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How Do I Choose a Crate for My Dog?

Understand the different crates available, how to determine the size you need and why crate training is important

Bringing home a new dog can be an exciting time. Like any good new dog owner, you probably want to make sure that you have all the essentials for making sure that your dog gets off to the best start possible. One important piece of that puzzle is a well-fitted, comfortable crate for your soon-to-be pooch to call home. 

But it may seem that there are as many different types and sizes of dog crates as there are breeds of dogs. How do you know what's the best crate for your situation? Read on to learn about the standard types of crates and their sizing to help you choose the crate for your dog.

Crate Materials

Crates are made from a variety of different materials: wire, plastic, fabric, wood, and aluminum.  Each material has its advantages and disadvantages.

Wire Crates

Wire crates are perhaps the most common type of crate for dogs. The wire crate is pretty sturdy. While some dogs may be able to chew their way through a soft sided or plastic crate, wire crates usually provide longevity and security. The open design of a crate provides plenty of ventilation. It provides lots of visibility for your pet and can give it a sense of still being integrated into its surroundings.

Some wire crates fold up so they can be easily stored when not in use. Some also have dividers included so that you can tailor the size of the crate to your dog. The wire sides and the crate bottom are generally easy to clean.

Learn more about wire crate purchasing options.

Soft-Sided Crates

Soft-sided dog crates usually consist of a steel frame that can collapse flat. It's covered in a heavy-duty nylon while the sides of the crate have a breathable mesh material. Between their lightweight nature, their coziness, and their ability to collapse, soft-sided crates are great for use during travel with your pet. They often open from the top as well as the sides, which provides more flexibility for handling and taking care of your dog. They may not be the best crate for dogs who are heavy chewers.

Learn more about purchasing a soft-sided crate.

Wooden Crates

Wooden crates are a great option for those people who want to integrate their dog's space into their own human space, without having to sacrifice their decor.  Wooden dog crates look good! They blend well in a living room or bedroom, and can be used as tabletop as well. Wooden crates usually have an easy to clean wooden floor, a solid wooden top, and wooden slatted sides that provide ventilation and visibility for your dog. Unlike soft-sided and wire crates, wooden crates can't be collapsed or easily moved.

Aluminum Crates

These crates are often used for hunting dogs, as the aluminum construction provides a weatherproof residence for dogs in the back of trucks and keeps them comfortable despite the temperature outside. Some aluminum crates are made for home use with dogs who have remarkable escaping abilities.

Sizing a Crate

You want a crate that your dog can comfortably stand up in and turn around, but not any bigger.  Crates that are too large for your dog will allow them the space to eliminate, which you don't want to happen. If you're getting a crate for a puppy, purchase one that will fit it's expected adult size, but make sure you buy a crate with a divider wall so that you can tailor the available space to the size of the growing pup.

Dog crates come in a wide variety of sizes to fit dogs from the smallest toy breeds to the giants of the group. Since there can be a lot of variation in crate sizes (S,M,L) and their accompanying dimensions (inches in height, length, and width), you'll need to carefully follow the manufacturer's sizing directions of the specific crate you're purchasing.

Benefits of Crates

A crate can play many important roles for you and your dog:

  • It can help in the potty-training process
  • It's a safe place for your dog to stay while you're out of the house
  • Is a good "personal den" for your dog to retreat to when they need some physical space from the happenings of your household.

Crates also pivotal for safely traveling with your dog by automobile or plane…

Finding the right dog crate can take some time, but Pet Super Store has narrowed down your choices by only offering hand-selected crates  and dog gates that we feel are quality products sure to please.

If you think you know the crate that you want but are unsure about what size you should purchase for your dog, or if you're still unsure about the best kind of crate for your situation, don't hesitate to call Pet Super Store's customer service. We're here to make sure that you have all the information you need to pick the best product for your pet.