How Do I Choose a Dog House? (Solved & Explained!)

You want to choose a proper dog house based on the size of your dog, the climate that you live in, and the price that you are willing to pay. 

There are many distinct types and styles of dog houses, but not all of them are equal. Some dog houses are bigger and more extravagant while others are smaller in size and simpler in terms of amenities and features. 

Continue reading on to learn about how to choose the right dog house for your dog by considering how much you want to spend, how big your dog is, and other factors specific to your situation. 

Choose A Dog House Based on Size 

The very first thing to consider when choosing a proper dog house is the size of your dog when it is an adult. Your dog will need to have a house large enough to walk in, stand up, and turn around comfortably and without hitting itself on the top or sides. 

This means that for large dog breeds like Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, or Great Danes, you will want to look at large and extra-large sized dog houses. 

On the other hand, for those with small or tiny dog breeds, having a dog house that is too large will not give your dog the den-like feeling that they seek when they use a dog house. Therefore, breeds like a Boston terrier, basset hound, or miniature schnauzer should have extra small to medium-sized dog houses. 

To measure your dog and fit the perfect fitting dog house, use a fabric measuring tape and measure your dog. Start by measuring nose to tail. Then move on and measure from toes to back and from the dog’s toes to its head. Based on your measurements, you will want to choose a house that is 6” more but not 12” larger than your measurements. This will ensure your house is the perfect fit for your dog. 

Consider Your Climate Needs 

Another thing to factor in when you are deciding on which dog house to buy your dog is your climate needs. A dog that lives in Florida will have vastly different needs than a dog that lives in Maine. For areas with a hotter climate during the summer and mild winter weather, choose a dog house that has plenty of ventilation for fresh air.  

In extremely hot climates you may want to even consider an air conditioning unit for your dog house to ensure that you are keeping your dog extra cozy. On the opposite side of this, dogs that are in very cold climates will get an extra benefit from a house with added insulation or even a heater that is built in.  

Is the Dog House Temporary or Permanent? 

Considering whether your dog house is intended as a permanent house for your dog or a temporary one is also another factor to consider when choosing a dog house. Some dog owners choose to let their dogs live outside full time. There are many different reasons why someone would do this, but those who have working dogs tend to house their dogs’ outside full time. 

If you are choosing to have your dog outside full time, you will want to get a dog house that is bigger, sturdier, and better insulated than the standard houses. In order to achieve this, you may have to make significant after market upgrades to the house to ensure that it will fit all of your dog’s needs.  

Pet owners who are considering a dog house as a temporary, outdoor shelter during the daytime only will find that most mass produced and readily available dog house models on the market are more than sufficient in providing a safe and secure housing option for their dog. 

Consider the Price You Want to Pay 

Just like there is a range of sizes and styles of dog houses there is also a range of prices when it comes to them. Dog houses can cost anywhere from $25 all the way to the thousands of dollars range. Your dog’s needs and your desired aesthetic will determine the final cost of your dog house. 

Wooden dog houses are quite a bit more expensive right now due to inflation and the rapidly rising lumber costs throughout the United States. Plastic dog houses, on the other hand, are not a high quality product and are not attractive to look at. Plastic dog houses, however, are by far the cheapest option available today. 

Dog houses with a lot of amenities, such as elevated floors, padded bottoms, and flap doors, are also going to push your dog house into a higher price point. If you are looking to save a little money, adding features like heating and air or a door can be done yourself after the fact for cheaper than through the manufacturer.  

Build Your Own Dog House to Save Money 

If you have the time, building your own dog house is a great way to save money. By building your own dog house you can also customize the dog house in the ways that are most beneficial for you and your pet.  

You can build your own dog house for cheap by using reclaimed or recycled wood. Old, unused shipping pallets from local stores are a great way to collect building materials for next to nothing. Sometimes you can even get these pallets for free. 

Thrifting or recycling other materials such as hardware, carpet remnants, or plastic flapping is another way to find low or no-cost building materials to create your dog house. If you are building your own dog house but do not know where to start, try looking for dog house plans on the internet. 

There are several sites that sell cheap or even give away free building plans for simple dog houses. Even if you have no knowledge of construction or building, these projects are really easy to understand and the directions simple to follow.