Crate training your young pup or new dog can make home life easier – for you and your pet. Not only do dog crates provide a safe and secure way to transport your pooch but they can also offer them their own space at home, for when they want to get away from it all. Creating an environment that is almost ‘den-like’ for your dog, a crate can become their bolt-hole where they can sleep and relax, while still being able to see and be part of their human ‘pack’. And a crate-comfortable dog will also be easier to transport, when you go to the vets, on holiday or a road trip away from home.
But not all dog crates are made equal, meaning there are different styles, designs and sizes for you to choose from. To help you pick the right crate ‘home from home’ for your dog, we check out some of the best dog crates you can currently buy.
The Best Dog Crate
As far as straight-up wire crates go, this folding crate kennel from AmazonBasics is one of the best and easily scoops our review’s top pick. It’s well-priced for starters and can be used by both puppies and adult dogs. Made from sturdy metal with clear view side and top panels, that let in plenty of fresh air, you also get a large front door secured with slide-bolt latches to help with training as well as giving easy access for your dog. With a choice of sizes you can opt for a larger crate than your pup, and then make the most of the handy internal divider panel to expand the available floor space as your puppy grows. Add in a removable plastic pan bottom and foldable sides for storage or easy transport and you have a durable crate that will give you and your dog many years of use.
Foldable metal wire dog crate
Available in six length sizes
Single door secured with slide bolt latch
Inner divider to create a smaller space
- Weight34.7 pounds
The Port-A-Crate is an ideal dog house for the traveling family as it’s lightweight and portable and can go wherever you do! Made from a tight-weave fabric over a strong steel frame, the result is an easy to use home-from-home for your pooch. Whether it’s a visit to the vets, a family vacation, camping trip or even just to create a calm space for your pet, it is a versatile pet crate too. And what we really like about the Port-A-Crate is that it folds down or pops up in seconds without any tools. You get sturdy fabric walls and floor, with mesh windows front and side, plus a front and top door for easy access. It’s all brought together with tough zippers for when you need to secure your dog, or when they fancy a little more privacy. You will need to pop in cushion pad for extra comfort, but as one of the best dog travel crates, it is easy to keep clean and packs away like a tent. Available in four sizes, this is one of the best soft dog crates in our review.
Portable and collapsible soft-sided crates
Made from tight-weave, lightweight fabric
Sturdy steel frame that folds to pack easily away
Front and side mesh windows and industrial-strength zippers
- Weight 8 pounds
A smart looking pet carrier for small to medium sized dogs, the Pet Porter could also double up as a crate space in your home for when your pup wants a little ‘alone time’. Available in eight colorways, this plastic medium dog crate is made from durable, heavy-duty material that has nicely rounded corners to minimize any sharp edges. The plastic crate itself has plenty of side vents to let in fresh air and is lightweight enough to use as a travel crate. The front grate opening of this portable dog crate is made from steel wire that secures shut and the whole carrier is easy to assemble, using the supplied metal bolts. While it doesn’t come with a cushion pad, the inside can be easily wiped down and is snug enough to create a safe, happy haven.
Heavy duty pet carrier and dog crate
Made from durable yet lightweight plastic
Side vents for airflow and secure wire front door
Meets most airline specifications
- Weight15.4 pounds
With its traditional design, this wire carrier from MidWest is a solid, hardworking crate that’s ideal for a host of situations and uses. Made from heavy gauge steel with a tight mesh design that adds to its durability, this is a good crate to have in the home. And, thanks to its foldable design, it’s also a good cage to take on your travels if you need something larger than other small dog crates. Your get a choice of two door openings with slide-bolt latches – a wider side door to create an open space for your pooch to come and go, and an end door for greater security. And as it comes with a divider panel, this metal crate is also a good choice for puppies as it will grow with them as they become adult dogs. The bottom plastic tray is also removable, meaning it’s easy to clean. This large dog crate is on the heavier side, but there are roller feet to protect your floors.
Heavy gauge steel wire dog crate
Double door for versatile access
Foldable design for portability and storage
Removable plastic tray and optional divider
- Brand Midwest Home for Pets
- Weight33 pounds
If you don’t like the idea of a wire or plastic crate sitting in your living room and would prefer something a little more ‘undercover’, then check out this wooden pet crate than doubles up as a piece of end furniture. Available in a choice of five colors, including white, the outer frame is made from solid wood that wouldn’t look out of place in most homes. Inside you get space for your dog that works as a conventional crate, with plenty of room for them to settle back and chill out. The half-height wooden slatted sides give a good view out and the door can be locked for extra security. The wood is also chew resistant, making this a cozy space for puppies too, when they want to snuggle away and relax, secure in the knowledge they are still at the heart of their human family. As a stylish end table, this is our best dog crate for fitting in with your decor!
Quality pet crate designed as an end table
Made from chew-proof solid wood
Side slat construction for easy viewing and ventilation
Front lockable door for security
- BrandCasual Home
- Weight30.8 pounds
Our Premium Pick is this large-scale metal crate for dogs, that comes complete with removable caster wheels. Made from 20-gauge steel, reinforced by 0.5-inch tubes for extra strength and durability, the ProSelect Empire Dog Cage is chew resistant and can withstand hardcore use. You do pay extra for the premium build, but as one of the best metal cages for dogs that can be used by all pooches, from puppies to full-sized large canines, this is a quality crate that’s up to the job. It may not look the prettiest in your home, but it can create a welcoming space for your pet and doubles up as a way of transporting them if you need to, thanks to the rolling wheels. Plus, you get a removable tray under the floor grate for easy cleaning. However, you will need to add a large cushion pad or blankets to give your crated pet some extra home comfort.
Strong steel dog cage with reinforced tubes
Available in medium and large sizes
Removable casters for easy rolling
Easy clean floor grate and tray
- ModelZW179 37
- Weight76 pounds
Our Best Price pick is this nice-looking folding soft dog crate from EliteField. Made from durable 600 denier fabric stretched over a steel tube frame, the quality for the price is impressive and the overall design is stylish and sturdy. Ideal for trips to the vet or car journeys where space is a premium, this soft crate for dogs and puppies can also double up as an indoor kennel for when your pooch wants some quiet time on their own. You get side mesh panels for ventilation that also zip open for easy access, a top ‘sunroof’ panel and a comfort carry handle. Add in a removable fleece bed and you have versatile home from home for small to medium pets. It is a soft crate so perhaps not tough enough for the more energetic chewer or boisterous dog over the long term but for general use this is definitely a best dog crate good buy.
Durable soft crate for indoor and outdoor use
600D fabric with a steel tube frame
Carry bag and fleece bed included
Available in five sizes and 10 colorways
- Weight6.2 pounds
This is a solid metal dog crate that does what it says on the tin and is a good all-round pet cage for larger dog breeds. The metal frame is impressively durable, and the front and double side doors are secured by tough slide-bolt latches to keep your pooch safely inside. Suitable for dogs between 90 and 110 pounds, it is a heavy-duty dog crate with a narrow gap design that can withstand some hardcore chewing and scratching. You also get a durable and leak-proof plastic bottom pan that is easily removed when it needs to be cleaned. And the whole cage folds flat for quick and convenient storage. It is a large crate so will take up a bit of room in your home but as a relaxing space for large dogs, it works really well and doubles up nicely as one of the best crate style dog kennels.
Folding wire crate for extra-large dog breeds
Double doors with slide-bolt latches
Leak-proof and removable plastic pan
For dogs up to 110 pounds
- BrandNew World Crates
- Weight41.4 pounds
Made from corrosion-resistant steel, this is a serious-looking dog crate designed to keep most medium to large sized dogs safe and secure. The metal frame certainly means business and can withstand chewing and other canine abuse but is also coated in a non-toxic durable finish to keep your pet safe. The front door opening comes complete with two locks, plus safety buckles to prevent your clever pooch opening the door when you need them to stay inside. This easy to assemble large dog crate also comes with 360-degree rotating caster wheels that are also lockable for reliable transportation. You will need to add your own comfort measure such as cushion pads or blankets but the whole crate is easy to clean, thanks to the removable bottom plastic tray. A practical, durable and strong option for larger or escape-happy dogs.
Heavy duty corrosive-resistant steel frame
Coated with a non-toxic durable finish
Secure door bolts with safety buckles
Removal plastic tray and 360-degree caster wheels
- Weight73.1 pounds
Our final dog crate is one of the most versatile soft-sided dog crates that’s great for outdoor lovers and also a cozy home for puppies as they start to venture further afield with their human. The heavy duty, tight weave mesh fabric is stretched over a collapsible frame to pop up into a crate in seconds and has easy view side mesh panels for plenty of ventilation. The door zipper is well made and there’s a roll down flap for extra privacy. The whole fabric crate is washable and comes complete with a waterproof base to keep your crated pup fresh and dry. As well as for travel, , the Sof-Krate will also make a good summer kennel for when you all spend more time outside or as one of the best puppy crates for crate training your pup.
Soft-side crates that collapse for easy storage
Durable and easy to clean mesh fabric
Side windows and waterproof base
Best for puppies and dogs up to 70 pounds
- Brand Noz2Noz
- Weight8.76 pounds
Best Dog Crate Buying Guide & FAQ
Features to Consider When Buying a Dog Crate
When choosing a new dog crate for your pooch, these are the main features to consider:
Size: The first consideration is its size and maximum comfort for your pet. As a basic guide, your dog needs to be able to comfortably lie down, stand up and turn around with some space to spare. And if you are buying a crate for a new pup, then don’t forget she will eventually grow so it may be you wait until your pet is older before buying a full-on crate or buy a crate that has an internal divider to adapt the space.
Material: Metal crates are popular as they can withstand abuse from a more boisterous pet and allow for plenty of fresh air. However, they tend to be heavier, larger and less private so if you are looking for a more lightweight or smaller crate, plastic or plastic/metal hybrids are the best choice.
Durability: Especially if you have a large, strong dog, a chewer or a young pup, you want a crate that's tough enough to cope with some canine abuse. Metal crates are often a good place to start, rather than lightweight plastic or cloth crates, if your dog or pup will be regularly spending time inside.
Portability: If you're looking for the best pet crate to take your dog out of the house then consider how portable it is and if you are able to maneuver the crate on your own. Some cloth crates are designed for transport or travel and can collapse or reduce in size, so your pet still has his private area without taking up excessive space in your car or truck. Collapsible crates are also good for storage when not in use.
Easy to keep clean: The best dog crates are easy to maintain so opt for solid floor or a cushion which can they be removed to be cleaned if you can. Metal crates are easiest to clean as they are more open and can be easily wiped or taken outside to be hosed down.
Types of Pet Crates
Designed to create a ‘den’ to give your dog a secure space of their own, crates work as an ‘indoor dog kennel’ where your pet can safely spend some time, either in the home or when traveling. The main types include:
Metal wire dog crates: These are heavy duty cage-style crates with a wire mesh design that offer your pooch plenty of fresh air, great visibility and space to move around. But they can be heavy and are not the most aesthetic-looking if you are looking to use it in your home.
Plastic dog crates: Nice and lightweight, plastic crates are best for medium to smaller dogs and when you are planning to travel with your pet. However, they are more enclosed and are not as durable as metal crates.
Soft fabric crates: Made from softer, flexible fabric, with mesh panels for viewing and ventilation, fabric crates are lightweight, easy to carry and collapsible, making them a great option for traveling or trips to the vet. However, they are not the best for everyday use as they are more vulnerable to teeth and claws.
Wooden ‘furniture’ style: These dog crates are designed to look like a living room end table while providing your pet with its own safe space inside while still being part of the family.
Benefits of Using Dog Cages
Whether it's for use at home, for short journeys or longer haul travel, there are many benefits to using a dog cage:
- Create a safe space: Dog crates offers your pooch their own space where they can retreat to, rest or sleep, while still being able to see what’s going on around them.
- Training: As part of your new puppy’s socialization and toilet training, a cage can be an excellent way to reassure and prevent separation anxiety.
- A secure location: When you need to confine your dog in a car, at home when workmen are in or when waiting at the vet’s, a pet crate enables you to keep your dog secure without creating additional anxiety.
- Help with recovery: After a medical procedure, it may be necessary to keep your dog confined, with limited mobility to aid their recovery without causing them additional stress.
- Transportation: A portable crate will make traveling with your doggo less stressful as you know they are safe and secure.
How to Get a Puppy Used to a Dog Crate
Patience is key when training a young pup to get used to the idea of spending time inside a dog crate.
- The first step is to introduce your puppy to their new crate by placing it in a familiar place in your home and popping their favorite blanket or toy as well as perhaps a few treats inside. Gently encourage your pup to go inside and explore, on their terms. Praise them when they have had enough and let them step out. Encourage them over several days to repeat the experience so they learn to associate the crate as a positive, comfortable place.
- Once they're happy to come and go, now’s the time to extend the time they stay inside the crate, again with the door wide open. Try feeding their main meal in the cage or spend time sitting next to it, playing with them while they are inside.
- The next step is to shut the door while they are inside – gently close the door and sit next to the crate, reassuring and praising them. Once they can do this for 10 or so minutes, leave the room with them still inside the crate for 5-10 minutes until they can do this calmly. Reward them for their good behavior.
- You are now ready to leave them in the crate for longer, slowly building up the time they stay inside until they can stay inside their special crate space overnight. You should now have a crate-trained pup that is happy and anxiety free. Success.
Best Dog Crate FAQ:
Q: How do I determine the size of a dog crate?
A: To get the right size of crate for your dog, you need to measure his dimensions then choose a crate that gives an extra 1-2 inches clear of his height and an extra 4-6 inches to the internal length. This means your pet should be able to comfortably stand up, lie down and turn around. But it's not just the internal dimensions you need to know, you also need to be sure the crate, when assembled will fit into the space you will be placing it, whether that’s your car or home.
Q: Where is the best place to put a dog cage?
A: Especially if it's a crate where your dog will be regularly spending time, it is essential you don’t isolate them away from the rest of his human family as they are social creatures and could well develop separation anxiety. Ideally, your dog needs to be able to see you or watch what’s going on around him, especially if you have a busy household. The kitchen or living room are both great locations for a dog crate and where your furry friend will feel he is still part of the pack.
Q: How long is too long to leave a dog in a crate?
A: Left too long inside a crate, especially if the door is locked shut, is not going to do your dog’s wellbeing any good and so five to six hours is the maximum you should allow, ensuring that your pooch has access to food and water, and has the opportunity to go to the toilet. If you are putting your dog into a crate for a period of time, always make sure they are exercised beforehand. However, some dogs will view their crate as their special space and may well want to pop in and out of it during the day. If this is the case, just leave the crate door open so he can come and go as he pleases.
Q: How do I keep my dog calm in the crate?
A: Whether you're in the process of crate training your pet or only use the dog cage once in a while, you need to make sure your pooch doesn’t associate the crate as anything other than a safe place. There are a few things you can do to keep him a calm and happy crate dog:
- Create positive associations with the crate by feeding your pup his favorite treat as you ask them to go inside.
- Keep the crate accessible at home and leave the door open so if he wants to venture inside for a snooze, he can do it on his own terms.
- Make the crate a homely space! Add a super-comfortable bed pad or his familiar blanket, pop in a few chew toys and even one of your own jumpers if he is particularly anxious.
- Reward his good behavior when he goes inside the cage, but don’t bring attention to anything negative and never shout at him or force him to go inside as this will only reinforce any growing anxiety towards spending time in his dog crate.
Our Top Pick
Our best choice comes from AmazonBasics, with their Folding Metal Dog Crate Kennel that's both durable and portable. The folding wire panel design means it can be transported or stored flat and an inner divider can create a smaller space for young pups, allowing them to grow into the full-sized crate. The single front door has a secure lock and the bottom plastic pan is removable too, for easy cleaning, making this an excellent everyday pet crate.