A rugged, well-built dog crate. This established brand stands out for its tool-free setup, easy folding feature and Electro-coat finish. Has a secure bolt and latch system that is tamper-free. Choice of six sizes.
Heavier than similar models, though it's not an issue if you intend to keep it in one place.
A unique plastic crate with two openings. Constructed with a steel wire frame and plastic shell. Available in two sizes to accommodate breeds up to 20 pounds. Closure mechanisms are smooth and easy to manipulate.
Mixed reviews regarding the assembly instructions and discrepancies with dimensions.
Offers durable construction with recycled plastic and secure wire door and ventilation vents. Great for air travel, as it meets the cargo requirements of most airlines. Available in several size options.
Putting this crate together and taking it apart is time-consuming and frustrating. Size inconsistencies noted — order up in size if unsure.
Collapses for easy storage and comes with a free carry case. Front and size doors have secure zipper locks. Designed with three mesh doors for maximum ventilation. Available in four colors and four sizes.
Given its design, the soft crate may be difficult to clean after accidents occur.
Made of steel, this crate is easy to set up for use and fold for storage. Has a secure sliding door latch. Removable pan wipes clean with ease. Comes in choice of five versatile sizes for small to extra large breeds.
Determined dogs can bend the crate's wires. A few cages had doors that didn't align properly and wires with sharp edges.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Used properly, a dog crate can provide a safe, secure, and comfortable space for your four-legged friend. However, we don't recommend getting any old dog crate and hoping for the best.
You need to pick a crate that's an appropriate size for your dog, made of the right material, and that fits your lifestyle.
There can be some controversy over dog crates, but once you understand what they're used for and why, the argument for dog crates is quite positive.
If your dog has recently had an injury or operation, and isn't meant to be active, keeping him in a crate when you can't be home to supervise keep him from overexerting himself.
Dog crates can be useful to manage problem behaviors while you're training, but shouldn't be used as a permanent solution to unwanted behaviors. For instance, if your dog jumps at people when they enter the house, you could crate the dog when guests first arrive. However, you should still work on training your dog not to jump altogether.
Crates can be used to protect both your dog and your property while he’s learning not to chew. Most dogs grow out of that "chewing everything in sight" phase after six months to a year. If a dog never learns the joy of chewing furniture, socks, and shoes, he should be able to roam freely without doing any damage. Remember, you'll only need to crate your pup while you can't be there to supervise, and ideally it shouldn't be for more than a few hours.
It's important to get the right size crate for your dog. The goal is for your dog to feel snug and secure in an enclosed area, so don't go too big. However, the crate should be large enough for your dog to comfortably stand up, sit up, lie down, and turn around.
Here's how to make sure you get a dog crate of the correct size:
If you buy a crate with these length and height measurements, the width will be proportionate, so you don't need to worry about doing a separate measurement.
Wire dog crates are probably the most popular option out there, and are widely available.
Wire crates have great airflow, which is especially important if you live somewhere hot.
This type of dog crate is generally easy to clean, and many even have removable trays at the bottom to make cleaning even easier.
You can get dividers for wire crates to adjust the size as your puppy grows.
Many wire dog crates fold down for better portability.
You can find wire dog crates in a wide range of sizes.
Dogs can see out through all sides of a wire crate, and most of them like the visibility.
Some nervous dogs may feel more anxious and exposed in a wire crate.
Wire dog crates can be quite heavy to move around.
Some people find that wire dog crates are fairly noisy when the dog moves around inside, especially on uncarpeted floors.
Fabric or "soft-sided" dog crates are often marketed as travel crates.
First time crate users might find fabric versions look more "friendly" and less cage-like — though your dog probably won't mind either way.
Fabric dog crates are lightweight and portable.
Fabric dog crates fold down small while they're not in use.
Since they're soft, fabric dog crates may be more comfortable for your dog to lie in.
Destructive dogs can easily scratch and chew their way out of fabric crates.
Fabric dog crates are difficult to keep clean.
Some determined dogs learn to unzip the doors of fabric crates.
Plastic dog crates generally have hard plastic sides with a wire door. They look a bit like cat carriers.
Although not as light as fabric, plastic dog crates are still fairly lightweight and easy to move around.
Plastic dog crates are great for use in the car and even on airplanes, though they have to meet certain standards for airplane use.
If you live in a cold climate, it may be warmer for your dog in a plastic crate as there's more insulation.
Some dogs feel more secure in a plastic dog crate as they're less "open" than wire versions.
Plastic can hold on to odors, so these dog crate might be harder to keep pristine.
Plastic dog crates can't be folded down flat when not in use.
There's less ventilation in plastic dog crates, which can be an issue in hot climates.
Unless your dog will chew it, you should always put some soft bedding in his crate to make him more comfortable.
If your canine companion will be in the dog crate for more than an hour or two, make sure he has some water available. Use a clip-on bowl if he’s likely to tip it over.
Don't place your dog's crate in direct sunlight or in a draft, as he could get too hot or too cold, and won't be able to move to where the temperature's more comfortable.
If your dog feels nervous, he might be happier with a blanket or sheet covering the outside of the crate, lending it a cave-like feel.
Giving your dog a chew toy while in his crate can be a great distraction, but be sure it's something safe for him to use unsupervised.
Depending on their size and quality, wire dog crates can cost anywhere between $20 and $150. If you're going to use it most days, we recommend going for at least a mid-range option, as the cheapest will be less durable.
Fabric dog crates will usually set you back somewhere between $50 and $100, with smaller crates usually significantly cheaper than larger ones.
If you're looking for a plastic dog crate, expect to pay between about $30 and $120. Again, they're more expensive in larger sizes. Don't opt for the cheapest plastic crate, as basic models can be quite flimsy.
Q. How long can my dog stay in his crate?
A. In theory, an adult dog can stay in a crate for approximately six to eight hours in a stretch, whereas a puppy can spend two to four hours in a crate in one go. This is because they have smaller bladders and need to relieve themselves more often.
That said, it's not appropriate to crate your dog for eight hours per day, every day, and then again every night, as he’ll lack mental and physical stimulation. Many dogs are shut in their crates just until they're toilet trained and have passed the puppy phase, when they want to chew everything. After this the door is always left open, so the dog can choose to lie in his crate when he wants to.
Q. How do I get my dog used to his crate?
A. Ideally, you should read some literature on how to properly crate train your dog, as there's much more to it than we can advise you about here. However, we will say that it should be a gradual process. Don't just shut your dog in for the first time and leave him there for several hours, as he’ll likely be scared and can develop an irreversible aversion to the crate. Introduce him to his crate over several days or weeks, letting him scope it out at his own pace, and encourage him inside with treats and toys.