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From standard crates to those that double as furniture, to outdoor kennels or crates made for travel, choosing the right one is a big task for every pet parent.
Shopping for the right dog crate can be overwhelming. With a huge variety of shapes, sizes, and styles to choose from, pet parents can choose dog kennels large enough for the backyard, soft-sided crates for containment on-the-go, hard-sided airline-approved crates, and everything in between.
Here’s a closer look at the vast selection of dog cages and crates available – and how to choose the right one for your dog.
Standard crates are simply designed for kenneling your dogs at home or on-the-go. Whether you choose a decorative wooden crate that fits beautifully into your home’s decor, a simple wire crate to use during training, or a large outdoor kennel for keeping dogs safely contained in the backyard, you’ll find a huge variety of options available to perfectly meet your needs.
If you’re looking for a crate that serves a more specific purpose, consider a more specialized crate for the job.
When it comes to dog crates, you have a wide selection of choices. Folding cages, also known as wire crates, make for easy transport and storage, particularly while traveling. These wire crates may not be as sturdy as a full-size cage or hard-sided travel kennel, but due to their light weight and portability, these are a great option for taking along on trips or using temporarily at home while your dog is still learning the rules of the house.
Despite their light weight and portability, folding cages are most commonly used in the home, especially during housebreaking and as a cozy space while pet owners are away until a dog can safely be left unattended. Most feature removable trays that can be slid out for easy cleaning and many include a removable divider wall to accommodate a growing pup. Because wire crates are made in standard sizes, there are lots of great accessories, like comfy crate pads and decorative crate covers. (We especially love the fun and funky crate beds and covers from Molly Mutt!)
Hard-sided crates can include everything from outdoor dog kennels, to hard-sided travel crates or decorative wood crates designed as both a crate and a piece of functional furniture. In choosing a hard-sided crate, consider both the purpose you need it to serve and the material from which it’s made. Hard-sided crates are available in plastic, wood, steel, or fabric.
When shopping for a hard-sided crate for travel, consider how you’ll be traveling to choose the right crate for the job. When traveling by air, look for an airline-approved plastic kennel. When traveling by car, look for steel crates that have been crash-tested for safety and security on the road.
Soft-sided Travel Crate
Finally, pet parents that only occasionally need to kennel their dogs will prefer the ease and portability of a soft-sided travel crate. These crates are typically made of canvas or nylon, with zippered entries, and breathable mesh construction. Although these crates are often made to be durable, they are not intended for daily use, especially with destructive dogs and escape artists. But, they’re a perfect solution to temporarily crating your dog away from home or for use in emergency situations. Because they are designed to fold and be stowed, many pet owners keep a soft-sided travel crate in the car at all times.
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Remember, crates should never be used for punishment, but rather as an effective and useful training and containment tool. Before crating your dog, check out this informative article, Crate Training 101.
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