Best Dog Crates of 2019: Large & Small Kennel Reviews

Having a dog crate for your dog can benefit them through various stages of life. Using a crate is often useful when training a puppy, and it can also provide a quiet and comfortable space for your dog while you’re away for the day. High-quality versions are designed to encourage your dog’s natural “den” instinct, which makes them feel safe.

No dog owner wants to worry about their dog’s safety in a crate, so the best ones have top ratings for safety.

Choosing the right one for your dog doesn’t need to be a long and difficult process, but there are important factors to consider, such as size, safety, and durability, before buying one. Not only should the crate provide your dog with enough room, but your dog should also be comfortable spending time in it, especially at night or when you’re at work.

As you shop around for the right one, you may also consider factors like ease of use, portability, extra features such as dividers, and whether or not it fits in with your home decor.

To help you pick the best dog crate for your dog, we’ve compiled a list of top-of-the-line options and categorized them by size: small, medium, and large. We also include some tips and information that will make you feel confident that you’re selecting the right home inside your home for your dog, whether you have a puppy or a senior-aged large breed.

For Small Canines

We start our guide by reviewing our favorites that are best-suited for small dogs. If you have an extra small breed dog, such as a Pomeranian or Shih Tzu, we recommend a 22-inch dog crate.

Other small breeds, such as Beagles or Terriers, may benefit from a 24-inch crate or larger. Keep in mind that many small breed dogs vary in size, so you need to select it based your dog’s size (not necessarily the breed standard).


MidWest Homes Life Stages

Finding a dog crate that will “grow” with your dog, hold up to daily use, and even destructive puppy behavior can be challenging but MidWest Homes Life Stages Dog Crate meets all these needs.

This cage is available in six sizes; we recommend the 22 or 24-inch cage for small dogs. The heavy-duty thick wire mesh model is available with a single or double-door and is easy to fold up for storing or traveling.

The removable divider panel allows you to have more control when training your puppy or is ideal for dogs who feel more comfortable in small spaces. The removable heavy-duty and washable pan stop helps contain any accidents or spills.

No tools are needed to set it up, so it’s a convenient choice if you are planning an overnight or out-of-town visit with your dog. Two slide-bolt latches keep the door in place, and the rounded corners prevent injuries that often occur from sharp-pointed corners and edges. To ensure the safety of your dog, you should inspect the wire mesh regularly for damage.

Things We Like:

  • The divider makes it ideal for puppies
  • Easy to set up, fold up, and clean
  • Heavy-duty coated metal and no sharp edges

Things We Wish Were Better:

  • The latch system can be difficult to close or keep closed
  • Some parts are prone to rust if damaged
  • Extra small dogs or puppies may get feet caught the mesh

Carlson Pet Deluxe

Affordability and a no-nonsense design are the standout features of this 24-inch crate. Similar to the MidWest Life Stages model, the Carlson Pet Deluxe Small Pet Crate is easy to set up, fold up, and no tools are needed to assemble it. The space-saving design, when folded up, makes it easy to transport or store if you don’t use it frequently.

The all-steel construction is lightweight and durable. This crate has one door and comes with a removable and washable pan to catch any spilled treats, water, or if your dog has an accident in the kennel.

It does not come with a divider, which may be inconvenient for someone with a small breed puppy. The single slide-bolt latch is secure enough to keep the crate closed, but may not be enough if your dog is determined to get out of the crate.

Things We Like:

  • Easy to clean with a rust-resistant finish
  • The light blue color is a nice option from similar models on the market
  • Quick set up and take down
  • Convenient and lightweight for travel

Things We Wish Were Better:

  • There’s no carrying handle, which can make it more difficult to transport
  • The single latch may not be enough security for a dog who wants to get out
  • The steel construction could be more “heavy duty”

Casual Home Wooden Model

While the majority of dog kennels we see on the market have wire or plastic construction, you might be looking for something that blends in with your decor. The Casual Home Wooden Pet Crate has a unique multipurpose design that doubles as an end table.

At first glance, the crate’s end table design looks like any other piece of furniture that you might have in your living room. The solid wood construction is available in four colors and crafted from sustainably sourced wood.

This one is chew-resistant, but it may not be an ideal option for dogs who are heavy chewers or scratch frequently. This wooden model is easy to assemble, clean, and the mission-style design slats provide adequate airflow and light. The lockable gate keeps your dog secure, but may not be enough for a dog who is determined to get out of the crate.

This crate is available in three sizes for small dogs, which include 19.5, 20, or 24-inches. It’s important to keep in mind that the interior dimensions are smaller, so consider this before ordering a specific size for your dog. The interior dimension for a 20” crate is 16.5”.

Things We Like:

  • The attractive design that blends into any living space
  • Easy to clean and assemble
  • Comes in a variety of colors, sizes, and designs

Things We Wish Were Better:

  • The wood surface scratches easily
  • It is not ideal for dogs who chew and scratch
  • The latch may not be secure enough for a stronger dog
  • No removable pan or mesh bottoms for accidents or spills

Petmate Two Door Top Load Kennel

Even if you don’t use a dog crate at home regularly, you may want one for traveling or trips to the vet. The Petmate Two Door Top Load Dog Kennel is affordable and holds up well during road or air travel. It meets most airline cargo specifications (but always check with the airline first).

The crate has a top-loading and a front-loading door to make loading and removing your dog more easily, especially if they are hesitant to enter the crate or need assistance. It’s equipped with heavy-duty plastic construction with plenty of openings on the sides for visibility and airflow and is easy to wipe down after each use.

The steel doors have squeeze latches, which are secure and easy to open if you only have one hand free.

The ergonomic handle is anchored to the top-loading door to ensure secure transport each time that you carry your dog in the kennel. There are two sizes which are ideal for puppies or small dogs: 19 or 24-inch and various color options to choose from.

Things We Like:

  • Dual-doors for easy access and entry
  • Easy to open latches that are secure when the kennel is closed
  • Sturdy plastic is easy to clean and holds up to normal wear and tear
  • Suitable to use at home
  • Convenient for traveling

Things We Wish Were Better:

  • The plastic airflow holes may have sharp edges and scratch your dog
  • No removable pan for accidents or spills

For Medium Sized Pups

Australian Shepherds, Bulldogs, and Dalmatians are just a few of the dozens of medium-sized breeds. A suitably sized option for a medium dog is significantly larger than a crate for small dogs. Common medium dog crates are typically 30 or 36-inches.

You can’t go wrong with a crate that’s larger than 36 inches, but don’t purchase one that’s smaller than 30-inches if you have a medium dog.


New World Folder

Heavy-duty metal kennels are a popular choice among many dog owners because they are easy to set up, fold up, and transport. The New World Folding Metal Dog Crate is available in 30 or 36-inch sizes (there are larger sizes available if you expect your medium dog to grow).

Some kennels have sharp corners or edges around the metal mesh, but this crate has rounded edges and interlocking hooks to prevent you or your dog getting snagged by sharp metal. The removable plastic pan protects your floors from spills and accidents and is easy to clean with soap and water.

The single slide-latch door is secure enough for most dogs, but if you have a dog who likes to escape, you may need a more secure locking system. The New World crate doesn’t come with a divider, but you can order one separately.

Like most metal mesh wire kennels, damaged mesh can lead to rust and breakage. It’s always a good idea to inspect the crate for damage to ensure your dog’s safety and security.

Things We Like:

  • Available as a single or double door
  • The durable, removable pan
  • Rounded metal corners
  • Easy to fold up and set up
  • A handle for easy transport

Things We Wish Were Better:

  • The single sliding latch
  • A divider is not included
  • A dog could escape if they tried hard enough

LUCKUP Heavy Duty Crate

Some dogs are determined to break free, and as a dog owner that’s the last thing you need to worry about when you’re away from home for the day. If your dog is a budding escape artist, you need a crate with a heavy-duty frame, and the LUCKUP crate has a nearly impenetrable frame.

At first glance, it may look similar to a doggie jail cell, but the rust and corrosion-resistant steel frame keeps your dog safe and secure, and the crate has two locks with safety buckles to ensure the crate stays closed.

You have two doors, a top-loading or front-loading for your convenience. The crate is also on wheels, which can be locked to prevent movement, to make it easy to move or use outdoors.

All necessary hardware is included, and the crate also comes with a removable tray to avoid spills and accidents. Available in two sizes: 38 or 42-inches, the crate provides plenty of space for a medium dog, but the 2-inch side slats and one-inch floor slats may not be suitable for a puppy.

Things We Like:

  • Durable construction which is rust and corrosion-resistant
  • Easy to move around on lockable wheels
  • It takes less than five minutes to assemble
  • An excellent choice for dogs who try to chew through crates

Things We Wish Were Better:

  • Slats may be too wide for some dogs and cause injury
  • The doors don’t always align properly when closed
  • Latches may not be secure enough for some dogs

EliteField 3-Door Folding Crate

A soft crate is not ideal for every dog, and if your dog is not accustomed to a crate, you are likely to have frustrating results with a soft crate. The EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate is ideal for medium dogs who have no issues regarding crates, such as anxiety or scratching.

The portability and lightweight design of this crate makes it a desirable pick for traveling, particularly in the car. You can use the crate at home or when visiting friends and family. The frame of the crate has steel tube construction and the cover of 600D fabric and mesh fabric for ventilation.

The cover is removable and machine washable, and the crate also comes with a carrying bag and washable fleece bed to ensure your pet’s comfort and ease of usability.

You can roll up the zippered door to offer your dog the freedom of coming and going as they please or secure them in the crate with the zipper lock. Clip-on zippered pouches are convenient for treats and other accessories.

To ensure your dog’s safety, security, and happiness, avoid using this crate until your dog is completely crate trained.

Things We Like:

  • Lightweight and easy to transport
  • Setting up or folding up the crate takes just a couple of minutes at most
  • Washable cover and bed

Things We Wish Were Better:

  • The crate needs to be aired out before using as the fabric has a strong odor
  • Some users note issues with weak seams near the zipper

Petmate Sky Kennel

If you frequently travel with your dog, the Petmate Sky Kennel is likely to meet all of your needs. The heavy-duty plastic crate is one of the only crates that comes close to meeting airline and IATA requirements.

Metal slats on the side windows provide ventilation and security while the holes in the back also help with adequate air circulation. The crate is designed for travel, so it comes with food and water dishes, as well as ID and “Live Animal” stickers. The squeeze-latch doors keep the door securely closed but are easy enough to open from the outside.

The two-piece crate is held together by plastic wingnuts, and it’s easy to take apart for storing or if you’re limited on space. If you plan on using the crate for airline use, you need to replace wingnuts with metal ones.

Even if you have no air travel plans with your dog, the Petmate Sky Kennel is suitable for home and car use. Since hard plastic edges may be sharp on the interior, particularly near the ventilation holes, always inspect the crate before use.

Things We Like:

  • Heavy-duty plastic construction is easy to clean
  • The crate is nearly “airline ready”
  • Easy to assemble and take apart

Things We Wish Were Better

  • You need to purchase metal wingnuts separately
  • Some users note that the handle slides out of place

For Larger Dogs

The larger your dog, the more space and durability you need to keep your dog safe and secure in a dog crate. Large breeds like German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, and Mastiffs benefit from a durable crate. Even a calm and crate trained large dog will put more wear and tear on a crate than a small or medium dog, so durability is key.

Depending on the breed and size of a dog, the crate you need may range from 42 to 54-inches. The size you choose will also depend on the age of your dog; if they have a lot of growing to do, keep that in mind.


Paws & Pals Double-Door Kennel

Whether you’re trying to train your puppy to a crate or have a comfortable and secure place for your large adult dog, the Paws & Pals Double-Door Folding Metal Dog Crate is designed to meet your needs.

The crate comes with a divider, which is a helpful tool in crate training or for a dog who likes a space that feels more “cozy,” and the removable and washable pan protects your floors from any spills or accidents.

Rounded edges and interlocking panels prevent your dog from getting injured while getting in and out of the crate and similar to other metal crates, the Paws & Pals crate folds up and is easy to transport.

Some crates only have one slide-latch lock, but this one has double doors with two slide-latches on each door to ensure the crate stays closed even against the weight of your large dog.

While the crate is secure, it may not hold up as well if you have a dog who bites and paws due to being anxious while in a crate.

Things We Like:

  • Affordable, durable, and easy to clean
  • Simple to set up and takedown
  • A suitable crate for training

Things We Wish Were Better:

  • Some users note that the latches do not meet up
  • The space between the tray and the crate may cause injury to a smaller dog
  • The metal may be too pliable for a strong and anxious dog

Aspen Pet Porter Heavy-Duty Pet Carrier

Traveling with your large dog can be stressful if you don’t have the right crate. The Aspen Pet Porter Heavy-Duty Pet Carrier not only provides a safe and secure space at home but is a great option when traveling by car.

The heavy-duty plastic construction is easy to keep clean, and the top and bottom are connected by metal wingnuts resulting in simple assembly. If you don’t use a crate regularly and are limited on space, you can take the crate apart and stack the top and bottom together.

Side ventilation holes provide adequate airflow and light, and the door has a secure metal wire mesh to ensure your dog can’t escape. The locking system is a squeeze-latch, and although your dog cannot open the crate from the inside, you can quickly open it with one hand.

Things We Like:

  • Durable plastic and easy-to-use design
  • Ideal crate for home or travel
  • Metal wingnuts are stronger than plastic ones used in similar models

Things We Wish Were Better:

  • Not airline approved because there are no rear ventilation holes
  • The plastic air holes may be problematic for dogs who are anxious chewers
  • Some users note that the interior has sharp plastic edges

Merry Pet 2-in-1 Configurable Pet Crate n Gate

Some dogs are trained and don’t need to be confined to a crate, but sometimes it’s nice to have options when you have company, or you want to keep your large dog contained without worrying about them. The Merry Pet 2-in-1 Configurable Pet Crate n Gate is a nice option for large dogs who are not eager to escape and are crate trained.

The crate can either double as a dog crate, and end table in your living room or you can fold out the crate to use it as a gate. Since this 2-in-1 design is made of solid wood and metal wires, we only recommend it for non-destructive dogs who won’t chew or scratch.

A removable plastic tray is included to use when in crate “mode” to protect your floor from spills or accidents. When using as a gate, you can remove panels to shorten the gate to fit into doorways or other small spaces more easily.

This crate and gate setup is better suited for using when you’re at home rather than a method of confinement for a few hours or all day long.

Things We Like:

  • A unique and attractive design option for crating your dog
  • Easy to assemble and use
  • Blends in nicely with your home decor

Things We Wish Were Better:

  • Some users note that the bars are loose, or the top is easy to take off
  • Wood gets scratched easily

Haige Pet Your Pet Nanny Heavy Duty

If your large dog tries to escape from their crate, the crate needs to be strong enough to withstand your dog’s weight, size, and determination. The Haige Pet Your Pet Nanny Heavy Duty Dog Crate has a heavy-duty steel frame that is rust and corrosion-resistant.

Not only are the slat-style bars thicker than wire mesh crates but locking system is more secure than a slide-latch. The two-door crate opens from the front and top and has two locks with safety patented safety buckles which makes it virtually impossible for the most determined escape artist.

One feature that makes this heavy-duty crate stand out from similar designs on the market is the pitched roof to give your large dog more headroom. The crate is on wheels to make it easier to take outdoors, and it comes with removable trays to prevent spills.

Things We Like:

  • Easy to clean and assemble
  • The heavy-duty design may deter chewing
  • The pitched roof offers more space

Things We Wish Were Better:

  • Some users report issues with misaligned parts
  • Despite the wheels, the crate may be heavy and awkward to move

Factors to Consider

Some dog owners need a crate for training a new puppy while others want their older dog with separation anxiety (check out some options here for anxious pups) to feel safe and comfortable. Whatever your reason for buying a crate, there are specific factors to consider and can help you find the ideal crate for your dog.

Rather than buying the most affordable crate you can find or the only one designed to fit your dog, take time to consider your dog’s specific needs to ensure a crate that you and your dog will love to use.

Dog Size

We already categorized our top crate choices by dog size, but you need to think about your dog’s specific size. While we gave you some examples of breeds who fit within the small, medium, and large categories, breed sizes are likely to fluctuate.

Never purchase a crate based on your dog’s breed alone, but rather pay attention to the measurements and whether or not you expect your dog to grow.

When your dog uses a crate, there should be plenty of room for your dog to lie down, stand up, and move around a bit without feeling crowded or experience injury or pain.

Even if your dog likes small spaces, they need enough space to move around comfortably in a crate, especially for extended periods or during travel.

Small crates are a popular choice for puppies but keep in mind that if your puppy is a medium or large breed, they will outgrow the crate quickly and you will need a size-appropriate crate on hand. We recommend buying a crate that your puppy can “grow” into and comes with a divider. Not only does this make crate training easier but will save you money in the long run.

Overall Purpose

Does your dog need a quiet place to lie down and rest? Does your dog struggle with anxiety and benefits from a secure space? Maybe you have a puppy that needs a little help with house training.

The type of crate you choose will likely depend on your main reason for getting one in the first place. If you aren’t concerned about your dog being destructive or getting into trouble, you might be looking for a crate with decorative features and minimal security.

A dog with behavioral issues like separation anxiety needs a crate that can withstand (and prevent) the occasional escape attempt or some chewing or scratching. In these types of situations, it’s best to choose a tough & indestructible dog crate and make it as inviting and calming as possible.

Kennel Count

Many dog crates are easy to set up and use in the car but if you travel with your dog on a regular basis, taking down and setting up a crate can be inconvenient. You may decide that it’s easier to buy two crates; one for home use and one that you keep in your car.

When determining how many crates you need, you should also consider how many dogs you have that need crating. If you have two dogs, can you crate them together or do they prefer separate crates? If you crate your dogs together, make sure that they each have enough space based on their size. In most cases, small dogs are the only size that can comfortably crate more than one.

Air Travel

Are you planning to travel with your dog on an airplane? Not only should the crate withstand the movement of loading and unloading but also keep your dog as comfortable as possible through a turbulent flight.

Before you purchase a heavy-duty crate to use on a plane, you need to make sure that the crate meets all airline requirements for traveling with an animal. If the crate you have doesn’t meet all specifications, you can often purchase kits to modify the crate, but it’s often easier to purchase a dog crate designed specifically for air travel.

Indoor/Outdoor Use

Most dog crates are designed for indoor use, but if you would like one that you can take outside, it’s essential to look for features such as adequate airflow and materials that are resistant to rust or corrosion.

Do You Have Time to Train Your Dog?

Some dogs will try out a crate for the first time and have no problem getting used to it while others may take some time to make it their “norm.” If using a crate for your dog is important and necessary, it’s essential that you have the time and patience to crate train your dog.

Like other training methods, consistency is key when crate training. A crate is one of the best ways to keep your dog safe and happy when you’re not home, but if you don’t have time to train your dog, you must find another safe alternative.

Types

We’ve already highlighted a few of the different types of dog crates in our reviews. Let’s take a closer look at the basics of each type, as well as some of the advantages and disadvantages of each one.

Plastic

Plastic dog crates are available in a variety of styles, sizes, and prices. Plastic crates are a popular and convenient choice for car and air travel as well as transporting dogs to and from the vet. The most portable plastic crates are for smaller dogs, but there are plastic crates available for large breeds.

Plastic crates are easiest to clean and are a good option for dogs who chew or scratch. Be aware that not all plastic crates have heavy-duty plastic and even if there are enough holes for ventilation, they can warm up quickly in warmer temperatures.

Dogs who are reactive to motion or noises may benefit the most from a plastic crate as it provides limited visibility, which may help make them calmer while in the crate.

Always make sure that there are no sharp edges on the interior of a plastic crate (such as around the air holes) that could scratch or injure your dog.

Wire Frame

Wire crates are a popular choice for many dog owners because most models are easy to set up and many are portable. Look for wire crates that have secure latches, rounded edges, and heavy-duty wire.

A good wire crate should accommodate a dog bed and have a removable plastic pan. Always inspect your wire crate to make sure none of the wire has become damaged or rusty.

Soft Sided

A soft crate is designed for a dog who is calm and willing to hang out or be confined to any space without panicking, scratching, or chewing. While some dog owners use a soft crate on a regular basis, most soft crates are ideal for traveling.

Consider soft crates with washable covers, foldable frames, breathable fabric and the option to give your dog privacy (for a more secure feeling).

Heavy Duty

Heavy duty crates look just as they are described. Rather than wire mesh, they have thick steel slats, and some look rather uninviting. If your dog does not try to escape or destroy their crate, a heavy duty one may be a bit overkill (and a waste of money).

Heavy duty crates are an ideal choice for large dogs who are strong and determined to get out of their crate. Be aware that some slats have significant space between the slats which may end up hurting a smaller dog. Look for heavy duty crates that are resistant to rust or corrosion and are easy to move around.

If you use your crate outdoors, never leave your dog unattended or use it as a substitute for an outdoor kennel.

Furniture Type Crates

Often known as “Fashion Crates,” a furniture dog crate is a popular choice among dog owners who think that other types of crates are an aesthetic eyesore. Depending on the size of your dog and how much money you are willing to spend, furniture crates are available in a variety of styles.

The most common style looks like a cabinet or end table and often serves the purpose as a piece of furniture and a safe space for your pup. Many of these types of crates are made of mixed materials, but wood is probably the most common.

Since many wooden furniture crates are prone to scratches, this is not an ideal type for dogs who like to chew or scratch while spending time in a crate. Even if your dog does not chew, it’s important to select a wooden crate that is safe and won’t splinter easily or is treated with chemicals.

Like soft crates, a furniture crate is best suited for a dog who’s happy to “go with the flow.”

Safety

One of the main reasons that dog owners buy a crate for their dog is to keep them safe, but spending time in a crate can be hazardous to your dog. Here are some ways to ensure that your dog stays safe any time they are in a crate.

Use Only When Necessary

Your dog’s crate should be a quiet place that makes them feel comfortable and at ease. As tempting as it may be at times, avoid using the crate as a place to give your dog a “time out.” Too many negative connections and your dog will end up having complicated feelings about the crate.

Whether you use the crate to confine your dog overnight or while you’re at work for the day, always make sure that your dog has a chance to go to the bathroom before going in the crate and immediately after. Most dogs try very hard to prevent an accident in their crate, but it’s not fair (or healthy) to make them “hold” their urine or bowel movements all day. Make arrangements for a trusted friend or family member to let your dog out.

Use in a Temperature Controlled Area

Try to place your dog’s crate in an area where they won’t be exposed to extreme temperatures or the elements. Keep in mind that normally, when your dog is not in the crate, they have the opportunity to move around and find comfortable spots throughout the house.

The comfort in their crate is limited, so be mindful of where you place it and always try to have it in a temperature-controlled area.

Your Dog’s Collar

Many crates are designed not to snag or catch dog collars, but it can happen, and the results are potentially devastating. You can either put a breakaway collar on your dog or remove the collar while they are in the crate, keeping the collar nearby.

Regularly Inspect for Damage

A high-quality dog crate is likely to last you and your dog for many years, but there’s always the chance that a part may come loose or damaged from everyday use.

To reduce your dog’s chances of being injured in their crate, get in the habit of not only cleaning the crate regularly but also inspecting for damaged pieces, sharp edges, and anything else that may cause an injury.

Choose the Right Size Crate

Choosing a size-appropriate crate is essential for your dog’s comfort, but as we highlighted above, also for their safety. A crate that is too spacious is not necessarily dangerous for your dog, but make sure that the slats or spaces aren’t too big for a smaller dog or puppy.

A crate that is too small will not only make your dog uncomfortable but can also make them feel nervous and panicked, or they can end up hurting themselves trying to get comfortable.

FAQ

Here are some other common questions that are asked by fellow dog owners who are considering a dog crate.

Are they cruel?

Some dog owners are hesitant to put their dog in a crate because they are worried that they will either be criticized for doing so or they feel like they’re bad owners.

If you carefully select yours, use it for the right reasons, and keep your dogs safety and happiness in mind, a they are not cruel.

Are they safe?

Most are safe, but many factors determine safety such as high-quality craftsmanship and if it’s size-appropriate for your dog. Doing your research, reading reviews, and finding out what type of crate is best for your dog will keep them safest.

Can you stack them?

Stacking dog crates is somewhat controversial, and it can lead to many safety issues and health problems if not done properly.

When shopping around, be wary of any crates that are suitable for stacking. Stacking may be desired for smaller spaces, but you are better off buying a larger crate with a divider.

How do you crate train a dog?

Depending on the age of your dog, crate training may take some time. There are plenty of online resources from experts that walk you through the steps, and while some of their methods are slightly different, they will all agree that the right crate is essential.

If you are choosing a big crate for a small dog, use a divider to limit their space until they are completely trained. Too much space may encourage them to use their crate as a bathroom.

Can you connect them?

Much like crate stacking, connecting dog crates is something that needs to be done carefully and with the right models. It’s not safe to simply “piece together” different types or even brands of crates.

A larger one-piece crate is a safer (and most likely more economical) option.

Why use one at night?

Depending on your dog, they may benefit from staying in a crate at night. It can not only help your dog feel more safe and secure at night (and give you a better night’s sleep), but it can also keep your dog from destroying the house or eating things that could cause harm.

Can you cover it?

You don’t need to cover a dog crate, but it may help your dog feel more comfortable. Some crates come with covers, or you can cover it with a blanket. Keep a blanket away from heat sources and don’t use a blanket with puppies who are going through a chewing stage.

Will it help with separation anxiety?

Some dog owners are afraid to use a crate if their dog has separation anxiety. If you crate train your dog properly, it may help alleviate or eliminate the symptoms and other behavioral issues.

Can I put food and water in them?

Yes, most crates are designed to fit a clip-on water or food dish and the removable pan can come in handy for water or food spills. Don’t forget to add a blanket or a dog bed to the crate to give your dog some comfortable options throughout the day.

Can you buy one from Goodwill or another secondhand store?

Even if a dog crate at your local Goodwill or secondhand shop looks to be practically new, it’s impossible to know how safe it is for your dog. While the crate may have been donated by a dog owner who no longer needed the crate, they may have decided to get rid of it for other reasons. Buying a new crate is always the safest option.

Can you rent them?

Maybe you’re traveling or have a visitor with a dog coming for an overnight stay. If you don’t want to haul your crate with you or don’t have an extra to share, you may be able to rent one from various pet groups or organizations in your area. Always inspect the crate before using and make sure it looks and smells clean.

Are they bad?

Dog crates aren’t all bad. What gives them a bad reputation are the people who misuse them, dog owners who don’t have the right crate for their dogs, and poor-quality crates. They are also perceived as bad by people who don’t understand the benefits of crates.

Where can I buy them?

Your biggest selection of dog crates is online. You are likely to get more feedback on a particular brand from online reviewers, and Amazon.com is a perfect place for crates of any size dog.

How long should a dog stay in a crate?

The amount of time that your dog can comfortably stay a crate varies on their age and needs. Most dogs do fine for a few hours, while some can handle shorter or longer periods. No dog should spend the whole day in a crate. If your schedule is too busy to let your dog out of a crate, you need to make arrangements for someone to help out.

Can a crate be too big?

If you have a puppy or a small dog in a crate that is designed for a large dog, it’s possible that the crate can be too big. Too much space can encourage a dog to go to the bathroom in the crate. Some slats or wire on crates can be too big for smaller dogs and increase their risk of injury.

How long do they last?

The lifespan of a dog crate is dependent on how often you use it and how “rough” your dog is when using the crate. A high-quality crate should last you at least five years or more, but some may last even longer. Look for crates with warranties and take care of the crate to extend the lifespan.

What are the right types for cars?

Just like crates for home use, the dog crate you use in your car depends a lot on your dog. If you have a smaller dog, who is not destructive and doesn’t move around much, a soft crate may be sufficient. A larger dog who has anxiety in the car may benefit from a heavy-duty plastic crate.

Our Favorites

We provided you with a lot of information that should help you confidently decide which one is best for your pup. If you are still undecided or are trying to choose between a few options, take a look at picks of the best dog crates for each size group.

Our overall winner for all sizes is the MidWest Homes Life Stages Dog Crate. Although we reviewed this crate in our small dog category, this crate is available for dogs of all sizes. It’s our top pick because it’s easy to use, assemble, and fold up. The double slide-latches are more secure than similar crates, and it has overwhelmingly positive user feedback.

Small

We chose the Petmate Two Door Top Load Dog Kennel as our top pick in the small dog category because of the two-door options. Small dogs and puppies may not be eager to enter a crate from the front, but if you can put take them in and out from the top or interact with them.

The hard plastic is ideal for puppies who may want to chew, and there are no wire mesh parts for small feet to get pinched or injured. The squeeze-latch lock will help keep the most determined dog from getting out.

Medium

We understand that a soft crate may not be ideal for your dog, but the EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Kennel is our top pick for medium dogs. When your medium breed dog is a puppy, you may want a plastic model, but when your dog grows up, it may be comfortable with something like a soft model.

We like that the crate is lightweight, washable, easy to use, and is a great option for car travel or home use. We also like the variety of color options and the zip down panels to provide your pup with privacy.

Larger

The Aspen Pet Porter Heavy-Duty Pet Carrier is our top pick for a large dog model because of its durability. The heavy-duty plastic withstands daily wear and tear, and if your large dog is an anxious chewer, you don’t have to worry about your dog damaging the crate.

Although this particular model is not approved for airline use, it’s perfect for traveling in your car or for home use. We also love that the crate is secured with metal wingnuts rather than plastic hardware.

Do you like a crate on our list that isn’t in your dog’s size category? Most of the crates we reviewed have a variety of sizes that are suitable for small to large dogs. Check out the crate for more size specifications.

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