Dog Crate Comparison
|Material||Hard Wood||Metal||Solid Wood||Metal||Metal||Metal||Steel||Steel||Steel||Metal|
|< 44||< 125||< 38||< 91||< 62||< 70||< 55||< 45||< 100||< 100|
|26.00 x 36.80 x 24.20||54.00 x 37.00 x 45.00||32.50 x 21.50 x 23.50||42.00 x 28.00 x 30.00||36.00 x 23.00 x 25.00||36.00 x 24.00 x 27.00||24.00 x 17.00 x 19.00||30.00 x 19.00 x 21.00||48.00 x 30.00 x 33.00||48.00 x 30.00 x 32.00|
Dog Crate Buying Guide
What is a Dog Crate?
A dog crate is a cage that has at least one door that locks. Most crates are made with metal of some kind although the styles and designs have increased quite a bit over the years. Now you can get dog crates that can be incorporated into your living room or bedroom as if they were a piece of regular furniture with wood trim and table top surfaces. There are also soft sided ones and plastic ones as well. They are used for travel, training, sleeping, and containing your dog when needed. They are not recommended to be used as punishment ever.
Dog crates come in a variety of sizes that can fit the smallest toy breed to the largest giant breed. They are all different prices as well so you can usually find one to fit any budget as well. Most dogs, when crate trained properly, love their crates and see them as private places they can relax and sleep.
Types of Dog Crates
There are several different types of dog crates on the market today. Some are better for certain situations than others. Depending on what your dog crate needs are, you can look for the type of crate that will fulfill those needs and preferences.
Wire Dog Crate – Wire crates are good choices for pet owners with dogs that overheat easily. This can be because of a heavy coat or because of geographical location. If you want to buy a crate that will fit the dog when he is grown, but he is currently a puppy, buy one that either includes a divider or purchase a divider as well. Start off with the crate half size and it can grow with him. Most wire crates fold easily and have removable floor trays.
Some drawbacks to the wire crates are that they can be noisy if the dog moves around a lot. They can also be much easier for escape dogs to get out of. They are also not the most attractive to have in your living room but they can be covered with a sheet or cloth of some kind which hides the metal and gives the dog some privacy as well.
Plastic Dog Crate – If you notice that your dog likes to hide under things to sleep, they may be a good candidate for the plastic crates. These are perfect for the dog who likes cozy, private places. They are the perfect crate for airline travel and if your dog is used to being in the plastic crate at home, traveling with him will be much easier.
Plastic crates are much harder for dogs to break put of which makes them a great choice if you have a Houdini dog. They can come in many different colors and if you’re traveling with the dog in the car seat the crate can be broken down and stacked one half inside the other for better use of space. Watch to make sure your pet doesn’t get overheated.
The best way to ensure this is to keep the crate in a space where air can blow through the crate and not right on them. This type of crate is not good for a very social dog that loves to see what’s going on around them so knowing your dog’s personality is beneficial when choosing the right one. If your dog has an accident in the plastic crate, clean up is as simple as taking it outside and hosing it out. Just be sure it is completely dry before you put their bedding back in it.
Soft Sided Dog Crate – These portable and lightweight crates are perfect for very small dogs. Many people use them to carry the dogs around with them when they are out and about. They are also good for traveling, picnics and camping. They are easily washed in the washer and if you don’t need to use them, they store easily too.
If the dog has an accident, they will not be able to be used until washed and dried which can make them inconvenient at times. They are also not good choices for dogs who chew, as they are more than happy to chew their way right out of them. Some dogs may even figure out how to unzip them!
Heavy Duty Dog Crate – If you have a dog that consistently gets out of metal or plastic crates, the heavy duty crate is for you. Made of very durable materials and heavy duty closures, your dog will more than likely not be able to get out of this style of crate. They can be a bit more expensive than traditional crates but it is less expensive in the long run than it would be to keep buying replacement crates.
Some heavy duty crates are approved for travel so if you do a lot of traveling with your pet, be sure to check and see if that model is approved for travel. These heavy duty crates come in a variety of sizes because not all escape artist dogs are large.
Decorative Dog Crate – Some dog crates are now made out of wood or rattan with metal. These crates are wonderful for the pet owner that is looking for something that looks nice as well as being functional. The wood that these crates can be made of is not recommended for the dog that chews as they will have the wood in shreds in no time, especially if they are left alone in it. Some have table top surfaces so they can be used as end tables. This is a great space saving design that allows the pet to be in the middle of things. Look for the wood and metal crates that don’t have wood bottoms if your dog is prone to having accidents; the accidents can ruin the wood if it is frequent.
What Size Dog Crate is Best?
The answer to this all depends on the size of your dog. Unless you don’t mind buying several crates over the course of your dog’s life, if you have a puppy, get a crate that will fit the dog when it is grown and not just fit the size he is now. You want to get a crate that will allow the dog to stand up at their full height on all fours, turn around and lie down. He/she should not have to be curled up in a ball to fit inside. This can affect the health of their joints and bones.
On the other hand, you don’t want a crate so big that the dog can use the bathroom at one end and sleep in the other. Most dogs will not use the bathroom where they sleep, so having the proper fit can also help expedite housetraining. If your dog spends several hours in their crate either overnight or while you are at work, be sure that taking them outside to use the bathroom is the first thing you do upon waking or getting home.
If you have a puppy, get a crate that will accommodate their grown adult size and use dividers to make it fit his current size. You can also put a cardboard box in one side to take up space as long as it still allows them to stand, turn and sleep comfortably. Measure your dog before shopping and look for sizes that are 3-4 inches above his head when standing and that there is plenty of length as well.
All crates have measurements in the descriptions, so if you know your dog’s measurements, finding the right size will be much easier.
Some Important Crate Tips to Remember
Dog crates, when used properly, can be a great asset to a dog owner. Here are several safety and usage tips that can be helpful to know. Following these guidelines can keep your dog crate a place that your dog loves rather than dreads.
Do not use the crate as a punishment. – Yelling at your dog and tossing them into the crate is a very fast way to make your dog fear and hate their crate; never, never punish the dog by putting them in their crate.
Don’t leave the fog in the crate for too long – Being cooped up in a crate night and day is a fast track to an unhealthy and unhappy dog. Use it for training purposes and then allow them to learn to want to go there to sleep at night on their own, with the door open. If you must crate your dog when you work, be sure that they are allowed to stay out of it when you’re home at night and off work. If your dog is under 6 months old, they should not be in the crate longer than 3-4 hours at a time. They simply can’t hold their bladders longer than that.
Once they are trained, make it optional – Once your dog has been trained not to destroy the house, don’t for them to be in it anymore. Most dogs will voluntarily go into their crate, especially if you have made it a positive experience for them during training. Keep soft, comfortable bedding in there and they will enjoy climbing in to get some rest.
Never leave the dog in a crate inside a parked car in hot weather – this is a punishable offense by law, but sadly, it is done often anyway. A car heats up to dangerous temperatures in the summer months. Having your dog in a hot car is dangerous enough, having them in a crate in a hot car is almost assuredly going to cause some major health emergencies.
When traveling- buckle the crate to the seat or secure to the floor of the car – a crate flopping around the interior of your car is not safe for the dog or the passengers. Make sure the dog crate is secured safely so their car ride is a safe one for you and them. Make sure that plenty of air is flowing around and through the crate so the dog doesn’t overheat. Don’t cover the front of the crate or pile so much on top of it that it cuts off air circulation inside the crate.
Handy Crate Accessories
Once you have the perfect dog crate picked out don’t forget to get some accessories for your dog’s crate. These will include things like:-
- Crate pillow or bedding
- Crate cover (cloth will work fine, just make it breathable so air can still get through)
- Toys and Treats for when he is in the crate.
Most dog owners that have dog crates love them and the dogs do too when they have been trained properly and the crates are not used for punishment. They come in many varieties and sizes to meet every dog owner’s needs. They make traveling and training much easier and give the dog a place of their own, much like a child’s bedroom.
With the information you have learned about dog crates, you can research and shop the models available to find that perfect crate for your cherished pet that both of you will love.