Do dog crates collapse?

If you travel frequently, have limited space in your home, only need to use a crate temporarily or just want to put it away sometimes, you’ll probably be wondering; do dog crates collapse? The good news is that most do, and they reduce down to a much smaller, more portable and storable size. Let’s take a look at the different types and how they break down.

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Are there different types of crates?

Wire Mesh

This is the traditional type of crate or cage that we’re used to seeing.

The crate is typically made of sturdy metal wires, often coated with a protective plastic layer for durability and resistance to rust. The wire mesh design allows for proper ventilation and visibility.

A wire mesh dog crate usually has one or more doors for easy access to the interior and features secure latches to prevent accidental openings and ensure that the dog remains safely contained.

Almost all wire mesh crates are designed to be collapsible or foldable, making them convenient for storage and transportation.

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Soft Sided Dog Crates

A soft-sided fabric dog crate is a lightweight and portable alternative to traditional, more rigid dog crates. It is designed to provide a comfortable and secure space for a dog, especially in situations where portability and ease of storage are essential.

Construction: Soft-sided crates are typically made with a durable fabric material, often a combination of nylon, canvas, or other synthetic materials. The frame is usually made of lightweight materials like fiberglass or metal rods.

Portability: One of the main advantages of soft-sided crates is their portability. They are designed to be lightweight and collapsible, making them easy to transport and store. Many soft-sided crates come with carrying handles or shoulder straps for added convenience.

Ventilation: These crates usually feature mesh panels on multiple sides, providing ample ventilation for the dog. The mesh allows for airflow and visibility, keeping the dog comfortable and allowing them to see their surroundings.

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Plastic dog crates are usually constructed in two halves, a top and a bottom, which are typically constructed from sturdy, high-density polyethene or similar plastic materials. The use of plastic makes these crates lightweight while still providing durability.

Plastic crates are generally lightweight and may have carrying handles on the top, making them easy to transport. Some models are designed to be stackable for convenient storage.

Many pet owners use plastic dog crates for travel, especially for air transport. Some models are designed to meet airline regulations for in-cabin travel, providing a secure space for the dog during flights.

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Crash Tested

A crash-tested dog crate, also known as a crash-proof or safety-certified dog crate, is specifically designed and rigorously tested to provide protection for dogs during car travel.

These crates are engineered to meet certain safety standards and undergo thorough testing to ensure they can withstand the forces exerted during a car crash, thereby reducing the risk of injury to the dog and other passengers.

Crash-tested crates are typically made from high-strength materials such as reinforced plastic, metal, or a combination of both. The construction is designed to withstand impact forces and maintain structural integrity during a collision.

How do you collapse a dog crate?

This guide will apply to most wire mesh dog crates;

Empty your crate but leave the plastic tray inside. Close and secure the door.

On the shorter ends, at the top, there will be a clip. These will either slide across, flip out or you’ll need to push the top down to disengage the clips.

Once the clips are undone those two shorter sides will push inside the crate and drop down to where the crate tray is.

You now have a square ‘tunnel’ shape.

This will fold down naturally to one side and you’ll be able to fold the part that isn’t over the crate tray back on itself like closing a book.

On some models, you’ll be able to clip this shut and there will be a wire handle for you to carry your folded crate.

How do you fold a soft dog crate?

Soft dog crates can be trickier to fold down as each of them will have a specific way of folding. Hopefully, you kept the instructions. 馃檪

However, there are some things you can look for to help you fold your canvas dog crate down if you’ve lost the instructions.

Look for zippers, clips and screw fittings on the frame. The zippers should give you access to the frame which will either unclip or unscrew in order to break down and remove it. Once the frame is out the fabric will be able to be folded.

How do you assemble a plastic dog crate?

Plastic dog crates usually come in two halves, a top and a bottom, with a selection of clips and a door.

Firstly, attach the top to the bottom using the larger clips.

Then, insert the door hinges into the crate.

Open the hinges and slot in the wire door.

Lastly, close the hinges to secure the door.

How do you carry a collapsed dog crate?

Wire mesh dog crates usually have a clip on the side to keep them closed, and a wire handle on the side to carry it once they’re all folded up. The larger, XL crates won’t have a carry handle as they’re too large to carry that way.

Soft crates normally come with a bag that fits the fabric/canvas cover and all the poles and connectors from the frame.

Plastic crates are not designed to be carried once disassembled.

So, Do dog crates collapse?

Yes, most of them will collapse to make them portable and smaller for storage. Soft sided fabric and canvas crates fold down the smallest and are designed to be portable, wire crates fold flat to make them storable but plastic crates and crash tested crates aren’t really designed to be broken down once they’ve been assembled, so be sure to buy the correct crate for your needs (and keep the instructions for disassembly!)

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All articles on are written by qualified behaviorist and dog trainer, Cheryl Walker.


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