The 10 Best Dog Crates

Updated February 14, 2018 by Ezra Glenn

10 Best Dog Crates
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A good dog crate is versatile enough to act as both a comfortable home base for your furry best friend as well as securely limit his or her mobility when you need to. Great for training and transportation, you can be sure your most precious cargo will be well taken care of inside any one of our selections. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best dog crate on Amazon.

10. ProSelect ZW919

The ProSelect ZW919 features a removable divider panel for added versatility. It's good for indoor training when you need a confined space, or use it to house two smaller pooches you want to keep separated while you're out.
  • dual latching doors keep pets secure
  • available in six sizes
  • included tray is too small
Brand Proselect (PRPQC)
Model ZW919 30 17
Weight 18 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

9. EliteField 3-Door

The EliteField 3-Door is made out of a soft, washable material, and has large screens on every side providing great ventilation for your pet. It couldn't contain a ferocious pup determined to get out, but makes a good option for trips away from home.
  • includes a carrying bag and mat
  • two accessory pockets
  • zippers may fail over time
Brand EliteField
Model pending
Weight 18 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. Guardian Gear Collapsible

Available in a range of sizes, the portable Guardian Gear Collapsible is great for camping and outdoor fun, with water-resistant material and ground stakes to prevent movement. But a determined canine can easily rip through the mesh windows if left inside for long periods.
  • offers good ventilation
  • side panel flaps can be rolled down
  • not recommended for puppies
Brand Guardian
Model ZA420 31
Weight 12 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

7. SmithBuilt Heavy Duty

The SmithBuilt Heavy Duty is manufactured with corrosion resistant, commercial-quality materials to last a lifetime. Because it is so strong, sturdy, and heavy, four rolling casters have smartly been built onto the bottom for portability.
  • side bars are welded to the frame
  • resists stains and warping
  • locks are not secure
Brand SmithBuilt Crates
Model pending
Weight 63 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

6. Petmate Two Door Top Load

The Petmate Two Door Top Load is designed specifically for small breeds and makes a good container for traveling with. The top handle allows it to be easily picked up, and two doors make cleaning from a variety of angles a breeze.
  • includes a water cup
  • heavy duty plastic construction
  • some top doors don't close well
Brand Petmate
Model 21227
Weight 5 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

5. BestPet Playpen

The BestPet Playpen is a suitcase-style collapsible option that comes in five lengths, from 24" to 48", making it a great choice no matter the size of your furry pal. Its slide-out ABS tray can be removed while the doors are closed for easy cleaning.
  • available in blue black and pink
  • no tools needed for assembly
  • some pets can chew through wire
Brand BestPet
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

4. AmazonBasics 9001

True to the descriptor in its name, the AmazonBasics 9001 is a bare-bones model that comes in six different sizes with the option of single or dual doors to fit the needs of most pet owners. What it lacks in originality it more than makes up for in durability.
  • removable composite plastic pan
  • optional divider panel included
  • folds flat when not in use
Brand AmazonBasics
Model 9001-36A
Weight 24.5 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

3. Casual Home End Table

You'll be hard pressed to find a better looking crate for your pup than the Casual Home End Table. Its solid wood construction gives it the appearance of a fine piece of furniture, and it comes in three finishes to blend seamlessly into any room.
  • available in three sizes
  • functional tabletop surface
  • secure latch closure
Brand Casual Home
Model 600-44
Weight 33.3 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Carlson 6006

If you have a large breed of up to 120 lbs, then you need to take a look at the spacious Carlson 6006. It is all made out of steel and is equipped with a double locking system, so even the most powerful and determined pets can't escape.
  • fold and go design for transport
  • heavy duty plastic pan resists odors
  • only takes a few minutes to assemble
Brand Carlson Pet Products
Model 6006
Weight 38.6 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. Midwest Life Stages 16

The sturdy Midwest Life Stages 16 quickly and easily folds completely flat when not in use, so it's useful for those with large dogs and not a lot of floor space. It also features an adjustable and removable divider panel for added versatility.
  • durable electro-coat finish
  • offers side and front access
  • rounded corners for safety
Brand MidWest Homes for Pets
Model 1636DD-1P
Weight 33.7 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

What Do I Need to Consider Before Purchasing a Dog Crate?

The first thing you need to consider before purchasing a dog crate is your dog's size. Any owner needs to be sure that a prospective crate will be long, high, and wide enough to accommodate the dog, particularly when that dog is lying down. This not only applies to the crate, but perhaps more importantly, the crate's entrance. You should also determine how much house space you're willing to devote to a crate. Otherwise, you could wind up purchasing a model that's too large.

If your dog is prone to spending time in more than one home, then you'll probably want a lightweight crate (e.g., 10-40 lbs) that is either collapsible, or made of fabric that you can fold. If your dog is big, you'll want a crate to have a weighted base, the kind that prevents your dog from tipping the crate over if he or she happens to be flailing around from side to side.

Certain dog crates feature a wooden trim, which is nice, but could present a problem if your dog has a tendency to scratch or claw. Regardless of what type of crate you own, any water bowl that you place inside should be made of metal, as opposed to plastic. A lot of crated dogs are inclined to treat a plastic bowl as if it were a toy, which is part of the reason you don't want to overfill any bowl that you place inside a crate. The other part of the reason is that your dog could drink all of that water, resulting in a crate that is ... all wet.

It's worth mentioning that the majority of fabric crates (e.g., nylon, mesh, polyester, etc.) have been designed with smaller dogs in mind. Buying a fabric crate for a 60-lb dog can - and probably will - result in a lot more headaches than it's worth.

How to Help Your Dog Embrace Its Crate

Long-term, you want a dog to look at his or her crate as being less of a cage and more of a home. The first step to creating that type of atmosphere involves lining the crate with a layer of cushion and a blanket. Assuming the crate has a hard surface, adding a cushion should keep the dog from feeling like he is being made to lie on a flat slab. Laying a blanket down can provide a sense of security, especially if that blanket is one that the dog already loves.

Most dogs are suspicious of entering a crate for the first time. Crates are small and confining, which is why you may need to lure your dog into the crate with the promise of a treat. The key is not to give your dog the treat until he is completely inside. Hopefully, you'll only need to do to this a handful of times. In addition, you may want to spend some time with your dog while he is lying in the crate with the door open. Petting your dog in this environment reinforces the idea that you are not punishing the dog, or banishing him to the crate alone.

Obviously, you'd like for your dog to sleep while he's in the crate, or, at the very least, to refrain from constant barking. With that in mind, it might be worth taking the dog for a walk or playing with him just prior to placing him inside the crate. Fifteen minutes worth of activity might go a long way to ensuring your dog feels exhausted.

Finally, you may want to put a dog toy and a metal water bowl in the dog's crate to make the atmosphere seem more congenial. You may also want to put a cover (i.e., a blanket) over the top of the crate if it happens to be placed inside a sunlit room.

A Brief History of the Dog Crate

While it's probable that rudimentary dog crates have been around for centuries, the first official patent for one of these crates was awarded to an Ohio man named John Porterfield in 1902. Porterfield's carrier was built with wood, and it featured small windows, a handle, and a collapsible frame.

In 1924, a Missouri inventor named Dwight McBride improved upon Porterfield's original design by adding a series of metal bars along one side of the crate. These bars provided the dog with a wide-open window, and they also functioned as the crate's primary door.

Up and through the 1950s, dog crates were still considered a specialty item, something used by SPCAs and kennels, or private owners who were transporting their dogs inside a car, a plane, or a boat. The majority of consumers made little distinction between a dog crate and a dog carrier. What's more, the American public had really come to embrace the idea of owning - or building - a more traditional dog house.

During the 1980s, manufacturers began to shift from advertising these products as "cages" to advertising them as crates. Soon after, the pet-owning public caught on. Having a crate meant dogs would no longer be hopping over fences or chewing up the furniture while their owners were at work. It also meant that dogs might not have to spend their daylight hours with a boarder.

Today, indoor crates are more popular than they have ever been. Crates have effectively supplanted the dog house in a number of areas, while making it more feasible for people who aren't always home to own a dog.

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Last updated on February 14, 2018 by Ezra Glenn

Ezra is a writer, photographer, creative producer, designer, and record label-operator from New York City. He's traveled around the world and ended up back where he started, though he's constantly threatening to leave again.

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