Crate Expectations: 8 Tips for Choosing the Best Dog Crate

best dog crate

We love our pets, so much so that 43 million families have a dog as a part of theirs. Many families have even had more than one.

One important thing you need to make your furry loved one feel at home is to give them a place of their own. Dogs are den animals, so they like to have a cozy spot where they can curl up and take a nap.

A perfectly sized crate is the perfect solution for this. But you need to makes sure you get the right sized crate.

Use this guide to ensure you get the best dog crate for your pup.

1. Know the Types of Crates

Before you head over to a website like and start shopping for crates, you need to understand the different types. There are four different types of crates, and they each have a specific purpose.

Wire Crates

These are a wire frame and collapse down flat. This makes them convenient for transport and storage. They also provide plenty of air circulation for pets that have long coats or live in warmer climates.

Plastic Crates

These are very durable and provide sturdy protection. If you plan to fly with your pet in cargo, you will want a crate like this one.

Soft Sided Crates

If your pup is a little guy, then you can use a soft sided crate for easy transport. They work well for getting young puppies used to being in a crate.

They are lightweight, which makes it easy to bring with you anywhere.

Wooden Crates

These crates are for the family that wants their pet’s crate to blend in with their home decor. They tend to have fewer windows which restrict air flow. But you have a broad variety of designs available.

2. Find the Right Size

Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, so you need to find the one that fits yours. Your dog needs to have enough room inside to stand up, turn around, stretch, and lie down.

If you make the crate too big, your pup may be tempted to divvy up the space. This means they will sleep on one side and relieve themselves on the other.

If you have a growing puppy, then you will want to think ahead. Look for a slightly larger crate they can grow into.

Some crates come with a divider. This way you can contain them to half the crate until they are big enough to use the whole crate.

3. Think About More Than Weight

When shopping you will see crate manufacturers put weight recommendations on their packaging. This is only part of the equation though.

A whippet and a corgi are similar when it comes to weight ranges. They are somewhere between 15 and 30 pounds. But they are very different breeds when it comes to their physical stature.

You will need to buy two different crates to accommodate their shape in addition to their weight.

4. Consider the Crate’s Strength

Crates can be light, medium, or heavy duty. Puppies that are crate trained from the start and well behaved, mild-mannered older dogs will do fine with a light duty crate. These crates have lighter gauge wire and wider spacing between the wire.

A medium duty crate is going to work better for dogs who are a bit more rambunctious. You can also use them for larger puppies who are crate trained from the start.

These crates have a heavier gauge wire and slightly smaller spacing between the wires. You will find that you have the most options with medium duty crates. They also tend to be the best value for your money.

Heavy duty crates are reserved for those adult dogs who have never been in a crate or are aggressive. These crates have heavy gauge wire and small spaces between the bars.

5. Understanding Crate Measurements

Every crate you consider should have three key measurements: length, width, and height. The length and height are going to be the two measurements that you use to determine the correct size.

You want a crate that your dog can comfortably stand up in. They should not have to duck their head below their shoulders.

They should also be able to lay down and stretch out their full body length. If they can’t do either of these things, then the crate is too small.

A good rule of thumb is to add 2-4 inches to the length of your dog when deciding on a crate. Measure them from nose to tail, But don’t include the length of the tail in this measurement.

For height, have your dog sit and measure from the floor to the top of their head. Then add 2-4 inches.

6. Keep Safety in Mind

The whole point of the crate is to keep your home and the dog safe. So when shopping for a crate look at the construction of it. You don’t want anything sharp.

You also don’t want the crate to have anything the dog could chew on. This could potentially cause them to eat something they shouldn’t and cause internal issues.

Buy the Best Dog Crate for Your Pooch

Buying the best dog crate isn’t a difficult task; you just need to have the right information. Start by knowing what you want to use the crate for.

Then measure your dog and think about if they will grow any more. All that will be left to do is head to your favorite pet store in person or online and pick out their new crate.

Be sure to check out our blog for more advice on having the best life with your furry loved ones.

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