The Top Tips for Choosing a Dog Crate

Tips for Choosing a Dog Crate

Are you looking to purchase a crate for your dog, but aren’t sure which one to choose? Dog crates can be very useful. They provide a sanctuary for your pet when it needs some privacy, they serve as an important training tool, and they’re a necessary item for travel. 

But, with all the options out there, choosing the right dog crate can sometimes be difficult. 

If you’re not sure which crate to purchase, check out this guide to learn the top tips for choosing the right dog crate. 

1. Figure Out the Correct Crate Size 

First things first, you need to figure out the right-sized crate for your pup. Just as you would be uncomfortable sleeping in a bed that’s too small, so too will your dog be uncomfortable sleeping in a crate that they feel cramped in. 

To figure out the correct crate size, you’re going to need to bust out the tape measure. 


To figure out the appropriate crate length, have your dog stand on all fours and measure them from the base of their tail to their nose’s tip. 

When measuring, it’s best to have your dog’s tail pointing into the air. If it’s sticking straight out at a parallel angle to the floor, then you’ll end up with a crate that’s too large. Once you’ve measured the length of your dog, add two to four inches to that measurement. This will tell you how long the crate should be. 


To figure out the right crate height, have your dog sit with their bottom on the ground. Then, measure your dog from the top of their head to the floor. Again, add two to four inches to this measurement to determine the crate height. 

Width is not something you need to measure for, as this will be based on the height and length. The only other thing you need to check in terms of dimensions is your dog’s weight. 

If your dog is a normal weight, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about, but you want to make sure your dog’s weight is within the manufacturer’s recommendations. 

2. Consider Your Dog’s Age 

When choosing a crate for your dog, you also want to consider their age. Or, more specifically, how much growing they have left to do. 

If your dog is still a puppy, then it’s best to invest in a crate with a divider panel. Once your puppy begins to grow, you can just remove the divider panel, so they have more space. 

Now, you may be asking yourself, “Why not just buy a big crate and forget about the divider panel?” While this may seem like a good idea, buying too large of a crate can derail your potty training efforts. Your dog may figure out that with the extra space, they can pee in one corner of the crate and sleep in the other. Buying an appropriately-sized crate ensures that this doesn’t happen. 

3. Consider the Different Materials 

Another very important thing to consider when choosing a dog crate is the material. The most popular types of dog crate materials are metal, plastic, fabric, and wood. Here’s what you need to know about each material:


If you plan to keep your dog’s crate in one spot in your home, then a metal crate is a good option. 

Metal crates are the most popular among dog owners, as they can be modified in different ways using crate covers, dividers, and furniture. As we mentioned earlier, crate dividers are useful if you have a growing puppy, so metal might be your best bet in this case. 

Metal crates also offer plenty of ventilation, and they make it easy for you and your dog to see each other. If you want to give your dog some privacy, then all you need to do is toss a cover over the crate. 

However, it’s important to keep in mind that metal can be heavy and it’s prone to rust. Also, if your dog is prone to chewing on things, chewing on a metal crate can severely damage their teeth. 


Fabric is another excellent material worth considering. A fabric crate (also referred to as a soft-sided crate) is great for anyone who is looking for a lightweight crate for travel purposes. 

If you’re allowed to bring your dog into work, a soft-sided, portable crate can be easily tucked under your desk. These crates are also inexpensive and allow for easy setup. 

The downside to fabric crates is that they’re not very durable and they can be easy for dogs to escape from. They can also be a bit difficult to clean. You can check out Pet Life for some great fabric crates. 


If your dog needs a bit more privacy while it’s in its crate, then a plastic crate is a great option. 

If you plan on traveling with your dog on a plane, this type of crate is a great option. In addition to allowing for extra privacy, plastic crates also typically come with handles at the top that make them incredibly portable. 

Plastic crates are also great because they’re lightweight, easy to clean, and hard to escape from. Plastic crates also tend to have low ventilation. 

While some may see this as a drawback, the low airflow can actually help insulate your dog from the cold air, which is especially useful when traveling. Many plastic crates can also be converted into dog beds. 

The drawback to plastic crates is that they’re not as attractive as some other options on the market, they can overheat in hot weather, and they can absorb an unpleasant odor over time. 


Wood dog crates are another great option for pet owners who plan to keep their crates in one place.

They’re also great for those who have style in mind, as wood crates are definitely the most aesthetically-pleasing crate option available. Wooden crates are also available in many different designs that you can easily integrate with your home decor. 

The downside of wooden crates is that they can be more expensive, and they’re not easy to move around. 

Now that you know what to look for in a dog crate, it’s time to start shopping! Comment below if you have any questions about choosing the right dog crate.


  1. Katie at Meadowia says

    Hey there! Can you guide me on how to choose the perfect dog crate?

Speak Your Mind