Best Dog Crate Buyer's Guide
Buyer's Guide for Choosing a Dog Crate
Let’s face facts: Dog crating has long been the focus of conflict and it shows no sign of fading. Truth be told, arguing isn’t going to get the ones who’ve decided to add a four-legged member to his/her family anywhere. So, what can we do about it? Let’s define and break things into smaller pieces so you can make a solid decision about "kindness or cruelty".
What is a dog crate?
We have no intention of going by the typical “a large wooden or plastic box meant to….” definition. Instead, let’s call it your pooch’s haven that satisfies his denning instinct. And when you set-up his/her comfy spot, include a few toys, a chew, or anything he likes to keep close so he/she feels safe. Think of your dog's crate as their bedroom. It is not meant to be a place for punishment which is a common misconception.
With so many choices, deciding on the right crate for your dog isn’t as easy as ABC. And that’s why you should ask yourself these questions:
1. How big will my pup get?
As a general rule, the larger the breed, the more months they grow. Choosing a crate that your dog can grow in will save you money in the long run.
2. What’s the plan of action?
When deciding a perfect crate for your dog, it's important to find out the most common intended use so you can easily finalize the material, durability, and size of the crate.
3. Does my pet need multiple crates?
That depends on which crate you choose. Some crates can easily fit in almost every situation. Camping, flying, traveling in a vehicle, and just used at home. Make sure you pick a crate that can be versatile.
4. Where am I going to store the crate?
As you’re aware, wooden crates are designed to stay where you install it. Hence, if you don’t have a spot for the crate when not in use, pick up the ones that effortlessly break down flat.
5. Are crate and cage the same?
Well, you may call them cousins - crates are more portable than cages and the choice largely depends on the purpose and personal preference.
6. Is it okay to stack crates?
It’s totally okay to stack the crates. But when you do so, stack the largest one on the lowest level and ensure to keep the crates with active animals on the ground
7. Is my dog quiet or high energy in a crate?
If you have a high energy pet, you may opt for plastic or metal crates. However, keep in mind that not all crates marketed as escape-proof do what they claim. Research the brand that you are thinking of purchasing. Dogtownsupply.com has already hand picked several great brands for you!
8. Is it too cold/too hot?
Too much heat and humidity can cause heat stress. Although dogs have fur, that doesn't mean they are intolerable to the cold. So it is imperative to consider the temperature zone of your area. Ventilation is an important feature to keep in mind when choosing a crate.
Different Types of Dog Crates
Decision making becomes hard when you can have crates in 100 varieties. So we thought of covering the most popular ones here. A takeaway tip: Your pooch’s personality has a say in the type of crate you buy.
Wire Crates: These are the cheapest option of pet crates. They offer zero visual barriers for you and your pup, ample ventilation, easy to put up, take down, and store, and ideal for potty training. There are some downsides to these crates. It’s a not-so-pretty crate and is not airline approved. And yes, they are prone to rust over time. As a long term option, we don't recommend wire crates.
Plastic Crates: Ideal for the small to large-sized furry companions who love hermit-mode and are living in colder climates. Also a great option for the owners who are on the move and want to bring their pets along. However, they can be bulky, less durable, and absorb dog smell. They aren’t suitable for pups still in the learning phase of "how to potty properly". If you have a habitual chewer than a plastic crate is probably not the best option.
Wooden or Decorative Crates: This kind of crate is best for an easy-going, calm dog and for homeowners who want to double the crate as a décor piece. The downside is that it is neither portable nor easily cleanable. Oh yes, it’s a BIG NO for a pup that literally chews everything in sight.
Soft Fabric Crates: Small dogs that aren’t a chewer or clawer are ideal candidates for this pop-up play tent like crate. Lightweight, portability, and easy storage – these are the upsides that make it a go-to crate for camping, hiking or traveling. The major downside is that they are difficult to clean (hence no-no for pups being housebroken).
Heavy Duty Crates: Chew-proof, bend-proof crates made of steel or aluminum keeping in mind the clever Houdini dogs and other escape artists. These crates can be more expensive but are well worth the money. You won’t have the trouble of replacing it over and again. The downside of having one heavy duty crate, of course, is that it is heavy and sometimes difficult to move. There are collapsible heavy duty crates available.
Different features of dog crates
Crate alert! You choose the wrong one; the results can be nothing less than a disaster. So, here are some features you should look for when buying a crate:
1. Size: For stationary crates, no ducking or cramping – remember this while choosing the crate so your doggy can fit inside the crate comfortably. If you are flying with your dog, please contact your airline to inquire about their sizing requirements. Dogtownsupply.com has a popular line of airline approved crates. When traveling with a dog in the car, a crash tested crate is recommended. You want your dog to "appear" to be cramped. It is not safe in a crash scenario for your dog to be standing or siting.
2. Quality: If you overlook the quality, your pooch will be out of the cage the very next hour you confined him. The old saying "you get what you paid for" applies here. Be aware of your dog's personality and behavior so you choose the right crate.
3. Dividers: If you want a one-time investment for your pup, make sure to shell out few extra dollars for a crate with dividers. This will ensure that your puppy can grow with their crate.
4. Locks: Some crates come with locks on them. Some experienced "escape artists" have mastered opening crates without locks so this is a great feature. This might also prevent someone from trying to steal your dog.
5. Second doors: Single doors are common. But some crates come with doors on each side, front/ side entry doors, and front/ back entry doors. This is helpful when you have limited space for your crate. Dogtownsupply.com carries these multiple entry crates.
6. Durability: Depending on the usage and your dog’s personality choose either a plastic or metal crate. Also, consider the crating time when you choose the material of the crate.
7. Crate Finishes: It is equally important to know the create finishes – powder coating, fabric finish, electro-coating all influence the durability of the crate.
8. Portability: Check on design, leak-proof construction, proper ventilation, and if the crate is collapsible when considering how portable of a crate you need.
9. Crate Pans: Always look for an easy to clean up crate pan to avoid unnecessary hygiene issues.
Benefits of Dog Crates
In a broad sense, a crate is beneficial for both you and your pet.
• At home or on a vacation, a crate is indeed a calm retreat that offers physical, mental, and emotional security for your pooch.
• Crates will come handy during housetraining as many pups show an aversion towards the soiled bed in a new atmosphere.
• Crates will allow the pet owners to include the furry friends during family outings instead of being left behind alone.
• Crates are doubly safe for naughty and over-enthusiastic puppies that could end up hurting themselves if left unattended.
• Dog crates are important in creating a harmony in your pet’s life.
• Crates are a wise choice to prevent counter surfing or chewing things when you’re not with your dog.
• Crate training will turn the vet visits into a breeze.
• Crates offer proper confinement when you have guests over.
How to Choose a Dog Crate
So you reach this far and still have quizzical looks. No problem. We’ve rounded up few frequently asked questions below.
1. What size should I choose?
That depends! Here’s a handy tip to find the ideal size – To calculate the minimum height of the crate, measure from the floor to your pet’s shoulder and add 3 inches to it. For the minimum length – take the head to base of the tail measurement and add 3 inches. As a general rule, no ducking and no cramping!
2. I have an overly active pup. Which crate should I buy?
3. How durable are the metal crates?
All metal crates are constructed to withstand extreme conditions of all sorts. Dogs with high anxiety, high energy, and habitual chewers.
4. Which crates are suitable for large dogs?
Metal crates are appropriate for larger dogs. As always, remember no ducking, no cramping rule when you buy the crate.
5. What are the airline-approved crates?
Many international airlines allow on the crates that have enough height for free movement, and a single metal door.
We agree that sometimes it is emotionally hard to see the pets inside the crate, but there is always a right way and wrong way to do things, as they say. If you find yourself spinning your wheels trying to decide on which crate to buy, try Dogtownsupply.com – a dog store for dog lover's.
Whether you want pet crates or crate accessories for dogs, have a look at our selection of crates and sign up today for a SPECIAL 5% discount on your total order. Dial (855) 896-9453 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
love it. I opted in for the free gift too so that was a cool extra. 5 stars from me.
I purchased the bigger box and it is plenty of room for my two coonhounds. Plenty of air flow and it comes with covers for the vents for winter. Highly recommend.
Got this box as a suprise birthday present! My wife did a good job of sneaking! It is HUGE but my dogs love it! 3 holes on each side. Perfect! definitely worth the wait!
I bought the 48" box. Great customer service. Worth the wait. No issues with shipping. Very happy with this box!
I am so impressed about my dog box. I had an older set up with just a crate and a wooden drawer for storage. Decided to upgrade and it was worth every penny!
Great customer service! Quick responses to questions and got exactly what I ordered!
Great air flow from the vents. Lots of room for my boys!
I ordered an Owens Dog Box. Just received it today! Great customer service, product was exactly what I ordered.
My two girls love that time of year! Great investment.
Looks very sturdy for the price paid. Had to search a bit to get the best price but it looks like it can contain our escape artist dog.
box is a great product. loved the extra storage space. great customer service.
GSD female w apparent separation anxiety came into my life recently. Destroyed a wire crate. Rush delivery of an Impact Crate saved me from needing to do constant supervision and gave me peace of mind and time to do life’s little things like grocery shop without worrying what was happening at home. Yay! Thanks for the beautiful crate that my daughter says looks like a vault. It works!
Amazing quality and service.
Love this crate - so easy to assemble and disassemble! Dogs absolutely love it. Great to double as a box/place for the dog to decompress as well as their den. LOVE!!
Just needed a simple dog box for my truck, this one is impressive. recommend for just one dog.
Quick response and delivery.
I have been looking at these variocages for a while and when I saw the bundle I knew it was a sign! The quality of this cage and pads is incredible! If you're going to buy do it with the bundle deal!!!
I was traveling 55 on a highway and around a blind corner, traffic was stopped. I didn’t even have time to hit the breaks and rear ended the vehicle in front of me, which crushed the whole front of my Honda Pilot, and pushed the vehicle in front of me so hard that it hit the van in front of it and was crushed front and rear. The Variocage was fully extended (about 41”), and upon impact, it telescoped in to a length of about 31”. The force of the back of the cage against the back seat smooshed the seams on the back of the cage flat. The forced compression of telescoping in also misaligned the metal where it slides together on top. Otherwise, everything remained intact. There was one dog (German Shepherd) on one side of the cage and the other side was empty. The dog was not harmed
This dog box quality is awesome. They are so nice and very pleasing to the eye.
Safe, Confident Travel for my Precious Dog
I compared this box to the regular box that is exactly like this and the only difference was the length. Since my beagles are pretty small I didn't need the extra length on the box so I opted for the shallow box. Saved a few dollars and got the exact same box just in a little shorter length!
This product is great! Bought for my boxer, Lucy, she can be a bit of a cage destroyer sometimes. Havn't had any problems with this one. Would recommend this product. Great price too.
Our dog got out of her regular pet store crate & ended up at the pound. This new crate is completely secure - taking away our family's worries about losing her again. Great latch & solid construction.
The color of these is very pretty and the details are great. The dog seems to love it so far!
Great product. I just received my box a couple days ago and I am impressed. Very heavy duty and the side vents are HUGE which was perfect for my dog! Highly recommend.
I had very scary thing happen last winter. A very large maple tree fell by its roots onto our van. The van was nearly cut in half. I knew our Variocage was a goner. Well I could not be more wrong! The roof of our van collapsed on top of the Variocage and the cage never buckled you could tell the sides of the cage took the hit and dispersed the energy throughout it. We travel with our dogs alot for competitions and I feel so much better knowing my dogs are safe!
I appreciate the customer service with this website. It was very easy to contact them by email or by phone anytime I had a question. They were always very friendly. Thank you!
I was skeptical of the Variocage and was shocked by how much it cost. Was it worth it? On the way home from an agility training session we got into an accident. We were T boned going 70 mph. The car was toddled and my dogs were bruised and sore. But the Variocage was intact. I honestly believe the Variocage saved my dog's life during the rollover!
Very well put together. I am thrilled!
Was very blown away by the way this box is made. Very sturdy with great features. Great investment to make if you have the money.
This crate has been a godsend. I wanted a secure crate that wasn’t escapable but I didn’t want a high price tag either. This crate has fulfilled all of those expectations and more. We can leave our 55lb bully mix foster dog (who has separation anxiety) in this crate and not worry that she will injure herself on the crate itself. We also love being able to pack this crate up and have taken it on a 3 week long road trip with the dogs. Excellent to bring along in case a crate is needed in a hotel or at a campsite. The crate is outstanding and I highly recommend it.
Fits just as expected and the dogs are happy
This crate is great for moving aroud. It's very light and easy to move. Most crates I have struggled to move around but this one I have never had a problem with!
You wouldn't put your child in the vehicle without a car seat so your dog should not be either. Dogs are lost, injured or even killed every day due to not being in a proper crate in the vehicle. This is the best purchase I have ever made for my pet!
I am so impressed with these pads!! I didn't think I needed them for my variocage but thought why not? It was worth every penny!