Being in the doghouse doesn't have to be a bad thing - these are the best, comfiest dog crates around
Crate training can be a fraught time for puppy owners, and finding the best dog crate for your pet is essential to your success. The crate will become your dog’s bed and a safe space they can retreat to when they are tired or overwhelmed, so finding the best dog crate is key to their happiness – and yours.
Dog crates are an excellent tool to help with toilet training small puppies, as creating a comfortable, enclosed sleeping space where the dog is unlikely to want to mess will help them hold onto their wee overnight. Dog crates can also help ensure pets don’t get separation anxiety, as sleeping in a crate will get them used to spending time alone in their own space. Dog crates also act as a great barrier between the animal and any dangers within your home and they stop the dog from being a danger to others, such as when there are small children around.
Of course, choosing the right crate is important and there are numerous factors you need to consider before investing in a dog crate for your pet. In this article, we’ve explored all the options and found the best dog crates for various situations, including for puppies, adults and for when you’re travelling.
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Best dog crates: At a glance
How to choose the best product for you
What should I look for in a dog crate?
Firstly, all dog crates must be sturdy – especially if your puppy is going to grow into a larger dog. Many are made from metal, which is usually the most robust material. Plastic and fabric crates are more easily damaged, especially by exploring teeth, so metal is usually the best option.
A double door opening system is another key feature on the best dog crates. Having a door on both the side and end of the crate means it can be stored in various positions, and if one is damaged your pet can still get out using the alternative. Also look out for removable trays in the bottom for easy cleaning in case your dog does have any messes inside the crate.
How big should my dog crate be?
Your crate should be large enough for the dog to stand up, turn around and lie down in, and there should be a bit of extra room for stretching out. Of course, if you have a puppy, you’ll need to consider their future growth. Ideally, you should buy a crate large enough for your puppy to sleep in when it’s fully grown, but ensure it has a divider inside which you can use to make the crate smaller or larger as they grow – this will help with toilet training, as they won’t want to soil the crate near their bedding.
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The best dog crates to buy in 2023
1. Mimsafe VarioCage Double: Best dog crate for your car
Price: £640 | Buy it now from Mimsafe
Using dog crates in the car is a great way of keeping your pet secure and safe while abiding by the motoring regulations around travelling with pets. The Mimsafe dog crates are the best option for car travel with your dog because of their robust safety testing and the variety of options available.
There are compact crates for hatchback cars, but the sophisticated VarioCage Double is the best dog crate by Mimsafe. It fits into the boot of the car and allows space for one large breed dog or two medium/small dogs, and it has adjustable dividers to separate two animals. It’s fully adjustable for different vehicles (ranging in size from 73cm x 59cm x 93cm to 92cm x 84.5cm x 106cm), but the really neat part is how safe it is: it’s crash tested and shock absorbent, so not only keeps your dog safe but it also prevents the passengers from being impacted by the crate if you have a collision at the back of the car.
Key features – Material: metal; Other sizes available: Yes; Alternative Colours: No; Adjustable: Yes; Portable: No
2. Pawology Wire Crate: Best dog crate for puppies
Price: £40 | Buy it now from Amazon
This classic wire crate is simple but effective and is great for use with puppies which will grow into much larger adults. It has a divider so you can start with a smaller area when they’re young, and there’s a removable tray in the bottom to make it easier to clean if there’s any mess made. The Pawology dog crate comes in two sizes (91cm and 106cm respectively) and it’s fully collapsible for easy transportation.
This excellent dog crate also has two doors – one on the side and another on the end – which allows for flexibility when used in different places, such as the home versus the car. It’s made from robust metal with a soft black coating, and the doors also have a double locking system so your dog won’t be able to force their way out.
Key features – Material: metal; Other sizes available: Yes; Alternative Colours: No; Adjustable: Yes, with a divider; Portable: Yes
3. Feandrea dog crate: Best dog crate for travelling
Price: £47 | Buy it now from Amazon
Carrying heavy metal dog crates can be unwieldy if you’re travelling a lot, so you might want to opt for a collapsible fabric dog crate. The Feandrea is lightweight at around 3.5kg but still incredibly sturdy thanks to its metal frame. It’s easy to construct and there are carry handles for moving it about. There are three doors on this dog crate: on the side, the front and the top.
The Feandrea comes with a foam insert that has a comfortable fleece cover so your dog will love to settle inside this crate, and it has some handy clip-on bags that can be used to store accessories, treats or medication for your dog when travelling. The only downside to this crate is that the door zips aren’t hugely robust, so this crate is best used with dogs that are comfortable being crated. Sizing ranges from 70cm x 52cm x 52cm to 91cm x 63cm x 63cm.
Key features – Material: Fabric & metal; Other sizes available: Yes; Alternative Colours: Yes; Adjustable: No; Portable: Yes
4. Lords & Labradors Wooden Sliding Door Crate: the best wooden dog crate
Price: £699 | Buy it now from Lords & Labradors
Dog crates don’t always have to be ugly and this Lords & Labradors Wooden Sliding Door Crate is proof of that. Made from solid wood, it’s an attractive piece of furniture for any room in the house which doubles up as a dog crate with a sliding door that fastens with a latch. There are black steel bars to keep the dog safe inside and there’s a drawer above for keeping treats and other necessities.
You can add on cushions that fit perfectly in the space, and the base is fully removable for easy cleaning. There are small and medium versions (28cm x 74cm and 62cm x 88cm respectively, both 88cm high), and a larger version measures 71cm x 98cm x 105cm for bigger dogs. This is very much a permanent piece of furniture, so it’s not suitable for travelling.
Key features – Material: Wood & metal; Other sizes available: Yes; Alternative Colours: Yes; Adjustable: No; Portable: No.