A dog crate can have many advantages once you decide to crate train your dog. A dog crate can be bought for indoor or outdoor use. But selecting a dog crate forces you to look outside the box. This means making sure the crate is spacious and comfortable enough for your dog. If you’re buying a mesh crate, you need to make sure the metal wires are secure and adjustable.
If you’re buying a dog crate for a puppy, make sure it is flexible so you can adjust the size as your pet grows. And more importantly, once you choose your ideal dog crate, make sure you use the same kind to make your dog feel secure and at-home. Dogs are perceptive of little details. If you buy 2 dissimilar dog crates, your dog may come to associate negative feelings with the new crate.
Having said that, choose a dog crate that is comfortable and safe. With the help of this guide, you will find the right kind of crate, size, shape, and color for your pet.
1. Considering The Different Types
Selecting a particular type of dog crate is a matter of convenience and style. Buying the wrong kind of crate can impact your crate training process, so choosing the right crate type is extremely important. That said, here’s a simple run-down of the basic crate types to look forward to.
Wire crates are good for ventilation and portability. Even though they are a bit heavier than other types of crate, they’re a good option for dogs who do not like to stay confined. If you want your dog to have plenty of air-flow in and out of the crate, choosing a wire crate is best.
Such crates are usually made up of metal caging on all sides. It allows maximum visibility, but it also allows complete noise exposure. This may be a problem for you if your dog dislikes too much noise.
But it’s an excellent option for transporting your dog in the car during the hot climates. In enclosed crates, there’s heat buildup which is unhealthy and harmful for your dog. With a wire mesh crate, your dog will feel cool and comfortable for the entire ride.
Plastic crates are one of the most popular and effective choices for dogs. They are lightweight, inexpensive, and portable. Some plastic crates are also collapsible, which makes it perfect for traveling. You can buy a crate that comes apart in 2 to 4 pieces based on your convenience.
Plastic crates come with ventilation holes on the front and back side of the crate. This offers plenty of air circulation and adjustability. Another major advantage of using a plastic crate is that your dog will not succeed at breaking free from the crate. With wire crates, this is a bit of a problem if your dog is clever at squeezing himself through holes and gaps.
If that’s the case, you need a plastic crate to prevent your dog from escaping. This is especially true for small breed dogs.
Do not consider buying a plastic crate during the summer season. Your pet can feel extremely hot inside the plastic enclosure. Plastic crates limit visibility so you won’t be able to see what’s happening inside the crate.
As the name suggests, soft-sided crates are good for indoor use or traveling. They’re lightweight, smaller in size, and are often collapsible. This type of crate is good for small breed dogs. It is surrounded by a breathable fabric on all sides, supported by a durable steel or plastic frame.
However, soft-sided crates are difficult to clean because of the fabric. So using them indoors as bedding for your dog is ideal.
Heavy-duty crates are much tougher than other types of crates. They’re specifically built for clever and stronger dogs. If your dog creates a mess of anything near him, which includes furniture and toys, you need a heavy-duty crate. Most heavy-duty crates are fit for travel. The only drawback is that they are generally more expensive than plastic or wire crates.
2. What’s The Best Crate Size?
This is the second question you will ask yourself before choosing a crate. Is the crate spacious and comfortable enough for your pet? Is the crate big enough for him to move around, lie down, and stretch?
The best way to answer this question is by looking at the suitable crate size chart based on the dog’s weight. With the help of this chart, you can find out the best crate size for your dog without having to guess the right size.
The basic crates sizes available on the market are below 18, 24, 30, 36, 42, 48, and above 48-inches. In the same order, dogs under 24, 30, 38, 40, 50, 60, and 100 lbs fall under each crate-size category.
For example, the perfect crate size for a small breed dog, such as a Maltese, would be an 18 to 22-inch crate. For a medium breed dog, such as a French bulldog or a Cocker Spaniel, the perfect crate size would be 30-inches.
For extra-large breed dogs, such as a Bull Mastiff or Great Dane, a crate size between 46 to 72-inches is ideal. (1)
3. Is The Crate Safe?
According to one research, most dog crates meet the safety standards of certified programs. But how do you know if your crate is safe for your dog or not?
A crate that’s safe to use is tested on the grounds of portability and destructibility. What this means is that a crate goes through a serious of crash testing. If a crate remains unbreakable, it is less likely to bend, break into pieces, or shrink in an accident. Pet owners should be able to read manufacturer labels for their standard crash testing methods.
This is especially important for travel crates that are generally used for car or plane transport. This will help you determine the highest ranking and most durable dog crate. (2)
Some crates come with crashed-tested safety harness that you need to strap on to the back seat. This makes it easier for your dog to move around in a more secure and inflexible space.
The material it is made up of also plays a major role in determining its durability. For example, metal wire crates are more durable than plastic crates. This is because wires crates are more heavy-duty than plastic crates. If you want unmatched durability, look for steel crates that are often more expensive than the rest.
4. Measuring Your Dog’s Size
If you do not want to buy a standard crate based on your dog’s weight, measuring your dog for the right crate size is critical. The lack of doing so might result in you returning the crate after purchasing because the crate doesn’t suit your dog’s body shape.
That’s why it’s extremely important to understand and measure your dog’s size to choose the right dog crate. If the crate is too small, your dog may come to associate feelings of frustration and depression with the crate.
And it is very likely that your pet will dislike the crate, even if you’ve kept his favorite toy or food in it. This will have a direct impact on your crate training process. Forcing your dog to enter his crate when you want him to will cause him to show anger and irritation. In such a case, contacting an animal behavior specialist for further assistance is necessary.
On the flip side, a crate too large can also cause problems for you and your dog. For starters, your dog will consider peeing or pooping in his crate. That is if he hasn’t yet been trained to go to the bathroom or in the backyard to eliminate. This can hinder your crate training process and cause a bigger mess for you to clean up after every day.
If you’re buying a crate for a puppy, opting for an adult size crate is important. You can create a barrier to fit the size of your puppy which will help him housebreak and discourage pooping in the crate.
To know precisely how to buy the right dog crate based on your dog’s measurements, here’s what you need to know.
Start by measuring the length: The length of your dog is just as important as measuring the width. To measure the length of your dog, start from the tip of his nose to the tip of this tail. Add 2-4 inches to the final body measurement if you have a small to medium breed dog. If you have a large-breed dog, add 5-inches to the final body measurement. This will allow your dog to move around, lie down, and stretch comfortably in the crate.
Measuring the height: Without measuring the height, you are bound to buy the wrong crate. To measure the height of your dog, start from the top of his head down towards the floor. If your dog has floppy ears, measure from the top of his head. If he has erect ears, then the tip of his ears. Add 1-2 inches to the final height measurement. This would be the ideal height of the dog crate you need.
Measuring the width: To measure your dog’s width, take the measurement of your dog’s widest body part. For all dogs, this would be the dog’s chest area. Now add 4-5 inches to the final width measurement. You can add more if you want your dog to move around more comfortably inside the crate.
5. Is It Collapsible?
Buying a collapsible dog crate is ideal when you want to use the crate only for traveling or when guests come over. Collapsible metal crates are easy when you know how to use one. This includes putting each part together and collapsing it when you’re done using it. With that in mind, let’s look at the basics of a collapsible crate and how you can use it to your benefit.
You will find a manual with every collapsible crate. Every model has its own owner’s manual for disassembling the crate. It’s different for every manufacturer as well as model. If the product you buy doesn’t have an owner’s manual, consider contacting customer service for further assistance.
Here is a basic run-down for disassembling a collapsible crate.
- Look for the tabs at the side of the crate. These tabs hold the side panels of the crate. Press down on each tab simultaneously to release each side panel.
- Once you release the side panels, detach the latches at the front and back. Make sure you release each side panel simultaneously while pulling on the long panel. This is the correct method of release and unhook the connecting latches on both sides. Repeat this process on the front short panels and the back short panels.
- Lift the crate slightly above the ground and push each side panel in.
- Once you do this, the crate will collapse as it should on its own. With on panel on top of the other large panel.
- Latch all the folded panels together so they do not unfold while you’re moving it from one place to another. This is especially important for when you’re transporting the crate in a car or plane.
Wrapping It Up
If you’re training your dog, one of the best things you can do for him is buy him a comfortable and spacious crate. A dog crate is beneficial because it protects your dog while traveling. And who doesn’t like to sleep in a den-like and cozy room of his own?
A small, enclosed space is just what your dog needs for some napping time. And once you introduce your pet to a good dog crate, he will enjoy sleeping in it. Look for a dog crate that works best for your pet and his likes and dislikes. If he likes open spaces, consider buying a wire crate. It’s all about creating a positive and loving environment for your pet dog to grow in.