What to Keep in Mind when Choosing Your Dog’s Kennel

If you have a yard or a terrace, providing shelter for your dog is paramount. This place will protect him from the cold in winter and the heat in summer.
What to Keep in Mind when Choosing Your Dog’s Kennel

Last update: 19 January, 2019

There is such a wide variety of kennels on the market that it can be difficult to make a good choice. In order to help you make a good decision, we are going to give you some practical tips that will help you make the best choice for your dog’s kennel.

Measurements for your dog’s kennel

The perfect measurements for your dog’s kennel would allow him to turn around, lie down and go in and out without any trouble. If you choose one that is too small, he will be uncomfortable and if you buy one that is too big, he will be cold in winter. However, you can opt for this last option if you have two dogs, as they can share a kennel and keep each other warm.

How can you know what the ideal measurements are?

Puppies playing outside a dog kennel.
  • Height at the withers. The way to measure a dog this way is to measure from his front paw to his back and then measure his length from end to end. Then, finish by adding both amounts. Essentially, your dog’s kennel cannot be shorter than three quarters of that number.
  • Length. Measure the dog lengthwise without counting the tail. The depth and width of the dog kennel should be at least that amount, in order to allow your dog to turn around inside.
  • Height to the head. Measure him from the front paw to the top of his head when he is standing upright. That will be the perfect height, although you can choose to make the door smaller even if the dog has to stoop a little to enter. Even so, the animal should be able to stand up inside.

Should your dog’s kennel be made of wood or plastic?

This is one of the biggest questions awaiting you when you have to choose your dog’s kennel. Many people choose to make one themselves and that is why they choose wood, mainly because it is easier to work with.

It isn’t so common to know how to build a plastic dog kennel by hand. In fact, you usually have to buy them.

So, which type should you buy? A wooden one or a plastic one? Only you have these answers, and it depends on your circumstances. Let’s examine the differences.


Wooden doghouses are ideal for cold climates because they are perfect for keeping the animal warm. Although to strengthen this effect, we recommend that you add a door to the kennel and a mattress for when the canine is sleeping. At the same time, this will act as insulation.

The downside of these houses is that they require more maintenance work. This is because the wood usually rots due to humidity, cold and rain. They are also more difficult to clean, although there is a door on the roof that opens and closes easily.


These kennels have very striking designs that fit in well to any style of yard. The material is durable, so they won’t deteriorate due to the weather.

They are very easy to clean. You can use all kinds of disinfectant products on them without fear of damaging the material. In addition, since they are made of a non-porous material, bacteria and fungi will not grow on them.

The downside is that if winters are cold in the area where you live, these kinds of doghouses are not recommended for that season. The plastic also makes the rather uncomfortable. The easiest solution for this is to put a mattress inside. This will ensure that your dog is comfortable.

How to protect your dog’s kennel from the cold

Five puppies on a wood pile.

There are different types of kennels that can help you keep your dog from getting cold while he is inside. You can opt for dog houses with side doors. These keep the cold from entering through the front.

There are also some that have sloping roofs that will help to keep the rain from seeping inside. That way, it won’t sit on the roof and create a sense of constant humidity.

In view of all this, you should now be able to choose the best kennel for your dog, based on your personal circumstances and those of your animal.

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The contents of My Animals are written for informational purposes. They can't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.