Think about a time when you were exhausted and wanted to sneak away from your household members and get a quick nap in or just some peace and quiet. Your dog wants that too, and having their own space in the form of a comfy, cozy crate is just what they’ll need.
Why You Should Have a Crate
Some people might associate crates with cruelty, but it’s actually something dogs enjoy in the right setting. Having a sense of security with their own spot to recharge or return to when they are unsure where to go or how to respond to your commands is something most dogs will appreciate.
A crate can also be an incredible training tool to show your pup how you want them to behave inside your home. If used correctly, it will be a space they want to return to when they are unsure about what’s going on around them or if there are too many stimuli in the environment to process.
However, if misused, it could become a place your dog feels trapped in and learns to fear. Make sure you understand the basics of pet crate training before picking out the best crate or dog kennel for your furry friend.
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Some Factors to Consider
The size of the crate is something that needs to be considered, even if it's obvious what size to get your dog. If they are a puppy, it's best to get the right size crate for their current age; even if it's more expensive in the long run, it will save you a lot of trouble as they age.
If your pup will grow into a large dog and you only want to buy one crate, the Humane Society recommends blocking off part of the crate with a divider panel until they have outgrown the smaller section. Too much space in their crate will allow them to push their blankets or dog bed to one side and create a bathroom space within the crate.
Also, puppies tend to get lonelier a lot easier than dogs, so a bigger crate with too much space will build upon that feeling and may cause them to cry more than normal. The general rule is to give your dog enough room to completely lay down and be able to turn around within the crate.
The location of the crate within your house is just as important as the size. Puppies can only hold their bladders for up to three or four hours, so placing their crate near the door you plan to take them outside for the bathroom is important in a dog's potty training days, no matter their age.
It's recommended that you place the crate in your bedroom so your dog can either see or hear you at night and know you're okay, and so that you can hear them if they get restless and need to use the bathroom.
Suppose you want to crate your dog during the day for short periods. In that case, it's okay to change the crate's location within the house to keep an eye on them, especially if your dog suffers from separation anxiety or is an aspiring escape artist.
Picking a dog cage-style may seem like a daunting task, but it's the most flexible you can be when making a final decision.
Are you an avid traveler? You might want to look into a fabric or travel crate for your house so that your dog recognizes that it's time to travel when you pick it up and put it in the car.
Need a crate but want to make it blend in? A wooden crate is your best option since most of them look like end tables and can easily fit your house's style without having it stand out.
The metal-framed crate is the most view-friendly crate so that your dog can watch the house from their safe space. It's also easier to transport a metal crate than the wooden crates if you need to bring it on a road trip and is more sturdy than the travel crates.
Now that you understand why you should have a pet crate, we've compiled a list of X dog crates and kennels for you to look through and decide which is the best dog crate for your budget and furry friend.
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Crates for Puppies
Any pet owner with a puppy needs to get a crate. Introducing them to their crate as a safe and cozy space will make it easier for them to feel more comfortable and welcome in their crate. Some puppies even go take naps in their crates because they are so cozy!
Here are some great crates for puppies.
This metal crate from MidWest Homes comes with it all; a free divider panel, durable dog tray, carrying handle and four 'roller' feet to protect your floors. The crate comes in sizes ranging from extra small to extra large and is collapsable for easy setup and transportation.
This blue-finished metal crate is 24 x 18 x 19 inches (LxWxH) and intended for pups or small dogs no larger than 25 pounds, plus it comes with a matching tray for the bottom of the crate. It’s one of the most affordable crates on our list, so if you’re a new dog owner looking for a deal, this is one of your best options.
Manufactured by MidWest Homes, this Life Stages crate offers durability for those dogs that are prone to attempting to escape. This crate also offers a divider panel, durable dog tray, carrying handle and "roller" feet to protect your floors.
It differs from the first crate in this list because it has heavier gauge steel and tighter wire mesh, making it stronger.
Metal Wire Frame Crates
Metal wire frame crates tend to be the most common among dog owners, due to the fact that they are easy to set up and store away, easy to clean and your dog can grow into the bigger sizes without having to buy another crate as they age.
Partnered with the right dog bed, your dog’s safe space can go from just a crate to a cozy, comfortable bedroom.
Here are some of the best metal wire frame crates.
New World’s Folding Metal Dog Crate comes with the widest variety of size options partnered with the option to add a second latched door to your crate. Look into this crate if you’re in the market for more than one size and a trusty warranty in case your pup decides to get a little restless inside their crate.
Life Stages offers this double-door flooding crate with a divider so you can get one size that your pup can grow into. With the two doors and large 42 inch and 48-inch sizes, this would be the ideal crate for your larger pups, such as a golden retriever or pitbull.
The crate also comes with a dog tray, carrying handle and "roller" feet to protect your floors.
Wood Frame Crates
A dog crate… but make it furniture. Wood frame crates are the most universal on this list, not only for their ability to blend into any room but also for the fact that it can double as a crate and end table. One downside is that they are not easy to transport around your house and tend to not be easy to store away. We recommend looking into these great wooden crates if you want to give your dog their own safe space while saving some space in your own home.
This crate by Casual Home will blend into your living space and offers durability and longevity with simple-to-clean surfaces. Color options currently available are espresso, black, white and walnut.
This ever-changing dog crate can be a simple crate, an end table or can be transformed into a dog gate to keep your dog in one room rather than inside a crate. Merry Pet’s crate is the most versatile option on the list and can save you money by combining all these features.
Looking to shop small? This handcrafted crate has elegance, class, scratch guards and multiple finishes and sizes to choose from. It’s slightly on the pricey side, but you get your money's worth for your special custom order. Select from ebony, grey, special walnut, early American, dark walnut or unfinished.
Soft Frame Crates
If you like to bring your furry friends on your adventures — whether that means going to a neighbor’s house or camping in the mountains — these are the crates for you. They are the lightest and easiest of the crates on this list to transport and store away.
Here are great soft frame crates for dogs of all sizes.
The strong steel tube frame and fabric combination in this EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate offer an easily transportable and sturdy option for anyone looking to bring their furry friend on the go with them. The crate comes with a carrying bag, fleece bed and a two-year warranty, all for an affordable price.
The AmazonBasics Portable Folding Soft Dog Travel Crate has a PVC frame and polyester fabric for maximum flexibility and comfort for your travel buddy. This option is great for homeowners who want to have a crate they can store away when they are not using it while also using it as a travel crate.
If you need a more sturdy option for your trips with your dog, these traveling crates will be the best option for your canine. With great breathability and visibility for your pup and sturdy plastic frames that won't get smooshed as you pack your car full for the holidays, these are some of the best traveling crates on the market.
The Diggs Revol Dog Crate may be on the more expensive side when comparing dog crates, but it’s made of high-grade aluminum, steel mesh wire and reinforced plastic for the most durable travel-friendly option on our list. Another factor that dog owners love about this crate is that it’s made with baby industry standards so that you won't have to worry about your pup pinching their paws while inside.
This is a perfect option for dogs who get nervous or anxious when traveling.
This plastic travel-specific crate by Petmate meets most airline cargo requirements and has a raised interior to keep your dog protected and comfortable when inside the crate. Made from recycled plastic material, this crate is recommended for dog owners who have a stationary dog crate at home and need a second crate specifically for traveling.
Dog Crate Accessories
You can’t forget about making their crate extra cozy with a few accessories!
Most of the crates on this list come with plastic trays, but you can maximize your pet's comfort by adding a soft mat or bed into the crate. This is recommended for crate training to make the space more homey rather than a punishment.
Sometimes we humans enjoy going to our room and shutting the door so that we can get some serious rest and relaxation. And your dog will want that kind of privacy sometimes, too. Give them the option of a private safe space with this MidWest Dog Crate Cover.
If you’re out and about all day and plan on leaving your pup inside their crate for an extended time, this cocopet Dripless Pet Drinking Fountain is a great addition to their crate. Keep them hydrated and safe with all while keeping the dog crate clear of any water puddles.
The fountain is made with BPA-free plastic and stainless steel metal for your pups health and well-being.
Pick What’s Best for your Pup
You know it all; which size you plan on getting, where to put the crate in your house, what style of crate you want for your house and the accessories you know your furry friend will love. It might take some time for your new puppy or dog to get adjusted to all the new changes in your house, but with the help of their safe space crate, you can make the transition much smoother and build a stronger bond with your pooch.
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The 13 Best Dog Crates:
- MidWest Homes for Pets Dog Crate
- Carlson Blue Secure and Compact Single Door Metal Dog Crate
- Life Stages LS-1636 Single Door Folding Crate
- New World Folding Metal Dog Crate
- Life Stages LS-1636DD Double Door 36" Folding Crate with Divider
- Casual Home Wooden Pet Crate
- Merry Pet 2-in-1 Configurable Pet Crate and Gate
- Dog Crate, Single Door, Custom Dog Furniture
- EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate
- AmazonBasics Portable Folding Soft Dog Travel Crate
- AmazonBasics Portable Folding Soft Dog Travel Crate
- Diggs Revol Dog Crate
- Petmate Vari Kennel