Dog crate buying guide: how to choose the best one

Dog crate

Whether you’re just buying something in which to transport your dog or in which your dog can sleep, you must choose the right size.

Rather than relying on simply looking at it when choosing the best crates for your dog, take a few preparatory steps before shopping. You want to choose the crate that fits the size of your dog.

A crate that’s too small is likely to make your dog feel uncomfortable. Crates that are too large tend to make dogs feel unsafe.

So it’s a good idea to take a tape measure and measure your dog while it is standing up. Measure your dog from its nose to the base of its tail. That will give you a length. To measure a dog’s height, have your pet sit down then take measurements. Some dogs become taller when they sit. Armed with these length and height measurements add another 2 to 4 inches to reach the best crate height and length.

When you have a puppy, you don’t want to be constantly buying ever-larger crates so buy a crate that fits an adult-size dog of that breed. You can put a box inside the crate to reduce its size.

It is a wise owner who buys a size of crate that is larger for a smaller dog. The smallest dog crates are around 24 inches long. Slightly larger crates measure up to 30 inches in length. Each manufacturer differs in the lengths and size categories of their crates, so always add or subtract a couple of inches to find the right crate for your dog.

These sizes of crates are suited to smaller breeds of dogs. They tend to be the ones that weigh 35 to 40 pounds or less. This group includes Jack Russell terriers, Maltese, miniature poodles, and French bulldogs. Smaller crates also are good choices for puppies, if the plan is to only use the crate when the dog is very young.

A good rule of thumb if you feel unsure about the size to get, is that it is safer to go up a size than the other way around. A crate mat or other small dog furniture can always be added to take up some space.

Medium-size crates measure about 36 inches long and can house dogs who weigh between 40 and 70-pounds.  The Bulldog, Cocker Spaniel, and American Eskimo dog fit well in these sizes of crates.

The large crates are around 42 inches long and can cater for dogs weighing between  70 and 90 pounds. This size would be comfortable for an adult Dalmatian, a Border Collie, a Labrador retriever, or a Golden retriever.

It’s advisable to use a metal crate for a Big Breed dog. While plastic or soft-sided crates are options for smaller dogs, dogs that weigh 90 pounds or more really should have metal crates. This is because non-metal crates can get damaged if big dogs get excited and decide to test their strength.

The largest crates are around 48 inches in length and can house dogs weighing between 90 and 110 pounds. These include the Alaskan malamutes, the German shepherds, and bloodhounds. Even bigger ar the  Jumbo crates, which are around 54 inches long and better suit dogs that weigh more than 110 pounds, like Great Danes, mastiffs, and Saint Bernards.

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