Dog Crate Buying Guide

In this dog crate buying guide, you will find out how to correctly measure your dog, which type of dog crate you should buy, and how to make the dog crate more appealing to your dog

Dog Crate Buying Guide

In this buying guide, we recommend the best type of dog crate to get, how to measure your dog to ensure you buy the correct size crate for your dog, and also give some tips on how to make the crate more appealing to your dog.

Crate training is one of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself and your dog.

A crate is a place for your dog to get away when they feel anxious or need a break, and it’s also a valuable tool for potty training when they’re puppies.

As dog lovers, we created a helpful list of doggy essentials that we recommend for your dog’s overall comfort, care and welfare.

So if you’ve just got a new dog and are unsure what you might need, check it out!

Dog crate buying guide

Things to consider when buying a dog crate

The best dog crates are a normal part of doggy furniture these days. There are, however, several different types of dog crates that are suitable depending on their use case. 

Consider the following before investing in a dog crate for your four-legged friend.

How will the dog crate be used?

Not all indoor dog crates are for the same purpose. If you want a crate to contain your dog at home when you are out, one of the metal cages would be best.

A solid plastic crate would be best if you want the cage to transport a small dog in the car and on public transport.

However, for traveling, lightweight fabric models are handy.

What size dog crate do you need?

You should consider the size of the space where you want the crate to fit, and the size of your dog.

The crate should be big enough for your dog to stand up, turn around and lie down.

Of course, dogs grow, so a cage that suits your puppy will not work for them when they are an adult.

However, crates with movable dividers are a great idea because they allow the crate to grow with your puppy effectively.

Where will the crate be located?

You need quite a large space for a dog crate in your home.

It’s best to place it in a quiet area where your dog will not be disturbed when relaxing.

If you intend to place it in a living room, getting one that looks attractive may be best.

You can get stylish models of decorative metal or wood that look like furniture and will fit in with any décor.

Do you need to move the dog crate around?

Some of the larger crates are difficult to move around due to being so heavy and cumbersome.

However, some models have wheels or castors, so you can move them from room to room without hurting yourself or your dog.

How to keep your dog safe and contained in a dog crate?

Some dogs are escape artists, and some are chewers.

If your dog is good at undoing latches, a dog crate that has a double latch may be the safest option.

A heavy-duty dog crate might be better if your dog chews a lot.

Will the dog crate damage the floor?

The last thing you want is damage to the floor surface underneath the crate.

Some crates have rounded edges, so they do not damage delicate floor surfaces.

In addition, most have a metal or plastic tray that will catch food and water spillages or minor accidents before they reach the floor.

Benefits of using a dog crate

Teaching your dog to use a crate happily is called crate training.

Dog experts now accept it as one of the quickest ways of establishing desirable behavior patterns in pups.

Of course, some new dog owners do not initially like putting their pup in a crate, but a dog crate has many benefits. Here are some of them.

A dog crate gives you peace of mind when you go out

You know that your carpets are not being soiled, and your soft furnishings are not being destroyed.

It also prevents chewing habits from developing.

Dog crates help with house-training

Confinement in a crate can help you take control and establish a routine for pooing and weeing. However, they also contain nighttime ‘accidents.’

A dog crate keeps your dog safe when things get busy

All families have mad moments, and an over-excited dog bouncing around the place is the last thing you need. Dog crates keep them safely out of the way.

Dogs can get very lonely and frustrated if they are shut in a cellar or outhouse when you need to contain them. A crate allows them to be secure yet still with the family.

A dog crate is a familiar resting place when traveling

A portable crate can act as a security blanket for dogs nervous about traveling and new places. In addition, it will help your pup to adapt to their new surroundings.

Crates that can be secured in a car present a safe way of transporting dogs.

Remember that dogs should not be left unattended in cars, especially in hot weather.

FAQs when buying a dog crate

To help you with buying a dog crate, we have some frequently asked questions.

What is a dog crate, and why do I need one?

A dog crate is sometimes called an indoor kennel or a dog cage. It is a secure area to confine a dog in a safe way for short periods. 

They usually consist of a frame, panels that provide ventilation, one or more doors, and possibly a tray at the bottom. 

There are many different sizes and designs and can be metal, wood, or plastic. The material will depend on the purpose of the crate.

Dog crates are used for transportation, short-term confinement, training aid, or open-den areas where dogs can feel secure.

What size crate does my dog need?

The general rule is that your dog must be able to stand at its full height, turn completely around and stretch out into a lying position within the crate. 

You can buy a much bigger crate, but dogs often feel more comfortable in a cozy space. 

Some crates come with charts of recommended sizes of crates for different breeds.

How do I measure my dog to get the correct size dog crate?

Start by measuring your dog from the top of the head to the floor to get their height, and then add on two inches. This is the minimum height of crate that you need. 

Then measure from the tip of their nose to the base of their tail and add on six inches, giving you the length of crate needed.

What is the best location for my dog crate?

Before you buy a dog crate, it is a good idea to think about where you will place it in your home. 

Here are some top tips when choosing where to place your dog crate:

  • A quiet area. Your dog must view the dog cage as a pleasant place to be and not be used as a punishment. A safe place for them will be quiet and away from the hustle and bustle of family life. They will be able to relax and get some sleep. It’s not good to place them by windows where passers-by may scare them.
  • A well-ventilated area. Your dog needs plenty of fresh air while relaxing, so kitchens and living rooms are a good option. A sealed cellar would not be appropriate.
  • An area with natural light. It’s not good for a dog to be away from natural light, so the crate must be near a glazed door or window.
  • Close to you. A puppy can get very anxious about being left alone in the early days. If you can place the crate in the same room as you sleep, the pup will feel that they are not separated from you. Gradually, you can move the dog cage further away.

How long can a dog be left in a dog crate?

How long you can leave your dog in a crate depends on how old and well crate trained they are.

Puppies and adult dogs can be left in a dog crate longer at night. 

While dogs sleep, they don’t need to potty so much, and an adult dog won’t need to go at all (unless they have a sickness bug). 

During the day, however, you should aim to keep your dog in a crate for no longer than 5 hours. 

It will need water if you aim to keep a dog in a crate for more than two hours.

Here’s a guide for time spent in a dog crate depending on age:

  • For dogs of eight to ten weeks: 30-60 minutes.
  • For dogs of 11-14 weeks: 1-3 hours.
  • For dogs of 15-16 weeks: around 3-4 hours.
  • For dogs 17 weeks and older: 4-5 hours.

In rare cases, an adult dog can be left in a crate for up to 8 hours, which can affect a dog’s mental and physical well-being. 

Ensure your dog receives adequate exercise before and after any prolonged period in a crate.

Tips for getting the correct size dog crate

When buying a new dog crate, a good rule of thumb is to use the average breed size measurements for your dog when fully grown.

If you plan to put a dog bed or mattress in the crate, remember to include the thickness of the mattress in your measurements. This sort of thing is easy to forget when measuring up!

We’ve got buying guides on various dog beds that fit inside most standard-sized crates, all of which will improve the comfort of your dog crate.

Suggestion: Cover your dog crate with a blanket

Covering a crate on all sides except the door gives your dog a sense of security. It’s just like being in a natural den. When properly trained, your dog will develop a fondness for its den.

Our dogs use their den lots, especially when too many kids are in the house or if they need a mid-morning nap.

Keeping the door open gives them the freedom to use it whenever needed.

Dog Crate Training

Please remember that you should treat a dog crate like a home within a home. It’s a helpful aid for separation anxiety and puppy house training.

It’s not a cage in which to confine your dog for hours at a time. Anything longer than 6-8 hours at a time is excessive.

Our Recommendation

There are many different types of crates, such as soft-sided, plastic, wire, and so on, but we recommend wire dog crates.

Wire dog crates are portable, practically indestructible (for small dogs), and cost-effective compared to their alternatives. In addition, the divider panel on a wire crate is usually detachable, so you can boost the space inside as they grow.

As dog lovers, we created a helpful list of doggy essentials that we recommend for your dog’s overall comfort, care and welfare.

So if you’ve just got a new dog and are unsure what you might need, check it out!

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About Me

Hi, I'm Chris, the author, and owner of

When my three miniature dachshunds aren't running me ragged, I'm writing articles that answer the questions I've had since becoming a dog Dad.