Which Type Of Crate Is Best For Your Dog?

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Best Crates By Type
Wire
Midwest Life logo small
Plastic
PetMate Crate logo small
Soft-Sided
PetNation logo small
Heavy-Duty

Is your dog chewing up shoes and destroying your furniture? You might want to consider a crate.

While crate training is key for puppies, it may also be a good choice when your pup isn’t so little anymore. It creates an indoor escape for dogs and becomes their home within your home.

Types Of Dog Crates

Not all dog crates are created equal, and you’ll want to make sure you choose the kind that’s best for your life, and your dog’s needs.

Wire Dog Crate

Wire crates are well-ventilated, and often portable (though they can be a bit heavy). They’re a great option for dogs that like to see their surroundings, need a little extra air-flow, and aren’t escape artists.

While they aren’t the most attractive options and can be noisier than other types of crates, wire crates are also easy to clean and offer removable panels so your puppy can grow into the space. You can also find some which are collapsible for easy transport.

Best Wire Dog Crate: Midwest Life Stages

Midwest Life Stages Double-Door Folding Metal Dog CrateView on Amazon

The Midwest Life Stages Double-Door Folding Metal Dog Crate is a versatile metal crate with adjustable divider offers front and side access, bolt latches, and comes with a one-year warranty.

This is the one that a couple of our team members use for their pups and have been pleased with its performance.

*Some buyers have experienced issues with the latch, especially in larger dogs.

Midwest Life Metal Crate Pricing:

Plastic Dog Crate

PetMate KennelPlastic dog crates are also not the most attractive kennel option. However, it’s great for dogs that like a little more privacy and seclusion when they sleep. But, it’s not as well-ventilated or as easy to clean as the wire crate.

Plastic crates have a cozy vibe and are difficult to escape. Plastic crates are also great for air travel and are easy to store when they’re not in use (the top half comes off so you can easily stack the two halves).

Best Plastic Dog Crate: Petmate Two Door

View on Amazon

The Petmate Two-Door, Top-Load Kennel provides easy access for your pup, while steel and plastic combine to provide safety and strength.

Petmate Two Door Top Load Kennel Pricing: 

Soft-Sided Dog Crate

Petnation Port-a-crateThere are several pluses for soft-sided crates: they’re lightweight, great for travel, and store easily.

However, this is really only an option for smaller dogs. They’re also more difficult to clean, can be easy for curious pups to escape from, or destructive animals to chew through.

Best Soft-Side Dog Crate: Petnation Port-A-Crate

View on Amazon

The Petnation Port-A-Crate is lightweight, portable, and made of tightly woven mesh fabric surrounded by an extra-strong steel frame. This crate sets up and folds down in seconds.

Petnation Port-A-Crate Pricing:

Heavy-Duty Dog Crate

ProSelect Empire Dog CageThese tough numbers are made to house the most clever and destructive dogs. They are a bit expensive, yet they more than pay for themselves if you have to replace a less sturdy crate several times due to your pup’s antics.

Another plus for heavy-duty crates: some are airline travel approved. So, if your dog is already accustomed to this crate, travel will be much easier.

Best Heavy-Duty Dog Crate: ProSelect Empire Cage

View on Amazon

The ProSelect Empire Cage is specifically designed to house destructive or aggressive dogs. This crate features strong steel tubing, sturdy dual door latches, and heavy-duty welding at the cage’s key stress points. It also has wheels which are handy for travel.

ProSelect Empire Cage Pricing:

Fashion Dog Crate

Crown Pet Crate on AmazonFashion crates are fashion forward. Their wood or rattan finish certainly looks the best of all these options around the house, and some can even double as a side table, proving that these crates aren’t just a pretty face — they’re functional too.

The downside to these crates is that they’re not an option for destructive dogs due to their wood-based construction. They could also be easily damaged if they have a wood floor and there is an unexpected accident.

Best Fashion Dog Crate: Crown Pet Crate Table

View on Amazon

The Crown Pet Crate Table is a durable, hardwood constructed crate is fashion-forward, well-ventilated, and has a waterproof floor that makes it easy to clean in the event of an accident.

Crown Pet Crate Table Pricing:

Dog Crate Accessories

Now that you have decided on a crate, you may also want to consider some of the add-ons to make the experience more comfortable for your dog and less of a disruption to your house decor.

  • A crate bed or liner will make your pet more comfortable on what can otherwise be a pretty hard surface.
  • There are a couple of different attachable cup options (stainless steel or plastic) to keep your pet hydrated while you are away.
  • If a clunky crate doesn’t quite match your home decor, you can also toss a crate cover over the top to disguise it and make it more of a fashion statement (make sure you order the correct size).

Crate Training Tips Video

No matter what type of dog you have or crate you get, remember that having a happy place for your best friend is a must. Even if you don’t use your crate all the time, it’s nice to have the option for when you have guests or children around or those times when you are traveling with your pup.

The Importance Of Dog Crate Training

You’ve probably heard that dogs are den animals and that they look to their crate for comfort in times of stress. A crate, approached correctly, provides this den-like structure within your own home, giving your pup a safe place to sleep, retreat and maybe even eat.

For more on the process of crate training, visit our article, Crate Training Your Puppy: The Key To A Pee-Free Home.

Do you have a crate for your pet? Any crate training tips or favorites?

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Since the day she was born, Michelle has lived in a home full of dogs and dog lovers. Her home is no exception with two adorable rescue pups of her own, Bella and Lily. Their unconditional love and never ending tail wags make every day brighter.

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Lisa Bishop
I’m surprised at the comments against crate training. Of course, it goes without saying that a crate should not be used as a baby-sitter or as punishment for unwanted behaviors. A dog that is crate trained properly, eventually finds the crate to be a space of their own – a get away. I seldom had to close the door on my pup when he was in a crate. I even developed a crate for folding chairs to be used when out-and-about because of that dog. He loved it.
Jeffery Smith
I am disappointed that this publication has rated the Midwest Wire dog crate as the best wire dog crate. This dog crate suffers from a design flaw that can result in the death of a dog. Amazon has several customer reviews that describe their dog being killed.

The latch on this crate is substandard. It has a straight piece of metal that slides into a slot. A dog can force the part of the gate open by pushing on a corner of the gate. Over time, the gate can bow out. Eventually the dog can push the corner of the gate to a point where the latch becomes undone. A dog can then stick its nose thru the gap and then force its head thru but not the rest of its body. The dog usually reacts by trying to pull its head back into the crate but may not be able to. This can cause the dog to panic and do serious harm to itself.

You can easily test what I’ve said by grabbing a corner of the gate and trying to pull it open. Or better yet, crawl inside a large crate and try to push it open.

A safer latch has a 90 degree angle that cause the latch to catch the slot if a dog tries to force it open.

Rating such a dangerous product as the Top Wire Crate calls into question the ratings for all the other products as well as advice this publication offers. If a product intended to human use had a similar danger, it would be forced to recall all of the units it sold and the company would probably be sued.

Kimberly Alt (Admin)
Thank you for your feedback. Our personal experience and the majority of reviewers did not have issues but (a) we will note this serious con in our review and (b) we will consider this in our next audit of the category.
Beverly Johnson
Just got a 9 week old goldendoddle when she is in a play yard or crate all she does in yipe what is the best way to help her make adjustments she has used the training pads and sometime yes and sometime not going potty outside
Marilyn
Certain places don’t allow our dog-he weighs 10 pounds. What do we do especially in the summer? He has separation anxiety!!! He knocks things over in the house when left alone.
Teri
I am a dog trainer with over 30 years of experience and I have recently been seeing a lot of abnormal behaviors from puppies and adult dogs that have been crated for any length of time.
Of course, there are times when crating is appropriate, such as for traveling or when attending dog shows. But it should not be used as a “Dog or puppy dog sitter”.
It interferes with normal behavioral development and may actually cause the behaviors you are trying to prevent!
Jeffery Smith
You’re crazy.
Teri
Crating or confinement is unnatural and should not be used as a training tool for dogs. If your dog is chewing on shoes, move the shoes out of the reach of the dog. Don’t crate the dog, I am a dog obedience trainer and I am seeing more and more maladaptive behavior in dogs because people are confining their dogs instead of training them.
Don’t do it!
Put your dog on a leash if you have problems but don’t put them in a crate!
jeff
and putting dogs on a leash is natural? obedience training is natural? stop with the i know all and you’re wrong…
Peggy
I have to agree with Jeff. My dogs are crate trained and love their crate. They go inside and lay down with the door open. Its their space. Some of this behavior is bad breeding. Their parents have issues and its passed on.
Valerie
I have to agree too. My dog was in a crate at night (closed until 18 month-old, then open at night but with his bed inside), and during the day would go there to relax if he wanted to. We kept his crate for 3 or 4 years. It was his safe place, and it really helped with house training (he was completely house-trained at 3 months-old, with very rare accidents). He has been a very happy dog and has never seemed traumatized by his crate.
Laura
What would you recommend then for when a dog will chew furniture ( bed, couch, even the window sill)? He does not get left alone very often and has never been crated but it’s like as soon as we leave he goes into destructive mode.