Time Saving Guide to Crates For Dogs

Crates for dogs can be confusing; like walking through a maze. There seem to be so many available that can serve different purposes and meet different needs – for both the dog and dog owner. We will give you the low-down on dog crates and dog cages so you can quickly and easily get to the fundamentals of each type.

For more information about how dog owners are using dog crates read our recent articles on Dog Crate Training and DIY Dog Crates.


Skip to How To Choose The Right Size Dog Crate Here.


So What Are The Best Crates For Dogs?

Common crates for dogs include the collapsible dog crate, dog cages, dog carriers, metal dog crates and the dog travel crate.

Each of these has been designed for a specific purpose, but they all have the one basic intention in common, and that’s to provide a ‘den’-like sanctuary for a dog.


Skip to How To Choose The Right Size Dog Crate Here.


How Will You Use the Dog Crate?

We will take you through the criteria you should think about before selecting and investing in a dog crate but first you must think about the FOUR essentials;

Q1. What will I use the dog crate for (predominantly)?

Travel? Sleeping? Transporting your dog in the car? More than one purpose? More than one dog?

Q2. Where will I use the dog crate?

Only at home? For flight travel? Camping? Transporting dog from A to B – In the car?

Q3. What is the right size for my dog ? (now vs future?)

Your dog should be able to stand, turn and move around and lie down in the crate comfortably so get the tape measure out and work this out now.

Q4. How will I crate train my dog?

Read our article on Dog Crate Training to learn why you must commit to training your dog to use the crate.



Comparison of Crates For Dogs

We have prepared the following table to help guide you towards the best crate for your dog. Once you have determined that you need a crate then run your eye down the left side of the table to the items that most affect your decision and take a look at how each of the 4 types of dog crates or dog cages performs against that criteria. Simple!



If you have a large dog the first thing you will want to know is “Is there an XL dog crate size available?” or maybe “Is there an XXL dog crate size available?” If these sizes are only available in one or two types of dog crates then you have narrowed down the field considerably! Then move onto the next important consideration, and the next, and the next. Very quickly you know what are the best crates for your dog and then you can just focus on which one within that type.


We told you it would be quick! So let’s get started.




crates for dogs  




Yes Yes Not As Good Not if dog isn’t well trained and chews or bites or toilets


Yes Yes Maybe; Check washing instructions on label No
Ease of Cleaning

1 – Excellent

2 – Good

3 – Not as Good

4 – Difficult


Hose them down however plastic will absorb odors over time so become difficult to ‘clean’.


Open air flow (won’t get stinky).

Hose them down.


Depends. Check washing instructions on label. You want something that can be washed in hot water and put in the dryer.


Difficult as generally made of timber.


1 – Excellent

2 – Good

3 – Not as Good

3 1 2 Depends on style.
Smell over time (assumes regular cleaning)
Yes; plastic will absorb odors. No; the metal won’t absorb odors. Yes; especially if dog isn’t toilet trained. Yes as timber can take on smell.
N/A Maybe; some metals will rust over time unless treated or galvanised. Maybe; check if metal reinforced. No, unless non rust-free hinges and nails used.
Ease of Moving
Light Heavy Lightest Medium. But it’s furniture so you don’t move it much anyway.
Can it be used as a Dog travel crate?


Yes Yes Yes No
Suitable Dog Crates for Car?


Yes Yes Yes No
Suitable Dog Crate for Airplane Travel?
Yes if on airline’s specific approved list. Check with airline. No Yes, many are approved for in-cabin travel.

Check with airline.

Can it be covered?


N/A Yes. Partly or Fully. N/A Sure
Fold down for storage?


No. Bulky. Folds Flat Folds Flat No.
Does it stack for storage?
Yes but need to break it down (top and bottom come apart).

Can still take up space as not collapsible.

N/A. Collapsible dog crate. N/A. Collapsible dog crate. No
General Comments
Versatile as it is easy to move around, it’s fully portable, safe to place in the car and can use in the home too.

Can be permanent in home.

Great for your dog and you if you want to take dog to vet, work, grooming, travel as dog is safely tucked away and protected.

Weather and climate need to be considered if dog is to be confined for any length of time.

Can get top-load types which make it easy to access.

Comes with a pan that’s removable to clean.

Dividers can be purchased to allow for dog to grow into the crate giving the crate a longer life.

Can have more than one door providing easier access.

Can be noisy when dog moves around.

Easy to assemble.

Make great dog cages for cars if secured within the car.

Suitable for every size dog as they do come in a variety of sizes.


Great if you will travel as easy to assemble for use and disassemble for travel.

Ideal for overnight or short road trips, camping, & hiking.

Not great dog cages for cars as there’s little impact support.

Can be permanent in home.


Generally inflexible but can look good in a room!
Positives for dog
‘Den’ like feel.

Can see out a bit through the sides (and front).

More insulation in cold weather as less openings.

Good for high activity household (kids) as it’s more enclosed and insulated than others.



Can see outside (unless crate cover used).

Lockable for safe carriage.

Can’t be damaged by chewing and scratching.

‘Den’ like feel.

Can see outside.

Zippers or fasteners for safe carriage.


‘Den’ like feel.

Can see outside.

Dog will be near his family


Negatives for dog
If dog is a chewer then may chew on the plastic.

Least visibility.

May get hot in warmer weather as plastic will heat up.


Check that metal has not been sprayed with toxic finish.

Check that there are no protruding wires.

No insulation from weather so need a crate cover.

A soft sided dog crate is not suited for a chewer or a scratcher (or dog that’s not toilet trained).

Not a lot of solid protection around the dog if that is what is needed.

Furniture dog crates are not suited for a chewer or scratcher.

Check paint is non-toxic.

As it’s furniture it won’t move from room to room as family does so dog may be separated from its family.

Can I use it for more than 1 dog at a time?
Yes. But not recommended as it is cosy. Be aware of weight of dogs. Yes. Can use partition divider too. Yes. But be aware of weight of dogs. Yes
  <$100 Yes Yes Yes No, unless DIY
  >$100 to <$500 Yes Yes Yes Yes
  >$500 No Yes No Yes
Plastic so can crack. Check if reinforced with steel then will be tougher.

Otherwise good.

Wire so it’s tough and won’t crack.

Choose only reputable brands. Check to ensure properly manufactured without any loose wire ends that dog can get caught on or cut by.

Soft sided so won’t keep dog safe it something drops onto the crate and it can be crushed. Depends on how well made it is. Ensure no rough edges and dog isn’t a chewer.
Is XL dog crate size available?
No Yes No No, unless ‘bespoke’
Is XXL dog crate size available?
No Yes No No unless ‘bespoke’
Is it a fully collapsible Dog Crate?
No Yes Yes No
Fans of these
Owners of small dogs.

Frequent travellers.

Airline travellers.

Fashionista’s & Trendo’s.

Vets – similar to dog cages that vets keep dogs in.

Show dog people.

Campers – easy to fold down and assemble when needed.


Interior Designers.

Small homes or apartments as they do double duty where there is limited space.





How To Choose The Right Size Dog Crate

Dimensions for dog crates are typically represented by length (L), height (H) & width (W).


Length: Measure the length of your dog from nose to tail then add another 4 inches for comfort.


Height: Measure your dog from the top of the head to the ground and make sure you add ears into the measurement if your dog normally has erect ears.

Extra Small Crates

Dog weight: Between 1 lb. to 10lbs.

Breed Examples: Chihuahua, Shih Tzu, Yorkie, Papillon, Havanese plus others.

Small Crates

Dog Weight: Between 11 lbs. and 25 lbs.

Breed Examples: Jack Russell Terrier, Maltese, Pug, Boston Terrier plus others

Medium Crates

Dog Weight: Between 26 lbs. and 40 lbs.

Breed Examples: French Bulldog, King Charles Cavalier Spaniel, Miniature Schnauzer, Welshie plus others.

Large Crates

Dog Weight: Between 41 lbs. and 70 lbs.

Breeds: Bulldog, Labrador, Boxer, Australian Shepherd plus others.

Extra Large Crates

Dog Weight: Between 71 lbs. and 90 lbs.

Breed Examples: Rottweiler, Dalmation, Collie, Golden Retriever plus others.

XXL Crates

Dog Weight: 90 lbs. and up

Breed Examples: Great Dane, Mastiff, St. Bernard, Irish Wolfhound plus others.


Training is Always the Answer

At DIY Dog Projects, we think that teaching your dog good behavior is the most important and most rewarding project you can do for and with your dog. We hope this article has helped you to decide which dog crate may be right for your and your dog. But that will only be the first step as you will need to train your dog to become comfortable in his sanctuary. Do not contemplate just putting your dog into the dog crate and taking off. This could do more harm than good. Click on the Doggy Dan the Online Dog Trainer link below and let him be your guide to dog crate training.

Why Keep Struggling With Your Dog's Behavior?

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Doggy Dan the Online Dog Trainer

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