How Do I Choose the Right Crate for My Dog?

Dog crates are useful tools for training, travel, and home. You can use a dog crate to train your puppy. You can use a dog crate as a safe place for your older dog to retreat to during hectic family holidays. You can also use a dog crate to travel on an airplane with your dog. But how do you determine what kind of dog crate is right for you? 

How Do I Know What Kind of Crate I Need? 

There are a lot of things to consider before you purchase your next dog crate. You’ll need to think about what purpose in which you plan to use the dog crate. For instance, you will need a different type of dog crate for air travel than you will need for home use.

Other things to consider are your dog’s size, age, habits, and behavior. If you have a large, rambunctious dog that likes to chew on things, you’ll need a heavy-duty crate. If you have a puppy that is small now but will grow large later, you will need a dog crate with dividers that will grow with your dog. 

What are the Different Types of Dog Crates?

Dog crates come in many shapes, sizes, and materials. The most common kinds of dog crates include wire, metal, plastic, and soft-sided varieties. 

New World Folding Metal Dog Crate 24 Inch

Wire Dog Crates

Wire dog crates are common because they are suitable for airflow, visibility, and durability. Many wire crates are collapsible, so you can take them with you when you travel. Wire dog crates often come with divider panels, so they are good for puppies too. Wire crates may not be right for dogs with anxiety because they are so open. Wire dog crates can become quite heavy also, so they are not convenient for frequent car travel or carrying with your pup inside. 

LUCKUP Crate Heavy Duty
LUCKUP Heavy Duty Dog Crate 38 Inch

Metal Dog Crates

Metal dog crates are great for destructive dogs and escape artists. Most metal crates are chew-resistant and will stand up to aggressive behavior. Metal dog crates are even heavier than wire crates, so these are not great for travel. 

Petmate Vari Kennel Bleached Linen 30 to 50 LBS

Plastic Dog Crates

Plastic dog crates are great for travel. Many airline-approved dog crates are plastic. Plastic dog crates are usually equipped with plastic walls and a wire door. The plastic shell provides much less visibility than the wire crates, making these a good option for dogs with anxiety. Your anxious pup will feel secure in these types of dog crates. 

JESPET Soft Dog Crate 26 Inch

Soft-Sided Foldable Dog Crates

Soft-sided foldable dog crates are perfect for travel. These crates are lightweight and made for portability. Soft-sided dog crates are ideal for calm, easy-going dogs, but are not great for rambunctious pups. 

Measure Your Dog

You’ll need to measure your dog to make sure you get the right size crate. While your dog stands on all fours, use a tape measure to measure the tip of their nose to the base of their tail. You do not need to measure the length of your dog’s tail. It is recommended to get a crate that is two to four inches longer than the length 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. 

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. 

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. 

Check the Dog Crate’s Dimensions

Dog crates typically will have the dimensions for length, height, and width listed on the label, although some will only have length listed. A lot of dog crates will have the weight limit listed, although some will not. If your dog is hovering between two sizes, you may want to go with the larger size to accommodate for weight if the limit is not listed. 

Extra Small Dog Crate Sizes

Extra small dog crates are suitable for dogs weighing from one-ten pounds. Extra small dog crates are ideal for small breeds like the Chihuahua, Maltese, Pomeranian, Boston Terrier, Pug, Jack Russel Terrier, Shih Tzu, and the Yorkshire Terrier. 

MidWest Homes for Pets 22 inch with divider iCrate
MidWest Homes for Pets Dog Crate 22 Inch Divider

Small Dog Crate Sizes

Small dog crates are ideal for dogs weighing from 11-25 pounds. Breeds that fit into small dog crates include the Miniature Dachshund, Maltese, Border Terrier, Miniature Poodle, and the Tibetan Spaniel. The dimensions of a small dog crate, and those of an extra small dog crate are similar. The big difference is the weight limit. 

Medium Dog Crate Sizes 

Medium dog crates fit dogs that weigh from 26-40 pounds. Medium-sized dog crates accommodate breeds like the American Pit Bull, French Bulldog, King Charles Spaniel, Miniature Schnauzer, Cocker Spaniel, and Shetland Sheepdog. 

Large Dog Crate Sizes

Large dog crates typically hold dogs weighing from 41-70 pounds. Large dog crates are ideal for dog breeds such as the Bulldog, English Setter, Welsh Corgi, Basset Hound, and the Chinese Shar-Pei. 

Extra Large Dog Crate Sizes

Extra-large dog crates are for dogs that weigh from 71-90 pounds. These dog crates are ideal for dog breeds like the Chow-Chow, Dalmatian, Doberman Pincher, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, and the Siberian Husky. 

MidWest Homes for Pets XXL Dog Crate Double Door

XXL Dog Crate Sizes

XXL dog crates are for dogs larger than 90 pounds. These dog crates are best for dog breeds such as the Bloodhound, Alaskan Malamute, Greyhound, Sheepdog, and Saint Bernard.

Final Thoughts on How to Choose the Right Crate for Your Dog

The type of dog crate you choose will ultimately depend on several factors, including your dog’s behavior, requirements, and how you are going to use the dog crate. You may need more than one dog crate if you will be using them for multiple purposes or multiple dogs.

Make sure to keep in mind your dog’s size, weight, age, and habits. Finally, research a variety of dog crates before you make your choice. Make sure to read the label carefully to ensure you are getting what you need. A robust and well-constructed dog crate should last you and your pup a long time.

Sarah Nishimoto

Sarah is not only a pet owner but loves animals of all shapes and sizes.

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