Whether you’re a new parent or just someone looking to replace an old purchase, then finding a new escape free crate can be an entire job on its own.
To make things a little easier, I decided to head out and research the best products available today…
In this article you will learn:
- What the best crate is to buy
- The pros and cons of using crates
- Accessories you can throw in the mix
- Materials and specs to consider
Without further ado!
What's in this Guide?
Best Dog Crate In 2021
|Best Overall||Unipaws Pet Crate End Table|
|Runner Up||Paws And Pals Dog Crate|
|Best Budget Buy||MidWest Homes For Pets Dog Crate|
|Best Heavy Duty||ITORI Heavy Duty Metal Dog Crate|
|Best For Travel||EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate|
Best Overall (Editors Choice): Unipaws Pet Crate End Table
Amongst all the products on the list, the Unipaws Pet Crate End Table has to be my favorite for a few reasons. Not only does it look amazing, but it also provides a secure safe yet chew-proof environment for your dog.
Its elegant double door design features a 32″ length that can hold up to 58lbs with ease. Unfortunately, this is both a positive and negative element due to the double doors being reported to have had malfunctions on the exact same locking units.
However, this does not discount the quality of this item as it provides a well-ventilated table design that will make an aesthetically pleasing addition to your home. The cushion from the image is also included that boasts for being soft, comfy, and machine washable making it super easy to clean in case of an accident.
- External Size = 23 x 32 x26 inches
- Internal size is 21 x 30 x 22 inches
- Weighs 58 pounds
Best Heavy Duty: ITORI Heavy Duty Metal Dog Crate
Here is an amazing crate for training, sleeping, and most importantly not escaping. The ITORI Heavy Duty Metal Dog Crate is made from a welded reinforced steel design that is guaranteed to hold up against the toughest of chewers.
The frame of the crate has been treated with a multi-layer hammer tone coating that will ensure the crate sustains a healthy durable lifetime. This also makes this product easy to clean, and with a removable tray and wheels, it’s as simple as a quick rinse before popping it back in to use again.
A great thing to note is that all materials are Non-toxic and easy to assemble as the crate is shipped partially assembled meaning that you won’t need to spend hours putting it up.
If you’re on the fence about a heavy-duty dog crate, then the ITORI crate is bound to be the best option for you.
- Made with reinforced steel
- Weights 83.6 lbs
- 42.52 inches in length x 29.92 inches wide x 34.64 inches tall
Best Budget Pick: MidWest Homes For Pets Dog Crate
First off, you are probably already familiar with Midwest Homes and the level of high-quality products they manufacture for pups. Either way, if you aren’t, then you’re about to learn what they can offer right here.
It’s safe to say that this is the most versatile product on this list with over 7 sizes available with single doors, double doors, and dividers. The Midwest Homes crate would have surely been my best recommendation overall given that I never had to include a budget-friendly option too (which most of us will lean towards).
You’ll also get a removable tray and rollers for the base of the crate to prevent any scratches on delicate flooring. The slide-blot latches provide pretty decent security and in just a few easy steps you can fold this crate right down to throw in the back of your vehicle for travel.
Overall, its a great all-round wire crate that does what it says on the tin. Whilst I would not recommend this for the 10% of excessive chewers, I would certainly recommend this for the remaining 90% of most pooches.
- Sizes: 18″ all the way to 54″ x 30″ height
- Holds up to 90lbs
- Folds flat
Best Plastic: Aspen Pet Traditional Crate
Other than wire crates, the Aspen Pet Traditional crate is probably the crate you have seen alongside most pet owners whilst traveling. Hands down, this is a great product and provides a great purpose, but a key feature that I do not like about it is the fact that the largest size available is a 28″.
For most pet owners like myself, this is not big enough, although if you have a smaller to medium-sized breed, then this may be the best option for you. Firstly, this crate takes into account the airline requirements for pet travel which makes it fully compliant for airlines and highways.
The wire door features a breathable design with air being able to freely pass through the exit and out via the events located on either side panel. Another benefit to this design is that your dog will be able to see out the crate 360 which will particularly help for traveling with pets experiencing anxiety.
Whether its a trip across the state or a plane ride out of the country, this is by far the best option for an all-round travel experience.
- Different sizes: 20 inches, 24 inches, and 28 inches
- Travel compliant
- 360-degree ventilation
Best For Travel: EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate
There are far too many colors at hand for this crate to list here, but I can tell you that there are “a lot of colors available”. Sizes for this crate are not much different too, as you can choose from as small as 20″L x 14″W x 14″H ranging all the way up to 42″L x 28″W x 32″H.
Currently, as of 2020 this EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate comes with a 2-year warranty and a solid strong steel tubed frame covered in soft fabric design. This is to maintain the stability of the crate when in use, as collapsing seems to be the most common issue for crates of this type.
In just a few easy steps the three mesh doors fold down where you can then pop this into the free carry case provided for easy travel. All fabric is removable and machine washable including the pockets on the top and side along with covers and fleece bedding.
Just be sure to measure your dog beforehand as the most reported returns are due to customers ordering the wrong size.
- Different sizes: 14″W x 14″ – 28″W x 32″H
- Machine washable covering
- Additional 2″ added to W x H to ensure your dog fits
Best For Small Dogs: Petsfit Portable Pet Crate
With three entries and velcro non-slip mats, the Petsift Portable pet crate makes a great choice for anyone looking for a light convenient crate that can hold dogs weighing up to 25lbs. You have a choice from two available sizes that each come a dark and light grey color.
Petsfit boasts this product is not only waterproof and versatile but the machine-washable mat and removable outer covering make this an easy product to clean. If on the other hand you only plan to use it’s from time to time, then the easy to fold down design will ensure that traveling and storing are made easy.
- Sizes: 27″Lx18″Wx22″H – 31″Lx20″Wx25″H
- Easy popup design
- 3 Zipper entires with velcro non-slip mat
Best For High Anxiety: ProSelect Empire Dog Crate
Dealing with an anxious doggy is far from easy, whether it’s going to the bathroom indoors, crying at night, or excessive pacing, you will surely need a crate that will provide a fun soothing environment for your pooch.
The ProSelect Empire Dog Crate has to be my no1 recommendation for dogs with anxiety due to its den-like cave environment that will provide your dog with a sense of security. This crate is available in a medium size that holds up to 40lbs and a large that will hold up to 70lbs.
Its steel tray can be easily removed for cleaning, and the 4 wheels can be easily removed by unscrewing each of them from the bottom of the crate. That said, I find this crate best suits larger dogs as smaller pups tend to slip their paws through and get to the sliding latches.
- Size: 40.6 x 29.5 x 37.4 inches
- Internal height is 33.1 inches
- Removable Casters
Best Soft-Sided: EliteField 2-Door Soft Dog Crate
In my honest opinion, I would only recommend soft crates for dogs that are already reliably crate trained. I’m sure you’re aware of why for a few obvious reasons. Soft crates will never hold up against tough chewers, extreme diggers, or just about any puppy that wants to escape.
However, once we pass all of that, then the EliteField 2-Door Soft Dog Crate is my top option. Surprisingly, this crate comes in a range of sizes starting from 30″ in length all the way up to 62″ length. So you can be sure that most dogs will fit into this crate no matter your breed.
Bear in mind that this is a playpen/ dog crate, so it provides a little more of a fun environment over other crates that you may find. All covers including the floor mat are easily removable via the zips located on each side that can be throwing into the washing machine and dried on the line.
You can choose from 8 different colors that all fold down for easy carrying or storage that will slide into a 3″flat carry case with a padded shoulder strap. As of 2020 this product comes with a 2-year warranty that you can exercise should the crate become dysfunctional within the set time period.
- Sizes: 20″L x 14″W x 14″H to 42″L x 28″W x 32″H
- Fleece bed
- Additional top and side storage pockets
Paws And Pals Dog Crate
Here you have a wired crate with oomph, as the Paws & Pals Crate features everything you get in a wireframe crate with a little on top. You still get the removable tray, the foldable design, and a range of sizes (28″ – 48″) with split dividers.
However, with the new 2020 design, you can expect a more durable design that will contain almost any breed of any size safely and securely. It’s high tensile strength wire and heavy-duty steel design will ensure durability is at a maximum making this the best wire crate for most pups.
- Different sizes: 20″ to 48″
- High tensile steel wire design
- Split dividers, carry handle & multiple doors
- Folds flat
MidWest ICrate Starter Kit
What more does fido need other than some food, a nice cave-like environment, and great ventilation? Well, Midwest certainly had this in mind when they created the Midwest Icrate Starter kit. It’s an all in one crate that meets just about every need you could possibly have.
Not only is this an affordable potion, but you’ll also get to choose from sizes ranging from 22″ all the up to 48″. This product comes as a package including the crate, a polyester cover, a fleece pet bed, and 2 feeding bowls that attach to the frame.
Both the bedding and covers are not only machine washable, but tumble dryer friendly too. Every size available comes with a double door feature that allows your dog (or you) to enter and exit the crate with ease.
Midwest also boasts their leakproof removable undertray will ensure that any unforeseen accidents will be kept controlled with you being able to easily remove, clean, and replace it. Overall, this is a great all-round product that does what it says on the tin, it folds, it’s safe and it sleeps, what more do you need?
- Sizes: 22″ x 13″ x 16″ – 42″ x 30″ x 28″
- Flat folding
- Easy storage
AmazonBasics Folding Metal Dog Crate
Whilst this is similar to other crates on the list, it certainly differentiates itself from competitors due to the design being specifically tailored for dual purposes. The AmazonBasics Metal Dog Crate was made to fit two small dogs that can enter or exit via the front or side door that is available on the double door option.
Of course for the additional functionality, you can expect to pay an additional $10 or so but to make your life easier, then this may be the best option to go for. Both feature a two slide-bolt latch locking system with a sturdy foldable metal construction that is easy to store away or travel in just a few simple steps.
To put up, you simply lay the folded crate flat, then unfold and raise the one-piece sides and top to create the initial framework, then swing the front and back panels up and lock into place and your done!
- Sizes: 22″ to 48″
- Comes with a divider
- 2 Bolt latches
- Easy storage
New Age Pet EcoFLEX Pet Crate/End Table
If you’re still a wood lover, then the New Age Pet ecoFLEX Pet Crate is a great modern style option that comes in white, espresso black, russet, and grey. This crate will hold dogs up to 80lbs with an exterior dimension ranging from 23″ to 42″ length.
When it comes to aesthetics, this has to be the best looking crate on the list with the spindles on the front and side made from steel, the wood made of ECOflex (a composite of wood and recycled polymer), and an easy no tools assembly, this crate makes an outstanding option for anyone looking for a wooden designed crate.
- Smaller size : 3.8″ L x 18.1″ W x 22″ H (weighs 25.5lbs)
- Large Size: 42.5″ L x 27.6″ W x 30.9″ H (weighs 60lbs)
- Steel spindles
- Removable top
Accessories For Dog Crates
getting hold of a few accessories can be a great way to help your dog enjoy their time in the crate. Whether its a long trip or an overnight stay, then having a few things that can keep them stimulated will play a big role in crate training or traveling too.
Toys For Crates
There’s no harm in making things fun right? A few toys can really spice things up and keep your dog occupied for hours on end. Of course, if your dog already has a few of their favorite toys that you know, then throw them in by all means. But if you are looking for a few alternatives, then here are a few options;
- PetSafe Busy Buddy Jack Dog Toy, Chew Toy with Treats
- Diggs Groov Dog Training Toy/Dog Training Aid
- Nylabone Flavored Durable Dog Chew Toy
Blankets For Dog Crates
During the night when temperatures fall its best to have a blanket that will keep your up warm. wether its a cover or a blanket inside, there are a few great products to choose from that will give Fido a warm night’s rest.
- Furrybaby Premium Fluffy Fleece Dog Blanket
- Luciphia 1 Pack 3 Blankets Super Soft Fluffy Premium Fleece
- ALLISANDRO Extra Softness and Fluffy 350 GSM Lightweight Microplush Fleece
Bowls For Dog Crates
You know how frustrating it can be when you’re hungry and need to eat. Well its no different fo your dog, so having food available at their disposal is very important to keep them happy and stress-free in a crate. To make this easy for you, there are a few bowls that are made to fit onto crates to ensure you don’t have to micro-manage feeding.
In short, these bowls will fixate to the frame of the crate via nut and bolt for easy feeding. A few I recommend are the following;
- MidWest Homes for Pets Snap’y Fit Stainless Steel Food Bowl
- DeaLott Removable Stainless Steel Cage bowl
- Ethical Pet Stainless Steel Bird Cup with Wire
Having a well-trained dog can help in almost any circumstance, so ensuring that your dog is crate trained can prove to be more helpful than you can imagine. To help you in doing so, below I have listed a few tips and training techniques that you can apply to make sure that you and your dog have a seamless learning experience.
- Keep to an 8 hour maximum for crate time: Whilst crates provide a great way for your dog to remain stimulated. A good stretch of the legs every now and then is still absolutely essential. It’s for that reason that you shouldn’t leave adults longer than 7 – 8 hours and just 4 -5 hours for puppies.
- Be cautious with fragile toys and foods: Unsurprisingly, there are a few toys and foods that preach to be solid, tough, and durable which couldn’t be further from the truth. So in order to make sure that your dog stays safe, be sure to do your due diligence before placing objects into their crate. As in just a few hours, a bad quality product could be torn, chewed, and become very dangerous. To learn more about common brands that do just that click here.
- Ensure to read instructions: Funnily enough, the most thrown away thing that is never read in the world are instructions. We always tend to assume that we know what we’re doing and just as humans never like to be told what to do. YUP! We know best! However, when it comes to putting up a stable crate, it’s highly recommended that you follow the guidelines to ensure it remains up and remains safe.
- Provide food and water: You already have my recommended feeding bowls that simply allow you to set it and forget for feeding and drinking time. Don’t skip this step as life can easily get you caught up to the point where you forget that your dog needs a feed. Be sure to choose a good one along with your crate as it’s imperative you do so.
Things To Be Aware Of
Never use the crate as punishment
Crate time should be a positive experience for both you and your dog. Training them to go there for a bad reason and a good reason can get a little confusing. To avoid this, just make sure to use the crate for good things only. That way your dog can make the connection that staying in there is a good thing to do.
Use treats with interactive toys
Most toys that you’ll find in this day and age have also taken stimulation into mind when creating it. With how easy it is to combine the two, there is simply no excuse for not finding a toy that will challenge your dog whilst keeping them occupied over a long period of time.
Treats work amazingly for this as they provide a reward system that encourages your dog to keep trying to extract the food from the toy.
Use the right bedding
In order to be happy, you need to be comfy! bedding has to be the no1 item inside of a dog crate that will do just that. Make sure to give your dog nice warm bedding in the cold and a cool light bedding for the warmth. 75 and 78 degrees F tends to be the best temperatures to keep your dog happy and healthy through the night.
It’s essential that you get your dog out for a walk every few hours or 8 max and ensure that they have a good run prior to going into the dog crate too. Not doing so could pose risks to health and later prove to be the reason for future illness. To avoid this, just go for a walk!
Buying Guide: Important Features To Consider
To help you make the right decision, here is a buying guide that will run you through a few features to consider to help you choose the best dog crate from the list.
I guess this feature will totally come down to the specific uses you intend or have for the crate altogether. for most parents, I find that metal crates work well, but this isn’t always the best option if your the type that likes to keep on the move.
You’ll also need to consider how long you would like the crate to last for, as if you’re trying to go for around 5 years plus, then a fabric type crate is probably out of the question.
But to give you a blanket answer to the question, I would recommend you go for a metal crate for indoor/outdoor use and a fabric carte if you are a regular traveler.
Of course, this will also depend on the size of your dog, as I find larger dogs are not always best suited for travel crates whereas smaller dogs are a lot more convenient to and easy to buy a travel crate for.
Cleaning And Maintenance
It’s no good having. a great crate with all the. fancy specs and features if you can’t remove it and clean it. Not only is this an important feature for cleaning itself, but its also an important part of maintaining your dog’s health too.
With heavy-duty & wooden crates, you’ll find that a quick wipe down does the job in most cases, however, with other types such as soft-sided dog crates and wire crates you may need something with a little more convenience for disassembling.
Size Of Crate
The only factor that will affect the size of your crate will be the size of your dog. If you have a big dog, then you’ll need a big crate and if you have a small crate then you’ll need a … you get it!
Finding a crate to suit your every need is not always easy, which is why I’ve shared a few tips below to help you discover the best size depending on your breed to cut your learning curve by a margin before you buy.
Extra Small Crates
Extra small crates should range between twenty and twenty-four inches in length and is the smallest size dog crate that you should really consider getting if you expect to do it when your dog is full-grown.
These crates work for the smallest dog breeds, including, but not limited to, the following: Boston Terrier, Chihuahua, Pomeranian, Pug, Jack Russel Terrier, and Yorkshire Terrier. Dogs that fit in extra-small crates will generally weight between 1 and 10 pounds.
This crate size is generally between twenty-four and 30 inches long and can work with many of the dog breeds on the previous list and more. As a general rule, the dogs in these crates should weigh between 11 and 25 pounds.
Some examples of these breeds are border terriers, miniature dachshunds, miniature poodles, and Maltese.
Medium dog crates are generally for dogs weighing between twenty-six and forty pounds. These dog crates are typically around thirty inches in length. Breeds that are best suited for this size crates include pit bulls, french bulldogs, cocker spaniels, miniature pinschers, and shetland sheepdog.
Large crates are typically around thirty-six inches long and are designed for dog breeds that weigh between forty-one and seventh pounds. Examples of breeds within that size ranger are Belgian sheepdog, schnauzers, English setters, basset hounds, and bull terriers.
Extra Large Crates
Extra-large dog crates generally measure around forty-two inches long and are for dogs weighing between seventy-one and ninety pounds. This size crate typically works best for dog breeds such as the border collie, German shepherd, Dalmatian, husky, Irish setter, and Labrador retriever.
Extra Extra Large Crates
Extra extra large dog crates are for any dogs that weigh over ninety pounds when fully grown. Breeds that get that large are breeds such as malamutes, giant schnauzers, mastiff, Rottweiler, old English sheepdogs, bloodhounds, Bernese mountain dogs, and greyhounds. This size of dog crate should be around forty-six inches long or larger.
Styles And Types Of Dog Crates
There are four main types of dog crates that you can get for your dog. Which one you choose really depends on your specific dog and the needs you have. So to help you make a decision on the best dog crate I have listed out the various types of crates available on the market today.
Wired crates are the most versatile type of crates. They can be easily stored, usually fold down to just 3″ flat, and have proven to be difficult to escape given that security has been taken into account by the manufacturer.
Even if you have 2 dogs, you can find some wired dog crates that feature two doors and a divider allowing you to contain both dogs at once.
Soft-sided crates are more likely to be damaged over wired or plastic crates, which is the very reason I recommend that only ‘trained’ dogs are contained in crates of this type. On the other hand, due to these crates being super easy to travel with, I would say they are somewhat the best type of crate for convenience.
Plastic dog crates
Youll find that in most cases only small to medium-sized dogs will fit into plastic crates. Whilst they are sturdy and great for traveling with, I would not recommend you use them for long periods of time. Some brands manufacture these crates with plastic that can be easily broken off and chewed.
I need to say no more about the dangers that this can pose to your dog if this was to be the case.
I’m not sure about you, but I still love wood to this day! And whilst our new modern style becomes more clinical and neutral, I still love to see a nice wooden oak chest in a country home in the suburbs. If your the same, then a wooden crate will be the perfect fit for you and your home.
Of course, there are pros and cons to a crate like this. You will not always find they have the best security, and they are almost impossible to move into another location, let alone around in your home.
It is for that reason that I would say wooden dog crates are fantastic looking, but not always the best option for everyone.
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of crate is the best dog crate?
This really depends on what you are looking for in a dog crate. The most popular type of dog crate is the wired crate, as it is fairly easy to clean, fairly stable, and durable. If you want an everyday crate, you should heavily consider getting a metal crate.
However, for travel, you may prefer a plastic or fabric dog crate.
What is the best dog crate for small dogs?
Plastic crates often come in the smallest size, which can be beneficial to smaller dogs. However, buying a larger crate can also prove to be better as they give your dog more room to play inside. Whilst I believe this comes down to preference, I would certainly say that bigger the better, but not too big as this could also become problematic too.
So the answer is “bigger but within reason”.
Which is the best dog crate for larger dogs?
Let’s face it, the story of David and Goliath says it all! Bigger is usually going to be stronger and whilst in most cases, David may be the hero, bigger dogs are certainly going to have more power to break out than smaller breeds.
That said I would recommend that you instead focus on the right security over the best dog crate when it comes to choosing for a larger breed. Heavy-duty crates are at the top of the list when it comes to choosing a crate for a larger dog.
Where is the best place to put a dog crate in your home?
It’s best to place your dog’s crate somewhere near the family where they feel a part of everyone else. Avoid too much or too little light and areas that tend to be susceptible to adverse weather or temperature conditions. I find the easiest way to figure this out is to think of where you would want to be if it was you in the crate.
That will help you to visualize things in a slightly different way that will help you to choose the best place for your dog regardless of what you read online.
What is the best dog crate for crate training?
Hands down my choice would have to be a wired crate for the best dog crate for crate training. These crates come with everything you need, they’re easy to clean and can be easily moved if you need to choose a new location.
How to measure your dog for a crate
You’re going to need a tape measure to start. Then you’ll need to measure the lgth of your dog from nose to tail. However, you’ll need to leave additional room for the tail too (approximately 2 – 4 inches). To measure height, simply measure your dog form the top of the head to the ground, and you’re finished!
Now all you do is buy a crate that meets those requirements and of course, add a little room on top to allow a good amount of room for movement too.
How long can you leave your dog in a crate?
You can leave an adult dog for six to eight hours while you can only leave a puppy for four to five hours.
What are the best purposes and uses for a dog crate?
The best uses and proposes for crating by far is for house training and transportation. A dog crate will allow you to control your dogs actions whilst you train them on particular behaviors over a period of time.
On the other hand, a crate is also essential in order to travel with your dog and keep them safe whilst doing so.
You on a budget? Looking for a soft crate, travel crate, or metal? it’s all covered! There has been no stone left unturned in this article, making it the ultimate resource for finding the best dog crate in 2020.
No matter your experience or the number of dogs you own, this list will cover every base you need to consider and then help you to choose the best option for you. On the flip side, if you’re still on the hunt for more product reviews, then check out more of our guides.