10 Best Dog Crates For All Dog Sizes – Don’t Buy Untill You Read Our 2018 Guide!

Dog crates are essential for any pet owners’ sanity and the comfort of their canine companion. Crates help housebreak and potty train puppies, serve as a safe method of transportation should you be traveling with your pet, and offer a secure place to confine pets when you leave the house or have guests over. In addition, they also act as a comfortable sanctuary for your dog to relax and sleep in. If you’re looking for best dog crates for small dogs or large breeds, you’ll find them all here!

However, choose the wrong dog crate, and the results can be anything from mildly annoying to downright disastrous. If you misjudge the size, your dog won’t fit inside comfortably. Select something low-quality, and you’ll find your money wasted when your pooch manages to break out and chew up everything in sight. A poor dog crate is a whole new hassle and expense all on its own.

Quick Answer: What Is the Best Dog Crate?

  1. TOP Choice: Folding Metal Dog Crate from AmazonBasics
  2. Best Selling: Heavy-Duty Dog Crate from MidWest
  3. Editors Recommend: New World Folding Dog Crate
  4. Most Versatile: 2PET Soft Dog Crate
  5. Fleece Bed: EliteField Soft Dog Crate

Top Rated Dog Crates Comparison

Model Dimensions Weight Material Divider Amount of doors Other Features Rating
AmazonBasics Crate
AmazonBasics Folding Metal Dog Crate
36 x 23 x 25 inches 18.2 pounds Metal Yes Double door Plastic liner pan
Foldable
4.6 of 5
BUY NOW Amazon.com
MidWest LifeStages Heavy-Duty Folding Metal Dog Crates
MidWest Heavy-Duty Crate
36 x 24 x 27 inches 33 pounds Metal Yes Double door Leak-proof plastic pan
Carrying handle
Foldable
4.6 of 5
BUY NOW Amazon.com
New World Folding Metal Dog Crate
New World Crate
36 x 23 x 25 inches 25 pounds Metal No Double door Durable plastic pan
Foldable
4.5 of 5
BUY NOW Amazon.com
2PET Foldable Dog Crate
2PET Soft Dog Crate
20 x 14 x 14 inches 5.9 pounds Steel frame; fabric cover No Single door Water-resistant
Top handle
Washable fleece cushion
4.5 of 5
BUY NOW Amazon.com
EliteField Soft Dog Crate
EliteField Crate
36 x 24 x 28 inches 15.8 pounds Steel frame; Mesh fabric cover No 4-door Washable Accessory pockets
Handle and hand carrying straps
4.4 of 5
BUY NOW Amazon.com

Top Dog Crates Reviews

Choosing a dog crate for your pet isn’t the kind of decision you make on a whim – there are multiple factors that you need to take into account, such as the cost, material, and of course the comfort of your pet. You’ll also want something that is durable, portable, secure, of top-quality, easy for you to clean and maintain, and suited to your intended usage (for training, containment or travel).

Given the wide array of products available, it can be hard to make a decision – there are so many features, styles, and price ranges! To help you out, we’ve scoured the market and put together a list of ten best dog crates that pet owners can consider and purchase for their canine companions, whether they’re looking for a large dog crate or a puppy crate. Here are our expert picks, and honest and comprehensive dog crate reviews:

AmazonBasics Folding Metal Dog Crate Review

The AmazonBasics folding metal dog crate is the perfect option for dog owners looking for sturdiest, most reliable, best wire dog crates. Roomy enough for a fully-grown dog, and equipped with customizable features which allow pet owners to tailor the size to suit a puppy, the AmazonBasics crate is ideal whether you’re looking to impart some training or just give your pet a safe place to relax. It’s one of the best dog crates for puppies!

This folding dog crate is also available in numerous sizes (22-inch, 24-inch, 30-inch, 36-inch, 42-inch and 48-inch) and comes packed with a variety of standout features:

AmazonBasics Folding Metal Dog Crate
  • Double doors: This dog crate features swing-open double doors – one in the front, and another on the side. This means you can easily clean /arrange the interior and access your pet if required. Each door has two slide-bolt latches to ensure your pet is securely contained. If you are not interested in double doors, a single-door option is also available.
  • Made of strong, durable metal: The metal wire construction not only makes for a strong and sturdy crate, it also ensures the crate is well-ventilated, and that dogs can see what is going on around them while pet owners can see inside. It’s one of the best folding dog crates! All edges and corners have been rounded, to ensure your pet doesn’t injure itself.
  • Divider panel for customizing size: The AmazonBasics dog crate is perfect for both puppies and adult dogs owing to the divider panel it comes with, which means pet owners can customize the size. You can easily reduce the size to make it suitable for puppies (to ensure they don’t start using one end as a toilet while sleeping on the other). This means pet owners won’t need to buy new crates when puppies get older – courtesy the divider, the puppy will simply grow into it!
  • Easy to set up and foldable for convenient storage: The folding dog crate can be set up in seconds, without the aid of tools; simply pull upwards to unfold it and then lock it in place. Similarly, the crate can be folded flat when not in use, making it incredibly easy to store or move from one location to another.

MidWest Heavy-Duty Dog Crates

LifeStages heavy-duty double-door dog crates are designed to be your dog’s homes for life. Built to ensure the maximum safety and comfort of your dog, these best-rated dog crates are excellent for training, transport, and as sanctuaries for your pets.

LifeStages’ dog crate is also available in six sizes – x-small (22-inch), small (24-inch), medium (30-inch), intermediate (36-inch), large (42-inch), and x-large (48-inch). Each size boasts the same features:

MidWest Heavy-Duty Dog Crates
  • Strong metal design: The LifeStages metal indestructible dog crate is made of heavy-duty gauge steel and a tight wire mesh design. These crates are manufactured according to the highest standards, ensuring quality control at every stage – the result is a strong and sturdy kennel. The crate also has a durable satin-black Electro-Coat finish.
  • Easy installation: You can set up a LifeStages dog crate in seconds, without the aid of tools.
  • Convenient storage and transport: These crates can be folded down flat, which means they are easy to store and occupy very little space. In addition, plastic handles ensure you can fold the crate down and carry it easily, suitcase-style.
  • Easy to clean: This large metal dog crate is 100% washable, and it comes with a plastic leak-proof pan attached to the bottom that is removable, making clean-up a breeze.
  • Double doors: The dog crates come with two doors – a design which allows for both front and side access and means you have plenty of options for situating the crate to suit your floor plan. The doors also come with side bolt latches for added security. If you aren’t interested in double doors, LifeStages also offers a single-door option.
  • Free divider: LifeStages crates are meant to be your dog’s home for life, and pet owners are encouraged to buy crates which will be a suitable size for their dogs when they are fully grown (making it a one-time purchase). To allow pet owners to adjust the size of the crate for a puppy, the crates come with a free divider panel.
  • Rounded corners and rubber feet: All sharp corners and edges are rounded off, to ensure your dog’s (and your) safety. In addition, the bottom of this comfortable dog crate has ‘roller’ rubber feet, to protect your floors.

New World Folding Dog Crate

As far as heavy duty dog crates are concerned, New World’s folding metal dog crate is an ideal option for pet owners with varied needs. Not only is this strong dog crate an efficient tool for your pet’s behavior training (such as housebreaking, potty training, etc.), it also offers dogs a personal, den-like place where they can feel safe and secure.

The New World dog crate also comes in both single and double door options and is available in 5 sizes: 24-inch, 30-inch, 36-inch, 42-inch, and 48-inch. Features include:

New World Folding Dog Crate
  • 2-door design: This wire crate boasts a convenient and versatile 2-door design, with two sturdy side-bolt latches on each swing-open door, for maximum security.
  • Easy assembly and storage: This of the best dog crates is easy to set up – all you have to do is unfold it. When it is not in use or being transported, the crate can be folded flat, making it easy to store or carry.
  • Durable design: A heavy duty wire design crate that is built to last, the New World dog crate provides a secure and contained environment for a pet. It also has a long-lasting e-coat finish for added protection. In addition to its durability, the design also allows for maximum ventilation and easy visibility for both you and your dog.
  • Rounded edges: All corners are rounded for safety.
  • Leak-proof pan for easy clean-up: The dog crate comes with a plastic leak-proof pan which lines the bottom of the kennel, making it super easy to clean up any accidents.


2PET Soft Dog Crate

This versatile foldable dog crate by 2PET is an all-in-one product, suited to all sorts of locations and uses, be they indoors or outdoors, for travelling or dog training.

Also available in 3 colors (beige, blue and red) and 5 sizes – small (20in), medium (24in), large (28in), x-large (32in), and xx-large (36in) – this dog crate boasts multiple great features:

2PET Soft Dog Crate
  • Sturdy design: The structure of the crate comprises a heavy-duty yet lightweight steel tube frame, which can be folded and unfolded in seconds.
  • Easy-to-clean soft covering: The covering on top of the steel frame is made of soft Oxford 600D fabric which is water-resistant, and can easily be removed and machine washed. It also includes strong full-frontal zippers – dogs that are prone to chewing can’t destroy them easily.
  • Well-placed windows: The crate features mesh panels and cute bone-shaped windows which make for optimal natural ventilation.
  • Easy to clean: This large metal dog crate is 100% washable, and it comes with a plastic leak-proof pan attached to the bottom that is removable, making clean-up a breeze.
  • Additional features: This crate has lots of extra features such as a waterproof mat for the floor (to catch any ‘accidents’ and make clean-up easy) and a fleece cushion that makes for added comfort (and is washable to boot). In addition, the crate also comes with a top handle which can be used to turn it into a pet carrier.
  • All for a good cause: A portion of sales are donated by 2PET to shelter and charities around the country.

While sizing can be confusing, and it can be difficult to determine which size will be best suited to your pooch, 2PET provides a sizing chart that can be used to select the best soft crate for your pet.

EliteField Soft Dog Crate

The EliteField 3-door folding soft dog crate is ideal for both transporting your pet via car, and for giving your dog a cozy “room” in the house for sleeping and relaxation. Durable, but lightweight and portable at the same time, this dog crate is the ideal choice for pet owners who are looking for quality and reliability.

The EliteField dog crate is also available in multiple colors and comes in 5 sizes: 20 inches, 24 inches, 30 inches, 36 inches, and 42 inches. This soft dog crate has multiple features, such as:

EliteField Soft Dog Crate
  • Four-door design: This crate has four mesh doors (on the front, top, and on two sides) – these provide easy access, convenience, proper ventilation and breathability, and sunlight. Each door also has a curtain, for shade or to reduce stress and barking. Each door has locking zippers for added safety
  • Durability: The frame of the crate is made of sturdy steel tube, while the cover is made of top-quality 600D fabric and hex mesh fabric, making for a durable but lightweight soft crate.
  • Easy transport and storage: This lightweight dog crate can be set up and folded down in seconds, no tools are required. This crate is highly portable, and has a height of just 3-inches when folded, making for easy storage and transport. A free carrying bag with a padded adjustable shoulder strap is included, in addition to a handle and hand carrying straps on the soft crate.
  • Added features: A free fleece bed is included. The crate also features a water bottle holder and two accessory pockets for additional storage. The cover and bed are removable and washable.

Arf Pets Dog Soft Crate

Whether you’re setting up a safe, cozy “dog room” for your pet in your home, travelling with your canine companion, hanging out in the great outdoors, or going to the vet or groomer, the Arf Pets soft-sided dog crate is the perfect option for your pet. This crate’s versatile design means it can easily be adapted for a variety of uses and scenarios, whether you choose to use it in your home, your yard, the car, or anywhere else. But is it the best dog crate?

This soft dog crate comes packed with useful features, including:

Arf Pets Dog Soft Crate
  • Heavy duty but lightweight construction: At the core of this soft dog crate is a heavy-duty yet lightweight steel frame, covered with a fine, well-ventilated mesh casing that is tightly woven and resistant to chewing or rips. In addition, all corners and edges on the crate are rounded, to ensure safety and protection of surfaces.
  • Multiple entries: This soft crate has three entries – front, top, and side – to ensure optimal ventilation and easy usage in all seasons.
  • Easy set-up and storage: Setting up this dog crate is a breeze – sturdy steel bars lock into place and the frame can be snapped into shape with the retractable springs. Then, simply slip the cover on, and set it in place with the zipper. This dog crate is also fully collapsible, making it easy, quick and efficient to store. In addition, it is also portable and comes with a convenient carrying strap.
  • Water-resistant and washable: The crate has a water-resistant base which can easily be removed and cleaned. In addition, the soft cover can also be washed in the machine.

Go Pet Club Soft Pet Crate

The Go Pet Club soft dog crates are a portable, lightweight and compact kennel, ideal for providing your dog shelter anywhere and everywhere. Be it at home, on the road, or outdoors, this dog crate is the best option for giving your dog a secure and comfortable retreat.

The Go Pet Club crate also comes in 6 sizes: xx-small, x-small, small, medium, large, and x-large. Features include:

Go Pet Club Soft Pet Crate
  • Durable construction: This soft dog crate is built to last, and made of heavy-duty, water-resistant polyester with PVC backing.
  • Mesh doors for ventilation and visibility: The screen mesh door ensures that your dog is securely confined in a well-ventilated space.
  • Easy storage and portability: Lightweight and portable, the pet crate can be folded down to less than 2-inches thick, which makes for easy storage.
  • Lambswool floor pad: The floor of the pet crate is covered with a removable lambswool floor pad, for the added comfort of your pet.
  • 3 windows with roll-down cover: 2 windows allow for maximum ventilation, and each window has a roll-down cover, which means pet owners can choose to open the windows or keep them closed.



NOZTONOZ Sof Dog Crate

As far as portable soft dog crates go, the Firstrax Noztonoz Sof-Krate Indoor/Outdoor Pet Home is perfect for taking your pet anywhere, be it on vacation trips, the vet, or the groomer. It is equally great for setting up in your home (both outdoors and indoors), to give your canine companion a safe place to rest and relax.

The Noztonoz soft dog crate is also available in 5 sizes – 21-inch, 26-inch, 30-inch, 36-inch, and 42-inch. Its standout features include:

NOZTONOZ Sof Dog Crate
  • Durability: The Noztonoz Sof-Krate is made of a tightly woven heavy-duty mesh fabric which is durable and allows for ventilation, making it a comfortable, pet-proof space.
  • Easy set-up and storage: Setting up the dog crate is a simple process that can be done in seconds. As far as the best portable dog crates go, it can’t get better than the Noztonoz Sof-Krate. The crate can be raised or collapsed in a jiffy by using push button tabs and couplers in the steel frame tubes. The crate can be folded flat for easy storage, and is lightweight enough to carry easily.
  • Rounded corners for added safety: The corners of the dog crate a rounded, to ensure that they do not injure your pet or you, or cause any sort of damage to your home. In addition, the materials used in the making of the crate are non-toxic, making it completely safe for your pet.
  • Simple to clean: The entire soft dog crate is 100% washable, and has a sturdy water-resistant base. The entire cover (which is completely washable) can also be removed from the steel frame completely and washed with the rest of your laundry.
  • Multiple doors: The dog crate features doors on the front, top, and side, for easy access and even ventilation. The doors are secured by strong zippers.

OxGord Dog Crate

A sturdy and versatile structure, the OxGord Paws and Pals dog crate with divider is built to last. Whether your aim is housebreaking, correcting behavioral problems, or simply providing your pet a comfortable and secure sanctuary, this extra strong dog crate will be your (and your canine’s) companion for many years to come.

OxGord’s dog crate is available in 6 sizes – small, medium, large, X-large, XX-large, and XXX-large. These dog crates have some really great features, including:

OxGord Dog Crate
  • Top-quality construction and premium materials: OxGord dog crates are built with commercial-grade materials, including heavy-duty solid metal ‘steel’. This all-steel, the high-strength wire is bound in a tight mesh pattern, making the dog crates secure, sturdy, and long-lasting. A black Electro-coat finish means the crates are rust-proof and corrosion-resistant, in addition to being 100% washable. All edges and corners are rounded to ensure pets are not at risk of injuring themselves.
  • Multiple doors: Barring the small size crate (which comes with a single door), the OxGord dog crates feature two doors, all of which have side-bolt latches that allow for easy and secure locking.
  • Slide-out tray for easy cleaning: Each crate comes with a lightweight yet sturdy tray made of ABS plastic. This slide-out tray makes for easy cleaning; in addition, it is surrounded by a lip and secured with a retaining bar, so you can easily slide it out for cleaning and then slide it back in, all without having to open the door of the crate.
  • Divider panel for adjustable sizes: The OxGord dog crate comes with a free divider panel, which can be used to adjust the living space for a pet in accordance with its size – puppies can initially be confined to a smaller area of the crate, and as they grow bigger, the divider can be used to adjust the space according to their increasing size.
  • Easy to install and store: The OxGord dog crate is super easy to set up without tools – simply fold it open. It is equally easy to fold back down when not in use. When folded down, the crate becomes a light and compact package not more than 4 inches tall, which means it can easily be stored without taking up too much space. A removable top-mounted handle ensures its portability.

Petmate Heavy Duty Dog Crate

The Petmate Sky Kennel is the perfect plastic dog crate, whether you’re planning airline travel with your pet, looking for a top-notch crate to housetrain your pet, or simply in need of a sturdy crate to house a particularly anxious, destructive, or escape artist dog. The crate offers both comfort and security and is the best option for pet travel. This kennel meets most airline requirements; however, pet owners are advised to check with their airline, to confirm the pet travel requirements for each trip.

Made in the USA, the Petmate Sky Kennel is also available in 6 sizes: 21 inches, 28 inches, 32 inches, 26 inches, 40 inches, and 48 inches. Some great features include:

Petmate Heavy Duty Dog Crate
  • Heavy duty crate:The high-strength plastic construction of this crate is incredibly sturdy and durable, designed to stand up to high levels of wear and tear. The plastic wing nuts are non-corrosive, and the steel wire used in construction is extra strong.
  • Secure doors and windows: The crate comes with extra-strong wire doors with secure latches that interlock to ensure maximum security. The wire windows offer 4-way ventilation.
  • Equipped for travel: This airline approved dog crate comes fully equipped for pet owners planning to use it for travel – the kennel has a “Live Animal” sticker, identification stickers, clip-on water and food cups, and an absorbent pad to provide your pet comfort and catch any “accidents”.





Major Buying Considerations

Buying the best dog crate can be a daunting task. There are so many options, how do you pick one? What are the different advantages of metal, fabric, or plastic crates? How do you judge which size you need? What are the uses of features like “double door” or “foldable”? If your dog is an escape artist/destructive/suffering from separation anxiety – which crate do you pick? These are probably just some of the questions that might run through the mind of a pet owner looking for a dog crate.

Let’s simplify things. The first thing you need to do is understand the purpose of a dog crate. There are three main uses for a dog crate:

  • Training: Dog crates are used for potty training, house training/house breaking, and for training dogs to understand house rules and boundaries.
  • Containment: Dog crates allow you to contain your pet, whether it’s to keep them out of the way when you have guests, limit them to one location, or prevent them from destroying the house owing to separation anxiety (which occurs when dogs that are left alone start chewing the walls, furniture, etc.). In addition, they also provide a safe haven, a little house within a house for dogs to relax.
  • Travel: Best dog crates allow you to securely transport your canine companion from one location to the other. Different types of dog crates are recommended for different types of travel (by car, bus, plane, etc.) and there are special crates for air travel, which meet airline requirements for pet transportation. They also provide your pet protection in the event of an accident or collision.

Once you’ve identified and understood your purpose/s and your intended usage, you’ll be better equipped to narrow down options and select the most suitable dog crate for your requirement and your dog’s needs.

Best Dog Crate Buying Guide

Buying a dog crate should not be a spur-of-the-moment decision. A great deal of research needs to go into the purchase – you need to take into account the size, price, material, and of course the comfort of your pet. The best dog crate is an investment, and given the wide range of products available, with varying sets of features, it can be hard to make a choice. But we’ve got you covered.

In this article, we’ve done all the research for you, and put together everything you need to know in order to make the best, most suitable choice when purchasing a dog crate. We’ve combed the market, read hundreds of soft dog crate reviews & others, and take all factors into account so we can help you select the best dog crate for both your pet and you. Read on for our top picks and our comprehensive guide on buying a dog crate.

Every dog owner has the welfare of their pet at heart, and when it comes to buying the best dog crate, you want to make sure you get the very best. Given their prices, high-quality dog crates are generally the most expensive items pet owners buy for their dogs. For this reason, you’ll want to make sure you select a crate that is durable enough to last a lifetime, with all the features you need to keep your pet comfortable and safe, and also give you peace of mind any time you leave your dog by itself. There are a number of factors you’ll need to consider when selecting a dog crate – these include size, material/type, number of doors, and durability and safety.

1. Dog Crate Sizes – How To Choose Correctly

Choosing the right dog crate size

Firstly, when picking the best dog crate, determining the correct size is of utmost importance. Pick something too small and your dog will be unable to move around comfortably (which might lead him to avoid the crate altogether). Choose a crate that’s too big and you’ll have your dog relieving himself in one corner and sleeping in the other. In addition, a crate that is too large will lack the feeling of coziness and security that dogs associate with dens.

To strike the ideal balance and nail the correct size, it is essential to measure your dog, and when you are buying online, it is especially important to pay attention to the dimensions of the product you’re considering.

Start by measuring from the top of his head to the floor, and from the tip of his nose to the base of the tail. The crate you select should be 4-5 inches longer than your dog’s measurements (both length and height wise), to ensure he has adequate room to stand without hunching, move around and lay down comfortably with legs outstretched.

In relation to size, experts also recommend buying a crate that is in proportion to how large your dog will be when he is fully grown. For a puppy, you can use dividers or cardboard panels to reduce the space until your pup grows into the crate – this will also save you money, making the crate a one-time, lifetime investment.

The following are some general guidelines on sizing; however, keep in mind that these are just to provide some general advice, and should not be followed blindly. Always make sure you obtain your dog’s specific and unique measurements before selecting a crate.

Small Dog Crates

Generally, extra small crates are around 20 inches in length and 14 to 15 inches in height. A small crate is suitable for dogs under 25 pounds, including breeds such as Pugs, Shih Tzus, and Chihuahuas. In extra small sizes, crate dimensions usually range from 18″(L)x12″(W)x14″(H), 22″x13″x16”, or 19″x12″x15″.

Small sized crates are usually 22 to 24 inches in length, and 19 to 21 inches in height. These are suitable for dogs that weigh under 30 pounds, including breeds such as Jack Russells, Miniature Dachshunds, and Scottish Terriers. The dimensions for small sized crates are usually 24″x18″x21″, 24″x18″x19″, or 24″x17″x20″.

Medium Size Dog Crates

Medium sized dog crates are usually available in lengths ranging from 28 inches to 30 inches in length, and 23 to 24 inches in height. These are suitable for a dog that weighs under 40 pounds, such as American Pit Bull Terrier, French Bull Dogs, and Cocker Spaniels. The dimensions for medium sized dog crates are usually 30″x19″x21″, 30″x21″x24″, or 30″x19″x22″.

Big Dog Crates For Large Dogs

Large sized dog crates are usually available in 34-36 inches in length and 25 to 27 inches in height. These crates are ideal for dogs that weigh 70 pounds or less, including breeds such as Basset Hounds, Welsh Corgis, and Bull Terriers. Large crate dimensions are usually 36″x24″x27″, 36″x23″x25″, or 36″x23″x26″.

XL sized dog crates can be found ranging from 40 to 42 inches in length and 29 to 31 inches in height. These crates work best for dogs that weigh 90 pounds or less, such as Border Collies, Dalmatians, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, and Siberian Huskies. The dimensions for XL-sized crates are generally 42″x28″x31″, 42″x28″x30″, or 42″x29″x31″.

Finally, XXL sized dog crates are available in lengths ranging from 46 to 72 inches, and heights of 44 to 48 inches. These crates are built for the big boys who weigh anything from 90 to 150 pounds, including massive breeds such as Great Danes, Alaskan Malamutes, Bull Mastiffs, Great Pyrenees, Irish Wolfhounds, Rottweilers, and St. Bernards. XXL dog crate dimensions include 46″x30″x33″, 54″x37″x45″, or 72″x45″x48″.

2. Types Of Dog Crates

Variety of dog crates available

The type of crate you select for your dog depends on a number of factors, including his size, breed, habits, your intended purpose, the climate you live in, and where you plan to place the crate.

While there are multiple types, and further variations within these types, dog crates can be divided roughly into three main categories – wire metal dog crates, plastic dog crates, and soft dog crates. The most popular features include collapsible and folding dog crates and divider panels. Each type of crate and each feature has its advantages and disadvantages – ultimately, there really is no “best” dog crate – it all depends on your specific requirements.

Wire Metal Dog Crates

These are the most popular types of dog crates. Wire metal dog crates offer plenty of ventilation and visibility and can be great for dogs living in hot climates. These are available in both single and double door options and are generally foldable which makes them highly portable. Wire crates are incredibly easy to keep clean, and sometimes even come with a plastic removable pan lining the bottom, which makes for even easier clean-up. Wire crates are also the most popular type at dog shows, as they allow owners to put their pets on full display.

However, they can be heavier than other types of crates, and are also the noisiest of the lot. Dogs that are cleverer than most are also often able to escape from metal wire crates with relative ease. In addition, the added visibility can also be a disadvantage, as it can make dogs nervous in unfamiliar settings, and the metal wire bars provide little protection from the elements.

Plastic Dog Crates

Plastic dog crates are best for travel –air travel in particular – and plastic crates that are built in compliance with airline regulations will specify that they are “airline-approved”. However, plastic crates work equally well on a more permanent, day-to-day basis as well.

Plastic crates have a number of advantages, such as the fact that they are lightweight and more portable than metal wire crates. They provide more protection from the elements than wire crates do, and are better for dogs that are easily distracted/distressed by their surroundings. They are also more difficult for wily canines to break out of. Plastic crates also come with detachable food and water bowls.

A major disadvantage of plastic dog crates is that they are not always very portable if you own a medium to large size – this is mostly owing to the fact that they cannot be folded down like metal wire crates, so if portability is your aim, a plastic crate will work best for smaller breeds. However, be careful with the more destructive pets – if chewed and swallowed, plastic can cause a pup a lot of problems.

The fact that they are not foldable also make it cumbersome to store plastic dog crates, as they take up a lot of space. In addition, plastic dog crates lack the visibility that metal crates provide, and can be rather constraining for dogs with a particular temperament.

Ventilation is also a problem in plastic dog crates, as the only opening is the door up front – however, this means they’ll work great in cooler climates. Lastly, while they are easy to clean, odors can become a problem, as plastic tends to absorb and retain smells over time.

Soft Dog Crates

These are a wonderful option for pets and pet owners who might be put off by the cage-like, confining appearance of metal and plastic dog crates. Soft crates are made of a steel/aluminum tube frame which is covered with fabric to make a comfortable, cozy crate. Many owners use soft crates to take their pets along when they go camping, and some varieties even come with stakes to secure the crate.

Soft dog crates are extremely lightweight and portable, as they are fully foldable and come with carrying bags in which they can be stowed, allowing for easy and compact storage. In addition, they are also the most comfortable type of crate for dogs, as they provide a cozy interior coupled with ample ventilation (via mesh panels, windows and doors) and plenty of visibility. Soft crates also often come with extra pockets on the side, for holding things like toys or food bowls.

However, they also have their drawbacks. Soft crates are perhaps the least durable type of dog crate. They are for the calm, well-behaved canine that has been fully crate trained; destructive dogs will rip/chew most soft crates to shreds, while escape artists may learn to unzip the crate. For these reasons, it is essential to choose wisely, and look for crates made of more durable fabrics and zippers.

Lastly, unless they are waterproof/water-resistant, soft crates can be extremely difficult to clean, especially if your pet has any ‘accidents’ while using it.

Collapsible & Folding Dog Crates Perks

Many dog crates, including soft crates and metal wire crates, boast features such as ‘collapsible’ and ‘foldable’. These features basically mean that the crate is constructed in such a manner that it can be pulled upwards to unfold it and set it up, and folder back flat in order to ‘collapse’ it. Crates that come equipped with these features have a number of advantages:

  • Easy to set up: Setting up and installing a foldable/collapsible dog crate takes seconds, with no special tools required.
  • Easy to store: Since these affordable dog crates can be folded flat, they are wonderfully easy to store and take up very little room when they are not in use.
  • Portability: Given how compact and lightweight they are when folded down, collapsible/foldable dog crates are highly portable.
  • Great for travel: Since they are easy to set up, store, and carry, dog crates that are collapsible and foldable are ideally suited for travelling and transporting over short distances (although they are not allowed for air travel).

Dog Crates With Divider

Divider panels are another prominent feature in dog crates, particularly metal wire dog crates. These are basically panels which can be inserted into a dog crate in order to limit your dog to a set portion of space in the crate.

The key advantage of a divider panel is that it is highly cost effective. Pet owners looking to buy a crate to train their puppies do not need to buy small sized crates which their puppies will outgrow in months. Rather, thanks to divider panels, pet owners can make a one-time investment and buy crates that will accommodate their dog when it is fully grown. They can then use divider panels to create appropriately-sized living spaces for their puppy in the crate until the dog grows into the full crate size.

3. How Many Doors Should A Dog Crate Have?

Single vs Double Door Crates

Given that dog crates are supposed to mimic dens, the number of doors in a crate is a major factor to take into consideration. As mentioned previously, dens are supposed to be secure places, which means there must be a very limited amount of possible entry points. In addition, when the dog is inside, it should be possible for him to sit against a solid, closed background while keeping an eye on all doors and openings (pet owners need to keep this in mind when setting up the dog crate in their home). Most dog crates have an option for a single or double door version, and both have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Single Door Dog Crates

Single door dog crates are better for when dogs are being crate trained, or when they are travelling. Single door dog crates keep dogs securely confined, and there is less chance of escape.

However, at the same time, single door dog crates are more confining and allow for less ventilation and visibility, since there is a single entry point.

Double Door Dog Crates

Double door dog crates are less ‘closed’, giving dogs a greater degree of freedom. They also allow for greater ventilation and visibility. In addition, double doors provide pet owners greater access to the interior of the crate, which means clean-up is easier and any dogs that might be inside the crate can easily be reached if need be.

However, a major drawback of more doors is that there is more than one avenue for escape, should your pet be anxious to get out.

4. Choosing Indestructible & Safe Dog Crates

The aim of a good dog crate is to provide maximum security and comfort to the pet while ensuring that the pet owner can rest easy knowing their dog is out of harm’s way and that there’s no way he can break out and wreak havoc.

Ensuring that a crate is safe and indestructible requires pet owners too, firstly, crate train their pet so that they do not turn on the crate, and secondly, to pay attention to purchasing a crate which is the appropriate size, and made of top-quality and durable materials. While this requires a fair amount of research, you can skip the hard work and simply check out our top picks above for the best quality dog crates.

5. The Importance Of Crate Training For Dogs And Puppies

Next, let’s discuss helping your puppy/dog get accustomed to the idea of a crate – this is known as crate training.

Crate training is done so the dog can remain in the crate without getting stressed or anxious. Any pet owner who randomly decides to buy a crate and expects their dog to get in and stay in like a good boy is deluding themselves.

Crate training is important because it allows pet owners to use the dog crate for any or all of the purposes discussed above – simply put, you cannot use your dog crate for effective training, comfortable containment or safe and secure travel if your dog is not used to being crated!

Crate training also helps with housebreaking, potty training (dogs do not relieve themselves where they sleep, so crating a dog will help regulate bathroom timings), and reinforcing house rules and boundaries. In addition, it also helps in preventing destructive behavior stemming from separation anxiety and correcting behavioral problems like barking or chewing (which can prove dangerous if your dog swallows poison or chews through an electrical wire). Via crate training, a pet owner can teach a dog to stay in the crate calmly, and even enter it willingly.

6. Crate Training Basics

How crate train your dog

So how do you get your dog to accept being crated? First things first, it is essential to understand that dogs, instinctively, are not very different from their descendants, the wolves. They are den animals, and in the wild, a den is a safe place where dogs might huddle for protection from threats and the elements. It is also a place where pups (born deaf and blind) can stay safe until they are capable of going out into the wild.

To get the dog to accept being crated, you need to make sure the crate replicates a natural den – it should feel like a secure, personal space that is all his own, and doesn’t make the dog feel unsafe, exposed, or vulnerable from any angle. This will help the dog see the crate as a place of refuge, rather than a place to escape from.

Ideally, crate training should commence when the canine is still a puppy; however, in some cases, adult dogs can also be crate trained (though it may take longer and be far more challenging – you know the saying about old dogs and new tricks). The following are some tips for crate training:

  • Start by acquainting your puppy/dog with his new home (remove all collars, tags, and leashes before the dog goes into the crate). Leave the door open, allow him to explore it, let him sleep and rest in it, give him space so he gets comfortable with it and starts seeing it as a safe, secure spot.
  • Be gentle. Never be too aggressive in encouraging your dog to go into the crate. Under no circumstances must you force the dog into the crate, as this will make him associate negative sentiments with the crate. Slow and steady encouragement is the key.
  • Once the dog becomes comfortable with his new home, start restraining him by gently closing the door for a short duration, and offering praise/treats as a reward. Gradually increase the duration for which you keep the door closed, so the puppy/dog becomes accustomed to staying inside for longer periods of time.
  • That having been said, keep in mind that puppies/dogs need to ‘go’, so don’t leave your pet inside so long that they are forced to soil their den. Puppies need to relieve themselves every 2-4 hours, and adult dogs should not be crated for more than 4-5 hours at a time (unless they are sleeping at night or travelling).
  • Crating for too long is also not advisable because dogs need human interaction and exercise.
  • Supervision is key – the more you supervise your puppy/dog in the start, the easier it will be for you to reinforce positive behavior and encourage your pet to use the crate correctly.
  • While it is not a hard and fast rule, it is generally better to crate train using a metal or plastic crate, rather than a fabric one, as the latter may not survive the initial wear and tear.
  • Fill the crate with items which will make it feel like home. Soft bedding, some clothes that carry your scent, stress-relieving toys to chew on, etc.
  • Never reinforce the idea that barking or whining will lead you to open the crate door. This will give your pet the impression that they can get out simply by barking. If they do start barking, wait for them to stop, and then let them out.
  • Never use the crate as a punishment for misbehaving – this will force your pet to associate the crate with fear, punishment, and negative feelings.
  • Never crate a dog that has pent-up energy. Crating after exercise always leads to the best results.
  • Finally, intentionally crate your dog only until the time when he has been trained to not destroy the house. Once the dog has been trained, the crate should be a place he goes into voluntarily.

7. What To Put In A Dog Crate, Where To Put It, & How To Get It Prepared

Making your dog comfortable inside the crate

Getting your pet a dog crate is not as simple as buying one and putting it in a corner of your living room. If you are buying the crate as a ‘dog room’ for your pet, the placement of the dog crate, what you put inside it, and how you prepare it are all important aspects to consider.

Firstly, you’ll need to prepare the crate. If your pet is still a puppy, you might want to line the crate with soft lining to ensure the space is as comfortable as possible. Making the bottom of the crate water-resistant, by slipping a removable tray or even a sheet of tarp under the crate, is a great way to ensure any ‘accidents’ will not lead to messes that take forever to clean up. In addition, you might want to cover a metal wire crate with a cloth in order to make it feel more secure and ‘den-like’.

Next, you’ll need to decide where to place the dog crate. Generally, it is best to place the crate in the busiest room of the house during the day, where the majority of the family spends most of their time. The point is to make sure your pet still feels like part of a family – the crate should not be banished to some neglected room or corner, as this will make your pet feel as if he is being isolated or punished. At night, make sure the crate is placed in a well-ventilated area, but at a safe distance from sources of heat or draughts – remember, the point is to make sure your pet is comfortable.

Finally, make the crate appear welcoming and cozy by adding in comfortable bedding, toys, and small treats (do not place food and water in the crate while you are home). These will attract your pet, keep him occupied, and provide him with a comfortable environment in which to rest. Other items you can add in include clothes with your scent on them, or a ticking clock wrapped in a soft cloth for puppies, to remind them of their mother’s heartbeat.

Best Dog Crate Guide Summary

As evinced by the instructions above, selecting the best dog crate is a matter which depends on the particular requirements of the pet owner and their pet. The best dog crate, in short, is one which matches the size, material, design and features you require. However, there are some crucial general guidelines to follow, which have been provided above. By taking into account the tips we’ve provided in our buying guide, you can end up with a sturdy and suitable dog crate that will last you and your canine companion a lifetime.

Conclusion

Consider your dog size when buying a crate

Buying a dog crate is an unavoidable and essential part of being a pet owner – a crate will aid you in training your pet, and containing them securely when you’re not around without having to worry about their destructive tendencies. It will also serve as a safe sanctuary for your pet, and provide an easy, hassle-free way to travel with your pet, whether you’re headed to the vet or boarding an airplane.

Purchasing a dog crate requires pet owners to take into account the cost, crate size, crate type/material, and their intended purpose for the crate. They will also need to consider their dog’s breed, behavior and habits, as well as the durability, portability, and varied features of the product.

All things considered, our top pick, out of all the highest rated dog crates, remains the AmazonBasics Folding Metal Dog Crate – a sensible, reasonably priced crate which offers great value for money owing to its toughness and durability as compared to other types. It is the best dog crate for pet owners who are looking to crate train their dogs; it can hold up to a great deal of wear and tear, and is easily washable, meaning minimum hassle for pet owners. In addition, it is an easy folding pet crate, making for quick storage and easy transportation. Finally, while it may not provide much privacy or protection from the elements, this can be easily remedied by throwing a cover over the crate, to make it more sheltered.