When it comes to house training dogs and keeping them contained, whether you are a fan of them or not, plastic and wire dog crates are two of the most popular options.
So while both of these are quite widely used, they each have their own differences and stand out features which make them better for different situations.
So, if you are planning to get one of these for your dog, but you are unsure which one will suit you best, then keep reading and we will give you all the information you need to reach an informed decision.
What’s The Difference Between A Plastic Crate And A Wire Crate?
As you can imagine, the main difference between a plastic dog crate and a wire dog crate is the way they are made, and the material they are made from.
As the name suggests, a wire dog crate is made using wire mesh panels and these are connected to each other using metal wires.
In comparison to this a plastic dog crate will be made from a sturdy plastic which has been molded into the correct shape.
When compared to a plastic dog crate, a wire dog crate usually features a lot more ventilation, and they also tend to be a lot easier to transport since they are usually collapsible.
In comparison, a plastic dog crate tends to be a bit more durable than a wire one, and they will also do a better job of insulating heat in colder weather.
So as you can see from this brief comparison that both types of dog crate have their pros and cons, and these will impact your decision on which will suit you best.
Which One Is Better?
Just answering the question of which type of dog crate is better can be quite difficult, especially when you consider that some can be better than others in different circumstances and situations.
Because of this, let’s quickly review the advantages and disadvantages of each of these types of dog crates.
For a wire dog crate its advantages are how space efficient they can be, as well as how good the ventilation is, they also tend to be size adjustable.
However, the main negatives of wire dog crates are that they are very prone to getting damaged over time, they are also quite heavy and can be a bit too bulky.
When considering a plastic dog crate, the strengths are that it has much better insulation, and they tend to be a lot more durable, and in spite of being so durable, they are still more lightweight.
In spite of this plastic dog crates tend to have much worse airflow, and using them can be a lot more noisy.
If you are looking for more details on each of these types of products, we will go into more detail in the next section to give you all the specific details which you need!
Wire Dog Crates
Wire Crates Advantages
- If you are living in a more restrictive space, and you have pets as well, you likely know how important being efficient with your space is. This is why we love wire dog crates so much when you are living in a cramped space, this is because most of them tend to be collapsible which means that when they are not in use, they can simply be collapsed and put out of the way. This is much better than a plastic dog crate which will always be taking up space since it does not collapse. This will impact you more and more depending on how big the breed of the dog is, since the bigger the dog, the bigger the crate, so being able to have a crate which folds away will save even more space when you have a bigger breed like one of these.
- We love how great wire dog crates are when it comes to their ventilation, and they definitely outperform plastic dog crates in this category . This is more so important if you and your dog are living in a hotter climate. A dog can very easily overheat during the summer, and some breeds can be particularly sensitive to suffering from heatstroke. For dogs like this who live in a warmer climate, having a wire dog crate is almost a necessity. If you have good ventilation, you will also be able to discourage pests like mosquitoes and flies from sticking to your dog and instead leaving them alone because of the improved ventilation. You might know that these insects can carry illness and diseases, so discouraging them from spending time with your dog is important.
- Another common feature of wire dog crates which we love is how adjustable they are, with inclusions like dividers (see also ‘How To Make A Dog Crate Divider’). As you know, some puppies can grow to be quite a lot bigger than they are when they are younger, so getting a crate which grows with your dog is a great idea. By adding dividers and keeping sections separate and smaller means that your wire dog crate will be the right size for your dog at all stages of its life (see also ‘How To Use a Divider in A Dog Crate‘). Whereas, for a plastic dog crate, you will need to keep buying a new crate as your dog grows. Dividers also make it a lot more feasible for multiple dogs to share the same wire crate and transport them, however, you will need to ensure they both have enough space (see also ‘Can You Put Two Dogs In The Same Crate?‘).
Wire Crates Disadvantages
- As was referenced earlier, these wire crates are much more prone to damage than a plastic one, and if you have a more active dog who chews things, then your wire crate will definitely start to show signs of this quite quickly. Also, if your dog scratches or digs, this will start to show quite quickly. It is also worth keeping in mind that if your wire dog crate is broken in a specific way, then it can actually hurt your dog with the broken wires being quite dangerous, this means you might have to replace your dog crate much sooner than you would likely prefer.
- When they are constructed, a wire dog crate is a lot more bulky and heavy to carry around, so if you are travelling with your dog in this, moving it around is a lot more difficult. Larger crates are especially awkward when travelling by air, so keep this in mind if you plan to travel with your dog.
Plastic Dog Crates
Plastic Kennels Advantages
- Our favorite feature of plastic dog crates is that their insulation is so much better than a wire dog crate, so during the winter months, they do a much better job of keeping your dog warm. Of course, some dogs have fur which naturally insulates them, but for some dogs which need the extra heat, this will be a feature which is appreciated by them. If you live in a particularly humid environment, the plastic dog crate will protect from this and will help your dog’s skin stop from getting wet, which can often lead to skin infections.
- As mentioned when discussing wire dog crates, when folded out they are heavy and awkward to move around with, and this is not the case for plastic dog crates which tend to be a lot more lightweight. This means that if you plan to travel with your dog, this is a much better option, and it will save you a lot of strain and struggle. So, if you plan to be travelling with your dog, then we definitely recommend going with a plastic dog crate.
- Compared to a wire dog crate, these plastic ones are significantly more durable, so this means they are able to put up with chewing and scratching, or a dog with similarly destructive tendencies, then a plastic dog crate is a much better choice.
Plastic Kennels Disadvantages
- The better insulation you get with a plastic dog crate comes with the sacrifice of better ventilation, so if you are in a much warmer climate, then a dog in a plastic dog crate will likely suffer from how much heat this traps. This heavily depends on the breed of dog, since some are better at putting up with conditions like this than others.
- Because of how plastic dog crates are constructed, the sound made inside them can be amplified. This can also lead to quite a vicious cycle of your dog being made anxious by the noisy dog crate and then making more noise and this just cycles. You will need to be confident that this is not something which will bother your dog too much, since it can be a significant issue, for you and your dog.
Summary – Which One Will Be Best For You?
Hopefully the information we have provided will make it clear which dog crate will suit you best.
If you have the space and the budget, we recommend getting both, with a wire crate for warmer weather and staying at home, and a plastic dog crate for colder weather and travelling.