Buying dog crates is one of those decisions that a lot of pet parents have to make in urgency.
The dog needs to be transported in a day or two. You are desperate for time. And you might pick up the one that ships the soonest to your place.
Or, your puppy needs to be crate-trained and you come across this swanky, large dog crate that you believe is the bees knees for your pet and you pick it up without a second thought.
The fact is that there’s more to dog crates than the aesthetics and the amount of space in it.
The most important variable to be taken into consideration is the intended purpose.
By the way, if you are pressed for time, then here’s a quick glance into our picks for the best dog crates in 2018.
Dog Crate Review Center 2019
We have been eating and breathing dog crates for the past few months. We have been putting them through the motions, checking out crates for dog breeds of varying sizes, speaking to customers, kennel owners, vets and salesmen to create the most unbiased line up of dog crates for varied applications. (More on this later)
The only thing we couldn’t do is live in a crate. But we promise to do that too.
Things to consider before buying a dog crate
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about the things to consider before buying a dog crate.
- Space: Always buy a dog crate that’s suited for your dog breed. There should be enough room for the dog to stand (ceiling clearance), sit, stretch and turn comfortably. If you are buying one size large, look for a cage with a temporary divider panel, like the iCrate. This will cater to the dog’s natural instinct of having a safe resting place.
- Quality: You get what you pay for when it comes to dog crates. If you are looking for a crate for confinement, metal wireframe designs work best. They are almost impossible to break out of. On the other hand, if it’s short trips to the vet or the groomer, soft cages, like the Noz2Noz or the EliteField work best. While choosing between hard and soft cages, please consider the temperament of your dog. If your pet is a chewer, then stick to hardwire cages at all times. Soft cages work best for well-behaved dogs.
- Price: You don’t necessarily have to buy a dog crate that costs an arm and a leg. It is quite possible to get a great deal on a dog crate, especially if you buy online rather than scout big box, brick and mortar pet stores for crates on sale. Check our budget-priced pick, the AmazonBasics dog crate in this list.
For now, here’s a list of the best dog crates in the market currently.
#1 – Midwest iCrate Single & Double Door Folding Metal Dog Crate
The iCrate ticks all the boxes that one looks for in a good quality dog crate. It is built like a rock, can take a licking and keep on kicking and is roomy enough to accommodate your medium-sized pet. This is the 30-inch model. It is also available in six other, pet-specific sizes.
The most notable being the extra-large dog crate, 54-inch model for giant breeds like Great Danes and the 42-inch model for large dog breeds like Retrievers and collies.
Heavy duty construction
The iCrate is a breeze to set up. Just attach the sides and the doors and your dog has a new den, in minutes. It has a heavy-duty, metallic wireframe design that prevents gnawers from breaking out. Also, the wires and the edges of the cage are rounded, preventing scratches and scruffs to your pets.
Irrespective of the size you pick, there’s ample room for the pet to move, turn, sleep and stretch their front legs. If you prefer some extra room, just buy a bigger-sized cage and use the free divider to create a designated rest area.
The Double-door design makes it effortless to move your pet in and out. This also eases cleaning and maintenance.
Slide-bolt latches keep the pet safe and secured during travel, while portability is made easy, thanks to a sturdy carrying handle.
Rubberized feet protect your floor from potential damage when you are moving the crate within your home. When not in use, the iCrate collapses into a compact unit that can be tucked into a corner of the room.
- Budget-priced heavy duty crate
- Metallic wireframe design
- Rounded edges to keep your pet safe
- Rubberized feet to protect the flooring
- Easy to set up and collapse
- Sturdy handle for easy carrying
- Two doors for easy cleaning and maintenance
- Thousands of positive customer reviews all over
#2 – MidWest Homes for Pets Ultima Pro Professional Series
For over two decades, Midwest has been one of the only brands that offers heavy-duty crates for show dogs and pets. The Ultima Pro is one of their finest crates that can house large dog breeds without any problems whatsoever.
Got a cage destroyer for a pet? The Ultima Pro is just what you need. This extra-thick, heavy-duty dog crate is touted to be one of the strongest and one of the most durable dog crates that money can buy.
Heaviest gauge Stainless steel
The Ultima is engineered with the heaviest gauge stainless steel that are used in dog crates. The result is a cage that does not bend, get dented or can be broken out of. Your dog can chew or gnaw it all that they want to. The Ultima just endures it.
The tradeoff is that it weighs 56 pounds. If you intend to use the carrying handle supplied with the cage, you are in for a serious arm workout.
Thankfully, there are caster wheels on the bottom that allow the cage to be easily pushed around home.
Upgraded Two-door design with leak-proof plastic base
The earlier iteration of the Ultima Pro had a three-door design which was marred by poorly designed hinges. This is an upgraded two-door version with newly designed hinges. Opening both the doors allows you to clean the cage easily.
Doggie drool, dander and fur are contained in the large, leak-proof plastic base in the cage. There’s pan stopper that prevents it from slipping accidentally when your pet moves about.
Like most other cages from Midwest, there’s no dearth of room. Buy the right size for your pet breed and they will be able to move around, rest and stretch comfortably in the cage.
- Heavy-duty cage
- Thickest gauge stainless steel
- Two-door design
- Leak proof plastic pan base
- Pan stopper
- Lots of room for your pet
#3 – AmazonBasics Single Door & Double Door Folding Metal Dog Crate
This dog crate from AmazonBasics is available in both single and double-door configurations, in as many as six different sizes. The smallest one is 22-inches while the largest one measures a roomy 48-inches keeping you covered irrespective of the size of your pet.
This is a no-frills attached, barebones dog crate that works perfectly for both containment as well as travel.
Airy, spacious den
Thanks to the wireframe design, there’s no dearth of light or air for your pet. If you have an anxious traveler, they get reassured seeing you around.
The quality of the wireframe is top-notch. While it is not as heavy gauge as the one from Midwest, it won’t bend or get dented for sure. We spoke to a customer who did a quality-check of sorts, asking their 50-pound son to sit on the cage. It held up just fine.
No sharp edges anywhere on the inside. Also, there are two slide-bolt latches on each of the doors ensuring that even the trickiest escape artist stays confined and secured.
Mini Dividers on the bottom
We love the mini-dividers on the bottom of this dog cage from AmazonBasics. It’s such a thoughtful addition that prevents the paws of your pets from slipping out of the cage and causing an injury, especially during travel.
There is an optional divider panel included in the package that allows you to tailor the size of the cage. This is particularly useful if you have a growing puppy. You can keep shifting the panel as your puppy grows.
Lastly, a removable, composite plastic pan completes, what is a well-rounded package.
Most big box ticket stores retail cages like these for $100+ at least. At this price point, the value that the dog cage offers is unbeatable.
- Budget-priced large dog crate
- Perfect for both containment and travel
- No sharp edges
- Divider panel
- Mini-dividers on the bottom to prevent paws from slipping out
- Removable composite plastic bas
#4 – EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate
This soft dog crate from EliteField is a traveler’s delight. It is lightweight, comfortable and roomy enough to accommodate your doggie’s own bed. It has mesh windows on three sides and will never let your pet feel claustrophobic.
Most importantly, it folds away completely flat and can easily disappear into the tiny corner of a storage closet.
With a thick, tubular steel frame that’s 1” in diameter, the EliteField Soft crate is incredibly sturdy. We spoke to a customer who was driving through torrential rain in her Forester with the cage strapped on the back seat (without the pet inside). It got banged up pretty hard due to the terrain. There wasn’t a single bent tube on it.
The tube frame is covered by a stretch-fit 600D nylon fabric that’s waterproof and impermeable to doggy teeth. Three mesh windows, two on each sides and one panoramic sunroof, allows fussy travelling dogs to get their dose of sunshine and motivating talks.
Pockets for the essentials
There are three, large pockets on the sides that allow you to carry the pet essentials, like leashes and bottles.
Also included in the package is a large fleece bed and a carrying bag with padded, adjustable shoulder straps. This makes it so easy to move the cage for short distances. Certainly beats the carrying handle which isn’t the most comfortable one to use with a 60 lbs. dog inside it.
The fleece bed is removable and washable. While it is reasonably thick and comfortable, we would recommend that you swap it with your dog’s own bed. The cage is roomy enough and it will fit in easily.
- Large, sturdy soft crate
- Thick tubular steel frame
- 600D nylon fabric coating
- Mesh windows on three sides
- Roomy enough
- 13 colors and 5 sizes available
- Fleece bed included
- Three pouches for storage
#5 – Noz2Noz Soft-Krater Indoor and Outdoor Crate for Pets
If you are like us, you probably hate lugging around your hard wire crate during your impromptu road trips with your pet.
The Noz2Noz Soft Krater keeps you covered in such situations. It is a roomy, comfortable soft cage with three peek through windows and comes with over 7 years of proven performance. Customers quip at length about the durability of this soft cage.
The thoughtful design allows it to be used for travel as well as for general confinement at home or at a hotel.
Soft, stretch canvas
The Noz2Noz has a soft, stretch canvas cover that’s resistant to spills and splashes. It is machine washable and extremely easy to remove off the sturdy wireframe.
Three mesh windows keep the inside of the cage bright and airy at all times. Anxious dogs will stay calm because they can see and hear their parents at all times.
There are metal zippers on all sides along with slide-latches to keep the pets securely tucked in. These usually suffice to thwart any attempts to nose or claw their way out.
Noz2Noz has also included a carry handle. We wouldn’t personally recommend lifting the entire cage off the ground with the pet inside it, especially if you have a large dog.
Use this only when the cage is collapsed or doesn’t have the pet inside it.
- Proven track record
- Thousands of positive customer reviews
- Soft, stretchy canvas cover
- Machine washable, waterproof base
- Zippers on the sides
- Slide latches to secure the pet
- Carry handle
- Can be collapsed and set up in minutes
Buying Guide: Choosing the Best Dog Crate for Your Puppy
One of the things that every dog owner needs is a good dog crate. But how do you choose the best pet crate for your puppy or full-grown dog? The process of choosing a good one, even from the best-rated dog crates, is surprisingly complex. Dogs are living creatures that have specific needs and a dog crate is a little like their home. While choosing a crate isn’t as complicated as choosing a home for a human, there are some things that you need to know about the process of choosing the best dog crate brand, size, shape and construction material, as well as several other factors.
This buying guide has been created specifically to help you choose the best dog crate. It can be pretty difficult to find the right one if you don’t know what you are looking for. There are lots of choices out there, and each one is a little different and intended for a specific type of dog. Although your dog crate isn’t a permanent home for your dog like a dog house might be, they do spend time in there and you want the crate to be comfortable for them and ensure that they don’t hate going into it – particularly if you are using it for transport or for crate training. Let’s take a look at the factors that determine what kind of crate you should get.
How Dog Crates Are Used
Understanding how dog crates are used will allow you to get a much better understanding of what kind of crate that you need. In some cases, you may want multiple crates, but the majority of people just go with a single dog crate that serves all of their purposes. There are dog crates that are specifically designed for certain functions such as ones that are reinforced for travel, but for the most part, you can use the same crate for everything. In fact, it is probably better if you do because your dog will be used to it and will not mind getting into it. Let’s look at three different ways that dog crates are used.
- Train: the first way that dog crates are used is in training. However, most people are not aware of how to properly crate trained their dog. In fact, many people use the crate as a punishment. For example, if you find your dog chewing on your shoes, then you might make him get into his crate as a punishment. However, this is not the proper way to train your dog, and it is going to have disastrous consequences because your dog will always fight to get into the crate. Whether you are talking about a dog crate, a dog playpen or an outdoor dog kennel, these areas should always be used preemptively to prevent the chewing of shoes and other accidents rather than as a punishment.
- Contain: the next way that crates are used is to contain your dog. This goes right along with training. For example, if you just want your dog to stay out of the way for a while and have the safety of a place that he or she feels comfortable, if you train them properly on the dog crate than they can go there and be fine while you vacuum the floor or do something else that would normally give them anxiety. Making sure that they have a dog bed, dog bowl or automatic dog feeder in the crate can be helpful as well.
- Transport: finally, dog crates are often used for transport. In fact, this is the most obvious reason that someone would buy a dog crate in the first place. When you go on vacation or you need to transport your dog somewhere, it can be helpful to have them in a crate instead of in your vehicle. If you are traveling by plane, then you definitely need to have them in a dog crate before you will be allowed to fly. But a dog crate can also be useful for taking them to the vet or for other transportation needs. Some dogs enjoy being in the car and leaning out the window, but others do better when they are in the crate.
Choosing the Perfect Size
The first thing that you’ll need to do is choose the perfect size dog crate for your dog. How do you do this? There are some pretty easy ways to determine exactly the right size for your dog crate. The first thing you have to understand is that you should measure your crate to your dog, even if you are planning on using it to transport. Some people plan on the size of their vehicle instead, but if you cannot get your dog to go into the crate or he is miserable the entire time, this is going to do very little for your travel peace of mind. You can always get a dog seat belt or dog car seat cover and allow your dog to ride in the vehicle when you transport them.
So, the first thing you have to do if you’re looking for crates for dogs is measure your dog. You want to measure the height of your dog – which is the area from the ground to your dog’s highest point at the top of his head – the width of your dog – which is the measurement of your dog from shoulder to shoulder – and the length of your dog – which is the measurement of your dog from nose to tail. Once you have those measurements, then you will have a much easier time choosing the right crate because the measurements of your dog will determine the size that you need. Remember to also get the appropriate size dog crate mat.
Before we get into the actual sizes in relation to crate sizes, be aware that if your dog is still growing then you should choose a little larger crate than is necessary. Some people get crates that are a lot bigger than necessary, but this is not always a good idea. Your dog is not going to feel confined in his crate if he has enough room to turn around easily. In fact, depending upon the crate, your dog may actually feel more secure in smaller crates that fit him perfectly.
Another thing that you want to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to choosing the right crate than just measuring your dog. While this can give you a general idea of which crate to buy, you also have to factor in your pet’s weight, and the breed of dog do you have can also be a factor. Let’s look at some of the maximum dog sizes compared to the appropriate crate, including the weight of the dog in the breeds that are appropriate for that particular crate.
24L X 18W x 21H: if your dog is no more than these measurements, then what you are looking for is an extra small crate. Extra small crates are intended for dogs that are between a single pound and all the way up to 10 pounds. Some of the breeds that are perfect for this size crate include the Boston terrier, Chihuahua, Pomeranian, Shih Tzu, Yorkshire terrier, pug and Jack Russell terrier.
24L x 18W x 21H: the next size up is the small crate. Small crates are for dogs the way between 11 pounds and 25 pounds and fit within these measurements. Some of the breeds that are perfect for this size of crate include the miniature dachshund, the Border terrier, the Boston terrier, the Jack Russell terrier, the miniature poodle and the Yorkshire terrier.
30L x 21W x 24H: the next size up is the medium crate. Medium crates are for dogs the way between 26 pounds and 40 pounds. They should also fit within the measurements listed at the beginning of this paragraph. Some of the breeds that are perfect for the medium crate include the American pit-bull, the French bulldog, King Charles spaniel, miniature pinscher, miniature schnauzer, Shetland sheepdog and Welsh terrier.
36L x 24W x 27H: the next size up is going to be the large crates. These are for dogs that are between 41 pounds and 70 pounds and fit in the measurements listed at the beginning of this paragraph. Some of the breeds that are going to fit best in these crates include the Basset hound, the Belgian sheepdog, the Chinese Shar-Pei, the English setter, schnauzer, Welsh corgi, bulldog and more.
42L x 28W x 31H: extra-large crates are going to be perfect for dogs that are between 71 pounds and 90 pounds. Of course, they should also fit within the measurements listed in this paragraph. Some of the perfect dogs for these crates include the Border collie, the boxer, the Dalmatian, Doberman pinscher’s, German shepherds, golden retrievers, Labrador retrievers, Siberian Huskies, large poodles and more.
46L x 30W x 33H: finally, dogs that are 90 pounds and up are going to fit best in the double XL crates. They also need to be within the measurements listed here because otherwise the crates are not going to fit them. You may have to have a crate specially made if your dog is larger than the measurements listed. Some of the breeds that go well in these crates include the giant schnauzer, great Dane, Greyhound, Neapolitan mastiff, Newfoundland, old English sheepdog, Rottweiler, St. Bernard and bloodhound – as well as the Alaskan malamute.
Dog Crate Materials
Choosing the right material is important when it comes to dog crates and kennels, especially because the wrong material can make it difficult for you to keep your dog in the crate and snag things like the dog collar or dog harness. Plus, the wrong material can allow a dog to get out, and even if you have a GPS tracker for dogs, and things to play with like interactive dog toys or puzzle toys for dogs, it is a great deal of hassle to track down your dog when you could’ve prevented them from escaping in the first place by having the right material.
You should give them something to do and make sure that their dog food bowl or dog food container are within easy reach. Whether you are looking for a large dog crate, or the best puppy crates, there are certain things that you want to keep in mind and the material that your crate is made out of is an important consideration. One of the most common types of dog crates is the plastic dog crate. These are usually enclosed on all sides except one, where there is a wireframe door that opens and closes, with ventilation holes so that your pet will have plenty of air.
There is also the entirely wireframe model, which is easy to see through but may not give your pet the same security that a plastic crate does. The thing that you have to remember is the wire crates can vary considerably from one model to another when it comes to the quality of the wire. You definitely do not want to get cheap wire crates, not only because they do not secure your prep properly, but also because the wire can come loose and injure your pet.
Finally, there are travel crates that are specifically intended for travel. These are usually reinforced and made to be strong enough to hold your pet and keep them secure whether you are on a plane, in a car or taking some other form of transportation.
Dog Crate Bottom Materials
You also have to think about the bottom materials that you’re going to have in your crate. One of the best ideas is to have an indestructible dog bed, which can allow your dog to lie down and sleep when they want to, but will not be torn up by anxiety chewing and other things the dogs do. Having a dog bed in the bottom of your crate is a good idea, and an indestructible one will definitely help you to maintain it longer. But the main point is that your dog should be comfortable in their dog crate. When you’re choosing the best dog crate, make sure that it can fit whatever bed you are planning to put into it.
You may also want to consider things like cooling pads for dogs which can be a useful tool to keep them cool when things are warm. If you have a dog with special needs, you may actually need to install a dog ramp to get your dog into the dog crate, but for most people, their dogs will be able to get in easily. Just make sure that if you put a bed into your dog crate that your dog is able to get over the lip of the bed easily and without pain.
The Placement of Your Dog Crate
When your dog crate is placed indoors, the placement of your dog crate will be pretty important. Obviously, if you have a large dog crate then you are going to have to find more space than for a puppy kennel. What you should remember is that if you are going to try to crate train your dog, then you need to make sure that the crate is placed in a location that is a little out of the way so that I can get privacy not so much that they are not in the mix of activity when humans are interacting with each other. When we have people over, we often opt to setup a dog gate rather than put our dog in its crate so it can socialize.
That’s why one of the best places to put your dog crate is in the living room. If you put your dog crate in the corner of the living room where people are hanging out, and your dog can still see what everyone is doing, they will have both the security of a dog crate with walls on every side and the nearness of the people in their family so that they will not feel like they are missing out on anything. If you put your dog crate too far away, they may feel as if they are getting punished. You definitely do not want to give this impression with your dog crate, otherwise your dog is not going to want to go into the crate at all.
Traveling With Your Dog Crate
When traveling with your choice of the best dog kennels, there are a bunch of things that you want to keep in mind. Traveling with pets can be pretty complicated, and the dog cage that you choose can either make your travel very easy or very complicated. The best dog crate for travel may not be the best nice dog crate for training and other uses, but most people can use the same crate for just about everything. However, there are some things about travel that you definitely want to keep in mind.
First of all, there are a couple of different travel crates that you can get which are specifically intended for travel. One of them is the wire crates that take up the entire trunk of your car, and then there are smaller crates that you can use to take your dog to the vet. Depending on how far you have to travel, you will have to choose between these two crates. You want to give your dog enough room to move around if it is going to be a long trip, but you can get away with the much smaller crate if all you’re doing is transporting short term. Of course, if you are planning to use your crate for more than just transporting your puppy to the vet, then you may want to get a bigger crate anyway.
You should also keep in mind that if you want to travel with your pet on an airline, there are some pretty stringent rules that are in place for traveling with a live animal. These differ slightly from airline to airline, but for the most part they are pretty much standard. Some of them can get pretty restrictive, so you want to make sure that you check them carefully before you buy your dog crate if you are planning to travel somewhere that you can only get to via plane. However, the good news is that you can travel with your dog when you want to, even if you do have to jump through a few hoops beforehand.
Accessories for Dog Crates
There are plenty of accessories out there for dog crates that you can choose from. Obviously, the bed is the biggest accessory that you should consider. Putting a soft bed inside your dog crate will allow your dog to lay down and be comfortable when they are sleeping. You may also want to include some form of dog food and water if your crate is big enough. Making sure they are well fed and hydrated is an important part of traveling with your pet. It is also an important part of keeping your pet in a crate for a few hours while you go to the store or are at work. Most experts do not recommend keeping your pet locked in the crate for that long though. You may also want to consider a vacuum for dog hair so that you can keep the dog crate as clean as possible, or a dog treadmill so that your dog can get exercise even when they spend a lot of time inside their crate.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that there are lots of things that you need to consider when it comes to buying a dog crate. Not only do you need to look at the size of your pet, but you also need to look at how they sleep and what you are going to be using the dog crate for. If you choose the right one, and if you train your pet properly, it will become a safe place for them and somewhere that they enjoy spending time in.