Whether you’re looking for a private, cozy space for your dog to sleep in, or a way to keep them safely confined while you’re away from home, a good dog crate can help. A quality kennel is also essential for housetraining puppies as they help prevent accidents and keep pups from getting into dangerous situations and to unhealthy foods. A well-constructed pet crate is also incredibly comfortable to sleep in – having descended from gray wolves, dogs have a natural desire to sleep in secluded, den-like spaces, and pet crates are perfect for this. But with so many different crate models on the market, finding the right one for your canine companion can be challenging. To make things easier for you, we’ve bought, tested and reviewed some of the best dog crates on the market. We’ve also put together a handy little buying guide, so read on!
The Best Dog Crate
Secure, durable and comfortable, the MidWest Homes for Pets dog crate is the ultimate training kennel. Designed completely around safety and comfort, with side-bolt latches, rounded corners and a removable, washable plastic pan, this crate offers the best of all worlds: it’s secure and capable of confining even the most of rambunctious dogs, but it’s also comfy and easy to keep clean. The crate is made from durable gauge wire and features a single door for easy but secure access and exit. It comes with a divider panel for effective training and a carrying handle for when you have to travel with your pet. Importantly, it’s also easy to assemble as it sets up in practically a minute, making it convenient to store. Basically, it’s one of the best dog crates around!
Made from gauge wire
Single door and single slide-bolt latch design
Comes with a divider panel
Removable plastic base
Portable, quick and easy assembly
Dimensions: 24 x 18 x 19 inches
- BrandMidWest Homes for Pets
- Weight8 pounds
Durable yet lightweight
Secure, safe and comfortable
Perfect for housetraining
Portable and easy to store
Quick and easy cleanup
May not be able to contain persistent escape-artists
If you’re looking for a simple, reasonably priced large dog crate for housetraining, check out AmazonBasics Folding Crate. This 42” model features a double door for easy access and exit, as well as two slide-bolt latches for increased security and safety. The cage is made from plastic-coated heavy-duty metal wires, so it’s not lightweight, however, it’s still portable thanks to its foldable design and carrying handle. The cage is ideal for large and medium-sized dogs, but you can also use it for puppies who like plenty of space. To make cleaning simple and easy, the kennel features a removable plastic pan that you can slide out and wash as needed.
Durable metal wire
Double-door and double slide-bolt latches
Removable plastic base
Foldable and portable design
Divider panel included
Dimensions: 42 x 28 x 30 inches
- Weight33.1 pounds
Secure, spacey and comfortable
Easy to keep clean
May be a little too heavy and bulky for traveling
Not ideal for powerful dogs
If you want a portable, comfortable soft dog crate for traveling, EliteField’s Soft Folding Crate may be exactly what you need. Spacious, breathable, durable and comfy, this large pet crate is ideal for traveling but can also be used at home for housetraining. It’s made of high-quality 600D fabric and hex mesh fabric, which means it’s pretty sturdy and capable of confining dogs without sacrificing on comfort. Speaking of which, there is a fleece pad for base included, which is removable and washable – super-easy to keep clean and neat. The crate has three doors –front, side and top – for easy entrance and exit, and there are two pockets for storing small items, such as snacks, leash, medicine etc.
Made of steel tube, 600D fabric and hex mesh fabric
Three-door design with zipper locks
Hand-carrying straps and adjustable padded shoulder strap
Fleece bed + two pockets included
Dimensions: 36 x 24 x 28 inches
- Weight14.6 pounds
A well-ventilated, comfortable crate
Foldable and lightweight, ideal for traveling
Safe, soft design, without any sharp edges
Unsuitable for escape artists and chewers
If your dog is a strong, determined Houdini that rips through crates like they’re made of carton, you may want to check out ProSelect’s Empire Dog Cage. Constructed with 20-gauge steel and reinforced with 0.5” diameter steel tubes, this medium dog crate is perfect for powerful and/or aggressive dogs. It features a single door with double latches that are pretty much guaranteed to confine even the most stubborn of pooches. The cage comes with locking removable casters, so you can roll it to other rooms when needed and safely “park” it by locking the casters for added stability. Cleanup is pretty easy thanks to a floor grate with a removable tray.
Heavyweight, 20-gauge steel construction
Single door with two latches design
Removable, locking casters for mobility
Floor grate with a removable steel tray
Dimensions: 37 x 25.3 x 33.8 inches
- ModelZW179 37
- Weight75.2 pounds
Durable heavy duty dog crate
Rust-resistant, easy to keep clean
Suitable for aggressive chewers
If you and your pup air travel often, consider the Petmate Aspen Pet Porter Carrier. This sturdy but comfy large dog crate meets most airline cargo specifications, so it’s perfect for medium-sized dogs who frequently fly. Importantly, the kennel is well-ventilated and provides plenty of visibility, which translates to comfortable and stress-free travel for your pet. The shell is made from durable, rigid plastic plus metal screws for extra safety, meaning the kennel is secure and also easy to clean as you can just wipe it down as necessary. Sporting a single-door design with an easy-open latch, the crate is easy to use in a hurry.
Heavy-duty plastic shell and metal wires
Meets most airline specifications
Lightweight, single-door design
Easy-open latch for one-hand operation
Dimensions: 40 x 27 x 30 inches
- Weight19.5 pounds
Well-ventilated and comfortable
Secure and quick and easy to use
Comfort grip for stress-free traveling
Not suitable for chewers
In need of a large portable dog crate that’s also a playpen? Look no further than Zampa’s Pet Playpen. This convenient dog crate doubles as a play area thanks to its spacious and unique 8-panel design. Made of durable, water-resistant fabric and reinforced with strong seams, this product makes for an excellent puppy crate that can be used both for housetraining and play. Because it’s lightweight, sets up and collapses in seconds, and comes with a carrying case, it’s great for traveling with pets as well. The entire crate is covered in either fabric or mesh, but the top mesh is zippered so you can keep the playpen open or closed – whatever works best for your pup.
Made of water-resistant fabric + mesh
Spacious 8-panel design with exterior pockets
Foldable, sets up and collapses in seconds
Comes with a carrying case
Dimensions: 45 x 45 x 24 inches
- Weight5.4 pounds
Comfy, roomy crate that doubles as a playpen
Ideal for housetraining puppies
Durable, designed for active puppies and kittens
Super-easy to set up and carry
May not be able to contain determined escape artists
The Luckup Dog Crate is a heavy-duty steel cage that is practically indestructible – perfect for powerful dogs and clever escape artists. It features a double door design – one on the front and one on the top – so it’s easy to enter it and exit. Conveniently, the crate also has 360-degree rotating and locking casters which allow you to move the cage and park it anywhere it suits you easily and quickly. The cleanup is also a piece of cake as the cage is made from rust- and corrosion-resistant steel that you can just wipe down when needed, plus there is a removable plastic tray which is always a big bonus.
Made of rust-resistant steel
Double door with 3 latches design
360-rotating, locking casters
Removable plastic tray
Dimensions: 42 x 37 x 30.5 inches
- Weight73.1 pounds
Practically indestructible steel cage
Secure, with easy access and exit points
Cleanup is quick and easy
Heavy and bulky
If you want an aesthetically pleasing dog crate, this wooden crate by Crown Pet Products may be exactly what you’re looking for. Featuring durable hardwood construction with a stained and lacquered finish, this pet crate doubles as a versatile end table. With only a front door that rotates inside and a simple stainless latch, it’s pretty secure, however, it’s best suited for well-behaved pets. To make any pee-accidents less of a hassle, the crate has a waterproof melamine floor that is easy to clean. Importantly, it’s also well-ventilated as it has multiple vents on all sides, including the front door. All in all, one of the best wooden dog crates on the market!
Made of durable, sustainable rubberwood
Single swing-through door with stainless latch
Waterproof melamine floor
Dimensions: 29.7 x 21 x 24.2 inches
- BrandCrown Pet Products
- Weight46 pounds
Dog crate and end table in one
Beautiful construction, compliments all interior designs
Well-ventilated with a 360-degree view
Swing-through door is never in the way
Comfy and easy to clean
Not suitable for powerful dogs and escape artists
Sturdy, secure and absolutely adorable, the Iris Wire Dog Crate is perfect for small breed dogs and puppies. It’s made of metal, heavy-duty epoxy-coated wires that are rust-proof, plus a removable mesh roof, so it’s easy to clean and keep neat-looking. Besides the top entrance, this small dog kennel has a large front sliding door with a positive-lock latch, so it’s secure with easy access and exit points. Importantly, the bottom tray clips to the wire sides so it can be removed and cleaned as needed. Although very sturdy, this model is best suited to well-behaved pets because the mesh roof can be chewed through easily.
Epoxy-coated wires + mesh roof
Single sliding door with positive-lock latch
Removable bottom tray, non-skid feet
Dimensions: 24.8 x 36.22 x 23.6 inches
- BrandIRIS USA, Inc.
- Weight13.2 pounds
Stylish and cozy, ideal for small dogs
Very well-ventilated with a good view
Easy to clean
Unsuitable for chewers and highly active dogs
If you’ve just gotten a puppy, and you need both a crate and gate, check out Merry Pet 2-in-1 configurable pet furniture. This stylish, comfortable wooden dog crate can easily be converted into an effective gate that closes off open spaces or doorways. As a bonus, the crate can also serve as an end table! Made of medium-density fireboard (MDF) with solid wood veneer, plus metal cage, this is one sturdy kennel/end table/pet gate. It features one door with a latch for when you need a crate, and removable panels when a gate is more appropriate. Conveniently, the whole thing is quick and easy to assemble as no tools are required.
MDF with solid wood veneer + metal wires
One front door with latch
Removable plastic tray
Dimensions: 43.4 x 28.7 x 30.1 inches
- BrandMerry Pet
- Weight17.69 pounds
Dog crate, end table and gate in one
Perfect for small breed dogs and puppies
Sturdy and stylish
Easy to assemble and clean
Unsuitable for chewers and highly energetic dogs
Best Dog Crates Buying Guide & FAQ
Dog kennels are great for housetraining and keeping your furry companion out of trouble when you’re away from home. They also make for cozy and secluded napping spaces that most dogs naturally love. But finding a good-quality, sensibly priced pet cage is no easy task. There are many features to consider, including the costruction of the crate, its dimensions, weight and more. To help you in your quest for the right kennel, we’ve not only reviewed some of the best dog crates on the market, but also put together a detailed buying guide. Here, we cover everything you need to know about pet kennels, including the different types of crates, how to choose the right size for your pup and more!
Features to Consider When Buying Dog Crate
To purchase the best dog crate for your pup, consider the following things:
- The size of your dog
First things first, make sure the crate you’re eyeing is the right size for your pet. A good kennel should be roomy and comfortable, so never buy crates that can barely fit your dog. If there is no right size for your pooch, consider purchasing a bigger rather than smaller crate. If you’re buying a crate for a puppy, keep in mind that they will grow.
- The behavior of your dog
How well-behaved or aggressive your dog is should play a major role in your selection process. If your pup is already housetrained and well-mannered, then you have a wide (and beautiful!) array of choices: wood, steel, fabric, whatever you like and your pup finds comfortable. If, on the other hand, your dog is not housetrained and tends to chew on things, you really only have one choice: heavy-duty metal crates with double latches.
- The design of the crate
Another thing to consider is the design of the crate, or, to be more precise, its potential portability. If you plan on traveling with your pup and their crate, then you want to look for foldable or collapsible crates that are lightweight, or at least not very heavy. The setup of the crate should also be quick and easy. And if you plan on flying with your dog? Make sure the kennel is travel compliant.
Different Types of Dog Crates
There are many types of dog crates to choose from, but when it comes down to it, there are four main types:
- Metal/Wire Crates: these are the heavy-duty cages best suited to powerful dogs and/or chewers.
- Wooden Crates: often double-serving as end tables, wooden dog crates are typically elegant, comfy and versatile. However, they’re unsuitable for chewers.
- Soft/Fabric Crates: typically made of durable fabric plus mesh fabric, soft crates are comfortable, lightweight and portable. On the downside, most are not very hard to chew through.
- Plastic Crates: lightweight and secure, many plastic crates are airline approved. However, they can a little tooenclosed for some dogs, creating a sense of isolation.
Different Dog Crate Sizes and How to Choose the Right One
Dog crates come in a variety of sizes and shapes. To choose the right one for your pet, follow these simple guidelines.
- Measure your dog: measure your pup’s height using a measuring tape (to make things easier, have them stand against a wall and use chalk). Then, measure their length from the tip of their nose to the base of their tail. Finally, add two inches for smaller dogs, and four inches for bigger dogs.
- Compare their measurements to crate dimensions: after you’ve measured your dog, compare the numbers to the dimensions of the crate. Make sure the kennel has that extra two or four inches of space because you want your dog to be able to move and turn easily, as well as sit up without hitting their head.
- Bonus tip: If you’re buying a crate for a puppy, consult with your vet to see how big their breed typically grows to be. Of course, you could always buy two crates – one for when your pet is a puppy and one for when they grow up. But if you plan on buying only one crate and you own a big breed puppy, you may want to get an extra large dog crate with a divider to reduce its size to suit your puppy.
Tips for Dog Crate Training
Crate training can take days, weeks or months, depending on your dog and your training methods. To make things easier on you and your pup, it’s best to follow these crate training tips.
- Introduce your pup to the crate: place the kennel in the area of your house where you and your pet spend a lot of time (the living room, for example). If your dog has a favorite blanket, put it in the crate, if they don’t, use any soft blanket or towel. Put a few treats inside the cage and bring your pet over, speaking in a calm, happy voice. If your pup hesitates going inside to get the treats, toss a couple more plus a toy or two to lure them inside. You’ll want to repeat this step as long as it takes for your dog to walk calmly and happily into the crate to get the treats/toy.
- Condition them to the crate for longer periods: once your dog is comfortable inside the crate, start feeding them their meals there and locking them for short periods while you’re near. Sit quietly near the crate for 10-15 minutes, then go into another room for another 10-15 minutes. Then, let the dog out, praise them and give them a treat.
- Proceed to leave your dog in the crate for longer periods: once your pup is comfortable being in the crate for about 20-30 minutes alone, you can start leaving them confined for longer time periods – an hour, then two, then three. In the end, you can leave them crated at night so they can sleep there, or when you’re gone for a few hours.
Whatever you do, never use the crate as a form of punishment!
Best Dog Crates FAQ:
Q: Should I cover my dog's crate?
A: If your pup likes privacy and seclusion, you can cover the tops of their crate to provide them with a soothing, relaxing environment. If they prefer seeing their surroundings at all times, leave the crate uncovered.
Q: Is crating a dog cruel?
A: If done right, dog crating is anything but cruel. A spacious, comfortable dog kennel can help create a quiet, peaceful environment that is perfect for napping and relaxing. However, if done too often and for very long time periods, crating can indeed be cruel because it deprives your dog of their freedom to walk around. So crate responsibly: for shorter time periods and only when necessary.
Q: Should my dog sleep in crate at night?
A: If your dog likes their crate and goes willingly in it at night, let them sleep inside but don’t lock them (unless necessary, such as in the case of surgery). If, however, they don’t go inside the crate on their own and they don’t bother you at night, don’t force them to sleep in the crate.