Puppies are cute little bundles of energy who love to play and explore their surroundings. They also require lots of attention from their owners, and some dog parents choose to use a crate to keep their dogs safe and secure.
A dog crate is a safe place where dogs can rest, sleep, eat, drink, and exercise without being exposed to dangerous situations.
There are various types of crates, ranging from wire mesh to plastic boxes, and the type of crate you choose depends on several factors such as size, price, durability, and safety features.
Choosing the right crate for your puppy requires some research, and we have put together all you need to know to choose the perfect crate for your pup, and how to ensure that this is an arrangement that works for both of you (see also ‘What To Put In Crate With a Puppy‘).
What Kind of Crate Is Best For My Puppy?
Puppy crating is the practice of keeping puppies in a small area, or “crate”, while they are still young so that they do not get into trouble with other animals or people.
It is important to note that there are different types of crates available, and each one has its own benefits and drawbacks. Some of the main types of crates include:
Plastic Portable Carriers
These are very popular because they are easy to clean and maintain, and they come in many sizes.
However, these carriers are usually made of thin plastic which means that they may be too flimsy for larger breeds, and they may also be uncomfortable if your dog is being transported for a long period of time.
- Easy to clean
- May be too flimsy for large breeds
- Not suitable for extended travel
Wire Mesh Crates
Wire mesh crates are similar to soft-sided crates, but they are sturdy and less likely to collapse. Wire mesh crates are also ideal for traveling with your dog, but they can sometimes be more expensive than most other types of crates.
These crates are made of metal bars covered by wire mesh, and they provide excellent ventilation, as well as the ability for your dog to see all around them, and for you to keep a closer eye on them in return!
This type of material is popular, as crates tend to be heavy-duty, durable, and will last for years.
- Can be more expensive than other types of crates
- Doesn’t allow for much movement
Soft Sided Crates
Soft-sided crates are the most popular option because they are easy to clean and maintain, and they provide lots of space for your dog’s comfort.
These crates are great for smaller breeds, and they are often used when transporting puppies thanks to the soft, comfortable material. Most are usually made of soft plastic, but they can also be made of vinyl, canvas, or fabric.
- Comfortable for your dog
- Easy to clean
- Smaller-sized crates are less sturdy
Heavy-Duty Dog Crates
For larger, stronger dogs, or for puppies who enjoy chewing and destroying things, hard-sided crates are the best option.
Hard-sided crates are made of thick, solid materials, and they are designed to withstand any kind of damage caused by your dog’s teeth.
- Can withstand damage from your dog’s teeth
- Can be trickier to clean
Travel Dog Crates
If you plan to take your dog on trips, then a travel crate is the best choice for you. Travel crates are made of strong, durable materials, and they are specifically designed to protect your dog during transport.
They are lightweight, and they offer plenty of space for your dog to move around.
- Good amount of space
- Can be expensive
What Are The Benefits Of Dog Crating?
There are several reasons why it is beneficial to crate your dog. Here are just a few of the many advantages of crate training:
1. Your Dog Will Be More Comfortable
Many dogs suffer from stress and anxiety in large spaces – this can make them feel overwhelmed and uncertain, leading to poor behavior or distress.
Crating your dog will make him feel safe and secure, and he will therefore be calmer and happier overall. This can help reduce stress levels, and it can also prevent unwanted behaviors such as barking (see also ‘How To Get Your Puppy To Stop Barking In Their Crate!‘).
2. You Can Keep A Closer Eye On Him
When you crate your dog, you can easily watch what he does while he is inside his crate. This allows you to monitor his behavior, and it allows you to correct any undesirable behaviors before they become problems.
This can be useful if your dog seems to bark at nothing, or if he becomes destructive. It can also be helpful if you notice that your dog has developed bad habits like digging, chewing, or jumping up.
By keeping a close eye on your dog, you can quickly identify these issues and address them before they get out of control.
3. Your Dog Will Have His Own Space
Crating your dog means giving him his own private area where he feels safe and secure. He will have his own bed, food bowl, water dish, toys, and even some privacy.
This will give him the privacy that he needs – particularly if other dogs in the house may be vying for attention.
4. Your Dog Will Be Safe When You Are Not Home
When you are not home, your dog will be safer in his crate than he would otherwise be.
If you leave your dog alone in a room with no supervision, he could escape through the door, chew through an electrical cable, or become injured by knocking something over.
In contrast, when you crate your dog, he will be safe and sound in his own little space.
How Do I Choose The Perfect Crate For My Dog?
Choosing the right crate for your dog depends on several factors, including how big your dog is, whether he likes to sleep in his crate, and what type of crate you prefer.
Some of the main factors you will need to consider when making your decision include:
The size of the crate is important because it determines how much space your dog will have to move around in. Smaller crates are better suited for smaller breeds, whereas larger crates are more suitable for larger breeds.
As we have seen, puppy and dog crates come in a range of materials, and there are different types of options available, which may affect your dog’s comfort level.
Plastic crates are lightweight, but they do not provide adequate protection against weather conditions. Metal crates are heavy, but they offer good protection against weather conditions.
Wooden crates are sturdy and durable, but they are usually quite bulky and difficult to clean. The material of your crate will play a large role in your choice, so take the time to think about what is best for your dog, and choose accordingly.
If you want to keep track of your dog while he is in his crate, then you should opt for a crate that allows this – mesh or wire crates are a great option, as they allow you to see into the crate from outside, and let your dog lookout so that he can see you – this can be very reassuring, especially if your pet is new to being crated.
You will need to ensure that your dog’s crate is strong and durable, as it will be used every day for many years.
Make sure that the model you choose is resistant to chewing and scratching, and that it is easy to clean – this will help it to last for longer.
Finally, make sure that you buy a crate that fits within your budget. There are plenty of cheap models available, but they may not be ideal for your dog.
Look for a high-quality product that offers excellent value for money. It is worth spending a little extra cash in the first place to ensure that you find the perfect crate for your dog.
There are lots of things to consider when choosing a comfortable crate for your dog. Your dog’s breed, age, weight, and activity levels all play a part in determining what kind of crate is best for him.
Consider whether your pooch prefers to snuggle up and sleep, or if they like to run around and explore.
You might also want to consider where you plan to put your crate – some dogs enjoy having their area, whilst others don’t mind sharing one with another animal.
It is also important to consider how long you plan to use your crate for. A crate designed for overnight stays is going to be heavier and bulkier than one designed for short periods.
This means that you will need to invest in a stronger crate and one that is large enough for blankets, beds, cushions, and plenty of toys.
Choosing a crate for your dog is a decision that needs careful consideration. Take the time to research the various options available, and select the one that suits your dog best.