We love to let our four-legged pals run free but sometimes a dog crate is essential for the pup’s safety—and your sanity. Most people have a crate for traveling, but they also act as your pooch’s personal space where they feel comfortable and safe. As a bonus, the space can help with poctty training or curbing a chew-happy pup. Regardless, a crate is a great way to show your pup some love without having to sacrifice your home.
Now that we have sung the praises of having a dog crate, you have to choose one. This is where we can help. After hours of research, we have had many wet kisses, one too many dog treats, and one scary encounter with a toothy chihuahua.
We also gathered all the info on what features are good and which ones are in the doghouse. Check out the reviews below where we share durability, size options, door placement, lock security, and many other aspects of the model. Also, take a look below for some helpful shopping tips, and sizing guide.
Do you have a pup with separation anxiety? Luckily, there are some crates that cater to dogs who suffer when you are away. Check out our reviews on the ten best crates for separation anxiety!
A Quick Glance at the Winners of 2020:
The 10 Best Dog Crates:
1. EliteField Folding Soft Dog Crate – Best Overall
Our number one choice for your pup is the EliteField soft folding crate. This model features three doors for easy access. You have one front opening, one on the side, and one of the top, so you can easily interact with your pet without letting them escape.
This option comes in five sizes to fit any breed, and there is a multitude of colors to choose from to fit your taste. You will be able to travel with this fold down crate or use it at home. The steel tube frame and durable material is long-lasting, plus there are two access pockets on the front and top for storing treats and other handy items. Your pooch will also have a warm fleece bed which is included with the crate.
Washing this option is also a breeze. The cover and bed are both removable and machine washable. Plus, the bed itself is water-resistant, in case of an occasional accident. Beyond that, there is great ventilation from the hex-mesh windows, and you also have the option of a hand or shoulder strap for convenient transport.
Finally, this model comes fully assembled, so you won’t have to bother with putting it together. Fido will also be happy as this brand makes their crates two inches wider and four inches higher than the specified measurements for extra stretch room. Overall, this is the best dog crate available today.
2. MidWest Homes Dog Crate – Best Value
Understandably, not everyone can rush out to buy the most expensive crate available for their pooch. Sometimes, the circumstances require a more economical purchase, but you still want to make sure you are buying a good model. In our humble opinion, the MidWest Homes is the best dog crate for the money.
This double door option has one side opening, and a front door so your pal can come and go with ease. The durable metal frame comes with four rubber roller wheels, so it won’t scratch your floor when it is moved. Also, you can choose from seven sizes that will accommodate all types of breeds.
Your pup is also going to be happy with the rounded corners and lack of sharp edges on this model. In the case of embarrassing accidents, there is a removable and washable tray, as well. You can assemble the crate within minutes, and it folds down quickly for easy storage or travel.
This pup home is great if you are starting with a puppy as it comes with an adjustable divider that you can move as your pet grows. There is also a heavy-duty sliding latch to keep your dog secure, and a carrying handle for convenience. The only downside to this model is that it does not have a bed included, so a crate pad will be needed for comfort. Otherwise, this is a great way to go for a pooch on a budget.
If you tend to spoil your furry friend, we have the premium choice for you. The Merry Pet is a stylish wooden crate that doubles as a pet gate. The easy to assemble unit comes apart to provide a barrier between your pup and areas of the home you don’t want them to enter.
When used as a crate, the solid wood veneer top also acts as a side table. One thing to remember is that there is only one size option for this model, and it is best suited for medium to large breeds up to 40 pounds. That being said, there is a removable tray for easy cleaning and plenty of ventilation.
Additionally, your pet will be comfortable inside the space and be safe and secure with the durable lever lock. Although you can’t toss this option in the washing machine, it cleans up well with a quick wipe down. The only other detail to consider with this model is that there is only one door. Other than that, you can treat your pup, and yourself, with this option.
4. AmazonBasics Folding Metal Dog Crate
Our next pick is a durable metal wire crate that comes in six sizes that will accommodate all breeds. The sturdy construction makes this a good option if your pup has some chewing issues or anxiety. The rounded corners and non-scratch frame also makes this a good space for either home or travel.
Speaking of travel, this model requires no tools to put together and can be assembled within five minutes. It also folds down flat in seconds for convenient storage. Plus, there is a handle for easy transport as needed. Also important to note, however, the handle is not as durable as the frame and can snap under pressure.
If you prefer a crate with two doors, this might not be the model for you. If that is not an issue, though, you will be happy to know that the single front door is wider than normal, which prevents your pooch from getting caught on the frame. The door features two durable sliding latches, as well. Also, as is typical of wire crates, the ventilation is excellent.
A few other details of this crate are the slide-out plastic tray for easy cleaning and the optional divider panel. Although the panel is a great addition, it is harder to adjust than in other similar options.
5. Petnation 614 Port-A-Crate
This next crate is a great option under specific circumstances. This model is a woven mesh fabric over a durable steel frame. It comes in four sizes ranging from 24, 28, 32, and 36 inches. Unfortunately, this can leave extra large and extra small pups out in the cold. On the other hand, the lightweight frame is easy to carry when traveling.
This option has two doors. The top door is great for easily getting a reluctant pooch inside, and the larger front door rolls up so your pet can come and go as they please. Both doors are opened and closed by a heavy-duty zipper. While there are latches attached, they are not as secure on the fabric doors as they otherwise would be one solid material.
Besides the lack of locks, you want to note that the brand suggests supervised use with this model. While this is good for travel or at-home use, you cannot leave your pup unattended overnight or for longer time frames. On the positive side, the non-toxic cover is water-resistant and machine washable. Plus, the rounded corners give your pal a comfy space to relax.
Lastly, if you are considering this model, please know that excess chewers or pups with separation anxiety are not recommended. This is especially true as there is poor ventilation when both doors are completely closed.
6. New World Folding Metal Dog Crate
In the number six spot is a folding metal wire dog crate. This model comes in five sizes and is not recommended for extra large dogs. It is also available with either a single or double door frame. If you opt for the dual door option, you will have front and side openings. On a side note, the upgrade to two doors is only a few extra dollars.
The downside to the openings, whether you have a single or double, is they’re not that big. If your pup is tall for their size, they run the risk of getting their collar or skin caught on the frame. On the other hand, the frame is E-coat finished making it rust-resistant, so you can use it indoors or outdoors. You can also fold down this option quickly, although the setup takes a bit longer.
As customary, there is a sliding waterproof tray for easy clean-up, and the secure heavy-duty latches will keep your pooch from escaping. Ironically, though, the overall wire construction is not as durable as other options. If your pup is aggressive in their crate, they may be able to escape. Beyond that, the ventilation is good, and the rounded corners will provide a comfortable spot for your pup to chill out.
7. New Age Pet ecoFlex Pet Crate
Moving right along, we have another stylish crate that acts as an end table and a pet home. The non-toxic recycled material is a wood polymer composite that will not warp, crack or split. Plus, it is easy to wash down with a cloth. The stainless steel accent bars are a nice touch, and the medium-tone wood coloring makes scratches or chew marks harder to see. To top it off, this material is chew proof!
With all that said, this model is a great addition to your living space. The downside here is that it is not as great for your pooch. The overall construction, while well made, is not comfortable for your pup. The crate features one small front door that can be hard for larger-sized dogs to access. You do have the option of small, medium, large, and extra-large, but medium size breeds are recommended.
Because of the boxy coffee table design, the ventilation is not great for your pup, and the two latches are not secure. Also, assembly is more difficult and frustrating with unclear instructions. Overall, this option is not a great unless you have a small to medium pooch that will be only using the crate occasionally.
8. Carlson Pet Products Foldable Metal Dog Crate
The Carlson folding dog crate is our next pick on the list. This stainless steel model has a single small size door that can make it difficult for pups that are a little too tall or too wide to fit through comfortably. With that being said, you have five sizes to choose from, but be advised that they run smaller than the average crate.
This particular brand is easy to assemble but more difficult to fold down. The metal pieces are not smooth, and they tend to get stuck when you attempt to collapse the frame. We recommend having two people available when you try to fold down the unit.
Besides the assemble issues, this model has a similar problem to the options above. The steel frame is durable, yet the latches are not secure and can easily be opened by an enterprising pooch. Also, the washable tray is difficult to remove from the bottom.
Again, your pup will have good ventilation with this type of crate. On the other hand, it does not feature the rounded corners that will add an extra level of safety and comfort for your pet. In fact, with the small door and overall sharp corners, this is not an inviting home for Fido.
9. BestPet Dog Crate
Getting towards the end of the reviews, we have another tensile strength wire gauge option that is overall flimsy in design. You only have the option of either a 42 or 48-inch size which is suitable for medium size dogs. Even though you have a top and front door, the overall construction leaves much to be desired. An anxious chewer or rambunctious pooch will to wiggle free easily.
The slide dual latches are also not secure and will slide free with movement from within the crate. To give credit where credit is due, however, this model does have a divider that can be adjusted as your pet grows. It also has a leak-proof sliding tray. The problem here is not about the tray leaking, but about it sticking when you try to slide it out. To put it bluntly, any liquid will slosh over the rim.
You can assemble and fold down this crate quickly. Nevertheless, it is heavy and harder to transport. Finally, the ventilation is good, however, the “rounded edges” and “non-scratch” construction can be improved.
10. Petmate 11271 Dog Crate
The last pick today is the Petmate metal wire crate that comes in six sizes. Although this will house many breeds, the largest size is a 48-inch, which leaves out a lot of the larger size pups. You have two doors with this model. The front and top doors both feature a five-point precision lock. Unfortunately, the locks are very weak and can easily be shaken loose.
Another aspect to remember is the five-point locking system creates ten small pieces of metal that your pet can get snagged on or cut by if not careful. This makes it a very uncomfortable space for your pooch, especially as the corners are sharp, and the bottom is hard to lay on even with a pad.
The rust-resistant material makes this option good for indoor or outdoor use. The not-so adjustable divider is hard to use and makes the interior of the crate even more uncomfortable when it is in use, however. What’s more, the removable plastic tray holds the “pet smell” that you will want to wash away.
Finally, the doors on this model don’t open all the way, making it hard for your pup to get inside. At the end of the day, your four-legged friend will appreciate one of the other options above much more than this option.
Things To Consider Before Buying A Dog Crate
Before you buy a crate for your pup, there are several things to consider. Although there are some awesome dual-purpose models available, as animal lovers, we know the priority has to be to your pup’s safety and comfort first.
With that being said, you want to make sure you are getting the correct size. Some brands will give you breed recommendations, but your dog’s size can vary widely within that range. This is why it’s important to measure. Not to worry, though, this is easier than you think. You want to measure your pup while they are standing up. Start by measuring from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail. Next, get the distance from the tip of the nose to the floor.
Bonus tip; measure from the shoulders to the floor and get the numbers for the widest part of the body. If, for example, the widest part of your pup is their belly, measure all the way around then divide by two.
When choosing a crate size, you want to add at least three to four inches to your measurements. In order for your pet to be as comfortable as possible, they need to be able to stand up straight, turn around easily, and stretch out inside the unit.
Another aspect you want to consider is the door size. This is where the bonus tip measurements come in. Your pup should be able to go through the opening without their sides rubbing on the edge, nor should they need to stoop down to get in. As a general rule, your dog’s head should be parallel to their tail when they walk inside.
Also if you are between two sizes, keep this in mind; If the crate is too small, it can make your pup’s anxiety worse, and it can be very uncomfortable. On the other hand, if the crate is too large, your pup will be tempted to use the extra space as an area to relieve themselves. Thankfully, there is a solution to this problem which we will get into next.
The Different Options For A Dog Crate
If you are starting with a new puppy, you might not relish the idea of having to purchase a new crate every few months as your new fur-buddy grows. A great alternative to this costly situation is to purchase a crate with an adjustable divider. This will allow you to limit the space to a comfortable sleeping area, and expand it as your pup grows.
Another option is to purchase a dual purpose crate. As we showed in the reviews above, some models can be taken apart and used as a gate, and some options can be next to a couch or bed as a side table. Although this can be an attractive and stylish compromise to an otherwise bulky wire dog house, just make sure the brand offers all the amenities your pooch needs to be comfortable.
Finally, within each style of crate you can choose different features that will make sense for you and your pup. For example, you can choose a simple wire frame or a covered option. Some models have double doors while others offer heavy-duty latches. As your new friend grows, you will be able to determine which aspects are more important than others. Case in point, crates that are foldable and units with high ventilation are common features dog owners look for when shopping.
To simplify the situation, we recommend the EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate as the best available option you can find. If you need a more affordable option, go with the MidWest Homes which will give you everything you need in a pooch palace.
In need of a dog crate bed or pad for your new pup home? Check out these top picks that will work perfectly with our top two choices!
We hope that the review of the top ten best dog crates has helped take some of the leg work out of finding the right option for you. Now that you have all the information you need, you can go back to roughhousing with your furry-friend, and leave the research to us!
Written By Shannon MacDevine
Featured image credit: Petmate “ProValu” wire dog crate, Crate.Dog-bed
- A Quick Glance at the Winners of 2020:
- The 10 Best Dog Crates:
- 1. EliteField Folding Soft Dog Crate – Best Overall
- 2. MidWest Homes Dog Crate – Best Value
- 3. Merry Pet Configurable Pet Crate – Premium Choice
- 4. AmazonBasics Folding Metal Dog Crate
- 5. Petnation 614 Port-A-Crate
- 6. New World Folding Metal Dog Crate
- 7. New Age Pet ecoFlex Pet Crate
- 8. Carlson Pet Products Foldable Metal Dog Crate
- 9. BestPet Dog Crate
- 10. Petmate 11271 Dog Crate
- Buyer’s Guide
- Things To Consider Before Buying A Dog Crate
- The Different Options For A Dog Crate