Crating In Comfort: 8 Tips To Find The Perfect Dog Crate For Your Pup

  • 16/12/2018

Whether you're planning for some travel or just need a quiet zone for Fido, check out these tips to help you find the perfect dog crate for your furry friend. 

Dogs are a human's best friend. They're unfailingly loyal, loving, and adorable. They're members of our family, forging lasting relationships with the people around them.

And more and more people are owning dogs as pets. In 2000, 68 million dogs were pets in households around the United States. By 2017, that number had grown over 20 million, sitting at nearly 90 million dogs as pets!

Dogs are always there for us when we need them. In turn, we need to be there for them, keeping them comfortable and happy. One way of doing this is by getting your pup a dog crate that can be entirely their own.

Do you have a four-legged friend in your life? Are you wondering how to go about choosing the best crate for them?

Pet lovers dive in!

1. Know the Benefits 

A dog crate is a tiny piece of home for your beloved animal. It offers them a place to feel safe, secure, and content. But that's not the only reason you should consider buying one.

What are the benefits of crate-training your dog?

  • Aids in potty-training
  • Controls erratic behaviour
  • It helps you manage to have more than one dog, especially if one is an "alpha"
  • It gives them a room, a space to call their own, that they grow to love and appreciate
  • Some crates can get used for travelling purposes

Dogs don't typically relieve themselves where they sleep, allowing you a potty-training opportunity. If your pet has separation anxiety, a crate may relieve some of that. It also keeps them contained if you need to leave for short periods of time.

Your pup may not adjust to the crate immediately. But give them time and remain diligent in your training. Most dogs grow to love their spaces.

2. Know the Different Dog Crates 

When you begin to shop, you'll notice the variety of crates available. Here's a general list of what you can expect to see when picking one out:

  • Metal wire crates
  • Plastic Crates
  • Travel/portable crates
  • Soft-sided crates
  • Crates as furniture

Each of these crates comes with their own set of pros and cons. The crate you choose will depend on your dog's size and behaviour, as well as what its main purpose will be.

Wire crates are common, as many adjust with your dog's size. Many are also able to get broken down for storage or transporting.

Plastic crates are good for pups who need more privacy. Soft-sided crates are great for smaller, more relaxed dogs.

A travel crate is one that is aeroplane-approved. Portable crates are great for transporting your dog to and from the vet safely. Some crates double as furniture, such as small end tables.

And if you're buying a crate for outdoors, you may want to consider a wooden dog house instead.

3. What Size Is Your (Future) Dog?

To avoid buying many different-sized crates, consider the length of your fully-grown dog. Every dog has an expected length. Keep this in mind and try to buy for them as a full-grown, larger animal.

Many wire crates come with divider panels that can get inserted and taken out with your dog's size. This is a great option for those who start with a 20-pound pup, such as a Lab, that they expect to get much larger.

Smaller dogs, like toy poodles or fox terriers, are easy to buy for. Their expected size is not that much different from their months-old size.

4. Know the Different Crate Sizes

When you get a crate, get one that will constrict excessive movement but allow your pup to lay down spread out. Pretend your dog is laying with arms forward and legs back, sprawled on its belly. Can they comfortably stretch out?

Crates range from the extra-small to the extra-large. Most crates will display what size dogs they can accommodate. Make sure it's at least 6" longer than their body length and 6" taller than their shoulders.

You can expect to see these dog crate sizes during your shopping:

  • Extra small: 18" to 22", for breeds up to 25 lbs.
  • Small: 24", for breeds up to 25 lbs.
  • Medium: Up to 30", for breeds between 26 and 40 lbs.
  • Intermediate: 36", for breeds between 41 and 70 lbs.
  • Large: 42", for breeds between 71 and 90 lbs.
  • Extra large: 48", for breeds between 91 and 110 lbs.

And XXL goes up to 54", for dogs weighing over 110 pounds (aka, Clifford the Big Red Dog).

5. What Is Your Dog's Personality?

A small, calm, older dog can handle a soft crate better than an energetic, young Shepard that loves to play and chew.

When choosing your dog's crate, keep their personalities and behaviour in mind.

Do they get nervous when you leave the house? A covered, plastic crate cuts off some of their vision to the outside world, making it easier for them to relax. A social dog who likes to know what's going on would enjoy the free views that a wire crate offers.

If your dog is a chewer that likes to bounce off the walls, then you need a sturdy crate that can accommodate that.

6. Add Some Comfort

Keep your dog the most comfortable by adding tastes of home in their cage. Pillows, blankets, their favourite stuffed animal. A chew toy that they can gnaw on when you leave for work.

Give them a reason to enjoy their special crate.

7. Stay Consistent

A dog will love their crate the more they get used to it. This is why it's a good idea to consider your dog's future size and get a crate to fit that. Over time, that consistent use and the smell will encourage them to go there, even by themselves.

8. Know Your Cleaning Style

How often do you see yourself allotting time for cleaning your dog's crate?

If you're busy or in a hurry, a metal wire crate is your easiest to clean. Crates with soft fabric or enclosed quarters are more difficult to clean. They also tend to hold that doggy smell - whereas a wire crate does not.

"Woof You Please Get Me a Dog Crate?"

Wait, did you hear that?

Your dog just asked for a dog crate. And a walk, a treat, and a ride to the dog park.

Do you have any more questions about training your pup? Here are the most FAQ regarding dog training!

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