Best Dog Kennels

Updated June 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

30 Models Considered
18 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
60 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best dog kennels

Whether you have a new puppy or an adult dog, you want to pick just the right dog kennel. After all, the kennel will serve as a part-time “home” for your dog. You want him to be safe while he’s in it, whether it’s during a time you’re not home or when you’re traveling together.

A good dog kennel is sturdy and durable – strong enough that he won’t chew his way out of it while you’re running errands, but comfortable enough for him to feel good while inside. At BestReviews, we can help you find the right dog kennel for your beloved friend.

We researched the dog kennel market and selected what we feel to be the very best offerings. We did not accept free samples from manufacturers during our research, because we strive to be completely honest and bias-free.

For a quick overview of the best dog kennels, check out the chart above. For more information on dog kennels and how to choose one that’s right for your pet, continue reading this guide.

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If your dog sees the kennel as a safe place rather than an area of punishment, he will remain much calmer when he’s inside.

Reasons to use a dog kennel

Here’s a look at some of the reasons why you might want to own a dog kennel.

  • Your dog needs a den. If you have multiple pets or young children, your dog might like a private place to retreat. You can leave the kennel open at all times so it’s there for him when he wants it. He might wish to go there when he feels like taking a nap or if he’s overly excited.

  • Your dog needs containment when you’re not home. Many people use a kennel to keep their dog safe when no humans are home. If you plan to do this, give the dog short periods of time in the kennel when you are home so he can grow comfortable with it.

  • Your dog likes sleeping in the kennel at night. Some dogs feel safer in the den-like enclosure of a kennel.

  • You’re house-training your dog. Most dogs will not urinate or defecate in their kennels, especially if they sleep in them. Because of this, a kennel can be a useful house-training tool.

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Did you know?
Some dog kennels are used as outdoor exercise areas. These larger kennels, usually octagonal in shape, work almost like a dog run. Just make sure there are some shaded areas within the kennel to keep the dog out of the sun.

Dog kennel materials

Dog kennels are made of a number of materials, including metal, plastic, and canvas. Some materials work better than others for certain dogs.

Soft-sided dog kennels

  • A soft-sided dog kennel may be made of canvas or nylon. These materials are lightweight, easy to carry, and easy to wash. Many can be folded down when not in use.

  • These lighter kennel materials aren’t suitable for strong dogs and dogs who like to chew.

"A kennel cover fits over a kennel to make it look more like a coffee table or piece of wicker furniture. If you don’t like the way a wire or plastic kennel looks inside your home, consider purchasing a dog kennel with a cover."

Plastic dog kennels

  • Most plastic kennels are “enclosed,” so your pup won’t be able to see her surroundings well. However, she’ll be able to breathe thanks to vents around the enclosure.

  • Although made of plastic, the door will still likely be made of metal for security reasons.

  • Plastic kennels usually split in two, allowing you to store the pieces separately when not in use.

  • It’s not difficult to carry a smaller dog inside a plastic kennel with a handle.

"Some dogs have been known to chew through their plastic kennels. However, the enclosed nature of a plastic kennel could be just what the vet ordered for some skittish canines."

Metal wire dog kennels

  • The primary benefit of a metal wire kennel is that dogs can’t chew through it – although that doesn’t mean your pooch won’t try.

  • The gaps between the wires (or bars) allow for fresh airflow through the kennel, and the dog can see his surroundings, too.

  • Some metal kennels fold down to a smaller size for transportation.

  • It can be difficult to carry a metal kennel with a dog inside of it.

Dog kennel prices

Dog kennel prices vary greatly and depend, in large part, on size, construction materials, and features.

Less than $35

You can find a large number of kennels (canvas, plastic, metal) in the sub-$35 price range. Most will be made for small- or medium-size dogs. Some of these kennels are small enough to carry with the dog inside.

"If you will be confining your pet to a kennel during air travel, give her several days to acclimate to the kennel before flying. This will help reduce her stress level during the actual flight."

$35 to $75

You can expect to spend $35 to $75 for a kennel that would fit a large-breed dog. A high-quality kennel adequate for crating a small dog for flying would also likely be in this price range. Some large exercise kennels are found here, though most cost more than $75.

More than $75

On the upper end of the pricing spectrum for dog kennels, you will find items that cost anywhere from $75 to several hundred dollars. Some of them contain extra padding or reinforced materials to prevent chewing. Luxury kennels made for outdoor use fit here, too. And if you need a flight-quality kennel for a medium- or large-breed dog, you’ll probably pay at least $75.

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Some trainers suggest that you use treats to help your dog become comfortable with being inside a kennel. When your pup goes inside, reward her with something tasty.


Q. What makes a good travel kennel for a dog?

A. If you’re looking for a kennel to protect your dog while riding in the car, you don’t want one with lots of free space. With a tight fit, the dog won’t be slipping and banging into the sides of the kennel if you have to brake suddenly.

If you’re looking for a portable kennel to use at your destination (rather than the car), you may wish to look for a foldable kennel. The kennel will be easier for you to carry and transport if it collapses to a small size.

Q. Which types of kennels help dogs stay cool?

A. A cage-style metal kennel has the most ventilation, but even plastic kennels have some vents in them. If the kennel will be on pavement, look for a unit with rubber feet that lifts the kennel off the ground.

Some kennels contain UV-blocking materials in case the dog will be in the kennel outdoors. If yours does not, consider using a tarp to keep the hot sun off of him.

Q. How do I pick the right kennel size?

A. The size you need depends, in large part, on how you will be using it. If you want a kennel for your dog to sleep or travel in, a smaller kennel is smart. If you’ll be carrying him inside the kennel, check the weight limit on the unit. If your dog needs to be able to exercise in the kennel, look for a large unit that allows him to move freely.

Q. How do I find a dog kennel that’s good for air travel?

A. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has created a set of regulations regarding kennels for air travel. The kennel must be large enough for the pet to stand naturally. When sitting or standing, his ears and head cannot touch the roof of the kennel. When reclined, the pet’s body should not have to touch the sides, back, or front of the kennel. Furthermore, the kennel needs a door made of metal rather than plastic or fiberglass.

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