Here’s a Look at the Best Dog Crates Essential to Every Dog (2017 Review)

When used properly, dog crates can be a great tool for house training a puppy, a comfy spot for at home and while traveling, and an occasional time-out spot. Since it requires investment, owners should take the time to learn about the different crates that are available before choosing the right one for their dog.

Bestsellers: Best Quality Dog Crates & Kennels

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Best Dog Crate for Large Breed Dogs
Best Soft Dog Crates
Best Travel Dog Crate

Midwest iCrate

Travel Pet Dog Crate

Pet Kennel Airline Approved

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Quick Guide into Choosing a Dog Crate

To find out what size crate they need, owners simply need to measure the dog’s length from the tip of its nose to its tail and add a couple of inches. For the height, measure from the top of the head or ears (if they are perky) to the ground. Finally, measure the dog’s width and add a couple of inches to be sure that they have enough room to move around. The dog should be able to lay down comfortably, turn in a circle, and stand without crouching when they are in the crate.

Large crates are perfect for dogs under 70 pounds, with dimensions of about 36” L x 24” W x 27” H. This size is ideal for breeds like:

Types of Dog Crates

Wood Crates 

There is a large selection of wooden crates available that look great with owners’ home décor, fitting in with furniture better than wire or plastic crates. These stylish crates can also double as a usable surface on top, adding extra functionality. While stylish, these crates can be expensive, harder to clean, and can be damaged easily by destructive dogs.

Wire Crates

Wire crates are a common choice for dog owners because they are easy to keep clean and most fold flat for easy storage and portability. Dogs like these crates because they offer good airflow and don’t restrict the dog’s view of its surroundings. Some dogs don’t like the open space though, and these crates don’t retain heat in the cold. For active dogs, these crates can be noisy and they are one of the easier types to escape from.

Plastic Crates

Plastic crates are generally used for travel. The label will tell owners if a plastic crate is airline approved. These crates are lighter and easier to manoeuvre than a wire crate and they offer more shelter for dogs that are anxious when traveling. Plus, plastic crates are harder to escape from. Some disadvantages to plastic crates are that they are harder to clean and can lead to stress for dogs who aren’t used to being so closed in.

Soft-sided Crates

Soft-sided crates are perfect for dog owners who don’t like the cage-like appearance of wire crates. These crates are soft and comfortable for dogs to lay in, like a dog bed but with sides that can be closed. Soft-sided crates are extremely lightweight, easy to set up, and can be folded away for storage. These crates are the least durable and can easily be torn apart by large or destructive dogs. They are more difficult to keep clean and dogs can learn to open the zippers and escape.

Each crate option has its own unique advantages and disadvantages. Overall, wire crates are the most practical option. They are relatively inexpensive, easy to clean, and good for use at home or while travelling. For added warmth or to block out distractions, owners can easily buy a crate cover than can be removed and washed when needed.

4 Steps to Crate Training Your Dog Safely

The trick to training a dog to enjoy using a dog crate is by creating positive associations with it from the start.

  1. Leaving the door open, start by placing treats in the crate when the dog is not looking for a pleasant surprise they can discover later.
  2. Next, get the dog used to going in the crate by putting their bowl at the back of the crate during meal time.
  3. Eventually, when they get more comfortable, close the door behind them while they eat.
  4. Work on rewarding the dog for going in the crate and train them to wait for your command before coming out.

Just don’t leave your dog or puppy in their crate for extended periods of time or overuse it as punishment or they will come to fear and hate it.

Watch this quick refresher video with Cesar on crate training

Top Ranked Dog Crates Reviews

Midwest iCrate Double-Door Folding Metal Dog Crate 

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Midwest iCrate is a bestselling wire dog crate with two side bolt latches to securely hold the door in place and rubber feet on the bottom to protect floors from getting scuffed and scratched. This crate has a strong carrying handle for easy transportation and folds flat for convenient storage. This crate’s dimensions are 42” L x 28” W x 30” H, with both a front and side door so owners can place it whichever way fits best in their home. A removable plastic pan goes at the bottom of the crate and makes clean up a breeze.

Owners love this dog crate because it is affordable, sturdy, and easy to build. It even comes with a free metal partition so the crate’s size can be adjusted to suit a growing puppy’s needs. The Midwest iCrate is great for dogs who are new to crates or dogs that have had a crate before.

Travel Pet Home Indoor/Outdoor Portable, Foldable Home, Collapsible Soft Dog Crate

Best Lightweight Dog Crate

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The Travel Pet Home by Petsfit makes a great dog bed at home, while travelling or on camping trips. Best for medium to large dogs who are already crate trained, this version has two zippered side doors as well as a top entrance with Velcro to keep the doors open if desired. The patented metal frame locking system is so simple that it only takes seconds to set up and take down, with no tools necessary.

Mesh siding keep the crate well ventilated. Soft fleece padding at the bottom is comfortable for dogs to lay on and can be removed for convenient cleaning. Owners love that this crate is lightweight and sturdy.

Pet Kennel Direct 27” Airline Approved Plastic Dog/Cat Pet Kennel

Best Pet Carrier

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This long lasting, heavy duty plastic pet carrier accommodates pets weighing up to 40 pounds. Pet Kennel Direct meets both USA and International Airline standards, perfect for families who travel with their dogs often. With plenty or ventilation, a quick-latching front door, and easy assembly, this dog crate is perfect for owners who want their travels to be hassle-free.

Owners love that this kennel is roomy, sturdy, and even comes with a food and water dish. The Pet Kennel Direct also has special holes that airlines can use to tie the crate into place so it doesn’t move during flight. Owners are happy with this crate, and their dogs seem to feel comfortable in it too.

Final Verdict

There are many different types of dog crates out there. Choosing the right one can be a challenge. It really depends on what the owner plans to use it for and if the dog is used to being crated. Wire crates are best for owners who are training their dog to get used to a crate for the first time, because they are sturdy, affordable, and easy to clean.