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Bark All About It!

Finding the Right Size Crate for Your Dog

Jun 18, 2015

We love giving our dogs as much room as possible to run around and exercise—that’s why our facility features 10,000 square feet of outdoor play area, and 1,500 square feet of indoor play area. It’s critical to the mental and physical health of your dog to have plenty of territory to roam around in.


If play areas and the great outdoors are the settings for playtime, crates represent a safe zone for dogs. They’re an essential training tool not just for house training but also for helping a dog learn to settle and relax away from its litter mates or people. The latter is an important life skill for dogs, and crates help to establish that sense of comfort and independence within a dog’s life.

Many dogs love to sleep in their crates, as they appeal to their natural denning instincts. While we’re sure they love to sleep in your bed too, crates allow you to travel anywhere with the peace of mind that your dog will be just as comfortable as they are at home.
That said, it’s important to purchase the right size crate for your dog. You don’t want one that’s too big, because then your pup is likely to use part of it as a toilet, and sabotage your attempts at potty training. And you definitely don’t want one that’s too small, for obvious reasons. This is such a critical issue that current Federal Animal Welfare Regulations provide an algebra equation that uses the size of your dog to determine the legal minimum floor space necessary for a dog’s crate (apparently your high school math teacher was right all those years ago about using algebra in daily life).

We care about the safety and happiness of your dog as much as you do. So here is a brief guide for determining the correct size crate for your pup. The guide is broken up into three parts: (1) You can use your dog’s weight to roughly estimate the ideal width and length of a crate, (2) if you don’t mind doing a little math, you can use the size of your dog to be more precise, and (3) find out how tall your dog’s crate needs to be.

Crate width and length based on dog weight

  • 1 to 10 pounds = Between 18”x12” and 22”x13”
  • 11 to 25 pounds = About 24”x18”
  • 26 to 40 pounds = Between 24”x18” and 30”x24”
  • 41 to 60 pounds = Between 30”x30” and 36”x30”
  • 61 to 80 pounds = Between 36”x24” and 36”x36”
  • 80 to 100 pounds = Between 42”x30” and 48”x36”
  • 100 to 150 pounds = Between 46”x36” and 60”x36”
  • Over 150 pounds = Larger than 72”x36”

Crate floor area based on dog length

If you don’t mind grabbing a yard stick and doing a little math, you can get a much more exact determination of the crate size your dog needs. This method is borrowed from the Federal Animal Welfare Regulations Handbook (linked above, see page 65). Given that this is meant for determining the legal minimum crate size, you’re going to want a crate that, if anything, is a bit above the results you come up with.

  1. Take a tape measure or yard stick and measure your dog from the tip of his nose to the base (not the tip) of his tail, and determine your dog’s length in inches.
  2. Take this measurement, and add 6”. Then take this number and square it (times it by itself).
  3. The number you come up with is the minimum floor area that your dog’s crate should have, in square inches. (To find the area of a crate, just take multiply its length and width in inches.) If you want to convert your measurement to square feet, divide the number you came up with by 144.
    1. Example: Your dog measures 20”.
    2. Add 6” to the measurement: 20” + 6” = 26”
    3. Take 26” and times it by itself: 26”x26” = 676”
    4. This means that you should get a crate that has an area of at least 676”. Or, in square footage, 676” ÷ 144 = about 4.7 square feet.
  1. If you’re more comfortable with algebra than the word problem approach, here's the formula.
    1. If H = Dog’s Length in Inches, then:
    2. (H+6)^2 = Crate area in square inches, or
    3. (H+6)^2 ÷ 144 = Crate area in square feet

The right height for your dog’s crate

Regardless of which way you choose to figure out the width and length of the perfect crate for your dog, the appropriate height is very easy to figure out. When your dog is sitting, measure from the floor to the top of his head. Then add about 6 inches. This is how tall your pup’s crate should be.

We hope we didn’t overwhelm you with too much math today, but that’s just how important your dog is to us: we used math in a blog post. By choice. Scary, ain’t it?

If you need additional assistance in finding the right crate for your furry friend, contact us on Twitter or Facebook, and we’ll be happy to point you in the right direction.

Category: Dog Care

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