How Big Should a Dog House Be?

How Big Should a Dog House Be?
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Dogs are much more than mere pets. They are like our family members and we want to provide the best for them always. While some people prefer to keep their dogs indoors, there are many who like building or buying a ready-made dog house for their beloved pet. If you are thinking of building a customized dog house or buying one, it is important that you take the accurate measurements of your dog.

Knowing the right size is important because if you end up building or buying a small house then your dog won’t be comfortable staying inside it. If you get a larger house than what is required, it will be difficult to keep it warm during the cold months. So, if you are wondering how big should a dog house be, then you have come to the right place.

Factors that influence the size of a dog house

Dog weight is perhaps the most important factor that influences the size of a dog house needed by them. The different breeds of dog vary a lot in terms of weight. While a Chihuahua weighs between 3.3 – 6.6 lbs., the weight of a St. Bernard can be between 140 – 260 lbs. So, the dog breed and the weight will play an important role in determining how big a dog house should be.

After the weight of the dog, the next important factor is the dog’s measurements. You want to make sure that the dog is able to enter the house comfortably, turn around with ease, sit down or lie with comfort. Thus, you need to take exact measurements of the dog’s height, length and width. Again, the dog breed will play an important role. Some dogs such as Greyhounds, Doberman and Pincers have a taller structure, so the house must have a good height.

If you have a puppy, you may want to consider the maximum height they can reach as they grow into an adult if you want to avoid re-building or re-purchasing a larger dog house once your puppy grows into an adult dog.

If you live in a region that has extreme temperatures in the colder months, you need to ensure that the dog house is able to retain the body heat of your pet. This is somewhat sacrificed in a larger house, so the structure should be just enough for the dog to comfortably lie down and be warm in winter. You may also need to insulate the dog house to make it warmer in colder months. Insulating the house with foam or any other material means the space inside will be further reduced so keep this in mind when buying or building a dog house.

Alternatively, if you live in a region that has a mostly warmer climate then a large dog house will be good as it will be airy inside. Hence, you need to consider the geographical location and then decide which type of dog house will be more suitable for your dog.

Guide to taking the right measurements

Before picking a dog house for your beloved pet, it’s important that you take the exact measurement of your pooch. This is to ensure that you don’t end up buying a too small or too big house for him. Dogs are usually comfortable in snug-fit houses that allow them to enter comfortably, move around a little and lie down.

On the Internet, you will find many formulas to determine the exact size of dog house, however this can be confusing for a beginner. Hence, we have included a simple formula to help you take exact measurements of your dog.

A-B-C Formula for correct size doghouse

The door need not be too large as dogs have the habit of lowering their heads in order to enter. Measure your dog’s height from the shoulder to ground when he is standing in a comfortable position. So, the ideal door height should be no less than 75%of this measurement.

Example: If your dog’s height “A” measures 20 inches, the size of door needs to be at least 15 inches tall.

When determining the exact width and length of the house, measure your dog from the nose to the flank. No need to include the tail in the measurement. Now add 25% extra to this measurement to get the ideal dog house width and length. Make sure you don’t make it 50% or else you will have a very large house which may not be able to keep your pooch warm during winter months.

Example, if the dog’s length ‘B’ measures 25 inches, this means the doghouse length should not be more than 30 inches and not less than 25 inches.

The third important measurement is the height of the dog house. Take accurate measurement of your dog from head to the ground. Ideally the height of dog house should be 25% more than the measurement. This can exceed up to 50% but not more than that or else it may pose a problem in retaining body heat in the colder months.

Example, if the dog height ‘C’ is 20 inches then the ideal height of the doghouse should be at least 25 to 30 inches.


If you are planning to build a dog house for your beloved pet, then this can be an enjoyable experience. It requires a little more involvement than buying a readymade dog house. Make sure you build the dog house using good material that keeps him warm during winter months and cool during summer. You may need to insulate the dog house if you live in a geographic location that has extreme temperatures. So, that is something you may need to consider when deciding the size of the dog house.

Knowing how big a dog house should be will help you build or buy more responsibly so that your beloved pooch has a nice, comfortable shelter. After you are done with the right size for your dog house, go ahead and decorate the interior with a nice cozy bed and toys for the dog to have a great time in his new house.

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