While dogs do need to roam around the house freely or go outside, on some occasions, they do need a place to rest and keep them secured from the dangers of the outside world, whether you let them sleep indoors or outdoors. A dog crate can help answer that question, and in this article, we’ll give you the best dog crate suggestions to get you started.
Dog crates are important for those who have frequent visitors, especially those who are scared of dogs. This is because dogs can be a bit unpredictable and may find a stranger too intimidating, and so they may sniff or bark at them, so you may need to keep them contained and disciplined in a dog crate.
Another good use of a dog crate is when taking them to the vet. Your dog can be safe and secure when you take them to the destination, since dogs, like other animals, could get a bit of anxiety when traveling, especially when your vet is a few miles away from your home. Aside from that, dog crates are useful when you need to leave the house and don’t have someone to take care of Fido for you.
What is a dog crate?
A dog crate is like a small cage in which your dog can live in. They are smaller than dog kennels and most of them can be used for traveling, such as when taking your dog to the vet. Dog crates are usually easier to set up and are meant for indoor use.
Top 10 Best Dog Crate with Reviews
1. Guardian Gear ProSelect Empire – Best Dog Crate For Separation Anxiety
Got a dog who has separation anxiety? This one can be a good choice due to the secure design, which will keep your buddy contained, especially if you used to always see him/her destroy the house when you get home. The 20-gauge steel cage makes it quite sturdy and impossible for most escape artists while the large dimensions of 35 x 23 x 24 inches can make it spacious for dogs.
It even has a set of casters that you can use to move the dog crate around the house – good for when Fido doesn’t like being in just one place (don’t worry, you can also remove the casters later). There’s also a bottom tray so you can easily just clean up the mess that your dog made.
2. 2PET Foldable Dog Crate – Best Dog Crate For Car Travel
As a foldable dog crate, this one can be a decent choice for frequent travelers. It is available in four colors: beige, blue, grey, and red, and you can choose from different sizes depending on how big or small your dog is. The fabric cover can be washed easily and the steel tube design doesn’t make the whole thing heavy due to the lightweight construction.
The use of Oxford 600-D material for the cover makes it weather-resistant as well – a good idea for taking the dog to the vet even in the midst of a rainy day. Its mesh windows provide just the right amount of ventilation for your buddy inside, so it’s kind of like a small tent for them (good for camping as well).
3. AmazonBasics Two-Door Top-Load Pet – Best Plastic Dog Crate
If you prefer a plastic crate, this one can be a decent choice due to the design. It’s easy to open due to the top door placement while the screws can also add more security to the whole crate. It may be an option for you if you want to take your dog to the vet easily and just need something lightweight to carry.
The crate is made with a front door that’s made with steel wire while the whole thing is made with a durable plastic material that’s not easy to chew off. It has a convenient handle at the top that can be folded when not in use. Don’t worry about ventilation – little holes around the crate can help with that.
4. EliteField 3-Door Folding – Best Soft Dog Crate
Available in various colors to choose from, this dog crate is good for those who want a soft one that can be used for traveling, camping, taking to the vet, and the like. If you don’t prefer a metal cage for your dog and want a lighter option, this one can be for you. It measures 36 x 24 x 28 inches (but you can also order different sizes for different breeds).
The mix of mesh fabric and 600-D protective fabric around it gives it just the right protection for your dog without causing them to lose air inside. There’s even a set of accessory pockets inside to contain your dog’s toys and whatnot. A handle at the top makes this dog crate easy to carry around while traveling.
5. MidWest Life Stages – Best Large Dog Crate
Measuring 42 x 28 x 31 inches, this large dog crate can be for you if your buddy doesn’t fit in many other cages. It’s also leak-proof on its bottom tray so cleaning can be a breeze, especially if you prize your flooring a lot. It even has feet that don’t damage your flooring.
Many pet owners found it quite easy to assemble and have plenty of room inside, such that it’s easy even for the owners to get in and check. The crate is available in either single door or double door options, so you can choose which one’s better for your dog depending on whether he/she is an escape artist or if you want accessibility. It is also backed by a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.
6. Carlson Pet Deluxe Pet Crate – Best Small Dog Crate
For small dog breeds, we recommend this one due to the durable steel material and the simple door and locking system. It can be ideal for pups and even small breeds, as long as they weigh around 25 pounds or less. Its bottom tray is removable and washable so you don’t need to get frustrated with cleaning the floor.
As a single-door crate for dogs, it is easy to fold as well so you can take it with you while traveling with your buddy. It stands 24 x 18 x 19 inches in its dimensions and it was also coated with an electro-coat finish to keep corrosion at bay. You can also fit in most memory foam mattresses available for dog crates out there to keep your dog extra comfortable.
7. SMONTER Strong Metal Pet – Best Heavy Duty Dog Crate
If you want to invest in a heavy-duty dog crate, you may want to look at this one. It has a 38-inch size with a dark silver coat finish and is made with a special coating that can resist corrosion. It has wheels as well (they also rotate) to make it easy to transfer the crate from one place to another in your home – perfect for dogs who get bored with their surroundings.
For escape artists, this can also be a good crate since it has two protective locks outside. At the bottom, there is a plastic tray that you can easily remove to clean up, making it easy to maintain. The size is good for most huskies and German Shepherd breeds.
8. Precision Pet by Petmate ProValu Two-Door – Best Wire Dog Crate
If you want a simple wire dog crate, this medium-sized one at 30 x 19 x 21 can be decent enough (but it also has other sizes to choose from). With two doors, this one has a unique lock system with five points so you can secure it properly for escape artists. What’s more, you can also fold the whole thing so you can store it for traveling and the like.
Since it has a rounded corner, you can worry less about snagging and frequent accidents when you are traveling with your buddy. Since its two entrances are placed differently, you can choose where to place the dog crate. Its corrosion-resistant finish might also make it a good investment for the future.
9. AmazonBasics Single/Double Door Folding Metal – Best Portable Dog Crate
If portability is what you want, this one is easily foldable into a suitcase-like thing so you can just carry it at the back of your car without taking too much space or put it under your bed when it’s not in use. Since it even has an optional divider panel, you can customize this metal dog crate to your liking.
The dog crate is available in either single-door or double-door configurations and its bold latches can be easy to use for owners yet difficult to unlock for dogs, keeping them safe and secure inside. It measures 36 x 23 x 25 inches in its dimensions and it can fit in most labradors. The height of the crate is also pretty high so even tall or big dogs can get in there.
10. SmithBuilt Heavy Duty Dog Cage – Best Dog Crate For Escape Artist
For true escape artists, you can try this 36-inch dog crate, which has been made with hammered silver material so it’s not only hard to escape from it but it’s also quite heavy-duty. The interior height is about 32 inches with a wire space of about 2 inches each. You can even stack them together so it can be a good idea if you have multiple dogs or if you want to carry them on a trip.
The latches can be difficult to figure out for your escape artist while the whole thing is quite easy to put together due to the simple design. It’s also good for dogs who frequently chew their cage since it is pretty thick. If you’ve given up on most dog cages due to your dog always escaping, this one could be a little different.
If you want to know more about buying dog crates, you can check out the following information to help you out:
How do I choose a dog crate?
When choosing a specific dog crate for your pet’s needs, you may want to consider:
- Your dog’s breed
- The size of the dog crate
- The materials of the dog crate
- Is your dog an escape artist?
- Is it easy to set up?
- Do you need a foldable dog crate for traveling?
How do I use a crate for puppy training?
If you want to do some crate training for your puppies so that they behave when indoors and don’t destroy stuff, here’s what you need to consider first:
- It should have enough room for them. Puppies should be able to stand up properly inside the crate and then circle if they wish. It should be comfortable for them.
- They shouldn’t be able to pee or poop in their crate. The size shouldn’t be enough for your pup to do their business because this just means that they won’t have a reason to go outside anymore.
- For young pups, make sure they get puppy breaks. If you are going outside, make sure someone gets to watch the pups a bit if they are still very young. Pups tend to eliminate or urinate quicker than adults, so they should be given puppy breaks much more frequently depending on their age and actions (see #5).
- Add access to water for drinking. To avoid dehydration, if you train your puppy for a longer period inside the crate, you should make sure they get ample amounts of water to drink.
- Watch your puppy for signs that they need to go out. If your dog starts barking and whining, you may want to take them out to pee or poop outside. It’s not always easy to tell, since some dogs may not do business when you take them outside, but as the saying goes, “better safe than sorry”.
In the long run, dog crates are pretty much a necessity if you travel often with your dog or if your buddy has separation anxiety and tends to ruin things around the house when you’re gone. Whether you want a wired one, a soft cage, or a plastic one, it is up to you and your budget – some pet owners don’t want an expensive or bulky one while others need them because their dog is an escape artist.
Remember: keeping your dog safe in a cage doesn’t always mean you should just leave them behind! Even if you do have the best dog crate, you should still check them from time to time on what they’re doing to avoid any mishaps along the way. And, if you’re planning to travel with Fido in the cage, giving them direct access to food, drinks, and the like, especially on a long trip, is crucial.
Learn more? Check this video out!
More useful buying guides:
10 Best Dog Crate Buyer's Guide & Reviews in 2019
Written by Dr. Alex Boyum