My Happy Pooch
    Beagle in a dog crate

    Best Crates for Dogs: Top 5 for 2018

    The best crate for dogs is one that is specifically suited for your dog. Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and getting the right sized crate is very important.

    A dog crate can be used for different reasons. When  potty training a puppy, a dog crate is an invaluable tool (by far the best way to potty train a dog). We'll go over the different uses for a dog crate in the next section.

    Top 5 Best Dog Crate Comparison Chart

    Petmate Two Door Top Load Dog Kennel - Assorted Colors
    ProSelect Empire Cages - Medium
    Crown Pet Products Wood Pet Crate End Table
    AmazonBasics Double-Door Folding Metal Dog Crate - 36 Inches
    EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate, Indoor & Outdoor Pet Home, Multiple Sizes and Colors Available (20"L x 14"W x 14"H, Maroon)
    Best Plastic Dog Crate
    Best Heavy Duty Dog Crate
    Best Wooden Dog Crate
    Best Wire Dog Crate
    Beat Soft Dog Crate
    Petmate Two Door Top Load Dog Kennel - Assorted Colors
    ProSelect Empire Cages - Medium
    Crown Pet Products Wood Pet Crate End Table
    AmazonBasics Double-Door Folding Metal Dog Crate - 36 Inches
    EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate, Indoor & Outdoor Pet Home, Multiple Sizes and Colors Available (20"L x 14"W x 14"H, Maroon)
    $39.99
    $403.49
    from $229.49
    $41.99
    from $39.99
    Petmate Two Door Top Load Dog Kennel - Assorted Colors
    Best Plastic Dog Crate
    Petmate Two Door Top Load Dog Kennel - Assorted Colors
    $39.99
    ProSelect Empire Cages - Medium
    Best Heavy Duty Dog Crate
    ProSelect Empire Cages - Medium
    $403.49
    Crown Pet Products Wood Pet Crate End Table
    Best Wooden Dog Crate
    Crown Pet Products Wood Pet Crate End Table
    from $229.49
    AmazonBasics Double-Door Folding Metal Dog Crate - 36 Inches
    Best Wire Dog Crate
    AmazonBasics Double-Door Folding Metal Dog Crate - 36 Inches
    $41.99
    EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate, Indoor & Outdoor Pet Home, Multiple Sizes and Colors Available (20"L x 14"W x 14"H, Maroon)
    Beat Soft Dog Crate
    EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate, Indoor & Outdoor Pet Home, Multiple Sizes and Colors Available (20"L x 14"W x 14"H, Maroon)
    from $39.99

    Why do I Need a Dog Crate?

    There are four primary uses for dog crates:

    • To aid in potty training
    • To limit destructive behavior while you are away
    • To provide a safe place for your pet to travel
    • To provide your dog with a space of his or her own

    The best type of crate for your dog will depend on what she needs it for, her age, and her personality.

    A crate for potty training should be large enough for your pup to sit, lay down, turn around, and fully stretch out his or her front legs. Anything larger than that will encourage your pet to eliminate in a corner of his crate.

    If your dog is already potty trained and you need to crate him while you are away, it should be fine to get a really large crate.

    What to Look for in a Dog Crate

    Size

    Your dog should be able to enter the crate and turn around without coming into contact with the sides of the crate. He or she should be able to sit up straight without coming into contact with the top of the crate.

    Also, allow for enough space for your dog to lay on her side with her legs outstretched without touching the sides.

    If your dog is still a puppy, consider buying a larger crate and using a divider. This will allow your crate to "grow" as your puppy grows. If you aren't sure how large your dog will be when fully grown, here is a useful chart.

    Strength and Portability

    Dog crates are made out of metal, plastic, or fabrics. Occasionally they are made out of wood.  Metal crates tend to be the most durable, whereas plastic and fabric crates are the most portable.

    Before purchasing a crate, it can be helpful to gauge how destructive your dog tends to be.  Soft-sided crates tend to be the easiest to move and carry, but they can’t withstand chewing or pawing. Soft-sided crates are best for dogs who are past the puppy stage, and who tend to chew only on their toys.

    Soft crates are also less suitable for very large and giant breeds, whose weight might be too much for the mesh sides to bear.

    Plastic crates aren’t the most durable, but they are the easiest to clean. This feature makes plastic crates a popular choice for trips to the vet or air travel.

    Wood crates definitely aren’t for puppies or chewers. However, wood crates tend to be the most attractive option as they resemble furniture. They are usually used as pet beds.

    Wire crates tend to be durable enough for most dogs. The strongest dog crates, however, are made with thick steel bars or even solid sheets of metal. Unless your dog has teeth made of diamonds, he or she is NOT getting through a heavy duty crate!

    These heavier-duty crates are usually on wheels, so you can at least push them from room to room.

    Best Place to put a Crate

    For Potty Training

    Place your crate where you’ll be able to hear your pet cry if she needs to go out.  You may need to move the crate around to different rooms so you can hear your four-legged friend at all times.

    For Destructive Behaviors 

    While you are away, consider placing your pet somewhere they can watch TV or look out the window. Be sure that your dog won’t become too hot or cold, such as too-near a window.

    Don't forget to add chew toys and/or Kongs!  (I wish I'd known about Kongs a long time ago — they are like lollipops for dogs and keep them occupied for hours!)

    Here is an informative article about how to help your dog with separation anxiety in the long-term.

    For Travel

    If you have a large crate, you’ll most likely need to place it in the back of your vehicle. However, for medium or small crates it is ok to place it in the back seat. Don't forget to seatbelt it in!

    Although it may be tempting to place the crate in the front passenger seat so you can see and comfort your pet, this is not recommended. Not only can an airbag hurt your pet, but the front seat and front floorboard areas are accident crumple zones.

    A Crate as a Dog Den

    Where you place your dog’s bedroom will be up to you. Here is an interesting article that delves into the topic of whether or not your dog should be allowed to sleep in your bedroom.

    Controversy of Crate Training

    crate training for dogs

    It’s generally said that dogs are den animals and a crate can help them feel secure. There are those who disagree, however. 

    Naysayers say that this den behavior we observe may actually be a form of Stockholm Syndrome — where the prisoner simply learns to accept his fate. There are no scientific studies as of yet.

    If you decide that a crate is right for your pooch, it is best to use it as a tool and not as a complete solution. When used properly, a crate can be extremely helpful.

    Safety Tips

    While crates themselves help keep your pet safe, they are similar to baby cribs in that there are some safety precautions to take. It’s a good idea to remove collars and harnesses from your pet when they are crated to eliminate the risk of strangulation.

    Dogs can get their collars caught on objects and a crate is no exception.

    It’s also good to be aware of the risks of limiting your pup’s movement. Don’t place crates in hot or cold areas, or in a place that can catch direct sunlight.

    Also, it may be a good idea to run your hands around the interior of the crate before putting your dog inside. File down any questionable edges. Even plastic and wood crates can have sharp edges, so be sure to check them too!

    Our Top 5 Best Crates for Dogs

    Best Plastic Dog Crate

    1. Petmate Two Door Top Load Kennel

    Petmate Two Door Top Load Dog Kennel - Assorted Colors

    For very small dogs only, this crate by Petmate hits all the check marks for a sturdy plastic crate. It has two secure doors for easy access, a raised floor for messes, and bolted-on (not clipped-on) sides.

    If you are potty training or traveling with a small dog, a plastic crate cannot be beaten. It is easy to move and a breeze to clean. For long-term frequent use, however, keep in mind that for plastic crates when you go to close the door you have to take a second to line up the closure pins. It's not a big deal but if you use it all the time it might get a tad annoying.

    If you need a larger sized plastic crate or an airline-approved one (check your airline’s specific requirements) take a look at this crate. 

    MATERIAL: Plastic with steel doors

    AVAILABLE SIZES:   

    24.05" X 16.75" X 14.5"

    19" X 11.5" X 10.5"

    COLORS: 

    Pearl Honey Rose/Coffee Grounds

    Pearl White/Coffee Grounds,

    Metallic Pearl Ash Blue/Coffee Grounds

    Metallic Pearl Tan/Coffee Grounds

    Sale
    Petmate Two Door Top Load Dog Kennel - Assorted Colors
    • TOP-LOADING DOOR: Wide, top-entry door allows easy access inside the dog and cat kennel to place or remove pets
    • VENTILATION AND VISIBILITY: Openings on all sides of the pet kennel allow pets to enjoy the flow of fresh air; grated front and top-load steel doors allow pets maximum visibility for stress-free travel
    • KENNEL TRAINING: Petmate dog kennels are ideal for crate-trained puppies or small dogs, measuring 24 inches long; kennel bottom is spacious to easily accommodate a dog kennel bed
    • STURDY FOR TRAVEL: Small dog kennel is secured with a durable wingnut-and-bolt design, an the steel top-load door is reinforced with durable plastic to keep pets protected
    • COMFORT-GRIP HANDLE: Durable, ergonomic handle is securely anchored in the steel top-loading door for safe and comfortable transport of the pet carrier

    What We Like

    • Has a top door and a front door
    • Has great ventilation without compromising privacy or strength
    • The bottom has a raised section, so any mess will move away from your pet’s feet

    What We Don't Like

    • Comes in just 2 sizes (only appropriate for very small or toy dog breeds)
    • The top door may render this crate unacceptable for air travel
    • The top door does not stay open on its own, you have to hold it open

    Best Heavy Duty Dog Crate

    2. ProSelect Empire Dog Cage

    ProSelect Empire Cages - Medium

    Heavy duty crates are best for escape artists and are a top choice among pit bull parents. Unlike other crates which can be made out of a blend of metals, this crate by Pro Select is made out of 20-gauge steel tubing and is reinforced with .5-inch width bars. It’s very heavy, around 50–100 pounds, and is virtually escape proof.

    The grated floor can be uncomfortable and needs a bed. Unfortunately, the type of dog that needs a heavy duty crate may also be prone to tearing up bedding. Some pet owners have a clever solution to this problem by using thick rubber mats instead of regular bedding. 

    AVAILABLE SIZES (INNER DIMENSIONS):

    35.75"X 23.5" X 24.5"

    40¾" X 28⅛" X 31¾"

    ProSelect Empire Cages - Medium
    • 20-Gauge Steel Cage - This ProSelect Empire dog cage is extremely strong with reinforced 0.5-inch diameter steel tubes and 20-gauge steel
    • Medium-Sized Cage - This cage features interior dimensions of 35.75 inches x 23.5 inches with 24.5 inches of height; a large sized cage is available too
    • Floor Grate With Tray - Cleanup is easy with this ProSelect dog cage because of its grated floor with tray
    • Removable Casters - You can attach casters to the bottom of the cage to allow for easily rolling the cage to other locations or leave the casters off for added stability
    • Durable Dog Cage - The Empire cage will stand up to the toughest abuse from the largest dogs with strong latches and thick steel construction

    What We Like

    • Removable wheels
    • Slide-out tray
    • Double latches on the door

    What We Don't Like

    • Grated Floor
    • Extremely smart dogs might be able to get out by opening latches

    Best Wood Dog Crate

    3. Crown Pet Products Wood Dog Crate End Table

    Crown Pet Products Pet Crate Wood Dog Crate Furniture End Table, Medium Size with Mahogany Finish

    Wood crates are the least popular crate choice, but if you have a well-behaved pooch — it’s certainly the most attractive option! It may be a good choice if your non-chewer pet just needs a bed of her own.

    This crate by Crown Pet Products is by far the best furniture crate we looked at.

    It comes with a plastic sheet that fits over the door to discourage your pet from chewing the wood.

    It’s a sturdy furniture crate made of solid tropical hardwood that can be used as a table even while your pup is inside it.

    AVAILABLE SIZES:    

    29.7" X 21" X 24.2"

    39.6" X 27.2" X 27.3"

    COLORS: Espresso or Mahogany

    Sale
    Crown Pet Products Pet Crate Wood Dog Crate Furniture End Table, Medium Size with Mahogany Finish
    • Dog crate furniture featuring durable hardwood construction that looks similar to teak
    • Beautiful stained and lacquered finish just like fine furniture with high quality mortise and tenon construction
    • Versatile swing-through door rotates inside so it is out of the way
    • Multiple vents offer pet 360-degree view plus well-ventilated environment
    • Waterproof melamine-covered MDF floor is easy to clean and eliminates absorption of liquids and odors - very important for your home and pet

    What We Like

    • Removable door
    • The door swings in and out so your pet can enter and exit on her own
    • Eco-friendly wood

    What We Don't Like

    • Melamine floor can be slippery
    • Not for dogs who like to chew

    Best Wire Dog Crate

    4. AmazonBasics Folding Metal Dog Crate

    AmazonBasics Double-Door Folding Metal Dog Crate - 36 Inches

    Wire crates are the most popular crate choice. In the majority of circumstances, they strike the best balance between strength and portability.

    This wire crate from AmazonBasics has a coated wire construction. It comes in a single door variety (less chance of a pet escape) and a double door variety (easier access)

    One frequent complaint we came across is that many crates do not come in enough sizes. That is not the case with this crate. There are six sizes to choose from here so chances are, one is right for your dog.

    We love that it has a double latch on the door, which comes in handy for keeping smart or strong dogs inside.

     It folds flat and comes with a composite plastic removable floor and a divider that can be used with puppies and removed as they grow.


    AVAILABLE SIZES:

    22"X 13"X 16”

    24"X 18"X 20"

    30"X 19"X 21"

    36"X 23"X 25"

    42"X 28"X 30"

    48"X 30"X 32.5”

    COLORS: Black

    VARIATIONS  Single Door, Double Door

    AmazonBasics Double-Door Folding Metal Dog Crate - 36 Inches
    • Dog crate with double-door design for convenient front and side entry
    • Two slide-bolt latches on each door for increased safety and security
    • Sturdy metal construction; folds flat for easy storage/portability
    • Optional divider panel and removable composite plastic pan included
    • Measures approximately 36x23x25 inches (LxWxH)

    What We Like

    • Comes with a divider
    • Has bottom-tray locks to prevent it from sliding out unintentionally
    • Comes in 2-door version and 1-door version
    • check
      Folds flat

    What We Don't Like

    • The 4-inch door threshold can be difficult for smaller breeds to walk over
    • Use of the divider with the 2-door crate can make the 2nd door unusable
    • The divider might be on the flimsy side

    Best Soft Dog Crate

    5. EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate

    EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate, Indoor & Outdoor Pet Home, Multiple Sizes and Colors Available (20'L x 14'W x 14'H, Maroon)

    This soft dog crate by EliteField excels in its category. It has a shoulder strap, a hand strap, and two storage pockets — one on the top and one on the side.

    These pockets would surely come in handy for traveling or for storing paperwork at dog shows.

    Its steel frame offers support while the rounded corners protect the interior of your car. 

    The two-tone versions of this crate allow you to fully adjust your dog's view. You can either leave all the mesh uncovered so your pup can see out all sides, or you can lower the covers to give your pet more security.

    The weakest point on this crate seems to be at the mesh seams and the zippers. Therefore, you may want to think about how much pawing your pet does before purchasing this crate. 

    As far as travel crates go, this one is very easy to set up and take down.

    MATERIAL: Steel Tube Frame with Durable 600D Fabric and Hex Mesh Fabric

    AVAILABLE SIZES:    

    20” X 14” X 14"

    24” X 18” X 21"

    30” X 21” X 24"

    36” X 24” X 28"

    42” X 28” X 32"

    COLORS Beige, Black, Maroon, Gray, Green, Khaki, Navy Blue, Royal Blue, Sage Green, Blue Gray, Beige & Brown, Navy Blue & Gray, Red & Beige

    Sale
    EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate, Indoor & Outdoor Pet Home, Multiple Sizes and Colors Available (20"L x 14"W x 14"H, Maroon)
    • Size: 20" long x 14" wide x 14" high; fully assembled; set-up and fold-down in seconds, no tools needed. ATTENTION BUYERS! About 90% of the returns are because of purchasing the wrong sized crates. To avoid having to return the crate, please measure your dog and make sure that the 20" crate is not too small for him/her.
    • The crate frame is made of strong steel tube; the crate cover is made of high quality durable 600D fabric and hex mesh fabric; a well ventilated, stylish, lightweight and durable crate
    • Three mesh doors (on the top, front, and side) for convenience and for sunlight and breathability; two accessory pockets on the top and side; removable and washable cover and bed
    • Free carrying bag and fleece bed included; a handle and hand carrying straps on the crate, hand carrying straps and adjustable padded shoulder strap on the carrying bag allow for many carrying options; folded crate with just 3" height for easy transport and storage
    • 2 Year Warranty from EliteField, a New York-based Pet Product Manufacturer. The "EliteField" brand is ranked #1 under Amazon's "Soft Dog Crate" category. This can be seen through searching for "Soft Dog Crate" on Amazon. Product Quality Guarantee, 100% Money-Back Guarantee, Customer Satisfaction Guarantee (See important information in "Product Description" section below)

    What We Like

    • Available in 5 different sizes
    • Comes with carrying bag, fleece bed, hand straps, and padded shoulder straps
    • Folds flat to 3 inches
    • check
      Removable and washable covering
    • check
      4-sided mesh for fresh air and so your pup can see out

    What We Don't Like

    • Plastic zippers that may not withstand pushy noses or very heavy use
    • Not sturdy enough to resist excited pawing from dogs who are happy to see you
    • The floor mat might be water resistant, but it’s not waterproof


    Conclusion

    It would be impossible for me to recommend any particular type of dog crate. I have no idea of your situation or your dog's breed, age, or temperament.

    Speaking only for myself, I just love the Amazon Basics Wire Crate. This crate offers the best mix of strength and portability. It also has the best ventilation, comes in a wide variety of sizes, and can be used for any purpose.

    The divider can be used to grow the crate with your dog for potty training, which can save you money. When you're done using it for potty training it can be your dog's bed and his travel crate.

    You can also customize the level of privacy your pet receives by draping blankets over it, whereas the plastic crate would limit your dog's view all of the time.

    This wire crate is portable, so you can use it in your vehicle if you need to. You can also move it around your house.

    The removable floor allows for easy spot-cleaning, as compared to the plastic and wood crates. The heavy-duty crate has a removable tray, but the floor itself is a grate and thus less comfortable.

    This crate also has two doors, whereas the wood crate and the heavy duty crate have a single door.

     Although it’s not as strong as the heavy duty crate, it offers fantastic value.
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    About the AuthorAngela Miller

    Hello, my name is Angela Miller. Several years ago, I rescued a little seven-year-old Bichon Frise. I started looking into dog nutrition so I could keep my little love bug for as long as I possibly could. I love my dog too much to feed him unhealthy food. I hope some of the things I've learned along the way will help you and your dog.

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