A dog crate is essential for the proper training and care of your new (or old) furry friend. Don't view the crate as a cage. It serves as an instinctual den, a haven of safety for your pet. Even before domestication, dogs have always taken shelter in small, enclosed spaces for peace of mind and safety. Your dog will love you for choosing the right crate — and proper house training will be easier as well. We've broken down the most important factors in selecting the perfect safe haven for your best bud, and provided some resources to help you find them.
Plastic dog crates
Made from durable plastics, with metal along the door and corners to provide structural support. Ventilation ports are on the sides and back panels of the crate. The ceiling and floors are leak-proof to ensure your furry friend does not get wet. These offer more privacy, so your dog is not readily visible. They even be used for airline travel.
Travel dog crates
Built in a more robust fashion with long-term use and transit in mind, travel crates are specifically built to be sturdier and heavier so as to safely move your pet. They have improved ventilation and excellent visibility. When it comes to flying and driving, your dog is safer in this kind of crate If you don’t have space for a crate, this travel carrier is a great alternative during transit.
Wire frame dog crates
These provide the most ventilation and portability. Often wire frames are foldable to accommodate for easy storage in small homes or apartments. They're also easier to wash.
Dogs vary in the amount of space they will need for a comfortable crate. An important rule of thumb is that your dog should be able to stand up without ducking inside. Your pet should also be able to lie down and stretch to her full body length. It’s important that the crate isn't too big. If it's too large, your dog may not be able to differentiate it from, well, everywhere else. She may soil it when she should be relieving herself outside.
Your dog should not be able to move the crate around from the inside. Otherwise who knows what you'll come home to! This should keep your pet out of possible dangerous situations when you can’t be there to monitor. Travel crates should be securable with either belts or fasteners, so your furry friend has a smooth ride while in transit.
It's easy to humanize our dogs — we do it all day long, don't we? We wouldn't like to be cooped up in a crate, so why would they? But we need to remember that what they need isn't always what we want them to need. A crate is safety. It's comfort. It's their little lair. Who wouldn't want that?