Looking forward to travelling with your pooch? Or perhaps you need a permanent den area for your dog?
Chances are you need a comfy and chew resistant dog crate to keep your friend safe and happy.
Yet, with so many choices, shapes and sizes which one is the right choice? What about safety and hygiene? A lot to sort out…
That is why our team has prepared the ultimate guide to picking the best crate for your dog to make it simpler for you. All the while without breaking the bank.
In this guide we will help you understand your options and avoid costly mistakes.
In a hurry, here are the top 3 crates:
Our top picks
Best Dog Crates and Cages
Before we dive into how to pick the best dog crate and what to watch out for, we present you the top 11 reviewed in detail:
Mool Lightweight is a tail wagging fantastic crate that comes in three sizes. It has a steel frame keeping it in shape using metal tubes. Quick and easy to put up and fold down.
One of the best features of this crate is that it has plastic mesh on all sides. The mesh provides good ventilation for your dog and provides high visibility.
The fabric that covers the crate is water resistant. It comes with a zippable roof that you can use to pet your pooch.
The main feedback I got about this crate is most puppies fell over in love with it and they’re very comfortable sleeping in it.
The fleecy pad that comes with it is not very thick. I’d suggest to add extra blanket to make it comfy and cosy for your pooch.
As for using it in a car, it does not have an attachment point for cars.
- Provides ventilation with mesh design
- Reversible mat to keep cool in summer and warm in winter
- Secure zipped front
- Comes with fleece mat and food bag
- Sturdy with steel frame
- The pad is too thin
- No car attachment point
Elli-Bo comes in multiples sizes. Though, I suggest caution picking the right size so that you don’t end up with a huge cage for a small pup.
It can be easily put up in seconds or taken down. Depending on the size you pick, it may not fit in the most cars
On the positive side the cage is strong to the point you cannot bend it with bare hands. However, it’s quite heavy. So be careful if you have laminate floors not to damage it.
There might be a slight gap between tray’s edge and the cage. It seems that the metal tray edge could be sharp.
So be sure to buy a big enough dog bed to cover the gap and prevent any accidents. You can easily find beds that’ll fit into this crate. In fact the same brand produces dog beds that fits their crates.
If your pup is a naughty jumper, there’s a chance some thin cross sections might break exposing sharp metal.
Whilst I’m alerting you to all possible ways your pooch can get hurt, this product is still ranked at the top of the list with lots of happy dogs’ seal of approval.
- Folds flat for storage and transportation
- Sliding latch mechanism for security
- Steel non-chew removable metal tray
- 2 door access
- Very strong
- Door catches are fiddly
- Free swinging doors when not locked
- A very small pup’s paws can get stuck
Good things come in multiple sizes just like this crate. Sizes vary from XS to XXL. So no problem choosing a good sized spacious crate.
It in a way combines the wire mesh and the solid plastic, as the doors are metal. It provides good ventilation from the main and the two side doors.
Door locks are easy to use, however strong enough to stay in place. The crate itself is lightweight and the carry handle on top is well.. handy.
There’s enough room for your pup to walk in and turn around. If you choose a Large or bigger size, it comes with wheels. That can really save you some back pain. The bowl it comes with clips on and off easily.
As it’s IATA complaint, you can use this crate on an airplane. However, if you’re getting a larger version with wheels, it’s a good idea to check if the airline company won’t create any issues. It can also easily fit into your car for any short trips.
Just for some extra peace and quiet at night, no rattling sounds.
- Complies with IATA requirements
- Changeable door hinge
- Easy to assemble
- Comes with a water bowl
- Multiple sizes available
- Robust and secure
- Lightweight and sturdy
- Handle might pop off
If you’re looking for a large, sturdy, metal dog crate for your faithful doggie, this might be a good option for you.
It’s easy to clean, simple to assemble, and fairly no-nonsense. At the bottom of the crate, you’ll find a durable black tray that can be quickly removed for easy rinsing.
The two side-bolt latches on each door help ensure your dog won’t get out even if he’s an escape artist. Although it’s large, this crate folds down completely flat for easy storage and space-saving efficiency.
Because it’s made with heavy duty metal construction, you can rest assured that this crate will last throughout the years. There are two doors so your dog can access this crate readily and conveniently. For versatility, there’s an optional divider included with this crate.
The divider panel can come in handy if you have a growing puppy. You want to keep the crate small enough so he won’t relieve himself in the space, but with the divider you can open up the space as he gets bigger.
Both doors are large and swing open, making it easy for you to access the crate for cleaning, rearranging interior items, or visiting your pup in his special place.
These crates are multi-purpose and help with potty training, setting boundaries, or simply offering your pooch a safe space that’s all his own.
- Metal crate
- Double door design
- 36 inches
- Two slide-bolt latches
- Folds flat for easy storage
- Sturdy metal construction
- The tray is plastic
Whether you have a growing puppy or a full-grown dog, this crate is a good option. The materials used in this item are rust-proof and durable to ensure many years of reliable use.
While some crates arrive with sharp edges poking out – ouch – this one promises gentle, round edges throughout to guarantee your pup’s safety.
There are two large doors, one at the front and one on the side. This makes it easy to access both the crate’s interior and your dog. The sturdy ABS black tray can be removed for washing whenever necessary and wipes clean easily.
At home or during travel, this crate can be folded down so that it takes up almost no space. If you’re moving this crate, there’s a handle at the top for easy transport.
Because this is an XXXL crate, it’s great for large breed dogs who need their own designated spot.
This crate is easy to assemble and fold down and the L-shaped lock makes it smartly safe for your dog. Powder coating keeps this sturdy iron wire crate from rusting or looking shabby and the round edges protect your pup from injury.
For variety, this crate is available in 4 different sizes and 2 different colours.
All sizes are big enough to accommodate a plush dog bed, blanket, or other comfort objects, should you desire to add them. No tools are necessary to assemble or disassemble this crate!
- Welded iron wire
- 2 doors
- ABS plastic tray on the bottom
- Foldable structure
- Simple to assemble
- Easy to clean
- Locks are a little hard to get into place
Songmics is another fantastic soft crate that comes in 4 different sizes. Chances are your dog will fit in one of them snuggly.
It has a zippable top door in addition to the main door. Breathable from multiple directions, it also has additional pouches to put for extra items.
It’s soft, yet rigid due to its metal frame with reinforced corners. It only takes a minute or so to assemble. It folds nicely when not in use.
- Comfy, fleece mat
- The base is soft and prone to scratching
I really liked that this crate comes with multiple variations including couple of luxury options. It’s a heavy one, so be careful with floors. The set up is easy and takes only couple of minutes.
The crate comes with a removable metal tray. Easy to clean and won’t get damaged with occasional gnawing.
I’d put a cardboard or a similar buffer between the cage and the metal tray to prevent a clanging sound.
Some of the users mentioned that the dog bed that comes with it is not great. It’s best to get a different one yourself with better reviews.
There are 2 doors for easier access. It’s well made without sharp edges. Though vertical wires on the frame can be torn apart by a strong dog.
If your pooch is the rebellious kind, you might be better off with a heavy duty crate. Also keep an eye on your pup to make sure her paws doesn’t get stuck.
- Easy to set up
- Removable metal tray
- 2 door access
- Set up instructions not provided
- Water bowl fixing is fiddly
- The coating can come off early
This one is a strong carrier with a spring lock instead of plastic latches. More secure if you’re having to care for an escape artist. As long as your fury friend does not possess opposable thumbs, doors will stay closed.
Plenty of room inside to turn around and fit in comfortably for smaller breeds such as a westie or a pug.
Less to chew on since it has a spring lock.
It’s good size for a puppy or a small dog breed. It’s not ideal for a larger dog though.
There’s some gap between the door and the crate on the hinge side. I suggest paying extra attention when closing the doors to prevent tails getting stuck in on the hinge side. Otherwise you might end up with lots of resentful barks.
- Top door available
- Strong and secure
- Easy to assemble
- Handle is not as strong as the crate
- No seatbelt attachment
- It’s slightly difficult to clip together
Nice and cosy cage that comes in multiple sizes and 2 door access. Definitely one of my favourites. You can set up it and fold flat in seconds. Very easy to use.
It’s sturdy, yet not heavy. All in all good value for money.
It comes with plastic tray. Some of our users actually prefers that as the metal trays can have sharp corners. The tray’s edges are well concealed which makes it safer for your pooch.
There might be sharp edges where the wires are cut off. So be careful and inspect yours. Nothing a little filing wouldn’t sort it out though.
- Sliding bolt door locks
- 2 door access
- Removable tray
- Might have sharp edges that needs filing
Ellie-Bo is a lightweight soft crate and more suitable for overnight stays and short trips.
It has lots of visibility thanks to windows on the side and the back. Windows come with velcro down flaps.
It’s best for dogs already crate trained. Otherwise it won’t last long.
It’s effortless to set up. There are no poles with this crate which makes it feel safer. Long pieces of wire are used to keep it straight along the edges.
Just to keep in mind, the crate is easy to roll for your pup whilst inside. It might be good idea to position in a way that will keep it stationary.
The bedding that comes with it is thin. However this is easy to solve by using your existing dog bed. Elli-Bo also provides couple of very comfy beds that would fit right in.
- Lots of windows
- Comes with travel bag
- Better for a crate trained dog
- Easy to roll
Comes in multiple sizes and it can be a good fit for most dog breeds. The door can be set up to open to the right or left according to your choice.
There’s an option to fit in wheels for the large size by contacting manufacturer directly.
The crate is not very light (about 10 Kg). With the additional weight of your pooch, couple of wheels might be more than welcome.
This crate meets the IATA regulations which is recognised by the majority of the airlines if you need it for an overseas trip.
- No sharp edges
- Good ventilation
- Easy to use click-locks
- Can be heavy
Our Ultimate Guide To The Best Dog Crates
What are dog crates?
Dog crates are in their most simple form a box to transport your dog or puppy. They can be used for a number of reasons which we will cover further in this guide.
They are also referred to as dog cages or kennels. However, we prefer to refer them as mini dog homes within your home with creature comforts so long as you don’t use it as a punishment cell.
They can be made from wire mesh, stainless steel, solid plastic, soft fabric. Our readers generally mention they put in a comfy doggie bed and couple of toys to keep your pupper happy.
They are mostly used when you need to take a fury friend on a journey. Though they can also be used at homes as a bedding area.
Why your dog might need a crate
There are multiple reasons why your dog might need a crate.
If you’re traveling with a plane though there are other requirements. If your dog is small enough, you can keep them next to you in the airplane.
However, the crate needs to fit in under your seat.
The most common reason to get a crate is to make sure your dog is safe and secure when you’re travelling. If you’re planning to use it in your car, you should pay attention to the size of the crate.
Safe & secure area
You can use a large enough crate as a permanent mini home for your pooch. It can be a secluded area your fury friend to contemplate on the meaning of chewing or have a snooze.
Just keep in mind to decorate it into a cosy resting area with a dog bed, a blanket and some of your pup’s most favourite toys.
No one enjoys an empty bedroom and let’s face it, without these it’s just a box.
If you’re worried about curbing your pooch’s freedom, you can consider getting a playpen instead.
Help with potty training
Not another couch with pee all over it… Some users report using dog crates to potty train their pups.
Their idea is that if the crate is small enough your pup will not poop there until you release it from the crate.
Short-term confinement when suggested by your vet
After a surgical operation where your dog is vulnerable and should not be moving about much, it can be used to restrict mobility.
How to Choose a Dog Crate?
If you’re not sure where to start, you’ll find our list of criteria useful.
As each dog breed will differ in size and behaviour, some of these might be more relevant to you than others.
What is it made of?
This is a key consideration when choosing which crate to pick up to prevent much headache later on.
Why you ask? Remember your monsta’s incredible talent of chewing through anything… If it can be munched, it’ll be munched!
That is why it’s important to pick a sturdy yet comfy crate which is durable. A stainless steel wire mesh crate could be the right option.
At least that’s our munch-resistant choice for a particularly enthusiastic fury friend who’s usually convinced it’s a fun challenge to destroy any new toy.
In addition to stainless steel wire mesh, the crates can be made of solid plastic or fabric. Both of these can be useful for transportation.
However, if you want a permanent den, get one of these at your own peril. They may not survive the day.
A floor that can be easily removed is useful to clean up in case… well, you know… when your pup cannot make it on time.
Speaking of cleaning, general hygiene is another consideration.
Fabric crates are the most difficult to clean in case of a little accident. Wire mesh is the easiest option to give a quick rinse at your backyard or at the bathroom.
Ease of access
Whatever product you pick, it’ll have at least one access point.
Some crates can have multiple access points. Some even with a top of the crate door for easy loading. Easy loading can be useful at home or when travelling with your car.
For adult dogs, the size and breed of your dog is the determining factor.
Large or small, remember to get a slightly more spacious crate for enough room to wiggle.
It’ll be useful to measure your dog before you purchase any crate.
As for puppies, you could opt in to get an adult size crate. That way as your pup grows up, you don’t end up having to buy multiple products.
How to measure your dog’s size
Firstly measure from nose to the base of the tail and make sure that the crate is at least 10 – 13 cm longer.
Secondly measure from head to ground and make sure the crate is 3 to 5 cm taller. With this minimum extra space you’ll make sure your pooch can snugly fit in the crate.
In addition to the size, you might want to keep an eye on the weight capacity. We don’t want a lower capacity crate collapsing on our best friend.
Portable & Collapsible
If you’re getting one for travelling, fabric and plastic make are much more portable than wire mesh. Particularly soft fabric built being the most lightweight.
Additionally if the cage can be collapsed, it’ll be easier to transport or store.
Splinters and safety
Splinters and rough edges could be a hazard risk. Particularly on a stainless steel construction.
Generally this shouldn’t be an issue, however it’s good to keep an eye on this.
What type of dog crates are there?
- Wire crates
- Plastic crates
- Soft crates
In the rest of the article we’ll do our best to explain each of the benefits of using these crates and what to watch out for.
Wire crates are mostly preferred for their sturdiness. Mostly we observe them being used as an open door small den area.
Why choose wire crates
Biting, chewing, nibbling… Call it whatever you like, your pooch is the expert.
Stainless steel wire crates can be a durable option against a torrent of creative jaw activity. It’s also cost effective in the long run.
These are very easy to clean quickly without much effort. Remove the tray and inner bedding to give it a good rinse.
You can use antibacterial spray or soap water. It’ll not take long to get them dry and back in use.
It could provide your doggo with much appreciated ventilation due to their wire mesh construction.
Mobility & Storage
Some of these crates can be collapsed which makes it easy to store and transport. If you want this option, keep an eye on this feature when you’re making a choice.
What to watch out for in wire crates?
Rough or Sharp Edges
As it is a tough material, rough or sharp edges could be a problem if the finish is not good. As I touched it earlier, splinters could actually damage your beloved pup. A good quality product should not have these issues though.
Not Cosy and A Tad Cold
Due to its metal construction, it can feel cold. The inner decoration though can keep your pup warm and happy.
It can look a like a tiny prison.
However, you have a lot of options to make it a cosy little nap area with a removable tray, soft bedding and a blanket. Let your inner designer go wild.
Jaws and paws can get stuck
I’d be extremely careful with the size of the gaps with wire crate. If the gap is too big, then your pup’s jaw can get stuck in the wires.
It can be quite a painful experience for your pooch.
If you and your little friend are avid travellers, the plastic crate is a big help as they can used as travelling crates.
With much less openings, these are also safer than wire mesh crates. Most plastic crates are in smaller sizes suitable for small dog breeds, pups and cats.
If your fluffy is not so little, it’s good to keep an eye on the dimensions of the crate.
Why choose plastic crates
Mostly the main purpose for a plastic crate is the ease of transportation. They’re generally smaller than wire crates and not suitable as a pooch den.
They’re, however, easy to use to transport your four legged fury friend. Though, I’d make sure not to keep my pooch in one of these too long.
Mobility & Storage
Since they’re small, they’re very practical and easy to store.
Solid plastic crates are sturdy and durable. However if your pooch loooves chewing anything that comes by, it won’t take long to get to a plastic door
Unlike wire mesh, this crate will have fewer openings where paws and jaws can get stuck. Also it’s less distraction if your dog is more vocal.
What to watch out for with plastic crates?
Remember how easy it was to clean wire mesh ones. Well, these are a tad more difficult to keep clean.
Since the walls are mostly solid plastic, there’s not much ventilation going on in these. However since you’d be mostly using them for quick transportation, it shouldn’t be an issue.
Soft crates are highly portable and easy to use. That’s why they’re ideal for when you attend events or need to take your pooch to short trips.
There are countless versions in different sizes and shapes.
Though generally they’re soft, yet rigid enough to provide cover for your little friend. Since it’s a fabric construct, the doors are closed by zipping.
Read our detailed guide the best soft crates in the UK to learn more.
When you can use a soft crate
They provide a soft and cosy alternative to colder feeling wire crates. Fabric crates are also a great option for holidays and short trips.
What to watch out for with soft crates?
These crates are prone to any rough treatment and let’s face it, our pups are master of chewing, digging and a whole torrent of such pastime activities.
Also, they wouldn’t provide much safety in case of an unfortunate car accident.
It’s a good idea to measure and weigh your dog before purchasing a crate of any kind. Usually, you want a crate that’s big enough for your dog to stand, turn around, and stretch out.
It’s suggested to add around 5 cm to your dog’s height and 10-13 cm to his length to make sure he has room.
There is a certain kind of crate called a stackable crate. These kinds of crates are often found in pet hotels or kennels and can be safely stacked one on top of the other.
Any other kind of dog crates should not be stacked as they can be unstable and dangerous if stacked.
Believe it or not, a dog crate can be too big. It’s suggested to get a crate with enough room for your dog to move around but not too much room.
A crate that’s too spacious can make a dog feel like it’s okay for him to relieve himself in one corner as long as he lies on the other end. The smallness of a crate keeps a dog from making a mess in his private space.
For a Labrador or similar-sized dog, you will likely need an XL or XXL crate. Remember, you want to add an extra 5 cm to your dog’s height and 10-13 cm to his length so he has enough space to comfortably move around.
If buying for a lab puppy, consider an XXL crate with a removable divider so you can adjust the space as he grows.
The right choice depends on the size and the breed of your dog and the purpose for getting a crate.
If you’re looking for a permanent sturdy den for your pup, Elli-Bo can offer you a chew resistant solution which is loved by many dogs.
For an avid traveller or if you simply find wire crates too cold, Mool Lightweight Fabric Pet Carrier is a cosy solution. It’s sturdy with a steel frame and yet warm and comfy.
If you’re still not sure which one to pick, here is the top 10 in a nutshell:
Our Top Picks
- Provide space and ventilation for your pet with the plastic mesh design
- Combat any weather conditions with the reversible mat, keeping your pet...
- Travel with safety thanks to carrier crate’s secure zipped front
- 30" Folding Dog Cage. Folds flat for easy storage and transportation.
- Two sliding latch mechanisms on each door to secure the cage
- Height 23.5" x Length 30" x Width 21"
- Plastic transport box for dogs. Roomy, very robust and light box with...
- Upper and lower parts can be stored inside each other. The two halves are...
- Necessary safety screws for travel in train or plane (thumbscrews - no...
- Dog crate with double-door design for convenient front and side entry
- Two slide-bolt latches on each door for increased safety and security
- Sturdy metal construction; folds flat for easy storage/portability
- High Quality - Welded with iron wire, coated with powder after acid...
- Fine Workmanship - Rounded corners and edges will prevent injuries for your...
- Perfect Design - A two-door setup makes it both easy for a dog to get in...
- Lightweight, flexible and practical, you can take your pet anywhere you go.
- Smart design – robust metal reinforcement, thick Oxford fabric cover and...
- Easy to clean - Stains and dirt can be removed with a soft brush. If...
- Large Dog Crate 36" x 23.8" x 26.2" (91cm x 60cm x 66cm)
- Large Dog Crate Folds Flat For Easy Storage
- Metal Large Dog Crate Tray - Safe Non Split
- 15m Wall Mountable Hose Reel Set.
- Wall mountable or free standing
- Compact space saving design
- Dimensions: 61 x 51 x 45 cm
- Two doors for convenient access and pull out plastic tray and simplifies...
- Ideal for making your dog feel safe, relaxed and comfortable
- Super-lightweight fabric kennel designed for the crate trained dog.
- Length 91cms x Width 71cms x Height 78cms
- Ideal for overnight stays and camping trips. Comes complete with carrying...
- Top Quality Plastic Transport Crate is made of solid plastic.
- It features metal latticed windows, which provide light and ventilation.
- The upper and lower shells of the crate are joined with secure click-locks,...
So, which one is the best for you?
Now that you’re equipped with all the info our team sniffed, dug and prepared for you, why not let us know in the comment section below which one you liked the most.
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