It’s really important to choose the house that best fits your dog. You certainly don’t want it to be too small, but a house that’s too large can also be a problem. Here are some guidelines to help you pick the right size so your dog has adequate room to lie down fully inside and it’s cozy enough to keep warm.
The biggest thing – MEASURE YOUR DOG!
Standing Height: from ground to top of dog’s head to determine the House Height.
Shoulder Height: from ground to top of dog’s shoulders to determine the Door Height.
Body Length: from nose to base of tail to determine the House Length.
House Height: Should be at least 25% taller than your dog’s standing height, but no more than 50% taller than your dog’s standing height (house height is at roof peak).
Door Height: Should be at least 3/4 of your dog’s shoulder height. I recommend a door height that’s equal to or a bit taller than shoulder height so your dog can go in and out comfortably.
House Length: Should be at least equal to your dog’s body length (a bit longer is optimal), but no more than 25% longer than your dog’s body length.
Here’s a good trick: Create an outline of the inner dimensions of the house with masking tape, either on the floor or the ground where the house will be. Have your dog lie down inside the outline to make sure the house is a good fit. Your dog should be able to stretch out fully within the tape.
Dog Weight: Finally, there are dog weight restrictions for many houses, especially those with raised floors. Do not buy a house, even if the dimensions fit, if your dog exceeds the weight capacity. Do the measurements again with the next biggest size and make sure it’s not too big dimensionally.
All these considerations may sound like a lot of work, but trust me, your dog will thank you for it in spades!
A note about heated floor pads for dog houses. Heated floor pads are a great addition to a dog house, especially in cold winter climates. Sizing is key though. You always want to make sure the pad is no more than half the size of the inner floor space of the house. Your dog should have plenty of room to lie down without being on the heated pad.