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How to Choose the Right Size of House for Your Dog

Selecting the correct size of dog house is very important for your pet's comfort. A house that is too small will be cramped and uncomfortable and a house that is dramatically too large will not provide as much protection during very cold weather. Ideally, the house needs to be just big enough for the dog to enter, turn around, and lie down. Anything larger is at your discretion, but during the colder months body heat retention is sacrificed.

As a general rule, you can use the weight of your dog to select the correct house. For each dog house, we provide a maximum dog weight recommendation. Unfortunately, certain dog breeds do not conform to a "conventional" dog's body shape - certain breeds are tall and skinny, others are short and stocky. This has implications for selecting the correct house. For this reason, we have created some recommendations regarding house sizing based on your dog's length, total height, and shoulder height. The smallest house that would be acceptable is the one that meets all 4 of the sizing criteria.


Choosing the Right Dog House Size

You need to take 4 measurements of your dog while he/she is standing up with normal, comfortable posture:

1. Measure the total length of your dog from the end of his nose back to the base of his tail (do not include the tail). This measurement is used to determine the width and depth of the interior of your dog house. The width and depth of the house should ideally be at least equal to this measurement.

2. Measure the total height of your dog from the ground to the top of his head. This measurement is used to determine the height of the house. This interior height of the house should be at least equal to the total height of your dog. The interior height can be up to about 50% taller than the total height of your dog and still offer good heat retention during cold weather.

3. Measure the shoulder height of your dog from the ground to the top of his front shoulder. This measurement is used to ensure that the door on the dog house is tall enough for your dog to comfortably enter. The door opening height should be at least equal to 75% of your dog's shoulder height. Dogs are very comfortable ducking down to enter their dog house, so the door opening does not necessarily need to equal your dog's shoulder height.

4. Measure the width of your dog at it's widest point (for most breeds this will be between the front shoulders). This measurement determines the width of the door opening that is required for your dog to comfortably enter the house. The width of the door opening should be at least 1 inch greater than this measurement.

Note: If you live in an region that has extremely cold winters, we recommend that you not exceed measurements 1 and 2 by more than 50% unless your dog house is equipped with an auxiliary heat source. In mild climates, a larger than necessary house does not present a problem.

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