When I was much younger, I always thought the idea of shutting a dog in a crate was quite cruel.
But then I got my current dog, a Golden Retriever named Bruce, and I realized how useful they actually are.
Whether it’s because your dog enjoys chewing on your things when you’re not looking, or whether it’s because there have been a few accidents that could have been avoided, getting a dog crate is a sound investment.
When looking for the right dog crate, the most important thing to consider is the size.
Obviously your dog needs room to stand up and lie down, and should be able to move around as much as possible.
The best situation you can hope for is to still have room in the crate for at least a water bowl, if not food too, as this will make it easier to keep your dog happy while they’re in the crate.
Training your dog to use the crate can take some time, but it’s worth persevering.
The first time your dog uses the crate, only leave them in there for a few minutes if they’re not used to it.
Gradually increase the amount of time they’re left in the crate, and always make sure you show them plenty of praise whenever you come back.
Only once you’re happy they can be left in the crate without getting sad or anxious should you actually try leaving the house while they’re locked in it.
Choosing the right crate for your dog’s needs can be difficult, especially considering how many different things you need to consider.
To help you make the right decision, I’ve put together a handy buying guide for my top 3 dog crates, all of which are really easy to buy online.
So here they are, my top 3 dog crates!
1. New World Folding Heavy Duty Metal Dog Crate
One of the most important things I look for in a dog crate is ease of use, and that’s certainly something covered by this crate from New World.
It folds up, which makes it perfect for both easy storage and transportation if needed, and takes mere seconds to set up.
The sides remain attached to each other, so all you need to do is unfold it, and you’re pretty much done!
The dog crate comes in several different sizes, ranging from 24 inches tall to 48 inches tall, and so is suitable for pretty much every kind of dog.
Make sure you consult the handy size chart before ordering to make sure you’re getting the right size, but if it’s any help I bought a large (42 inch) for my Staffordshire bull terrier.
The crate is made from metal wiring, which is incredibly sturdy and durable, and can easily withstand even the most prolific chewers.
The base is made of plastic, and so is leak-proof (whether this is water or something else), and this also makes it really easy to clean. Plus, the plastic base makes it perfect for putting your dog’s favorite bed in there for a bit of extra comfort.
To make it even better, the plastic base has raised sides to contain any possible spills, and can be detached from the metal crate for easier cleaning.
This also means you can buy replacement bases if your dog manages to damage them in any way (although the plastic is so sturdy this will be quite difficult).
You can buy the crate in both single- and double-door versions, with the latter obviously being much better for larger dogs.
Whichever model you choose, they both come with heavy-duty metal bolts to securely close the door when you’re not around.
What I like about this crate is that you can see what your dog is doing while they’re shut in, and they can still see out.
I personally would recommend putting a bed in there for extra comfort, but I imagine that would be quite obvious once you see the crate.
At the very least, you’ll need to put in some blankets as the plastic might get a bit cold, and won’t be too nice to sleep on.
2. Crown Pet Products Wood Pet Crate
Personally, I never thought wood would be a particularly good material for building a dog crate, for obvious reasons.
However, I was forced to reconsider when I tried this crate out. It’s made from very durable hardwood, and looks similar to teak.
It comes in two colors: mahogany and espresso, so you should be able to find one that suits your home décor.
One of the best features of this dog crate is that it doesn’t actually look like a dog crate.
It looks like an end table, and will blend in nicely with your furniture. Most people probably don’t mind too much about having a dog crate sat in their home, but if you’re conscious about a dog crate sticking out like a sore thumb, then this would be a good choice.
Each side has slats, allowing your dog to see everything that’s going on outside the crate.
The sides are only partially exposed, so there’s still plenty of chance for your dog to get a bit of privacy if they want it. The base of the crate is made from waterproof covered MDF, so even though it’s made of wood, there’s no chance of any suspicious liquids being absorbed.
This also makes it really easy to clean, but not as easy as the New World crate, simply because the base isn’t removable.
The crate comes in two sizes, medium and large, with the biggest being suitable for dogs up to 80lbs.
My dog was reasonably happy in the large crate, but it will be a bit cramped for larger dogs. If you have a big dog, I’d consider going for a crate that has more size options.
The crate has a swing door that opens both in and out, which makes it a good choice if you’re conscious of how much space it’ll take up.
3. EliteField Folding Soft Dog Crate
Although the New World crate is my favorite from this list, this one is a close second, simply for its convenience as a travel case.
The frame is made from steel tubing, and has a mesh and fabric cover stretched over it.
This makes it both sturdy and flexible, and is really easy to fold up. This also makes it really lightweight, and so is great for traveling.
What I like the most about this crate is that although it’s designed for traveling, it’s fine for setting up in your house too.
That said, if you want a more permanent crate that your dog won’t be able to chew through, choose a metal model. The fabric is quite durable, but probably won’t stand up to a determined pooch hell-bent on escape.
This crate comes in several sizes, ranging from 14 inches high to 32 inches, and so you should be able to find one suitable for most dog breeds.
It also comes in a wide range of colors, and I even managed to find one that matched my car! Each crate has carrying handles (good luck with a big dog), and comes with a free fleece bed and carrying bag.
My favorite feature of this crate is how easy it is to transport. Because it’s specifically designed for travel, it’s really light and folds away to almost nothing.
However, I feel this crate is also let down by these features because it’s nowhere near as sturdy as a metal crate.
If you’re looking for something to take traveling, this is a great choice, but consider a more permanent option if you’re just setting it up in your home.
Out of these three, my personal favorite is the New World metal crate.
It covers all the essential needs for a dog crate, and is surprisingly lightweight and durable, and won’t be possible for your dog to chew through.
However, the other two crates do have their own merits, and shouldn’t be overlooked if you think they suit your needs better.
Whichever crate you choose, make sure it covers your essential needs from a dog crate, and most importantly, is the right size for your furry friend.