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How Do I Choose the Right Crate for My Dog? [Best Rated Dog Crates]

Pup in Crate

Dog crates are extremely useful. Dog crates provide your dog with a safe place of their own to go to when they are anxious. Crates are super helpful for traveling with your dog. You can also use crate training techniques to aid in obedience training and potty training too.

How to Choose the Right Crate

There are a ton of different types and styles of dog crates to choose from. You may be wondering how to figure out which one is right for your pup. There are several factors to consider before you purchase a crate for your dog.

First off, you’ll want to think about what you plan to use the crate for. You may want one crate for traveling and a different crate for home use, for instance. You’ll also want to consider the size of your dog and any behavioral or special requirements your pup may have.

Small Dog in Cozy Crate

Measure Your Dog for the Best Crate Size

Before you purchase a crate for your dog, you will need to measure your dog to make sure it will be a good fit. First, measure the length of your dog. Have your dog stand up on all fours. Measure from the end of their nose all the way to the base of their tail (without measuring the tail). You will want to get a crate that is between two-four inches more than your dog’s length to give him enough room.

Have your dog sit down to measure his height. Measure the height from the ground up to the top of your pup’s head. If your dog’s ears stick straight up, you may want to measure to the tips of their ears instead of the top of their head. As with length, you will want a crate that is between two-four inches bigger than this measurement.

For the width of your dog, measure around the widest part of their midsection. As with length and height, add an extra two-four inch for the appropriate width.

In addition to measuring your dog for appropriate length, width, and height, you will also need to consider your dog’s weight. You will want to make sure your dog is not too heavy for the crate, especially if it is a travel crate. The weight limit should be listed in the product information.

Golden in Cozy Crate

Size Guide for Dog Crates

Dog crates usually have dimensions listed for length, width, and height. Crate sizes will vary b brand and style, so make sure to read the labels carefully.

Extra Small Crates

Extra small crates typically fit dogs weighing from one-ten pounds. Extra small crates are ideal for small breeds like the Chihuahua, Maltese, Pomeranian, Boston Terrier, Pug, Jack Russel Terrier, Shih Tzu, and the Yorkshire Terrier. An example of dimensions for an extra small crate is 24L X 18W X19H.

Small Crates

Small crates are ideal for dogs weighing from 11-25 pounds. Breeds that fit into small crates best include the Miniature Dachshund, Maltese, Border Terrier, Miniature Poodle, and the Tibetan Spaniel. An example of the dimensions for a small crate is 24L X 18W X 21H. As you can see, the dimensions of a small crate and those of an extra small crate are similar. The big difference is the weight limit.

Medium Crates

Medium crates fit dogs that weigh from 26-40 pounds. Medium-sized crates are ideal for breeds like the American Pit Bull, French Bulldog, King Charles Spaniel, Miniature Schnauzer, Cocker Spaniel, and Shetland Sheepdog. Example dimensions of a medium crate are 30L X 21W X 24H.

Large Crates

Large crates typically hold dogs weighing from 41-70 pounds. Large crates are ideal for dog breeds such as the Bulldog, English Setter, Welsh Corgi, Basset Hound, and the Chinese Shar-Pei. Example dimensions for large crates are 36L X 24W X 27H.

Extra Large Crates

Extra-large crates are made for dogs that weigh from 71-90 pounds. These crates are ideal for dog breeds like the Chow-Chow, Dalmatian, Doberman Pincher, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, and the Siberian Husky. Example dimensions for the extra-large crates are 42L X 28W X 31H.

XXL Crates

Finally, the XXL crates are for any dogs larger than 90 pounds. These crates are best for dog breeds such as the Bloodhound, Alaskan Malamute, Greyhound, Sheepdog, and Saint Bernard. Example dimensions for the XXL sized crates are 46L X 30W X 33H.

Best Dog Crates

LUCKUP Heavy Duty Dog Crate
LUCKUP Heavy Duty Dog Crate

LUCKUP Strong Kennel Playpen

About:

The LUCKUP crate is made with a durable steel frame that is rust-resistant. There are two locks and safety buckles so your dog won’t be able to open the door himself and escape. There is a door in the front and one on the top. There are wheels on the crate so you can easily move it around, with locks to keep them in place when you are done moving it.

Features:

  • Heavy-duty steel frame
  • 360˚ locking castor design
  • Removable plastic tray for easy cleanup.
  • Double doors
  • 3-year warranty

Tips:

This crate is designed for easy assembly. All hardware is included. You will need to screw in the wheels.

ProSelect Empire Dog Crate
ProSelect Empire Dog Crate

ProSelect Empire Dog Crate

About:

The ProSelect Empire Dog Crate is reinforced with a half-inch diameter 20-guage steel tubes. This crate is equipped with a grated floor and removable tray for easy cleanup. This crate comes with removable casters. You can put the casters on to move it, or leave them off to ensure the crate is stable.

Features:

  • 20-gauge steel tubes
  • Removable tray
  • Strong latches
  • Strong welds
  • Removable casters

Tips:

This crate comes in two size options – medium and large. The sturdy steel design is made to stand up to wear and tear from large dogs.

MidWest Homes for Pets Dog Crate
MidWest Homes for Pets Dog Crate

MidWest Homes for Pets iCrate

About:

The iCrate is designed to grow with your dog. This crate comes with a divider panel that you can move to make the crate larger or smaller. This crate is equipped with a slide bolt latch to keep the door locked and in place. One of the most unique facets of this crate is that it can be folded flat for storage or travel.

Features:

  • Divider panel
  • Roller feet
  • Foldable design
  • Single door or double door options
  • Range of sizes available

Tips:

This crate does not require any tools for assembly.

Petmate Sky Kennel Pet Carrier
Petmate Sky Kennel Pet Carrier

Petmate Sky Kennel

About:

The Petmate Sky Kennel is designed for traveling with your pup. This crate is equipped with 360-degree ventilation and wire vents for breathability and visibility. The 4-way vault door adds security.

Features:

  • 2 “live animal” stickers
  • Clip-on Food & Water dishes
  • Pet ID stickers
  • Wire Vents
  • 4-Way Vault Door

Tips:

SMONTER Heavy Duty Dog Crate
SMONTER Heavy Duty Dog Crate

SMONTER Heavy Duty Strong Metal Dog Crate

About:

The SMONTER Heavy Duty Strong Metal Dog Crate is made with a sturdy steel frame covered in a non-toxic hammer-tone coating to prevent corrosion, rust, and scratches. This material is non-toxic, so you do not have to worry if your dog chews on it. This crate comes with two locks to keep your pup from escaping.

Features:

  • Reinforced steel frame
  • Non-toxic rust-proof coating
  • Double locks
  • Removable Castor
  • Removable slide-out plastic tray

Tips:

This crate comes partially assembled and a 3-year warranty.

Homey Pet Open Top Heavy Duty
Homey Pet Open Top Heavy Duty

Homey Pet Open Top Crate

About:

The Homey Pet Open Top Crate is designed with an open-top so you can easily get your pup in and out. The metal frame has a non-toxic coating. This crate comes with a removable tray and lockable casters.

Features:

  • Floor grid
  • Removable Tray
  • Locking Castors
  • Open Top
  • Metal Frame

Tips:

The removable tray can either be placed underneath the floor grid to catch spilled food and excrement for easy cleanup, or it can be placed on top of the floor grid to provide protection for your dog’s paws in the event you are not using a crate mat.

EliteField 3 Door Folding Soft Dog Crate
EliteField 3 Door Folding Soft Dog Crate

EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate

About:

The EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate is equipped with a strong steel tubing frame and a durable fabric cover. There are three mesh doors; one on the top, one on the front, and one on the side. This crate comes with a fleece dog bed and a carrying bag. The cover, bag, and bed are all machine washable.

Features:

  • Steel Tube Frame
  • 600D fabric & hex mesh fabric cover
  • 3 Doors
  • Fleece Dog Bed
  • Carrying Bag

Tips:

This crate is designed to fold up and carry in several different ways to give you multiple carrying and storage options.

2PET Foldable Dog Crate
2PET Foldable Dog Crate

2PET Foldable Dog Crate

About:

The 2PET Foldable Dog Crate is designed for indoor and outdoor use. This crate is equipped with a durable lightweight steel tube frame and a water-resistant fabric cover. This crate also has a top handle so you can use it as a dog carrier for travel.

Features:

  • Steel Tube Frame
  • Oxford 600D cover
  • Front zippers
  • Foldable
  • Waterproof mat

Tips:

The cover is machine washable. The waterproof mat may not be, however, so you will need to check the label.

Types of Dog Crates

Wire Dog Crates

One of the most common types of dog crates is the wire crate. These crates are used widely because they are good for keeping an eye on your dog at all times. These crates are also often used for travel. A lot of wire crates are collapsible so you can easily take them with you or store them away when not in use. These crates have excellent airflow and ventilation. Wire crates are easy to keep clean. The negative to wire crates is that some of them can get pretty heavy. Another possible issue is that your dog may feel vulnerable being so out in the open, which may give him anxiety.

Metal Dog Crates

Metal crates are made to stand up to even your most destructive pup. Metal crates are naturally chew-resistant. These crates will keep your aggressive dogs or dogs that need to be under more security in place. These crates are often a lot heavier than others though, so they are not really made for travel. You may want to choose this type of crate for your permanent at-home option.

Soft-Sided Foldable Dog Crates

Soft-sided crates are usually made with a metal frame tubing and a fabric cover. The best thing about these crates is that they are light and foldable so they are easy to travel with and don’t take up a lot of room in storage. These crates are best for older or calmer dogs and likely will not hold up to rambunctious puppies.

2PET Foldable Dog Crate Folded
2PET Foldable Dog Crate Folded

Plastic Dog Crates

Plastic crates are much lighter than wire crates. For this reason, they are good for travel as well, even though they are usually not collapsible. These crates typically are equipped with a hard, plastic shell and a wire door. These are the types of pet carriers you may see when people take their pup on an airplane or on a visit to the vet. The plastic shell provides much less visibility than the wire crates.

What is the Best Place to Keep Your Dog’s Crate?

You may want to choose a place for your dog’s crate in your home before you purchase one. You will want to make sure the crate is going to fit. When choosing a place for the crate there are several factors to consider.

Choose a Low-Traffic Area

You will want to place your dog’s crate in a low-traffic area of your home. Depending on your household, you may choose an area next to the couch, in a corner of your bedroom, or in your laundry room. The key for finding a good place to put the crate is to choose somewhere that is not near heavy foot traffic.

Keep Your Dog’s Crate Away from Harsh Temperatures

You will also want to think about the temperature where your dog’s crate will be. Keep your dog’s crate away from heating and cooling vents, the fireplace, and direct sunlight. You may also want to keep the crate away from outside doors and windows because these can bring in cold temperatures.

Avoid Household Hazards

Keep your dog’s crate away from appliances, cords, and electrical outlets.

What Should You Put in Your Dog’s Crate? (And What Should You Leave Out)

There is much more to creating a comfortable crate environment for your dog than the crate itself. There are some things you may want to include in your dog’s crate, while there are some you should avoid. What goes into your dog’s crate will depend on a lot of things, including your dog’s age, size, behavior, and needs.

How to Choose Bedding for Your Dog’s Crate

A good dog bed or mat can make a crate much cozier for your pup. However, there are a few things to think about when it comes to what kind of bedding to put in your dog’s crate. For instance, if you have a puppy that is not potty trained yet or an older dog that has incontinence issues, you may want to get a waterproof crate mat that is easy to wipe clean rather than fluffy cotton filled bed. If you have a dog that likes to chew things up, you may want to look for a crate mat or pad that is labeled “chew-proof” or “chew-resistant”.

Sleeping Pup in Crate

Go Collar-less!

All collars, harnesses, and ID tags should be removed from your dog’s neck before they go into their crate. These items pose a safety hazard because they can easily get caught between the bars of the crate and cause strangulation. If you do choose to keep a collar on your pup while they are in the crate, make sure it is a break-away collar.

Final Thoughts on How to Choose the Right Dog Crate

Ultimately, the dog crate that you choose will be whatever is best for your pup’s needs and your own preferences. There are a ton of great models on the market, so there is something out there for every pet parent. The key is knowing what you are going to use the crate for. Then, consider your dog’s size, weight, and behavior habits. Lastly, do your homework on several different crates and select the one (or ones) that is the best fit. A sturdy, good quality crate should last you and your pup a long time.

Sarah Nishimoto

The author Sarah Nishimoto

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

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