How Big Does a Kennel Need to be?


A factor that will determine how comfortable your dog will be is the size of the kennel. It is important to ensure that you choose a kennel based on the size of your dog, as different breeds vary in size. You also need to remember that, just like larger rooms, the heating and cooling requirements for kennels will vary based on size.

How Big Does a Dog Kennel and Run Need to Be? In the USA kennels sizes given by ASPCA should be 10ft by 10ft or 5ft by 15ft. In the UK Boarding Kennels should be 1.2 metres square or 4ft by 4ft. There are no legal sizes for domestic use and there are no standards for runs but ideally they should be double the kennel size or above. See below for more detailed information.

Rules or Suggested Kennel Sizes US and UK

Measure Your Dog

Outdoor Kennel Dimensions

In the USA The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals suggests dog owners use one of two sizes, either

  • 10 feet by 10 feet or
  • 5 feet by 15 feet.

Kennels are rarely narrower than 5 feet, even for small dogs. Runs can be added as needed.

In the UK the sleeping area for boarding kennels should be 1.2.sq.m. This can accommodate the bed for a medium to large size dog or up to two small to medium size dogs.

The kennel should be large enough to allow each dog to be able to walk, turn around and wag its tail without touching the sides of the kennel, to play, to stand on its hind limbs and to lie down without touching another individual.

Each kennel must have an exercise area which is separate from the sleeping area, exclusive to that kennel, for use by the dog at all times except when bedded down for the night.

The minimum size for exercise areas must be (not including sleeping area) as follows;

  • Small Dog – 2.25 sq.m
  • Medium Dog – 2.8 sq.m
  • Large Dog – 4.5 sq.m

The definition for small, medium and large dogs are as follows:

  • Small: measuring 350mm (1ft 1.75 or under at the withers shoulder);
  • Medium: measuring over 350mm (1ft 1.75), and measuring 430mm (1ft 5) or under at the withers;
  • Large: measuring over 430mm(1ft 5) at the withers.

Want to Know if Your Kennel is Warm Enough? Read This Post on What Temperature Should my Kennel Be?

Adding a Run

I have always felt that a very important factor you need to consider for keeping dogs in a kennel is adding a run, not only does it mean your dog can safely get some exercise while using the kennel, but your dog can also self-adjust its temperate surroundings.

If it feels too hot inside the kennel it can come outside to cool off and adversely if it gets too cold to sit outside it can return to the warmth and dry of its kennel.

A run can be easily achieved by using mesh wiring panels fixed to the kennel and providing some outdoor space for your dog to stretch its legs and exercise without being able to escape. There are however many kennels sold with dog runs included if you are not handy with tools.

If you leave your dog outside for long periods of time while you are not around, it is not advisable to keep it tethered. This is something that experts believe could lead to injury and could also affect the behaviour of your pet.

By making sure you have an enclosed run around the kennel, you won’t have to tether your pet. Instead, it can simply go in and out of its kennel as it pleases and enjoy having the freedom to sit outside or get a little exercise.

Reasons for buying a Kennel

  • Shelter from the sun
  • Shelter from the rain
  • Somewhere to hide (for nervous dogs)
  • Somewhere to sleep or rest
  • To ensure the dog does not trash your house while you’re out

Choosing the Right Size Kennel

The kennel you choose for your dog should be big enough for the pet to stand up inside it without stooping or awkwardness. Your dog should also have room to get into position, turn around, lie down, and get into a comfortable sleeping position. If there is no run with the kennel, you may want to opt for a kennel that is a little larger than necessary, so your dog has room to stretch. If you are enclosing the kennel within a dog run with mesh wiring, your dog will be able to nip out of the kennel to stretch its legs whenever it wants to.

Tips for choosing the kennel for your dog:-

  • Consider the size of your dog and the space it needs
  • Is your dog still growing
  • Do you have enough space for the size your dog needs
  • Do you need to add a run

The Size of Your Dog

One key consideration when choosing the right size kennel for your pet is the size of your dog. As you know, dogs can vary hugely in terms of their size based on both the breed and the individual dog.

What size is your dog

You need to ensure you cater to the size of your pet when choosing the right size kennel. You will often be able to get expert advice from the pet store you are purchasing from, although this does depend on where you make your kennel purchase.

Whether Your Dog is Still Growing

You need to consider whether your dog is still growing, which will depend on its age and breed. If you have a puppy or young dog that may still grow, you should opt for something larger to accommodate for this growth. If not, you may end up going to a lot of expense and only to get the kennel replaced with a larger one as your dog gets bigger.

In terms of the size of the actual kennel itself, you need to ensure that it is a suitable size for your pet with room for your dog to move and make itself comfortable. At the same time, you need to ensure that it is not too big because a kennel for some dogs is meant to be a safe haven.

The Available Outdoor Space You Have

The amount of outdoor space you have available for the kennel. There is no point going for a kennel version of a penthouse suite if you only have limited space in your garden. So, do a little measuring up prior to making your selection. You can then ensure you choose a kennel that is not going to be too large for the area you have available.

Whether Your Dog Has an Outdoor Run

When you measure, consider how much extra space you need if you’re going to have an enclosed outdoor run in addition to its kennel. Very valuable for your dog to be able to pop outside to stretch its legs and exercise.

If not, you may need to consider a larger kennel, so your dog has room to move around and stretch as well as stand up and lie down without any issues.

Is your Kennel Warm Enough? – Read This Post

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