Everyone needs their own sanctuary, somewhere that they can rest and recharge their batteries. This includes animals as well as humans.
If you are reluctant to introduce your new dog to a crate, it is worth keeping in mind that dogs have an innate instinct to hunker down in a den, so investing in one of the best canine crates might be the best Christmas gift you could give Rover this year.
It is vital to get a crate that’s suitably sized for your dog, though. Today’s guide will help you achieve this.
Crates are useful for more than just giving your pooch a safe space. As we’ll outline below, you can also use canine crates for transporting your dog, either on trips or visits to the vets. Additionally, crates can serve as a useful training tool, as long as you remember to incorporate plenty of positive reinforcement.
If you use a crate to house train a puppy, you’ll find they will do almost anything to avoid soiling their own private space.
Crates can also come in handy if you have a new puppy that’s going through a chewing phase.
The most important thing about dog crates is choosing one that’s the right size for your pooch, and the other key element is to use the crate strategically rather than for unbroken periods of time. Never use a crate for the purposes of punishing your dog. The crate should be a happy and safe space for Fido, something he craves rather than avoids.
How can you pick the right crate, then?
Choosing the Right Crate for Your Dog
Before you think about the size of the crate, you should first consider the various different types of crate. Decide which one best suits your needs.
Types of Dog Crate
These are the main styles of dog crate:
- Wire dog crates
- Soft dog crates
- Heavy-duty or XL dog crates
- Dog crate furniture
Wire dog crates
Wire dog crates are basic and sturdy structures made of metal. These crates allow your dog to monitor their surroundings. They also ensure that your dog gets a steady airflow inside the crate.
Most wire dog crates often equipped with removable floor pans. This enables you to keep on top of cleaning. Many wire crates also have wire dividers, typically removable.
The majority of wire crates are collapsible for easy storage and transportation.
- Ideal for: Most dogs, including puppies and dogs who are being housetrained.
Soft dog crates
Soft dog crates are lightweight and very easy to set up.
Most soft crates come with two or three doors, promoting seamless access.
- Ideal for: Traveling pet parents.
Heavy-duty or XL dog crates
This type of dog crate is usually extra-long and extra-tall. Most heavy-duty dog crates are made of metal, occasionally premium steel.
If you’re looking at this type of crate, you’ll find that most come equipped with several latches, ideal for foiling escape artist dogs.
- Ideal for: The very biggest, strongest, and smartest dogs.
Dog crate furniture
If you need to crate your dog within the main living area of your home, dog crate furniture provides you with a much more attractive option that a traditional and functional crate.
Most dog crate furniture is made of wood, ideal for blending into the décor of your home.
- Ideal for: Smaller canine breeds and pet parents who require the ability to crate their furball within their main living area.
The better you know your pooch, the more easily you can choose a safe and comfy crate for them. Here are some more pointers to consider before choosing a crate size:
- Size of your dog: The most crucial factor when you’re choosing a dog crate is to double down on the size of your hound. Your dog needs to walk into a crate without needing to crouch. He should find it easy to turn himself around, even when the door of the crate is closed. Remember that most dogs are taller when they are sitting down. While your dog does not need to sit up in his crate, he should certainly have ample room to stand without feeling restricted. Measure the height of your dog when he is standing and add four inches. This should provide sufficient room for your dog to feel snug, safe, and secure, but without feeling hemmed in or restricted. Don’t forget to also measure the area of your home where you plan to put the crate to make sure it fits. Refer to the sizing chart directly below for more guidance on getting the sizing right for your dog’s breed.
- Future needs: Is your dog likely to grow much? Puppies might need a small space now but, depending on the breed and their expected adult weight, you could soon find that the crate doesn’t provide them with enough space. Look for crates equipped with removable dividers so you can reconfigure the rate as your pooch grows.
- Visibility: If you are investing in a travel crate, you might want to ensure that your dog can see his surroundings. In some cases, this can heighten anxiety in dog’s on the move, so think closely about the temperament of your pup and then choose a covered or open crate to suit.
- Security: Is your dog prone to pulling an escape act? If so, you should first make sure that any crates on your shortlist have rounded edges. Also pay attention to the locks and latches, as well as the material of the crate and the build quality. All of these factors will help you to pick the most suitable crate.
- Storage: Do you need to store your dog crate at any stage? If so, it worth looking at collapsible crates. When it comes to placement, crates with multiple doors give you much more leeway.
- Indoor or outdoor use: If you plan to keep your dog crate outside, avoid those made from mesh or fabric. Look for crates made from weatherproof material like metal or plastic instead.
What Size Crate for My Dog?
Refer to this sizing chart to pick a crate size appropriate for your furry friend:
- 18-inch crates: for dogs no more than 10 inches high and 15 inches long (chihuahuas and Pomeranians).
- 22-inch crates: for dogs no more than 11.5 inches high and 18 inches long (toy poodles and Yorkshire terriers)
- 24-inch crates: for dogs no more than 15.25 inches high and 20 inches long (pugs and Havanese).
- 30-inch crates: for dogs no more than 17 inches high and 26 inches long (French bulldogs and miniature pinschers).
- 36-inch crates: for dogs no more than 21 inches high and 32 inches long (bulldogs and beagles).
- 42-inch crates: for dogs no more than 26 inches high and 38 inches long (golden retrievers and pit bulls).
- 48-inch crates: for dogs no more than 28.5 inches high and 46 inches long (chihuahuas and Pomeranians).
Why Do You Need a Dog Crate?
Before we round out, we’ll summarize some of the main reasons for investing in a dog crate.
Many pet owners need a crate to transport their dogs. From going for a drive in the car with your hound to taking them for their vet appointment or going on vacation, there are many occasions when you may need to contain your pet on the road.
Also, crates can come in useful if you need to leave your furball unattended within the home.
If you properly crate train your dog using plenty of positive reinforcement, you should find that he indulges his primal instincts and creates a cozy den where he can take a few moments to relax.
One of the inbuilt benefits of using a canine crate when your dog is at home is that it will streamline the process of traveling with your dog when the need arises. This can be challenging and problematic with un-crated dogs experiencing close confinement for the first time.
Of the many factors involved in choosing a dog crate, the sizing of the crate is key. You want to give your dog enough room inside without allowing him too much space. Refer to the sizing chart above with example breeds. If you do this and accurately measure Fido, you should have no problem finding the right crate.
We very much hope that today’s brief guide has showed you how to accurately determine the right size crate for the needs of your dog.
The sizing chart we supply deliberately includes just a couple of example breeds so you can check the size of your dog without drowning in information.
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