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[Updated September 2019]
Not all dog crates are created equal! They come in many shapes and sizes and serve many purposes. There are crates that are specially designed for growing puppies, small dogs, and large dogs, as well as soft-sided crates, fashion crates, and heavy-duty crates designed for air travel. We’ll look at the top-rated dog crate in each of these categories.
Depending on your dog’s needs and your purpose of using a dog crate, I am certain that you will find the best crate for your dog. I have done all the hard work for you and reviewed 6 of the best.
But first, you need to know the benefits of using a crate for your dog, and how to choose the right crate for your dog.
Why Having A Crate Is Beneficial
When used properly a dog crate can be very beneficial for your dog. Dogs are den animals and enjoy the safety and security that a crate offers.
A crate should be introduced to your puppy or dog in a positive way, and should never be used as punishment for your dog. If used as punishment, your dog will associate the crate with negative experiences.
A crate can be used to house train your new puppy, or rescue dog. Dogs and puppies do not like to pee or poop where they sleep, and by having your puppy in a crate that is sized appropriately, your puppy will be encouraged to control elimination. A crate will help to establish a regular routine for outdoor elimination.
Your puppy should be able to stand up, lie down, and turn around comfortably in a crate. Having any more room than that will be a risk for your puppy to use the crate as a washroom.
Prevent Accidents At Night
Using a crate for your puppy will help to prevent accidents from happening while you are sleeping. You will need to listen for any whining or barking from your puppy, as this will be a signal that your puppy needs to go outside for elimination.
You may wish to place the crate beside your bed so that you can hear when your puppy needs to go out.
Prevent Accidents and Destruction When Left Alone
By having your puppy in a crate when you have to leave the house, you can enjoy peace of mind, knowing that your puppy is safe and comfortable, and your home is not being soiled or your furniture is not being chewed on.
A dog or puppy should never be left in a crate for long periods of time. The maximum amount of time spent in a crate should be 5 hours. If your dog is left in a crate too long, your dog will become anxious and possibly injure themselves by panicking and trying to get out.
Secure Space For Your Dog
A crate offers your dog a secure and private space of their own. Your dog will be able to go to their den to sleep, relax and feel comfortable.
If you have a family with young children, a crate can be a spot where your dog will feel safe and secure and enjoy the quiet. Remember to teach young children that a crate is a special area that is only meant for your dog.
If you travel with your dog or puppy, a crate will be a safe option for you. A crate will keep your puppy safe while travelling in a vehicle, and prevent your dog or puppy from roaming around while you are driving.
For small dogs and puppies, a travel crate can be used to transport them to vet appointments or any other outings.
Some dogs do not like to travel in vehicles, and a crate can offer them a sense of safety and security, to help them feel more relaxed and calm.
How To Choose A Dog Crate
With so many crates to choose from, many people are left confused and don’t know how to pick the right crate for their dog.
The first thing you need to determine is what the crate will be used for. Will you be training a puppy, will you use the crate when your puppy gets older and bigger, or are you using the crate for travel purposes?
Second, you need to determine the size of the crate that you will need. The crate should be large enough so that your dog can stand up, lie down, and turn around comfortably. It should not provide too much space so that your dog will use it as a washroom.
Remember, dogs and puppies do not like to eliminate where they sleep.
Third, you need to decide on what type of crate to get. Crates come in different styles, there are plastic crates, wire crates, soft-sided crates, heavy-duty crates, and fashion crates, which are usually made out of wood.
The last thing you need to decide is your budget. Dog crates vary in price, depending on the size and material used.
Top Rated Dog Crate For Growing Puppies
Wire crates are the ideal choice for puppies, they are easy to clean, well-ventilated and offer divider panels so your puppy can grow into the space.
Many of these crates are collapsible and come with a carrying handle which allows for easy transport.
Wire crates are not ideal for destructive dogs that are able to chew or bend the wires, and they are not ideal for escape artists.
Midwest iCrate Folding Metal Dog Crate
- Fold & Carry Design, folds flat and has handles for easy transport.
- Includes Divider Panel.
- It comes with a plastic leak-proof pan.
- Rubber roller feet to protect floors.
- Available in double or single door design.
- 7 sizes available, ranging from x-small to xx-large.
- Rounded corners and safe and secure slide-bolt latch.
- 1-Year Warranty.
- The latch is not secure.
- Plastic tray does not stand up to power chewers.
- Wires are easily bent by destructive dogs.
The Midwest Dog Crate is very easy to put together, no tools needed. It is a coated wire frame crate with a plastic tray, making it easy to clean and disinfect.
The divider panel allows for easy transitioning from puppy to adult-sized dog, this saves you from having to buy a bigger crate when your puppy grows. Choose the size of the crate that your dog will need when it reaches its fully grown adult size.
Some users of this crate mention that the latch is not secure, it is a straight slide bar latch that can easily become undone by a determined pup. A good solution to that problem is to reinforce the latch with a lock or a carabiner clip.
Other negatives of this crate are the same for any wire crate, they do not stand up to destructive dogs. If you have a destructive dog or an escape artist, then a heavy-duty crate is recommended. Read below for the best heavy-duty crate.
Top Rated Dog Crate For Small Dogs
The Carlson Pet Products Crate is an ideal crate for small breeds, it is specially designed for dogs & puppies under 25 pounds. The single-door design with a slide-bolt lock keeps your small dog safe and secure. This crate has a small price tag and is super lightweight and portable, making it ideal for travel.
Carlson Pet Products Single Door Metal Dog Crate
- Single-door design.
- All steel construction, secure & durable.
- Easy set-up, no tools required.
- Folds flat for easy travel & storage.
- Includes removable & washable tray.
- 5 sizes available.
- Slide-bolt lock for security.
- Lightweight, easy to carry.
- 90-Day Warranty.
- No handle for carrying.
- No divider panel.
Users of this crate love how easy it is to set-up and that it is lightweight, and folds flat for easy storage and travel.
This crate is well-made and sturdy, some users have mentioned that this crate does not rattle or make any noise when their dog moves around in it because the wires are coated.
This crate is ideal for small dogs, it is however also available in 5 sizes. The negatives of this crate are that it has no carrying handle or divider panel, these negatives are more of an issue if you plan on getting this crate in a larger size.
For travel purposes, the small crate is lightweight and easy to carry even without a handle.
Top Rated Dog Crate For Large Dogs
Large dogs require a large crate, and the larger the crate the bigger the price tag. If you are looking for a well-designed and quality built crate that costs a fraction of the price that other large crates cost, then the Amazon Basics Dog Crate is for you.
Owners of this crate love how sturdy and well-made this crate is, and appreciate the affordable price.
Amazon Basics Single & Double-Door Folding Metal Dog Crate
- Available in single & double-door design.
- 2 slide-bolt latches on each door to provide increased safety & security.
- Sturdy metal construction.
- Folds flat for easy storage & travel.
- Easy set-up, no tools required.
- Divider panel included, it is optional.
- The plastic tray is included.
- Rounded corners for safety.
- Available in 6 sizes.
- 1-Year Warranty.
- It does not have roller feet to protect your floors.
- Latches slide too easy, not ideal for escape artists.
- Wires bend, not ideal for destructive dogs.
The Amazon Basics Dog Crate is a great choice if you are looking for a functional and quality built dog crate. The name may say “Basic” but it is anything but, this crate is just as great as the more expensive wire crates on the market but at an affordable price.
Users of this crate love the sturdy design, and the double-door style is great for being able to clean the crate and change out the bedding. This crate is easily collapsible, making it great for travel.
As with any wire crates, they are not the ideal choice for destructive dogs or escape artists.
Top Rated Soft-Sided Dog Crate
Soft-sided crates are ideal for travelling, they can easily fold up for storage and transport. A soft-sided crate is a great choice for a dog that remains calm in a crate and doesn’t chew or is destructive.
EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate
- Fully assembled.
- Sets-up & folds down in seconds, no tools required.
- Strong steel tube frame.
- The cover is made of high quality durable 600D fabric, & hex mesh.
- Well ventilated.
- Stylish, lightweight & durable.
- 3 Mesh doors, top, front & side.
- 2 Accessory pockets, top & side.
- Removable & washable cover & bed.
- Free carrying bag & fleece bed included.
- Handle & hand carrying straps, & adjustable padded shoulder strap, allow for various carrying options.
- 3-inch height when folded allows for easy transport & storage.
- Available in 5 Sizes.
- Available in 13 Colors.
- 2-Year Warranty.
- 100% Money-Back Guarantee.
- Customer Satisfaction Guarantee.
- Not ideal for a puppy or dog that chews, as it is soft-sided.
- The mesh sides are easily ripped if your dog chews or scratches at them.
- Some reviewers have mentioned that the fleece bed is not the most comfortable.
The EliteField Crate makes the list for best soft-sided crate because it comes fully assembled, it offers many carrying options and offers generous space for your dog. Your dog will be able to stand up comfortably without hitting the ceiling.
There is plenty of ventilation offered to your dog with 3 mesh doors, your dog will be able to breathe fresh air, get enough sunlight, enjoy the view, and not feel trapped in a closed area.
Some reviewers have mentioned that this crate is easily ripped, that is the case with soft-sided crates. If you have a puppy or an aggressive chewer, a soft-sided crate is not the best option. Instead, look for a wire crate or hard plastic crate.
Another reviewer mentioned that the fleece bed is not the most comfortable, it is included with the crate, which is a great bonus. To make the bed more comfortable you could replace the bedding with a thicker more comfortable one of your choice.
Top Rated Fashion Dog Crate
A crate that is both functional and stylish. A fashion crate is best suited for calm or older dogs that are past the puppy stage and are not destructible. Fashion crates are ideal for you if you want a crate that is not an eye-sore and is a piece of furniture in your home.
ecoFLEX Pet Crate
- Made of ecoFLEX, a non-toxic recycled plastic-wood polymer that will not warp, crack, or split.
- Doubles as an end table.
- Easy to clean, simply wipe with a damp cloth.
- Stainless steel latch secures the door.
- Multiple vents for 360-degree view and ventilation.
- Quick & easy assembly, no tools required.
- Stainless steel spindles.
- 1-Year Warranty.
- Available in 4 sizes.
- Not meant for destructive dogs.
- The stainless steel spindles are not solid, they are hollow.
The ecoFLEX Pet Crate is a great choice for you if you are looking for a crate that is both functional and stylish.
This crate would be best suited for dogs who are past the puppy stage, are not destructive and are able to remain calm in a crate.
The negative reviews of this crate mention that the stainless steel spindles are easily chewed on and able to be bent. Again, this type of crate is not ideal for dogs who are not crate trained.
Top Rated Heavy-Duty Dog Crate
Heavy-duty dog crates are best for dogs who are destructive and who are clever at escaping. If you have gone through a few wire crates because your dog has managed to destroy and bend the wires, or if you have come home to find your dog has somehow managed to escape out of his crate, then a heavy-duty crate is just what you need.
These types of crates are expensive, but they are built to last. Some are even approved for airline travel.
ProSelect Empire Dog Cage
- Made with thick steel tube construction.
- 20-Gauge Steel Cage, extremely strong.
- Strong welds at stress points.
- Strong dual latches on the door.
- Single door entry.
- Grated floor with removable steel tray, makes for easy clean-up.
- It has 4 wheels (4-inches tall) that allow the crate to be easily moved to other locations.
- 2 of the wheels are locking wheels to keep the crate in place.
- Wheels can be removed for more stability.
- One of the world’s strongest & most escape-proof crates.
- Available in 2 sizes, Medium & Large.
- Hammertone finish stands up to plenty of abuse.
- Heavy, that is why wheels are used to move the crate.
- Expensive, well worth the price if your dog has destroyed other crates.
- Some users have mentioned the latches slide easily, and their dog was able to escape.
- Some users mentioned design flaws with the welding, wheels fell off.
- It does require assembly.
The ProSelect Empire Dog Cage makes the list for the best heavy-duty crate because it is able to stand up to any abuse given, and users of this crate love how their dog is unable to escape from it.
This crate does require assembly, but users mention that this crate is easy to put together. The only tool needed is a hex-head screwdriver which is included.
While some users have mentioned their dog was still able to escape because the latches are easy to slide, they do recommend buying a lock to reinforce the latches.
Design flaws with the welding seem to be an issue with this crate, but users mention that they were able to contact customer service and get a replacement crate within 24 hours. This company has excellent customer service.
Deciding on the best crate for your dog depends heavily on your dog’s behaviour. If you are looking for a crate to house train your puppy, then a wire dog crate is the ideal choice. Wire dog crates are easy to set-up and can easily be cleaned.
A wire dog crate offers your pup plenty of ventilation, and you can choose to have a single-door or double-door design. For added comfort, you may wish to purchase a crate pad that fits on the bottom. For puppies, I recommend using towels or old blankets that can easily be washed if they become soiled.
If you have a puppy that will grow into a larger adult dog, to save you some money I would recommend getting a crate that will fit your dog’s adult size, and use the divider panel.
If looks and style are a concern to you, and you have a well-behaved dog, then a fashion crate is a beautiful choice.
Destructive and escape artist dogs will be well suited with a heavy-duty crate like the ProSelect Empire Dog Cage.
Whatever crate you choose, it is important to remember to purchase the proper size. Your dog should be able to stand up, lie down and turn around comfortably.
Always introduce any dog crate slowly, never force your dog inside. Make the crate a positive experience, never use it as punishment.
Your dog should see the crate as a safe place to rest and seek solitude. When properly used your dog will voluntarily go into the crate whenever he/she wants to.
What About You?
Which top-rated dog crate will you choose for your dog? Do you have any experience with the crates mentioned above?
Share your thoughts and comments below. I would love to hear from you.