What Is The Best Dog Crate To Buy In 2016?
- 1 What Is The Best Dog Crate To Buy In 2016?
- 2 Types Of Indoor Dog Crate
- 2.1 Wire Dog Crate
- 2.2 Wicker Dog Crate
- 2.3 Plastic Dog Crate / Carrier
- 2.4 Soft Sided Dog Crates
- 2.5 Dog Crate End Table
- 2.6 Heavy Duty Dog Crates
- 3 How Many Doors Should A Dog Crate Have?
- 4 Should You Use The Crate’s Plastic Pan Floor Or Buy A Dog Crate Bed?
- 5 What Dog Crate Size Do You Need?
- 6 Toys and Treats For Crate Training Anxiety
- 7 Is The Thundershirt Good For Crate Training and Separation Anxiety?
- 8 Best Dog Crate Guide Summary
Finding the best dog crate for indoor use in 2016 depends on a number of factors as there are several different types of indoor dog kennel to choose from, and different purposes for which they serve. There are:
The most common reason for buying a crate is for dog training. They are a great aid for training a dog, whether you’ve just become the proud owner of a new small puppy, or a large adult dog.
Or if you have a pet that can get a bit aggressive or out of control, or a pet that simply can’t stop getting up to mischief. So working out what the best dog crate to buy is, depends on a number of factors.
In addition to crates for home use, dog crates for travel are also available for whether you are taking your pet for a journey by car to the vet, or via plane to fly cross-country.
The type of crates that you will buy will depend on the size of your dog, as well as his or her temperament. Some crates simply serve as a container for your pet, which your pets will not try to escape from.
Other crates are very strong and sturdy to contain dogs that will do their best to break or escape from the cage.
So one of the first essentials to consider before buying a crate is the size and weight of your dog, and whether your dog is likely to remain passive, or get aggressive or panic when placed inside a crate.
Assuming you have a puppy, or a tame dog that will not try to break out of his cage, there are several types of crates that you may buy.
You can buy crates are made of wood, wicker, plastic, metal wire, soft sided material, or metal including aluminum. Let’s look at each of these different types, so you can find the best dog crate for you in the correct category.
Types Of Indoor Dog Crate
Wire Dog Crate
The wire dog crate is the traditional dog crate.
They are highly popular for owners that want a sturdy and secure solution, and particularly suited for crate training puppies or dogs that have already been crate trained.
They are typically inexpensive compared to other types of crate that focus on utility or aesthetics.
They also provide maximum visibility you to keep an eye on your pet and vice versa.
Best Wire Dog Crate
The Midwest iCrate and Midwest Life Stages crate are two of the bestselling crates in this category with excellent dog crate reviews. The Lifestages has the better construction of the two, being as the name suggests intended to be used as your puppy grows through to a full adult dog, but costs slightly more to justify it. In our opinion, the price difference is a negligible, justified and smart investment.
So we give the top rating to the Midwest Life Stages Crate as our Best Wire Dog Crate. It is available in two designs a single door and a double door design. Having two doors gives the additional benefit and convenience of having both a long side and short side means for your dog to enter and leave the crate, or for you to access the inside of the crate.
They are a great solution for large dogs that do not go crazy and try to bash, smash, or chew their way out of the crate, when locked inside.
Wicker Dog Crate
These crates are mainly aimed at owners of dogs that are already crate trained who are looking for a crate a little different and decorative.
Because the main material is wicker, it can easily be chewed and destroyed, so wouldn’t want to use it for an untrained pet, lest they quickly rip away all the wicker and destroy the crate.
Wicker dog crates may have their frame reinforced with metal wire. Essentially they are a hybrid of wire crate frame with wicker coating / exterior to beautify it.
Best Wicker Dog Crate
There wasn’t really much variety of this type of crate, which is not surprising as their main appeal is aesthetic rather than utility, and are a beautified version of a wire dog crate. If you would like one the Mr. Herzher’s Medium Pet Residence is a good choice.
Plastic Dog Crate / Carrier
A plastic dog crate is most commonly used for transporting your pet from one location to another. As such, they often include a carry handle and may also be referred to as a hard-sided dog carrier or plastic dog carrier.
You may have seen these in use in particular when somebody has just become the owner of a new cat or dog – maybe that’s why you’re looking right now! They are typically used only in a very temporary capacity, not as a dog’s den.
They also make the job of transporting your pet to the vet a lot easier and safer.
Their domestic storage footprint is light too, as commonly the top and bottom halves are separable, which allows you to store one half of the crate inside the other.
Best Plastic Dog Crate
The Petmate Two Door Top Load Pet Kennel is our plastic cage pick of the best dog crate for all round general use and it’s front and side doors allow for easy and convenient access to the crate for you and your pet.
Best Plastic Dog Crate For Air Travel
Plastic crates are not just convenient for traveling with your pet by foot or on the road. There are also plastic airline approved dog crates that enable you to travel with your pet by air for most breeds.
There is an exception for more powerful dog breeds, that will instead require a heavy duty IATA 82 dog crate.
The Petmate Sky Kennel is our pick of the best plastic dog crate for air travel with your dog.
Note however, that while you can find many plastic crates that are airline approved, this simply means that it meets an agreed set of standards. It does not mean that the crate is okay for travel on all airlines. The crate may require the purchase of accessories to make it compliant. Read on for more info.
Check The Airlines Requirements Before Flying
You will need to check the pet travel requirements of the airline that you are considering flying with. This is because some airlines do impose their own additional conditions or requirements on top of the standard requirements for airline approved crates.
One of those extra requirements might be that the crate does not have a top door. The Petmate Sky Kennel does not have a top door, as like its name suggests, it is designed to meet air travel requirements.
However, do additionally always check the requirements of the airline(s) you’re considering flying with. One small potential snag with this crate is that it uses plastic bolts to secure the crate.
Some airlines like United now insist on metal bolts being used. If that is the case you can easily replace the plastic bolts in this crate yourselves with an inexpensive aluminum metal dog crate hardware kit like this one.
Some airlines also insist that the crate door remains securely attached to the crate. To do this, you’ll require some hand releasable cable ties like these.
Even if the airline doesn’t require the bolts and cable ties, you may like to purchase them for your own peace of mind that your pet will be safe and secure.
The Sky Kennel does include a dog crate airline travel kit that includes other airline required essentials. The included airline travel kit that consists of dog identification stickers, “Live Animal” labels, food and water cups to keep your pet nourished and refreshed, and an absorbent pad for handling any crate spillages.
Best Soft Pet Carrier
A soft pet carrier is an alternative if you wanted a carrier for travel but find plastic dog carriers too bulky or unwieldy.
Or perhaps you would simply find it easier to carry around a sports bag style carrier, with the convenience of having sports bag style carry handles or a shoulder strap.
A soft dog carrier serves this need perfectly and is comfortable for your pet.
The Sherpa Deluxe Pet Carrier has plenty of useful features to make transportation, comfort and security of your pet easy.
It is great for in cabin air travel with your pet if you are planning on traveling with your pet by air.
Soft Sided Dog Crates
Similar to plastic crates, these types of crates are commonly used for travel. They also serve a function as a kind of dog home as well, being that they are more comfortable because they are soft.
When it comes to travel by air however, again regardless of it being marketed as airline approved, you will also want to check with the airline carrier that you are considering flying with, who may have their own additional requirements.
And also because they offer more privacy for your dog via mesh windows and rollup doors. To maintain their shape, these crates are usually reinforced by an internal steel frame.
Best Soft Sided Dog Crate
The Petnation Port-A-Crate E2 Indoor/Outdoor Pet Home is the best dog crate if you are looking for a simple soft sided crate that you can use both indoors and outdoors.
Dog Crate End Table
A dog crate end table is typically purchased for dogs that are kept indoors, often serving as a sturdy and secure, yet also decorative solution.
These dog crate furniture designs have stylish wooden frame or outline with the top of the crate of course being wooden so that it serves as a stand out table or centerpiece item of furniture that you can place books, ornaments or any other item that you like on top.
These crates usually have either a casing entirely made of wood, or a wood facade encasing a metal wire crate.
Best Dog Crate End Table
The Casual Home Pet Crate End Table is a beautiful piece of furniture that will look great as a centerpiece in your living room or wherever you wish to have the crate. It is available in a choice of black, espresso, or white.
Heavy Duty Dog Crates
These are the toughest dog crates, and are a must if you have a dog that is aggressive, difficult to control, or tends to panic easily.
They are made from metals like steel or aluminum, featuring a more sturdy and robust design over their wire counterparts to solve the problem of creating an escape proof Alcatraz for Houdini escape artist dogs.
Heavy duty dog crates like the high end Impact Case Collapsible Dog Crate and the mid-range reasonably priced Proselect Empire Dog Crate (we have dog crate reviews for both), are designed to keep your large dog secure, with a sturdy and robust build intended especially to withstand the force of an escape artist dog that is determined to break out.
There are cheap heavy duty dog crates available too, but you will want to be very cautious and selective if you are wanting to go for one of those.
Some people refer to cages in this category as the Alcatraz of dog crates or escape proof dog crates, after seeing their pet Houdini make short work breaking out of prior standard cages and then destroying their furniture, and not being able to make such short work of these cages.
If you are looking for the best heavy duty dog crate that is the best balance of sturdy and price, then the ProSelect Empire Dog Crate (pictured above) is our choice of the best crate, with excellent dog crate reviews.
Best High End Heavy Duty Dog Crate – Also Portable & IATA Air Travel Compliant
If you are happy to pay a bit more, then the high end Impact Collapsible Dog Crate is our pick of the best dog crate, having an aluminum metal build that is both robust and secure.
On top of the stronger and more secure build over the ProSelect, it also comes with two further benefits.
It is portable and quite lightweight compared to the ProSelect, weighing in at just 43 lbs for the large size. So if you envisage needing to move the cage around from time to time – maybe even just to give your pet some fresh air outdoors, you have that flexibility.
If you need to travel with your pet, the portability helps with that too. But this crate was not just designed for portability, but also for safe air travel too. The Impact crate is IATA compliant, so it is airline compliant should you have a need to travel by air with your powerful pet. However, do also check the airline’s pet travel requirements regardless, as while IATA is for a common set of standards, airlines are free to (and do) set their own additional requirements.
With all it’s versatility, features and tough aluminum build, it is no surprise that this crate has received great dog crate reviews.
How Many Doors Should A Dog Crate Have?
Dog crates usually come with a single door, double door, or triple door design.
The only reason why you will want to have a crate with more than one door is if you want to have greater convenience in accessing your pet and the areas inside the crate.
Or if you want your pet to have this extra convenience. If you do not need more than one door, then there is no need to buy a crate with more than one door.
Should You Use The Crate’s Plastic Pan Floor Or Buy A Dog Crate Bed?
Dog crates typically come with a durable plastic pan floor. The pan is usually very easy to clean for maintenance or accident cleaning purposes.
However if the crate is also going to be used as a bed or personal kennel for your dog, rather than just for training purposes, then you may wish to purchase a dog crate bed to make your pet feel more comfortable inside the crate.
Of course, your pet should also have already been potty trained, otherwise that bed will quickly get soiled and not last very long. And similarly, you will want to consider how you’ll be providing food and water to your pet.
You will probably at least want a sturdy, secure and non-spill water dispenser and/or bowls that you hang inside the cage, rather than loose food and water bowls on the floor that can easily be spilled.
What Dog Crate Size Do You Need?
One important aspects when it come to purchasing the best dog crate for your pet is that you select a crate that is neither too small, nor too large. So you will want to ensure that you have measured your dog correctly before you buy a crate.
You will need to measure your dog while he or she is standing naturally on all fours, the crates will need to be able to accommodate them while standing, as well as allowing your dog to be able to lie down and stretch to his full body length.
So you will also want to measure your dog while he is in his preferred sleeping style. In short, your dog should be able to comfortably stand, rest, and turn around inside the great.
It should be no larger than that, otherwise you may find that your pet decides to use one section of the crate as the toilet.
If the dog crate is not large enough for your dog to be able to relieve him or herself in, then he or she will usually refrain from relieving theirself while they are still inside the crate, making housebreaking easier.
The exception to the rule is for puppies. As they are still growing and to ensure that you get maximum value for money, look for a crate that is large enough to accommodate your puppy as he grows, but which also comes with a divider panel.
A divider panel enables you to section off an area of the crate, so that you can keep the accessible area of the crate at the precise size that your puppy needs at his or her current size, and then move it further along as your puppy grows.
As a general guide for the size of crate you need, bearing in mind the exception for puppies, here are the sizes of cage to look for:
- For small breeds of dogs that way up to 25lbs, a crates measuring 24”L x 18”W x 21”H will be adequate.
- The medium-sized dog up to 40lbs, you need a crates that measures 30”L x 21”w x 24”H.
- For a large dog weighing up to 70lbs, you will need a crate that measures 36Lx24”Wx27”H.
- For extra large dogs up to 90lbs, 42”L x 28”W x 31”H.
- And the dogs larger than that the maximum size crate size you’ll be looking at a crate of 46”L x 30”W x 33”H or above.
Toys and Treats For Crate Training Anxiety
Good dog toys to keep them busy and treats can also help with separation anxiety too. The idea is to get your dog to learn that their crate is a pleasant and safe place to be, not a place for punishment and abandonment.
Providing them with things that form a pleasant association with the crate can help.
The Kong Dog Toy is one of the best tools available, as it functions as both a dog chew toy, as well as a food and treat dispenser, that your dog is going to have to spend a bit of time to get out of the toy.
It comes in several different versions according to the age of your pet and whether he or she is a power or extreme chewer. There is the original standard or regular red Kong Classic version, the Extreme Kong black version to suit extreme or heavy duty chewers, the pink or blue Puppy Kong for puppies, and the purple Senior Kong for senior dogs.
There are different Kong dog toy sizes of each version to suit the breed and build of your pet.
Is The Thundershirt Good For Crate Training and Separation Anxiety?
If you have a dog that has acute anxiety issues, you may also want to check out the Thundershirt for dog anxiety, available on Amazon.
It is not something to simply put on your dog and hope that it solves the problem though. It’s more like a tool that you may like to use to help with active crate training, to help get your pet used to using the crate.
This is because it’s mainly a situational device designed to help your pet get through temporary situations that cause them a high degree of anxiety, such as times of loud and disruptive noises like thunderstorms, or taking them away with you for travel, if that’s something that they’re not used to and/or not comfortable with.
It works by applying a gentle pressure to the dog like they are being hugged, hence providing a sensation of being comforted during stressful situations. So it may help while actively crate training with your pet, but not so much for leaving your pet alone and returning later in the day.
What About The Thunderspray?
Some dogs respond better to having their olfactory senses stimulated, rather than the physical stimulation provided by the Thundershirt.
As such the makers of Thundershirt have also produced the Thunderspray.
The Thundersrpay contains natural pheromones and combines with them with the soothing scents of camomile and lavender to stimulate a calming and comforting effect on your dog.
Best Dog Crate Guide Summary
Armed with all the above info, and our selection of crates that are backed with excellent dog crate reviews from its buyers you are now ready to shop for the best dog crate for your pet. Taking into account whether he or she is a puppy, their size, their temperament and whether the crate is mainly going to be used for training and home use, or for travel, you can now find the best dog kennel for your pet in the relevant section of this site.