Best Dog Crates of 2020
Dogs are people too, or so any enthusiastic dog owner would have you believe. What do all people need? A home to call their own!
Baskets are fine and all but aren’t portable while it can get mighty cold in those dog houses, and not just during the winter.
Why not pamper your pooch and make life easier on yourself at the same time with a sturdy, portable and cost-effective dog crate your pets will never want to leave?
In this review roundup, we’re looking at the best of the bunch to help you pick the definitive one for you.
Top 5 Best Dog Crates Comparison Chart
Best Dog Crate Reviews
1. AmazonBasics Folding Metal Dog Crate
One wouldn’t expect something as generic as a product sold under the umbrella of AmazonBasics to make it onto a list like this, let alone be featured first, but as you’ll see from the overview of this crate’s features, it’s evident that even plain sometimes has what it takes to impress.
This metal crate has a solid build with doors reinforced by double locks for extra security. Seven sizes are available, and you can choose between a one and a two-door design to make it easier for your dog to enter/leave the crate.
Its bottom tray is plastic so it’s easier on the dog in the cold, is straight to remove and all-around solid. Dividers are an optional purchase, but one worth considering since they make purchasing different-sized crates as your puppy grows unnecessary.
What's to like about the AmazonBasics Folding Metal Dog Crate
We loved the idea of the paw protectors – putting twice as many bars near the cage’s bottom is something someone should have thought of and implemented, and yet this is the only cage on the list with this feature. The last thing you’d want is for your pup to get its paw stuck, start panicking and subconsciously associate the crate with danger or discomfort afterwards, and this takes care of that problem.
What's not to like about the AmazonBasics Folding Metal Dog Crate
This would have been hands-down the best dog crate on the list if it weren’t for the manufacturer’s inconsistency. If you buy one without any defects, feel free to add half a star to the rating above. Sometimes however the crate arrives in poor shape with either a warped or cracked tray, misaligning sides etc. More detail could have been given to the finish of the crate, as right now its edges are pretty sharp.
2. IRIS Pet Playpen
If you need to restrict your dog’s freedom of movement, teach them some manners, or let them run wild in a protected environment, nothing’s better than a doggy playpen, a specialized version of the dog crate that’s intended as an exercise and training area rather than the dog’s private residence. Iris’ pet playpen has the durability, modularity and appeal to help make your dog both happy and well-behaved.
The plastic playpen is ideal for supervised play and training – setup is over in a few minutes thanks to the smartly interlocking hinges, and security isn’t an issue either as its gate has a latch you can lock. Iris has also thought of the playpen’s stability and supplied it with rubber feet which help it stay in place even on laminated floors.
What's to like about the IRIS Pet Playpen
The fact that you can attach the walls to each other in a straight line and even get additional ones is the best thing ever! Not only does this give you the freedom to make the playpen 2 or even 3 times as large, but you can also use it as a divider for a much larger area like a part of your living room. The playpen’s versatility is limited only by your imagination, and the number of additional panels you’re comfortable buying.
What's not to like about the IRIS Pet Playpen
If you purchase the roof attachment, the pen converts into a regular crate. That would be one huge point in the pen’s favor if it weren’t for the roof’s flimsiness. It’s connected to the pen by Velcro straps that can be chewed through and is itself poorly made from a weak mesh most determined dogs won't have a problem bypassing. As for the pen itself, the lack of a floor padding means you’ll have to make an additional purchase.
3. MidWest iCrate
The choice of many a dog lover who’s looking for the perfect mix of affordability and stand-out features, the iCrate has been topping bestseller lists ever since MidWest introduced it. Thousands of people attest to its greatness, and you may just become one of them.
The iCrate features everything you’d want from a secure space for your pooch and a little bit extra. There are one- and two-door alternatives, adequate sizes for Pekinese and mastiff alike, and there’s the ever-popular foldup feature that saves space and makes transport easier.
Like the crate from AmazonBasics, this one also comes with dividers, allowing you to organize the space and give more of it over to the dog as it gets older.
What's to like about the MidWest iCrate
It seems like every standard feature has been given an extra touch – the bars are coated with a pleasant black color instead of being silver, there’s a handy pan stopper which keeps it in place, sharp corners have been rounded for added safety when folded up the crate also has handles so it can be transported like a suitcase. The devil is in the details, and MidWest managed to get a lot of the details right with this crate.
What's not to like about the MidWest iCrate
A lot, but not all of them. If you purchase the double door variant, take note of the side door’s latch as it doesn’t have quite the same strength as the front one. Speaking of strength, the bars could have been a bit stronger, especially on the biggest crates. If a human can bend them without a lot of effort, imagine what a determined 70+pound dog could do to them, and more importantly, to itself. This is a crate best bought for mild-mannered and gentle dogs, so keep that in mind.
4. New World Crates Folding Metal Dog Crate
New World’s dog crate is a direct competitor of MidWest’s. You’ll find a lot of similarities between the two ranging from design and features, all the way to a similar price for certain sizes. How does it stack up against the much more popular brand, and is it worth your attention?
This basic crate has everything an undemanding dog needs to feel safe – excellent ventilation, an easily removable plastic pan and a wide door for quick entrance. Owners will also appreciate how lightweight the crate is, as well as the fine latch that keeps the door from opening. There are no dividers, but you do get to choose whether one door is enough, or a side door is needed.
What's to like about the New World Crates Folding Metal Dog Crate
Both unfolding the crate for the first time and collapsing it again can be done effortlessly. This is particularly useful if you travel a lot or leave the dog with relatives due to a stressful work schedule. The largest models are also considerably less expensive than crates by either AmazonBasics or Midwest, giving you a good reason to buy if a good deal is important to you.
What's not to like about the New World Crates Folding Metal Dog Crate
Its light weight causes some issues for this crate. Not only is it more prone to bending because of it, but your dog can move the crate around with a few determined pushes. If you happen to place it on a hardwood floor, this will not bode well for its varnish. The wires’ finish is also sub-par, leaving some of them with sharp tips the dog can hurt itself on.
5. Noz2Noz Soft-Krater
As our last dog crate, we’ve chosen a representative of the so-called soft-crate style, a feather-light, practical, and portable crate by Noz2Noz. Choosing this one is a no-brainer if you’re planning to hit the road with your dog in tow, but does it have what it takes to be their home?
Assembled in a jiffy, ready to provide a peaceful and familiar environment for your dog regardless of where you’re taking it and very easy to maintain – that’s this soft dog crate in a nutshell.
Security was also a priority, so apart from heavy-duty zippers for each opening, there are also small latches which keep said zippers from coming loose when the dog gets a hold of them. Extra fabric has been stitched onto the crate’s rounded corners ensuring safety and making them that much more durable.
What's to like about the Noz2Noz Soft-Krater
Being able to get the dog inside and handle it three different ways is a real plus. You can open the top off to put the dog’s harness on or attach its line while it is still inside and then unzip the front door for a speedy exit. The fact that its base is water-resistant really helps with accidents, and the cleanup.
What's not to like about the Noz2Noz Soft-Krater
Although the crate is well-ventilated, the roof is solid, the windows aren’t all that big, leading to a dark and somewhat gloomy interior. Another small complaint is that there are neither handles to help carry the crate, nor do you get a bag to put it in. Transporting your pet within it is great, but when it comes time to transport the actual folded up crate that a couple of its design flaws become apparent.
Is your dog happily wagging their tail at the prospect of moving into one of these five crates yet? If so, that’s great, but even though the product may leave a good first impression it is important to take a step back and assess all of your dog’s needs before buying. We’ve put together this handy guide to help you make the definitive decision easier.
Dog Crate Style
There are three main types of dog crates regardless of the material used. First there’s the dog “house” whether it’s the traditional wooden structure in your back yard or a bona fide pet crate. This is a stationary kennel that serves as the dog’s residence and resting place, isn’t suited for travel, and usually stays in the same place in your home/on your property.
Then there are the standard dog crates that can be folded up, carried around and are neither too cumbersome nor too heavy to be used as your pet’s home away from home.
Lastly, there are much more spacious crates you can set up in the yard which are used to exercise your dog. They are usually made from metal, are easy to set up and give the animal considerable room to play and run around in.
Dog Crate Size
You’ll want to be careful when choosing dog crate sizes; on the one hand you don’t want to run the risk of cramping the animal – it should definitely be roomy enough in there for the dog to be able to stand normally and make a full turn unobstructed. On the other, you don’t want the crate to be so big that the dog can start associating one part of it as their sleeping area and the other as a place where they do their business.
Obviously, this entails different sizes for different breeds. These are measured in the crate’s length. The smallest crates you can get are 18 inches long. Crates then come in increments of either 2 or 4 inches, 24-, 30- and 36- inch ones being the most popular. There are crates for the largest of dogs too – you can easily find ones 48 inches long, which should be able to accommodate great Danes, German Shepherds, and other large breeds.
Portability and Durability
It’s safe to say that almost all crates are designed with portability in mind. This is evident not only in the light weight they feature, but in the bags, handles and straps attached to them. Having more openings is a good indicator of portability, as you can use the front one to get your dog quickly inside the crate from a confined space such as a car and let it out even easier through the side entrance.
Durability depends largely on the crate’s material. Steel and plastic crates will generally take a beating with the latter being more prone to accumulating scratch marks. Generally, the weakest crates are the soft ones as the mesh and fabric they’re made of usually can’t resist the dog’s strong teeth. Then again, these aren’t the kind of crates you’d put a misbehaving or very nervous dog into anyway.
There are three main materials dog crates are made out of – metal, plastic, and fabric. Metal and plastic have a lot of things in common – they’re hard, impossible to chew or scratch through and can be cleaned more easily, especially metal ones whose bars don’t get as dirty as a crate’s sides and whose bottom is easily detached.
Soft crates are made from various fabrics ranging from thick cloth to weather-resistant polyester. Unlike a lot of metal and plastic crates that can’t be disassembled or folded up, soft crates always feature a set of bars which give the crate its shape and which can be collapsed.
There are a lot of crate manufacturers – just visit any online retailer specializing in pet supplies to see that the selection truly is staggering. Even so, there are a few select brands that stand out and manage to consistently garner favorable reviews from satisfied pet owners and professionals alike. The most highly regarded of these are EliteField, Petsfit, MidWest, Carlson, 2Pet, Expawlorer and ProSelect.
Dog Crate F.A.Q.
What size dog crate do I need?
We’ve already touched on crate sizes, but not on how these relate to your pet’s actual dimensions. Before buying any crate, you should take your dog’s measures to be sure that the crate will be a good fit. Its height is measured from the top of the head (or ears if they’re always erect) to the ground. Add another inch to that to get a good height.
Measure its width by sizing up the dog’s back and add another 3 inches to that, 4 if it’s a larger breed. Length is measured from its tail end all the way to the tip of the nose. Once you’ve done that, add another 3-4 inches and you’re done.
What kind of crate should I get for a puppy?
Puppies are energetic and curious. They also like to sink their teeth into all manner of things, so getting a soft crate at that age, especially for a dog that isn’t quite as well behaved yet, would be inadvisable.
Plastic or metal will be fine for now and since the dog will inevitably grow, the soft crate is always an option later on. Remember to bathroom train the dog before getting any kind of crate to minimize accidents and increase the dog’s well-being when inside the crate.
How to collapse a dog crate?
This depends on the specific manufacturer and make of the crate, but there are a few general rules to follow. Soft crates usually require you to unscrew or detach the beams that comprise their frames and then either collapse the beams or entirely remove them.
Metal crates have tabs on the front and back you need to pull up, allowing these two sides to collapse inside the crate. There’s usually a latch at one side – collapse this side first and then fold the remaining side over the roof. Secure the folded crate with the latch and it’s done.
How to put a dog crate together?
You do pretty much the opposite of what was said above – attach beams to one another and secure with screws in the case of soft crates, unfold the sides of a metal crate followed by the front and back. Then put the tabs back in place.
Are crates good for dogs?
In general, a dog crate’s pros far outweigh its cons, and the latter are almost entirely non-existent provided you use the crate as the dog’s home and a learning tool, NOT as a prison and place of punishment.
So much can be accomplished with this humble crate! It helps your pup to master bathroom training (it will do its best not to pee on its resting place – you can use that), provides a place where the dog can de-stress if things get too overwhelming, or calm down if they’re overexcited, and helps him acclimate to unfamiliar surroundings much quicker as it’s something they enjoy using and is used to regardless of your location.
We’ve tried to bring you a diverse set of dog crate options and dare say that there’s something in here for every situation. Our overall winner is the AmazonBasics crate which surpassed even well-known brand names with its quality and features. However, there’s a lot to be said about the other entries as well.
Whether you need a larger play area for your precocious pup, a safe and convenient way of getting him from one part of the country to another, or don’t have much money to spend but don’t want to compromise on quality, there’s a crate in here with your dog’s name written all over it.