There was a time when people frowned on dog crates as if owners were putting their dogs behind bars, but crate training is now a recognised part of a puppy’s upbringing. Smaller than a puppy playpen, the best dog crates offer a safe space, where they can retreat when they are tired or overwhelmed. They are also invaluable to help toilet training, ensuring puppies don’t wreak havoc in the house when left unattended or leave them exposed to any dangers at home, and can help with separation anxiety as they grow to understand the crate is their sanctuary. With that in mind, it’s essential to choose the right crate to ensure your dog is safe and happy.
There are various practical factors we need to consider. The crate must be robust. Crates for the home are usually made from metal, as this is not easily damaged or chewed and therefore is durable enough to last for years. On the other hand, if you are travelling, a heavy metal crate is unwieldy so you might want to choose a fabric crate that can be easily dismantled and folded away. Some of the metal cages can also be folded but they are not as easily transportable.
If you are buying for a puppy, make sure you factor in how big he will grow, because the crate should last him for life. He will look tiny in a vast crate initially, but he will gradually grow into his new home without need for the disruption of “moving house”. You can get a divider to make the crate smaller, which will help with toilet training as they won’t want to make a mess in their own space.
Removable trays are a bonus, as it makes cleaning much easier. And double doors – one on the side and the end – means you are not limited as to where you keep the crate.
Best dog crates
Ellie-Bo Dog Puppy Cage
Sizes: S–XXL (24–48in) | Colours: Black or silver | RRP: From £54 |
The Ellie-Bo is a metal dog crate which folds flat for easy storage or transportation, and is easy to set up without the need for any tools.
There are two doorways for easy access, with sliding latch mechanisms on each door to secure the crate. It has a steel non-chew removable metal tray for easy cleaning. Cage dividers are also available.
Kong Two Door Ultra-Strong Dog Crate
Sizes: S, M, M/L, L or L/XL | Colours: Black | RRP: From £42 |
The Kong dual-door is a rust-resistant crate with triple-lock protection, so ideal for those Houdini dogs. It comes with an adjustable divider panel to allow the crate to grow along with your pet. The door-design is reinforced with durable and secure features, including angled slide-bolt latches and overlapping doorframes for enhanced security. This crate has a heavy duty construction with heavier gauge wire than most.
It is designed with rounded corners and finished edges to prevent irritating scrapes and knocks. This crate can be folded away.
In the UK? View now at petsathome.com
Dog Life Colour Pop Crate
Sizes: S–L | Colours: Red, blue or pink | RRP: From £74.95 |
Bored of black? How about one of these colourful dog crates for a pop of colour in your home? It has front and side doors, and double-safety locks which need to be lifted to unlock.
It has extra attributes such as nano dryplating technology (ceramic coating to repel dirt, water and oil), and is double powder coated for excellent corrosion resistance. Plus, there’s the all-important removable tray. It can be quickly assembled and folded flat for easy storage.
In the UK? View now at doggiesolutions.co.uk
Walnut & Ivory Pueblo Modern Dog Crate
Sizes: S–XL | Colours: Walnut, white, grey, black or green | RRP: From £230.07 |
For those who like their dogs to live in splendour, these crates blend in with your furniture. Handmade from plywood and water-based wood wax, these crates can be personalised with your pet’s name.
You can also order a cushion cover in ivory, grey, black, navy, brown or pink.
In the UK? View now at etsy.com
Henry Wagg Folding Fabric Dog Crate
Sizes: S–L | Colours: Grey | RRP: From £34.99 |
This folding travel crate is designed for use both while travelling or in the home. It is lightweight and collapsible, and comes with a zip mesh access door, as well as zip assembly with no spare parts required.
The inner floor pad is washable and comes with foam insulation.
The crate has its own carry case and ground pegs if you want to keep your dog enclosed outdoors – handy at a picnic to keep those sausages safe!
Cheeko Pop Up Pet Dome
Sizes: S or M | Colours: Black with yellow trim | RRP: From £34.99 |
This is a lightweight and portable travel solution made of durable wipe-clean material. It has a soft removable base, and provides plenty of ventilation to ensure your dog stays comfortable. And ideal solution for quick trips as it’s really light, but can also be used as a crate when your dog is staying away from home, such as visiting friends, and you need to bring his “sleeping facilities” with you.
It also has handy pockets for storage, as well as a travel bag for storing the dome while not in use.
You may also like to read…
Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.