Crates and Kennels, Oh My!

Let’s Talk About Dog Crates And Find The Best One For You!

If you’re looking for the best dog crate for your dog (who deserves only the best, of course), you’re in the right spot.

There are many different types of crates available for your puppy or grown dog but each of them can serve a different purpose. Our goal here is to find the best, most secure cage for your dog.

Training is typically the number 1 reason that people get a dog crate. If you are just bringing your puppy home for the first time, or you have an older dog, then there are many benefits that you can get by owning one. It definitely makes house-breaking faster and also is a great place for him to get some quiet alone time.

Other benefits is that crate training can help prevent with the separation anxiety in dogs. You can also use it to control a pet that is acting aggressive or is just getting into trouble around the house.

It should also be stated that dog crates can be used for in home use as you are aware, but some people use them for taking their dog with them on vacation. This can include bringing your pet with you on a plane, or just to see the vet down the street.

Things to Consider in
Choosing the Best Cage

Finding the right dog cage for you involves not just looking at your dog’s size, but also your dog’s temperament. While there are some crates on the market that can definitely contain your pet, others will be “escape proof” for that really mischievous dog.

The first thing you need to keep in mind when looking to buy a crate is how big and what weight your dog is. You then need to think about how your dog is going to be using the crate. Are they going to be using the crate as a training tool, or perhaps just a place to keep your dog while you are out of the house?

If you have a puppy or a very docile dog that will not attempt to break out, some of the crates below will be a very good fit for you. There are many different materials that are used to make these crates. These include wood, plastic, metal wire, wicker and aluminum.

So let’s find the best dog crate for your dog!

Let’s Check Out Some Different Types of Crates

Wire Dog Crates

Wire dog crates are probably the most popular dog crate because they are a sturdy solution to keeping your pet confined. They will also give you the ability to keep an eye on your dog at all times without any place for them to hide. Max visibility is a nice thing when you have a new puppy, it is really good for crate training.

Two of the dog cages we like if you want metal wire are the Midwest iCrate and the Midwest Life Stages crate. These are some of the best folding dog crates and are the type of crate you see in lots of homes that have a dog. A large dog will also like this as there is plenty of room to stand an lay down.

There are a lot of reasons to like Midwest Pet Products and their dog crates.

 
There are two really nice features of Midwest’s Dog Crates that we really like. First, all of their cages are sold in 6″ increments. They really break it down so you can find the right crate for your dog.

Second, we love that they sell their crates with a divider panel. This means that you can buy the crate that you best anticipate you’ll need when your dog is full-grown and just keep moving the panel back!
 

We think Midwest makes one of the best folding wire dog cages.

 
It folds up so easily. Unless you’ve got a huge dog, it will easily fit in the trunk of your car if you want to take it on a trip or out camping.

Does the Midwest Dog Crate sound like the best dog crate for you?

Wicker Dog Crates

Wicker dog crates are best if you have a dog that isn’t likely to try to break out of his kennel. Another benefit is that they look a lot nicer than a plastic travel kennel or a wire cage. If you’re kennel isn’t going to be in a mudroom and you want to add to the aesthetic of the room it is in, then we can help you figure out the best wicker dog crate for your dog.

Remember, your dog’s teeth can chew right through wicker – even smaller breeds can do this. For a lot of dogs, all it takes for them to escape is a hole in the material that they can squeeze their head through and then they can push enough to squeeze their body through. Even if you have the perfect wicker dog crate, your dog escaping from his cage is all it takes for you to come home to all of your plants tipped over.

Mr Herzer’s wicker dog crate is
a super popular option.
One of the nice parts about it
is that the door opens inward
and stays out of the way.

Crown Pet’s Crate Table is
a pretty great option if
you want something nicer than
wire, but stronger than wicker.

Wood Dog Kennels

If you like the idea of wood, but want something stronger than wicker, there are some pretty great options for finding the best wood dog crate for your dog.

 
Don’t want to go with wire and worried that a wicker dog kennel won’t be strong enough? For those of you who want a dog crate that looks nice but is sturdier, there are some good wood options. If you decide to go the wood route, it’s still important to remember that if you’re at work for 6 hours, your dog can turn into a little beaver pretty quick.

Most dogs likely will not decide to start chewing on the sides of a wood dog crate. The best wood dog kennels often come with sides that are flat edges, so your dog is not going to start chewing on them.

Another SUPER nice option about some wood dog cages is that they double as a table top. So you can have an end table that doubles as your dog’s kennel.

Plastic Dog Crates

Plastic crates are a go-to for many dog owners. For your dog, a plastic crate may simply be the best. While they offer a lot of visibility, they also offer your dog a little more privacy when he’s laying down, creating a den-like atmosphere which works well for a lot of dogs.

They’re also nice because they’re super easy to toss in the car or back of the SUV if you’re headed on the road with your dog. They’re great because with a little smaller base, if secured properly in your vehicle, your dog isn’t going to get thrown into the metal bars of a wire crate if you have to take a sharp right turn.

If you’re traveling and flying with your dog, it is important to know that you must have the proper plastic crate. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has specific regulations and guidelines for traveling with your pet. It’s a great idea to start considering the best travel kennel for your dog well in advance of your planned travel dates. There are also other rules about water and food dishes that you can find on IATA’s site or your air carrier also probably has good information. A good example is Alaska Airline’s page about traveling with your dog.

We have used the Petmate Plastic
Kennel several times when
traveling with our dogs.

If you even think you
might need an escape proof
dog crate, you probably do.

Escape-Proof Dog Crates

Escape proof crates are perfect if you are looking for the best, toughest dog crate on the market for a dog who is big and powerful or just plain tricky, than this is the one you are looking for! If you’re dog is acing dog IQ tests, then this might be the best route for you! These are extremely heavy duty and will make sure that your large dog will not bust up the crate or escape. They are built to take abuse and will stand up under any angry dog or animal you put inside it.

If you’ve seen your dog be a regular Houdini and get out of his crate time and time again, this might be the best dog crate for you. Many people witness their dog being an escape artist and breaking out of all dog crates they have tried to date. If you’re in this boat, you’re going to find a ton of relief by finding something that your dog cannot actually get out of.

If you’re big into camping
or taking your dog on road trips,
a soft dog crate can be a
fantastic option for you.

Soft Dog Crate

Soft Dog Crates

Soft-sided dog crates are very similar to the plastic ones because they are used to travel with your dog. The difference being that with a soft crate, they are what they say they are, soft, which makes them suitable for longer rides as well as living conditions. Figuring out if your dog will do best with a soft dog crate is something to think about. There are a lot of benefits to them, they are lightweight and easy to store and move around, but aren’t as strong as some other crates. If your dog is prone to escaping from his kennel, you should put some thought into whether or not this is the best cage for your dog.

Soft crates will generally have an internal steel frame which makes them much more sturdy so they tend to retain their shape for longer. If you like taking your dog camping, this is a pretty good option. It doesn’t take up a ton of space in an already jam-packed car with your supplies for the weekend.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Doors Should My Dog’s Crate Have?

 Most dog crates come with a single door but there are some designs that come with both a double and triple door. Two doors can be really nice in many situations. One of the nicest reasons to have multiple doors is if you keep your dog’s kennel near the bed and want to be able to let him out in the morning from time to time without having to get up!

Is the best dog cage setup to use a pan or a dog bed?

 
When you’re looking at dog crates, almost all of them having a plastic floor. This is for ease of cleaning. Dirt is super easy to clean off of plastic and while metal is easy to sanitize, it isn’t quite as comfortable for your dog.

Almost every dog crate that you buy will come with a pan floor that is made out of plastic. This is for convenience, but if you are going to be keeping your dog or puppy in crate as a type of kennel, then you may want to invest in a dog bed. This will help your dog feel at home and be happy and comfortable in his new home! You can also find some old blankets and toss them in there for your dog. If you’ve been sleeping in those blankets for a while, it will be nice for your dog while you are away to have your scent.

What Size Dog Crate is Right For Your Dog?

Getting the right size dog crate is really important. If you’re getting a dog and want to go with an option like Midwest’s dog crates which come with a divider, you should ask your breeder or vet how large they think your dog is going to get. There’s definitely no equation or 100% accurate way to guess how large your puppy is going to be, but an experienced professional should be able to make a good guess.

Just remember, your puppy is growing! Buying the crate that fits him today may not mean you have the right crate for him in a week.

Divider panels are your friend! They will let you essentially make your crate smaller by inserting a little wire divider. This can keep your crate at the same size while allowing room for your puppy’s growth.

If you have a full grown dog, you do not want to get a crate that is too large for your dog. You also do not want to get one that is too small that they will not be comfortable. To combat this, you must take an accurate measurement of your dog before you buy a crate. You do not want to get a crate that is too large for your dog. When your dog is naturally standing up and not crouching, is when you will need to measure your dog. You want your pooch to be able to stand up comfortably as well as lay down, stretch, and turn around with comfort. Also make sure to measure your dog when they are laying down in a sleeping position. This will give you an idea of how much room they need to be happy in their new home that you are about to buy them.

If your crate is much bigger than your measurements, then you may have issues with your dog using one side of the crate as a potty while the other they sleep in. Keep it just big enough to avoid this issue. Typically, if the crate is not big enough for your dog to go potty in a corner, then they will not go inside the crate, they will bark for you to take care of them. This will help greatly in your training, I promise.

  • If you have a small dog breed, then it is generally a safe bet that the best dog cage for you is no longer than 24 inches in length by 18 inches in width and 21 inches in height.
  • For medium dogs, the right crate for you will likely be about 30 inches in length, 21 inches in width and 24 inches in height.
  • Large dogs need more room so you will probably want to give them a crate that is at least 35 inches in length, 24 inches in width and 27 inches in height.
  • Giant dog breeds need a very large cage as you can imagine. The bigger the better when it comes to these guys!