If you have a dog and you do not have a dog crate, you may want to consider getting one. Dog crates are useful tools for training, travel, and home. There are many different types of dog crates on the market. It can be hard to determine the right size crate for your dog. Read on for some helpful tips on what to look for when shopping for a dog crate and how to find the right size crate for your pup.
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Steps to Measure Your Dog for the Right Crate Size
One of the most important things to consider when purchasing a crate for your dog is what size you should get. To figure out what size crate your dog needs, you’ll need to start by measuring your pup.
Step One: Measure the Length of Your Dog
While your dog is standing on all fours, you can use a tape measure to measure the tip of the nose down to the base of the tail. You do not need to measure your dog’s tail. It is recommended to get a crate that is two to four inches longer than the length of your dog.
Step Two: Measure the Height of Your Dog
To measure your dog’s height, you will need to have them sit down. Use a measuring tape to measure from the floor to the top of your dog’s head while they are in a sitting position.
If you have a dog with ears that stick straight up, you may want to include the ears in this measurement. If your dog has floppy ears, this won’t be necessary. You will want to get a crate that is two to four inches taller than your dog’s height.
Step Three: Measure the Width of Your Dog
To measure your pup’s width, use the measuring tape to measure around the widest portion of your dog’s middle. You can do this while your dog is sitting or standing. You will need a crate that is two to four inches wider than your dog’s width.
Step Four: Weigh Your Dog
Not only is getting your dog’s measurements important, but it is also necessary to weigh your pup to get a crate that provides sufficient support. You want to make sure your dog is not too heavy for the dog crate.
Many dog crates will provide the weight limit in the product description. If they don’t, you can get a good idea of the weight limit by looking at the dimensions of the crate. If the length, height, and width are the right size for your dog, then it can be reasonable to assume your dog will likely not be too heavy for the crate.
If you struggle between two sizes in the case your dog is a little too big for a medium, and a little too small for a large, go up a size. A bit too much room is better than not enough room and you can always add a divider to remove some of the excess space.
What Size Crate Should You Get?
Dog crates will usually have dimensions listed in the product description for length, height, and width. Sometimes, only the length will be provided. Additionally, some brands will list what sizes they offer that work for certain dog breeds.
Extra Small Dog Crates
Some brands offer extra small-sized crates that are designed for dogs that weigh anywhere from one to ten pounds. These crates are suitable for extra small dog breeds, including the Chihuahua, Boston Terrier, Jack Russel Terrier, Pug, Maltese, and Pomeranian. While dimensions vary by brand and style, an example of the dimensions for an extra small crate are 24L x 17W x 19H.
Small Dog Crates
Small dog crates are much more commonly offered than extra small dog crates. These crates are designed for small dogs that weigh between 11 and 25 pounds. Small dog crates will likely fit most small dog breeds, including the Border Terrier, Maltese, Miniature Poodle, and the Tibetan Spaniel. Small crates will have dimensions such as 24L x 18W x 22H. The dimensions of small crates and extra small dog crates are similar. The big difference is the weight limit. If your dog weighs more than ten pounds, you should go with the small crate rather than the extra small.
Medium Dog Crates
Medium-sized dog crates are designed to accommodate dogs that weigh between 26 and 40 pounds. These crates work well for dog breeds like the American Pit Bull, French Bulldog, Miniature Schnauzer, and the Cocker Spaniel. Medium dog crates may have dimensions like 30L x 22W x 24H.
Large Dog Crates
Large dog crates are designed for dogs that weigh between 41 and 70 pounds. These crates are suitable for dog breeds like the Bulldog, English Setter, Basset Hound, and the Shar-Pei. Large dog crates may have dimensions such as 36L x 24W x 28H.
Extra Large Dog Crates
Extra-large crates are designed to fit dogs that weigh anywhere from 71 to 90 pounds. Extra-large dog crates will work for extra-large dog breeds like the Chow-Chow, Dalmatian, German Shepard, Golden Retriever, and the Siberian Husky. Dimensions of extra-large dog crates may be approximately 42L x 28W x 31H.
XXL Dog Crates
XXL crates are designed to accommodate the largest of dogs. These crates are appropriate for any dogs that weigh more than 90 pounds. XXL crates work well for breeds like the Bloodhound, Alaskan Malamute, Sheepdog, and Saint Bernard. Example dimensions for an XXL crate are 46L x 30W x 33H.
Crates for Puppies of All Sizes
The rules for crate sizing are slightly different if you are purchasing a dog crate for a puppy. You likely will not want to get a dog crate that fits your puppy right now, but that will be too small for your pup in a month. You also don’t want to get a dog crate that will be way too large for your puppy because they may not feel secure.
This could also hinder any potty training you intend to do because a major potty-training factor is that your puppy won’t want to go to the bathroom in the same area they are sleeping or eating. Small crates hinder this, while larger dog crates provide space for your puppy to go to the bathroom in one corner of the dog crate, defeating the whole point of potty training.
If you are shopping for a crate for your puppy, and especially if you intend to use the dog crate for potty training, you’ll want to look for a dog crate that will grow with your pup. These crates typically will be sized for full-grown dogs but will come with removable divider panels that you can use to limit the amount of room your puppy has to roam around the crate.
A quality made crate with divider panels should last you and your puppy for a long time to come. If you plan to purchase one of these crates, you may be wondering how to determine the appropriate size. You’ll need to estimate how large your dog will be when they are fully grown. There are a few different ways to approach this estimate. You can research how large your dog breed typically gets, or you can consult with your vet to help you determine how large your dog will likely be when they are fully grown.
Final Thoughts on Getting the Right Size Crate for Your Dog
Finding the right size crate for your dog can be a struggle. Measuring your dog and reading the product label carefully will make a big difference in how well you will be able to find one that is just the right fit for your pup.
To learn more about the appropriate size and best crate models for your pup, check out our best dog crate size guide.