Tips & Advice

How to choose the right crate, cage, kennel or pen for you and your dog

If done properly crate training your pet can turn out to be a great way of disciplining your dog and having a safe place for them while you are away. It can be useful for the pet as well as the owner, as creates can be extremely helpful whilst house training and toilet training your pup. But, there are different kinds of crates, cages, kennels, and pens to choose from. Everyone has their own preferences, including your pet. So in order to choose the right product you have to consider what you want to use it for, what you need it for and what will be the best option for your pet. So here are few tips which should help you decide what kind of crate, cage, kennel or pen you should go for.

First, we should consider getting a pet carrier, which is mainly designed for transporting your pet but can also be used at home as a hideout for your pet. There are two types of carriers – hard sided and soft sided carriers. The difference usually is that hard-sided carriers are used for larger dogs, because the soft sided ones can only hold a smaller dog. You should choose the soft sided carrier if you are traveling short distances with your lap dog or if you are taking your pet in the main cabin of an airplane. Otherwise, you should always go for the hard sided carrier. And the size of the carrier will depend on the size of your pet, since your pet should have enough space to lay down, stand up and turn around, but no more than that.

Hard sided carriers can double as crates whilst at home because they already are a familiar place for your pet. But, you can also introduce real crates. There exist five basic pet crate types, wire crates, plastic crates, soft-sided crates, heavy-duty crates and decorative crates, and I am going to break down all of them. Wire crates are the most basic ones, they are great for warm temperatures, as they have great ventilation. On top of that, many of these crates can be sectioned off if you have a growing puppy and their size can be increased with time. And these crates are extremely easy to store as they can be broken down flat. The main downfall to the wire crate is that it is not that nice to look at. And it won’t be the best option if you are trying to toilet train your puppy, not to mention that pets tend to escape from these crates the most often.

dog crate

Plastic crates are great if you are traveling very often as you can easily take them with you. Also, these types of crates are cozier for your pet and it’s almost impossible to escape from plastic crates in comparison to wire crates. But, on the downside, plastic crates can get very warm as there isn’t great air circulation in them. And some pets aren’t great with being in a place from which they cannot see out. Placing your pet in a plastic crate can create extreme separation anxiety, so you have to be extremely careful with it. So, these are advised to be used when traveling, but not for everyday use.

Soft-sided crates are mainly advised if you own a small pet. These types of crates are great for traveling as they are lightweight and portable. But you won’t be able to use this if you have a large dog, as neither you or your pet will be comfortable by traveling with a soft crate. Also, if your pet has a difficulty with toilet training and tends to have accidents, soft sided crates are not the best option as they will be harder to clean. So if you have a larger dog and want to travel with them, heavy-duty crates will be perfect for this as they are approved by many airlines. These crates are great for dogs, which are known to be able to get out of crates, as they are made so that no dog can escape this crate. And although they are expensive compared to other types of crates, it will be money well spent.

And the fifth type of crates is decorative crates. They are great if you have a calm pet. These crates are a lot more appealing and will go great with your furniture and will go well with your interior design. But, if you are just starting to toilet train your puppy, this is not the best option to choose. Overall, decorative crates are a very appealing crate option for already toilet trained pets, but they are not meant to be used whilst traveling.

Kennels and Pens are used to give your pet a safe space to run around in. And, although they are a great option for people who have kids or don’t want their property ruined by their pet while they are playing, these crates won’t be a helpful tool for toilet training your pet, but will be great for disciplining and setting boundaries.

All in all, you should list the things that you are going to be using crates, caged or kennels for and then use this list to figure out which type of enclosure you should purchase. On top of that, also keep in mind that the enclosure type will also greatly depend on the characteristics of your pet. If your pet is toilet trained then every crate is going to be appropriate for them, but if not, then not all crates are going to be the fit. Also, some pets tend to escape and chew on crates and kennels, so you should to choose wire crates or heavy-duty ones in this case. Overall, considering what you really need rather than going with the cheapest or the most popular option is the most important tip I can give you when choosing a crate, kennel or carrier for your pet.


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