Your dog needs a kennel which is big enough for them to comfortably enter, stand up in and lie down in. This includes stretching out and turning around.
Measure your dog from head to tail and their height too, and add a generous amount of room on to these measurements. As a general rule, the kennel should be at least 10cm/4″ taller and longer than your dog and allow them to stand, sit and turn around easily.
Then think about your dog’s behaviour and sleeping style – if they like to be cosy, keep it relatively compact, but if they love to stretch from corner to corner, maybe go for the largest possible size and add more length on.
The most common options for outdoor kennels are plastic and wood. Plastic is relatively lightweight and able to resist water in rainy conditions. It should also be easier to maintain over time, and resistant to chewing.
Wooden kennels offer the ‘classic’ look, similar to a garden shed. Most are durable if you spend a decent amount of money, and the thicker wood can be great for insulation and keeping out noises and the wind.
Whether temporary or permanent, placement is important. The majority have their own floors so you don’t have to worry too much about the surface it is placed on; just ensure it is even and won’t wobble or rock when they are inside.
If your kennel doesn’t have a floor, keep it away from somewhere that can get wet or water can collect inside. You will probably want to jazz it all up with cushions and blankets, so keep away from mud and dirt too.
Feet are a good idea, as it allows airflow under the unit to stop it becoming damp and is also easier to insulate. If your chosen kennel doesn’t have any, placing it on a raised platform which is suitable for a shed is fine.
All outdoor kennels have a roof, and while this protects them from sunlight and any rain showers, you still shouldn’t place them anywhere which can get too hot or wet as it could make the kennel uncomfortable or cause damage.