How Big Should a Dog Kennel Be?
Dogs are loyal, lovable and make great pets. But when it comes to sizing, not all dogs are created equal!
When choosing a dog kennel, you will need to do research to choose the best size. A kennel that is too small can be cramped and uncomfortable for your pet, while a kennel that is too large may not provide enough warmth or security.
Benefits of Dog Kennels
A dog kennel can provide many benefits for both owners and dogs.
It can create a sense of security for reactive dogs, as they will have their own safe space that they can retreat to when they feel overwhelmed or need a break. Kennels also provide shelter from wind, rain and harsh sunlight.
If your dog sleeps outdoors, a kennel is essential for keeping your dog warm overnight.
A dog kennel can also give owners peace of mind knowing that their pet is safe and comfortable when they can’t be home.
How Much Space Does a Dog Need in a Kennel?
Your dog needs enough space to get comfortable inside the kennel, otherwise it won’t want to use it.
Make sure the kennel has enough room for your dog to stand up inside and turn around without hitting into the side walls. You also want enough room for your dog to have a comfortable sleeping area, whether that be curled up or on its side with paws sticking out.
Also consider the height of the doorway. The kennel doorway should be higher than the dog’s shoulders. It is normal for dogs to have to duck their heads a little to get through a kennel door.
How Do I Know if a Dog Kennel is Too Small?
If the kennel is too small, your dog may feel cramped and uncomfortable. It may then avoid using the kennel all together.
A determined dog may still squeeze itself into a kennel that is too small, especially in cold weather. However, it will then have difficultly adjusting its position.
This will make the dog uncomfortable and could lead to long term joint pain in older dogs.
Therefore, you need to look out for signs the kennel is too small. These include your dog avoiding the kennel, looking visibly uncomfortable, its nose and bottom both touching each end of the kennel when lying down, and its head hitting the roof.
Can a Dog’s Kennel Be Too Big?
You may think more room is better. But too much space can be a bad thing!
If the dog kennel is too big, your pet may find it difficult to stay warm, particularly in colder climates. A smaller kennel will retain more body heat and make it easier for your dog to stay warm in winter.
In addition, kennels that are too big can make your dog feel unsafe and stressed out. It won’t feel as protected and sheltered in a a large space.
If you buy an extra large dog kennel while your puppy is still growing, you can temporarily reduce the size and fill up the extra space using a fluffy calming bed or lots of extra blankets.
Choosing the Right Kennel for Your Dog
Choosing the right sized kennel for your dog can be tricky. You want to make sure they have enough space to move around, but you don’t want them feeling cramped either.
The right size kennel will depend on your dog’s size and breed.
Measure Your Dog
To choose the right size dog house, dog owners will first need to measure their dog.
You will need a tape measure. If your dog is energetic, you may also need a friend to help hold your dog still.
Measure your dog’s height from the ground to the top of its shoulder. Measure your dog’s length from its head to base of the tail.
Compare these exact measurements to the dog kennel size. Remember to allow extra room for your dog to turn around and get comfortable.
It is better to look at a dog kennels internal dimensions (rather than external dimensions) as this will show you the inside space the dog will actually sleep in.
If your dog is still a puppy and you want it to grow into the dog kennel, speak to your breeder first about how large your puppy is expected to grow.
You may also be able to search online how big certain dog breeds typically grown. Then compare this adult size to the kennel sizing.
Measure Your Dog’s Existing Bed
If you are having trouble measuring your dog, you could instead measure something your dog sleeps in now, for example a soft dog bed, soft sided crate, or wire crate.
Then compare those measurements to the new kennel’s internal dimensions.
Ask the Experts
If you’ve looked at the dimensions and are still unsure, contact the company you are purchasing the dog kennel from for advice.
Our Somerzby Customer Service team is always happy to assist in helping you choose the best outdoor kennel for your pet. We know our products well. When contacting us, let us know what breed of dog you have.
If your dog is a mixed breed, let us know what common breed your dog is most similar to. For example, your dog may be a mix but is a very similar size to a Maltese.
If you are having another company create a custom made dog kennel, it may be helpful to take your dog in to meet the handyman.
When choosing the right size dog kennel, don’t just look at size categories and assume your dog will fit. Sizes can be subjective.
For example, you may see a kennel titled “Large Kennel”. You have a German Shepherd which you think of as a large breed so assume it will fit.
However, “Large” is a very subjective term. The seller may think of a Labrador as “Large” and classify German Shepherds as “Extra Large”.
Also avoid making assumptions based on photos. If there is a photo of a kennel or dog crate with no dog in it, it can be very difficult to determine the size. Always look at the dimensions provided.
One Door Vs Two Doors
Somerzby two door kennels all come with a removable dividing wall down the middle. If your dogs prefer their own space, you can leave the dividing wall in.
Alternatively, if your dogs like to lay together, you can remove the diving wall so they share the internal space.
Having two doors allows both dogs to easily come and go as they please. If you put two dogs in a kennel with only one door, one dog may block access and not let the other dog in or out. This can lead to fights.
Somerzby Kennel Sizing Guide
Please note for double door kennels – internal dimensions provided are for the entire inside space with the dividing wall removed.
Duplex XL Double Door
The Duplex is our smallest kennel. It is suitable for 2 small dogs of the following breeds or similar:
- Cocker Spaniel
- Jack Russell Terrier
- Shih Tzu
Cubby XL with Porch
The Cubby is our second smallest kennel. It may be suitable for smaller dogs, such as a:
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- French Bulldog
- Miniature Poodle
Cabin XL Single Door
The Cabin is recommended for a:
- Australian Cattle Dog
- Border Collie
- Golden Retriever
- Labrador Retriever
Haven XXL Single Door
The Haven may be suitable for a:
- Doberman Pinscher
- German Shepherd
Den XXL Double Door
The Den is similar to the Haven except it has 2 doors. It may be suitable for 2 dogs of the following breeds or similar:
- Australian Shepherd
- Border Collie
- English Staffy
- Golden Retriever
- Labrador Retriever
Grand XXXL Double Door
The Grand is our largest dog kennel. It is recommended for:
- American Staffy
- German Shepherd
Dog Crate Sizing
If you are also crate training, you will first need to purchase a suitable sized dog crate.
Measuring for your dog’s crate is very similar to measuring for a dog house – compare the dog crate dimensions to the size of your dog and seek advice for an expert if you are still unsure.
When crate training puppies, it is important not to choose dog crates too large. A small puppy in a large dog crate is likely to pee in one corner, setting you back in toilet training.
See our helpful Dog Crate Size Guide here.
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