionally keep in mind that if you have more than one dog, you need to provide a doghouse for each one.
The “standard” answer is that a dog house should be large enough to allow the dog to stand up, turn around and lie down comfortably inside the house. This guideline is supported by The Humane Society of the United States as well as a number of other animal organizations.
Consider the following guidelines to provide your dog with a comfortable doghouse:
- The house should be large enough to allow the dog to stand up and turn around comfortably, but small enough to enable the dog to retain body heat.
- The door should be just large enough for your dog to enter easily.
- To protect your dog from cold wind during the extreme winter months, the door should be covered by a flexible plastic flap—such as a floor runner that doesn't have spikes on one side. Be careful not to use fabric that can get wet and freeze.
- It is very important to have clean, dry bedding such as straw, hay, or cedar shavings. Bedding should be changed weekly to prevent mold and to keep the doghouse sanitary.
- Depending upon the placement of the doghouse (to prevent the floor from rotting) it should be raised off the ground at least two inches if the doghouse is made of wood.
- A doghouse in direct sun becomes an oven and will not keep a dog cool. In warmer months, the dog should also be provided with shade such as a tree or open tarp that provides shade but does not keep the heat in.
- If exposed to the elements, the house should have a slanted, waterproof roof to allow rainwater to run off.
- Remember to always provide fresh water in a tip-proof bowl or large bucket. Make sure the water doesn't freeze during colder months.
The Right Size House: Don’t use the dog’s weight. There can be a huge difference in size between two dogs both weighing 60 pounds. One may be tall and slender while the other may be shorter and broader. The method below will help you determine which size your dog needs.
The door height of the house should be at least ¾ of your pet’s shoulder height (from the ground to the neck).
The length and width of the house should be at least equal to but not more than 25% larger than the distance between the nose and the root of the tail.
The height of the house should be at least 25% taller and no higher than 50% the height of your standing pet.
You will need three measurements.
- Full Height: Measure your dog from the ground to the top of the dog's head.
- Shoulder Height: Measure your dog from the ground to the top of the shoulders.
- Length: Measure your dog from nose to rear. Do not include the tail. The dog in our example is 28 inches tall, 22 inches to the shoulder and 42 inches long.
Opening for Door:
Minimum: Take the shoulder height measurement and multiply it by .75.
Example: The dog's shoulder height is 22 inches. 22 x .75 = 16.5
The minimum height of the dog door is 16 1/2 inches.
Maximum: A more comfortable height for your dog is equal to their shoulder height or their shoulder height + 1 inch.
Example: The dog's shoulder height is 22 inches. 22 + 1 = 23
The maximum height of the dog door is 23 inches.
Length of House:
Minimum: Take the length measurement above.
Example: The dog's length measurement is 42 inches.
The minimum length of the dog house is 42 inches.
Maximum: Take the length measurement and multiply it by .25. Add the original length measurement.
Example: The dog's length is 42 inches. 42 x .25 = 10.5 42 + 10.5 = 52.5
The maximum length of the dog house is 52 1/2 inches.
Height of Interior:
Minimum: Take the full height of the dog and add 6 inches.
Example: The dog’s full height is 28 inches. 28 + 6 = 34
The minimum interior height is 34 inches.
Maximum: Take the full height of the dog and multiply by 1.5.
Example: The dog's full height is 28 inches. 28 x 1.5 = 42
The maximum interior height is 42 inches.
Also consider the following:
Maximum Length is Larger:
If you live in a milder climate, then a larger dog house is fine. If not, in colder climates, the dog house is warmed by your dog's body heat. If you purchase a house that is larger than the maximum length figured above, it won't be as warm in the winter months.
Height of Door:
Normally, dogs enter through a dog door with their heads down. This is why we use a height measurement to the shoulders. For a more comfortable dog door, use the height measurement rather than the minimum door measurement.
Height of Interior:
The dog can still warm the interior with it's body heat as long as the interior height does not exceed the maximum interior height measurements.
Examples of Sizes for Suitable Breeds:
For accuracy, please always refer to the internal dimensions of the dog houses:
Large Models are suitable for, but not limited to: German Shepherd, Retrievers, Rottweiler, Dalmatian, Doberman Pinscher, Boxer, Dalmatian, Setters, Chow Chow, Husky,
Medium Models are suitable for, but not limited to: Bulldog, Boxer, Lhasa Apso, Standard Poodle, Miniature Schnauzer, Setters, Shar-Pei, Dalmatian, Retrievers, Chow Chow, Husky.
Small Models are suitable for, but not limited to: Yorkshire Terrier, Scottish Terrier, Chihuahua, Shih Tzu, Toy Poodle, Beagle AND ALL CATS