There are many pet owners who choose to purchase an outdoor kennel and run for their canine companions. While some dogs inevitably spend most of their time indoors, there are others who are better suited to spending time enjoying an outdoor kennel and run.
Whether you have a hunting dog that lives most of the time outside, or if you just want to make certain your pet has a space of their own when you aren’t home, there are plenty of situations where an outdoor kennel is the preferred housing situation for your pooch. The right kennel will provide your dog with a comfortable place to stay protected from the elements and provide a secured area for them to run around and exercise.
However, before you run out and buy any outdoor kennel for your dog, there is one major thing to figure out: what size is the right size for your pet. Of course, every dog is unique, and every dog will need their own unique type of kennel.
With this in mind, there are a few tips that can help you find the perfect outdoor kennel to meet your needs.
Know How Big Your Dog Actually Is
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While you may know how much room your dog takes up in the bed, or how big of a sweater he needs in the winter, most pet owners don’t actually know how big their dog is. Before you start hunting for the right size kennel, take the time to measure your pooch!
Start at the top of his head and measure from the top all the way down to the floor, then from the tip of those nose to the base of his tail. This will help you get a better idea of how big your dog really is and will help you with choosing the right crate as well.
While it is easy to judge how much outdoor run space your dog will need, the inside of the kennel, or the box, can be a little trickier. In the kennel box, you want to make sure your dog has enough time to stand without stooping, to get up and turn around. Typically, this means at least 3-4 inches of clearance above his head.
Plan For the Future
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Think about your dog’s size not only now, but in the future. If you have a puppy, how big will your dog be when they are an adult? Is this just for one dog? Do you have plans to have multiple dogs share this kennel later on down the line?
The box is the most important part to remember when it comes to planning for the future, as your dog should always have access to a warm, covered box with plenty of room, all year long.
Most durable and secure outdoor kennels are either custom built, permanent structure, or very difficult to move on your own. Plan ahead now for what your expectations will be for your pet so you can make a smart investment for you and your pet’s future.
Think About How Your Dog Will Use Their Kennel
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How is your dog going to be using this kennel? Is this where they will be spending all of their time? Will they only be there for a few hours per day for exercise? Are they going to be sleeping in the kennel? These facts all play in to finding the right size kennel for your dog.
Your dog should also have plenty of room to sleep in virtually any position they want to inside the dog box, or closed portion of the kennel. If you are planning on having your dog in this kennel a majority of the time, you may want to consider a slightly larger indoor portion, particularly if they are sleeping in their kennel at night.
However, if you live in a particularly cold climate, do not purchase a kennel with a box that is too big for your dog. This will make it difficult for your dog to get warm and stay warm.
For their outdoor run, think about what your dog likes to do. Whether they are the consummate sun bather, or love to run around in circles, there needs to be plenty of secured outdoor space for your pet to enjoy their time outdoors.
There should also be enough space to have fresh water both in the inside and outside portion of the kennel, so they always have access when they need it.
Make Sure You Have Enough Space in Your Yard
When it comes to your dog’s new kennel, it is all about location, location, location. Think about your yard as you start to plan for the right kennel and run size. Where you place your dog’s kennel can be just as important as the kennel itself.
Pick a place that is sheltered from the elements, and that won’t be prone to too much direct sunlight, or flooding. You should also be able to see your dog’s kennel from the house and put it in a convenient location for you to keep an eye on your pet. You should also make sure that you aren’t placing this kennel directly on the ground where there is a build-up of moisture, or excessive cold. This can seep into your dog’s kennel or run space and cause serious issues in the future.
Choosing the Right Kennel
In addition to choosing the right size outdoor kennel for your dog, you need to have the right physical structure to keep your dog safe, comfortable and well-protected while outdoors. Quality materials and durable construction are all important factors when it comes to choosing the right kennel. Wood is always a smart choice when it comes to outdoor kennels, it is durable, and a great insulator. Plastic, metal and other materials simply cannot compete with wood kennels.
You also want to make sure you are buying a structure that is easy to keep clean and sanitary, so that your dog’s home remains a comfortable and safe place for them to live.
You should always look for a dog kennel that has a shingled, wood roof to reduce the sun’s heat and that will maintain adequate heat retention as needed. There should always be some type of roof or awning in the outdoor portion of the kennel as well for extra shade protection. This is particularly important in the summer and during severe weather conditions.
With a little measuring, attention to detail and the right outdoor kennel, you can provide your dogs with a truly comfortable and safe space that they will love to call home.