How To Choose The Best Dog Crate
Not only do the best dog crates make house training a young puppy incredibly efficient and easy, but they also make fantastic homes for adult canines. They provide a safe space for anxious pups to retreat to and are one of the most relaxing environments you can offer a dog.
But although they might all appear the same, the best dog crates don’t all have the same properties, and so you need to be aware of all the features a crate or cage can offer to determine the best option for your mutt.
The absolute most important thing to consider when buying the best dog crate for your needs is the size. Your dog needs to be able to turn around in the dog crate, yet not feel too open and spacious. Thankfully, the best dog crates come in a range of sizes.
A dog crate can have features such as folding flat for easy storage and a divider panel to make them smaller when they’re just a puppy.
Too small and your dog will either be cramped or unable to fit into the dog crate; too big and they’ll feel uncomfortable and overwhelmed.
To work out which size of dog crate your breed of dog needs, consult our handy guide below, which is great if you’re opting for traditional wire crates.
Space In Your Home
If you’re considering purchasing a mammoth 48” dog cage for your German Shepherd, you need to consider whether you actually have space in your home first before buying such a large item! If your dog is already taking up most of the house, you likely won’t be able to get a dog crate in.
Something like a folding metal dog crate may come in handy here, where you can just erect it when needed. It folds flat for easy storage. The best dog crate for your pooch will be practical for dogs and for dog owners.
Despite paws seemingly being less crafty than a pair of hands, dogs are surprisingly nimble when it comes to escaping from a dog crate. Make sure to choose a model of dog crates which uses latch systems to securely close the doors, otherwise, the dogs will likely give you dog owners the runaround!
Easy-Cleaning/ Tray Base
To prevent pups from getting sick, you’ll need to clean your dog crate from time to time, so something easy to clean is best.
For any pet owners that are house training, accidents can be a common occurrence and so it’s crucial to pick a dog crate with a removable tray base. This means you can simply take out the base when there’s a mess and hose it off, rather than clambering into it and scrubbing each corner!
Although many assume a divider is used to keep two dogs in one dog crate, they are actually more useful as a reducer, to make cages smaller for very young puppies.
The snugger the crate, the safer your dog will feel, and so they’re a great bonus feature if you are crate training a young dog. Then, when they get bigger, the divider can be taken out.
You can use them for two dogs also, however, particularly if they’re the same age. Good if you’re a dog trainer. Some will even have a double door so you can open one half at one time.
For those that love to travel, the foldability of a cage is absolutely critical. Being able to bring your pup’s home along with you to any vacation or event is a lifesaver and a great feature of wire crates.
As we have mentioned, a folding metal dog crate can also ben handy if you have a smaller home as it can be taken down when you need some space.
But just make sure your crate can actually do it, as it’s not always a given! If you do need something which folds flat for easier storage or can act as a travel crate or pet carrier, it could also be worth considering a soft sided fabric crate. A soft dog crate is harder to look after, but there are some good ones on the market.
Dual-doored crates are a lot better than single door models as they provide more flexibility of access for both you and your pup.
Models which feature roof openings are particularly good for smaller dogs, as pet owners can easily lift and place them in and out of the cage.
Chew Proof Wire
Puppies especially enjoy a good chew on the bars of a crate and so you need to ensure that any crate you purchase can withstand their gnashers! Look for products with steel frames or those with special coats that prevent wear and tear, such as PVC frames.
For a lot of you, image is everything, and so you need to think long and hard about where your dog crate is going to be displayed within your home. If it’s going to be front and centre in your living room, you might want to consider a furniture or coloured model! But remember never sacrifice on security for style points.
If you like to constantly chop and change the location of your dog’s home, or need a transport crate for taking to events, a wheel based cage can save you breaking your back every time you need to carry their crate from room to room.
This makes it a bit of an easier version than a pet carrier.
What Size Dog Crate Do I Need?:
Crate Size: By Breed and Weight
Wire crates are usually listed in inches and tend to range between 18” and 48”. However, there are sizes toward the upper end of the spectrum which are slightly rarer.
Dogs need at least 6” of extra height and width to their crate to be truly comfortable, and so it’s crucial you pick the appropriate size.
To see which size of crate each breed of dog needs, consult the guide below.
For very small dogs under 25 lbs.
Breeds: Affenpinscher, Brussels Griffon, Chihuahua, Chiweenie, Japanese Chin, Maltese, Maltipoo, Morkie, Papillon, Teacup Pomeranian, Puggle, Russian Toy Terrier, Teacup Yorkshire Terrier, Toy Fox Terrier, Toy Poodle, Yorkshire Terrier
For small dogs under 30lbs.
Breeds: Australian Terrier, Bichon Frise, Border Terrier, Boston Terrier, Cavapoo, Chinese Crested, Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Smooth Fox Terrier, Havanese, Jack Russel Terrier, Italian Greyhound, Manchester Terrier, Miniature Dachshund, Miniature Poodle, Norfolk Terrier, Norwich Terrier, Parson Russell Terrier, Pomeranian, Pomsky, Poochon, Pug, Schipperke, Shichon, Shih Poo, Shih Tzu, Silky Terrier, Skye Terrier, Tibetan Spaniel, Yorkie Poo, Zuchon
For small or medium dogs of 25 to 40 lbs.
Breeds: American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Water Spaniel, Basenji, Bedlington Terrier, Boykin Spaniel, Cairn Terrier, Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Cockapoo, Cocker Spaniel, Dachshund, French Bulldog, German Pinscher, Irish Terrier, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Lhasa Apso, Miniature Pinscher, Miniature Schnauzer, Pekingese, Redbone Coonhound, Scottish Terrier, Shetland Sheepdog, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Tibetan Terrier, Welsh Springer Spaniel, Welsh Terrier, West Highland White Terrier, Wirehaired Fox Terrier
For dogs between 40 and 70 lbs.
Breeds: American Eskimo, Australian Cattle Dog, Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog, Basset Hound, Bavarian Mountain Scent Hound, Beagle, Brittany Spaniel, Bull Terrier, Bulldog, Chinese Shar-Pei, English Setter, English Springer Spaniel, Finnish Spitz, Harrier, Keeshond, Kerry Blue Terrier, Norwegian Elkhound, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Portuguese Water Dog, Segugio Italiano, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Standard Schnauzer, Treeing Tennessee Brindle, Whippet, Yakutian Laika.
For dogs between 70 and 90 lbs.
Breeds: Airedale Terrier, American Bulldog, Aussiedoodle, Australian Kelpie, Australian Shepherd, Bearded Collie, Belgian Sheepdog, Belgian Tervuren, Bernedoodle, Border Collie, Boxer, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Chow-Chow, Clumber Spaniel, Dalmatian, German Shorthaired Pointer, Golden Retriever, Goldendoodle, Gordon Setter, Ibizan Hound, Irish Setter, Irish Water Spaniel, Labrador Retriever, Pharaoh Hound, Plott Hound, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Saluki, Schnoodle, Sheepadoodle, Poodle (Standard), Vizsla
For dogs between 90 and 110 lbs.
Afghan Hound, Akita, Alaskan Malamute, Belgian Malinois, Bernese Mountain Dog, Bloodhound, Boerboel, Bouvier Des Flandres, Briard, Bullmastiff, Catahoula Leopard Dog, Chinook, Collie, Doberman Pinscher, Dogue De Bordeaux, German Shepherd, Giant Schnauzer, Greyhound, Komondor, Kuvasz, Newfoundland, Old English Sheepdog, Otterhound, Pointer, Rottweiler, Samoyed, Siberian Husky, Tervuren, Weimaraner
You’ll probably struggle to find a wire crate any larger than this, although there are wire crates available in a 54” size if you own a particularly large breed such as Great Danes.
For dogs over 110 lbs!
Akita. Anatolian Shepherd, Borzoi, Broholmer, Great Dane, Great Pyrenees, Irish Wolfhound, Leonberger, Mastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff, Russian Bear Dog, Scottish Deerhound, St. Bernard