Dog owners want their best friends to be comfortable and happy. But with work schedules, obligations and travel, sometimes we have to let our furry buddies spend time in kennels. Whether you're going to install a fenced kennel in the backyard or just place a crate in the house, or even if you're going to acquire a portable travel kennel, the main concern in choosing the right one is that your pal has enough room to sit, stand and turn around in.
Determining the size of kennel your dog needs depends on how the kennel is going to be used. Kennels placed in the backyard can be big -- unlimited in size, really -- so your furry friend can run back and forth as well as reserve a space for bodily eliminations. Since such a kennel is not likely going to be moved often, size is not a major issue.
A kennel or crate you place in your home needs to be smaller, so it doesn't take up your whole living or bedroom space. A kennel or crate you use for travel needs to be large enough for the doggie but small enough for you to carry or handle. If flying, it must meet the regulations of the airline.
Height and length are the two most important measurements to consider when purchasing a kennel. Measure your dog from the feet to the top of the head. Add 2 inches to 6 inches to this dimension for the recommended height. Measure the dog from the nose to the end of the tail. If the dog has a long tail, you don't have to measure the whole tail. Add 2 inches to 6 inches to this dimension to determine the recommended length of your dog's kennel.
Manufacturers usually sell dog kennels in lengths. An extra-small crate is about 24 inches long and meant for dogs up to 25 pounds. A small kennel or crate is about 30 inches in length and is designed for dogs that weigh 26 to 40 pounds. Medium crates are approximately 36 inches and are meant for dogs that weigh 41 to 70 pounds. Large crates measure about 42 inches and are for dogs that weigh 71 to 90 pounds. Extra-large kennels measure 48 inches and are designed for dogs that weigh 91 to 110 pounds. A giant kennel may be about 54 inches; it's for use for dogs that weigh over 110 pounds. You'll find a list of recommended sizes for each breed in the Resources section of this article.
Not all dogs fit into the recommended size of kennel based on breed or weight. Avoid buying a larger kennel. A dog prefers smaller quarters for a den of security. If your dog is still growing, choose a kennel that will fit your dog when he is fully grown. If you are planning to fly with your pet: If the dog is small and is traveling with you, you'll need a crate that fits under the airline seat.
Pauline Gill is a retired teacher with more than 25 years of experience teaching English to high school students. She holds a bachelor's degree in language arts and a Master of Education degree. Gill is also an award-winning fiction author.