When choosing the best dog crate to use for your dog, it all depends on your specific needs for the crate. Whether you use it for crate training, travel, outdoor use, confining a sick dog, or just for overnight use, you need to ensure you get the right crate for the purpose you intend using it.
There are many different crates and all of them serve different purposes. Below is summary of the most popular dog crates and my recommendation for which one works best for each situation.
Wire crates are my favorite type of crate for puppies as well as adult dogs and I think they are the absolute best when crate training a puppy. They also work very well in the car to stop your puppy or dog from distracting you when driving.
Benefits of wire crates are:
Some negatives of wire crates:
There are a wide variety of plastic crates on the market with different options. Plastic crates work well for travel, especially for airline travel, but you have to ensure it's International Air Transport Association (IATA) compliant.
Below are the benefits on the whole:
Negatives of plastic crates:
Soft sided dog crates are made of canvas or other soft fabric so are very light and portable. They're excellent for travel and can be seen in parking lots all over the competing dog circuit. They're also good for camping trips and overnight trips with your dog. However, they're only good if you KNOW your dog isn't likely to chew or try to escape.
Soft sided crates are not really that good for crate training a puppy as they are not as durable as other crates.
The benefits are:
Negatives for canvas crates:
If none of the regular crates suit your purpose you can always consider having a custom crate built just for you. These come in wood or aluminium and both can be built to meet your exact needs. Wooden crates are ideal for airline travel especially if you have an over-sized dog. Without a doubt, having a custom crate made to order is the best dog crate you can buy.
The benefits of custom crates are:
Custom Crate Manufacturers: - Kennel & Crate
There are two main objectives when considering which crate is safe for use in a car.
The first one is the easiest to solve and pretty much all of the crates listed above should be able to do that. A dog that jumps around, chews on stuff, or hangs his head out the car window is not only unsafe but distrasts the driver. Obviously any distractions to a driver is just an accident waiting to happen. A dog that is safely contained in a crate will allow the driver to focus properly.
The second objective is a bit more difficult to achieve. Most crates, even those deemed safe for crashes, did not stand up well in a crash test conducted by the Center For Pet Safety (CPS). Out of six crates tested only one passed the crashworthy status - the Gunner Kennels' G1.
If safety is your prime concern then the best dog crate for this is definitely the Gunner Kennels G1 which comes in a variety of sizes.
As you can see, there are a variety of crates that you can choose from and the best dog crate for you will depend on its purpose. Personally, I find wire crates are the most versatile and this is my crate of choice.