How To Buy A Dog Crate
While crates are commonly associated with puppy time-outs, the reality is that they are not meant to be a tool for punishment. Instead, they act as a secure area where puppies can calm down enough to catch the important sleep they need and where adult dogs can safely escape the hustle and bustle of the home. When you introduce your dog to a crate with positive reinforcement, they can quickly grow to love their private space.
how to buy a dog crate
We recommend taking the steps below to determine the ideal dimensions for the crate you purchase. After measuring your dog, look at product specifications to see which size best suits your needs. Working with a Petco Certified Trainer can also be a great resource when looking for a crate.
Start by outfitting it with a soft blanket, a cozy bed or a soft crate pad. Next, make sure that the crate is in a well-ventilated area where the temperature will remain comfortable at night or while you are away.
Finally, consider adding a special toy to the crate. This toy can help your dog associate positive feelings with time spent in the crate. Make sure that the toy you choose does not require supervision. Most dog toys come with instructions or a tag that will indicate whether or not they are appropriate for an unsupervised dog. Never leave your dog with a chewable treat that could cause choking.
If you need a crate that is travel-worthy for visits to the veterinarian or trips to the beach, choose a style that is designed to be portable, like a soft-sided pet carrier. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, travel carriers should have ventilation on opposite sides and be large enough for your dog to stand, turn around and lie down. An anchored travel carrier is also the safest way for your pet to travel by car.
Similar to other types of dog training, crate training requires a patient, consistent approach backed by positive reinforcement. Rather than simply purchasing a crate and hoping for the best, take the time to understand how crate training works and the best ways to acclimate your dog based on their size and age.
Multiple doors also provide your dog with easy access to the crate at all times, which is especially good for older dogs with mobility issues. And a top door is best for small dogs and young puppies because you can easily reach in and scoop them up when you need to clean out their crate, says Dr. Ushi Phillips.
Everybody needs their own private space, a haven where they can relax and recharge. That includes your pet, which is why a dog crate is one of the best gifts you can give your new pup. If your dog is comfortable in their crate, it can be a safe and secure place for them, as well as a helpful training tool. The best dog crates provide coziness and a place that belongs just to them.
Crates are also often used when housetraining puppies, because most dogs will not soil their space if they can help it. Likewise, for puppies who are going through a chewing phase, short periods of crate time can help with controlling their chewing behavior.
These basic, sturdy structures are made of metal, allow a dog to see their surroundings, and provide steady airflow. They often come with a removable floor pan, like this Frisco's Fold & Carry Double Door Collapsible Wire Dog Crate, and sometimes come with dividers too. Larger wire crates can be a bit heavy, but most can be collapsed for easier transport.
Furniture-style dog crates are designed to blend into your home décor. Dog crate furniture is usually made of wood, like the New Age Pet ecoFLEX Crate & End Table, with a solid top that can be used as an end table or accent table.
These are lighter weight than wire crates and furniture-style crates. They are typically quick to set up and fold away when not in use. Many soft-sided dog crates, including the Frisco Indoor & Outdoor Soft Dog Crate, have two or three doors, so you can let the dog in from the side, front or top, providing several options for getting in and out and giving treats.
You can buy crate accessories separately, or look for a package that includes what you need. The Frisco Heavy Duty Double Door Dog Crate and Mat Kit, for example, comes with a comfortable mat that fits perfectly inside the crate.
There are lots of different dog crate options out there, and the type you pick depends on what you plan on using it for, where it will be placed in your home, and your dog's size, behavior, and needs. And, believe it or not, sometimes you'll want more than one crate for your dog. Let's look at how to measure a crate so you purchase the right size and the different choices you have for crates.
If you're purchasing an adult-sized dog crate for your puppy because you know what size they will grow to, estimate their full-grown height and length based on their breed or breed-mix (or speak with your breeder about what size is best for their eventual adult size based on their parents' size). See below on how to make the crate smaller, while they're a puppy, to help avoid potty accidents in their crate.
If you have a still-growing puppy, there are crates that include a divider panel that you can use to make the crate space "grow" with your pup. This is extra useful because it means you don't need to buy multiple sizes of crates as they get bigger, which will save you money.
You don't want to give your puppy too much space in their crate because it can derail their potty training if they learn it's okay to potty in one corner and sleep in the other. Metal dog crates and newer hybrid models like the Diggs Revol, usually include an extra panel to make the interior of the crate the correct size. If your puppy's crate doesn't have a divider panel, you can create a DIY version, using a large box to block off the back section of the crate. Here's an example of a DIY crate divider:
Plastic crates are a great option if your dog needs a bit more privacy while in their crate. If you plan on traveling with a large dog on a plane, these crates can be a good option (which is why they're commonly called airline kennels).
If you're setting up and keeping your dog's crate in one place at home, a metal dog crate is a great option for you. These are the most popular crates as they can be modified in a variety of ways with dividers, crate covers, and DIY furniture built around them to camouflage into surrounding home decor. Check out some DIY ideas later on in this article.
I recommend the affordable and popular MidWest iCrate because of the two-door option, divider panels, and the ability to easily attach to their ex-pen panels. I personally use a "hybrid" metal dog crate, called the Diggs Revol crate.
As a dog trainer, I'm a fan of the extra features of the Revol crate because they make crate training easier. Having a ceiling hatch made giving my puppy a stuffed food puzzle a breeze without having to open the front door. I kept both the front door and side "garage" door open for my puppy to go in and out as he wanted throughout the day, and was pleased that he chose to go in for naps in the crate on his own.
The included puppy divider was simple to adjust as my puppy grew. And this crate has wheels! Being able to move the crate around the room without having to disassemble anything is perfect for whenever I want to rearrange the room or travel.
The design is made to be safer and more escape-proof than traditional wire crates. The diamond-shaped mesh means it's less likely a puppy will get their jaw or paws stuck on the metal, and there's no way for them to pop out a panel and wiggle out.
And at first, the front lip of the crate was a bit high for my Corgi puppy to hop over, but as he's grown he's figured it out with his short legs. I made it easier when he was tiny by placing a raised dog bed in front, so it wasn't as much of an obstacle.
While this crate is expensive (small size $245, medium size $325), if you're planning on using a crate for the life of your dog, the Revol crate would be my top recommendation as a dog trainer. It's durable, sturdy yet portable, has useful extra features, and looks much better than many wire or plastic crates.
A soft-sided crate is super portable for easy travel and temporary crating. If you bring your dog to work, a portable crate can be a wonderful under-the-desk option to give your dog a safe place to hang out and chill. The option below by MidWest has great airflow with multiple windows and is one of the sturdier soft-sided crate models.
Does your dog pull a Houdini and escape from crates? Or are they big chewers? Heavy-duty dog crates are made specifically for these behaviors, often featuring riveted metal and double locks. Heavy-duty dog crates are the best option for crash protection if you plan on using a dog crate in the bed of a pickup truck or in the back of your van or SUV (Note: these crates tend to be too large and heavy for smaller and mid-size cars; we recommend using a crash-tested dog seat belt harness in those instances).
If you live in a small space, you can combine your dog's crate with a functional piece of furniture that best matches your home's decor. There are lots of styles to choose from online, with most options doubling as an end table. If you prefer to create a custom furniture style crate, check out some examples for inspiration further below.
Unlike crates and kennels, ex-pens are open on the top and are more flexible in terms of their shape and size, as you can often adjust the shape and size to fit your area and your dog's size and, shall we say ... maturity level. They're perfect for combining with your dog's crate like the Midwest crate to set up your dog's safe space or a puppy zone.
If you choose to use a wire crate, like the MidWest crate featured above, you may want to consider adding a cover (make sure to choose the size that fits the crate you have). It's not necessary for making your pup more comfortable, but it could possibly help by creating a more den-like space for them.
This would be a preference only your dog can weigh in on. Does your dog naturally settle underneath tables, desks, or other more enclosed spaces? They might like a cover over their crate. Test it out and take note if your dog seems more relaxed with a cover on or off. 041b061a72