Although there are many things to consider when buying a dog crate, some aspects are specific to choosing the best dog crates for puppies.
So whether you’re planning for your new arrival, or you now realise that crate training might help with toilet training, settling at night and being safe during the day, read on for our top picks (and don’t forget to grab your free crate training guide here).
What are the main considerations when choosing the best dog crates for puppies?
Many of the points usually mentioned when choosing a dog crate are relevant when choosing a crate for dogs of all ages, not just puppies. However, some considerations may be particularly important when selecting a crate for a puppy due to their specific needs and stages of development. Here’s a breakdown:
This is important for dogs of all ages, but it’s particularly crucial for puppies because they will grow quickly. Puppies need a crate that can accommodate their expected size as they mature, otherwise you might be buying a new crate sooner than you thought!
For this reason, crates that have dividers are a bonus as it enables you to buy the largest crate needed for your dog’s expected fully grown size, but you can divide it to make it seem smaller to help with your puppy’s toilet training (smaller crates mean less accidents as puppies don’t want to pee and poop where they sleep) and feeling safer in a smaller area.
The choice of material can be important for both puppies and adult dogs, depending on their behavior. Puppies may be more prone to chewing, so the crate material may be especially significant during their early months.
For this reason, we wouldn’t choose a soft crate for a puppy. Not only could they chew a hole through and escape, but there is always the possibility of them choking on the material they’ve chewed away, or the potential for intestinal blockages from eating the material.
So the best dog crates for puppies crate choices are either plastic or metal, not fabric or wood.
Safety is always a priority, whether you’re crate-training a puppy or using a crate for an adult dog. Secure latches and proper ventilation are crucial for both. However, with a puppy, the size of the ventilation holes, or gaps between the bars needs to be smaller to stop any tragic accidents occurring by trapping legs or, god forbid, necks.
All of our puppy crate recommendations have smaller mesh patterns or smaller ventilation holes.
Easy to Clean:
This is important for dogs of all ages, as accidents can happen at any stage of life, but it’s especially important for puppies. With a new puppy you probably already feel as though you’re cleaning something most of the time so let’s make it as easy as possible.
All of our choices can be hosed down in the bath/shower or outside in order to make clean ups as quick and easy as possible.
Best Plastic puppy crate for new owners
Plastic crates offer several benefits over metal ones for puppies, and the choice between the two often comes down to the specific needs of your puppy and your preferences. Here are some advantages of plastic crates for puppies:
- Security and Den-Like Feel: Plastic crates typically provide a more enclosed and den-like environment, which can make puppies feel safer and more secure. Many puppies find this cozy atmosphere comforting, especially during the early stages of crate training. This is helped by the high plastic sides of some designs making them more like a large, plastic bed, but with a mesh top and doors on it.
- Reduced Visibility: Plastic crates usually have less visibility from the outside. This can be advantageous if your puppy is easily distracted by their surroundings or if you want to create a quieter, more private space for them to relax.
- Easy to Clean: Plastic crates are often easier to clean than wire crates. They have a solid bottom and sides, which makes it simpler to contain messes, such as accidents or spilled water. You can easily wipe down the interior, and some models have removable trays for even easier cleaning. And if iot’s really bad then they can be taken outside and hosed down completely.
- Safety During Travel: Plastic crates are commonly used as travel carriers for puppies because they meet many airline requirements and provide a secure and enclosed space for the journey. They’re also less likely to snag or catch on objects during transport. If you’re going to choose plastic then definitely go for one designed either for air travel (if you think you’ll use it) or one designed for car travel if that will be used more often. Once crate, two purposes and far more bang for your buck!
- Less Chewing Access: Puppies are prone to chewing, and plastic crates can be more resistant to chewing compared to metal wire crates. However, it’s essential to monitor your puppy to ensure they don’t damage the crate.
- Lightweight and Portable: Plastic crates are generally lightweight and easy to transport, which can be useful if you plan to move the crate around the house or take it on trips with your puppy.
- Warmth and Insulation: Plastic crates may provide better insulation from drafts and cold surfaces, helping to keep your puppy warmer during colder months. Those high plastic sides reduce draughts and chills, both at home and whilst travelling.
- Less Noise: Plastic crates can be quieter than metal crates when your puppy moves around or shifts inside, which can be beneficial if you want a quieter environment for your puppy.
First Choice; Ferplast Atlas Car
I really like the Ferplast Atlas Car for several reasons.
Firstly it’s multi purpose so when the time comes that your puppy might not use the carrier indoors it can be used in the car.
I also love the fact it doesn’t have any ventilation holes on the lower part of the crate. This will keep your puppy warmer and help them feel contained and safe. It also means that your puppy won’t be tempted to chew on it.
For ease of cleaning, the top part of the Ferplast atlas car comes off completely giving you full access to remove the bedding and clean the lower half of the crate. As your puppy grows, and if you choose to, you can leave the top off and use the lower portion of the crate as a normal, plastic bed for your dog.
This crate comes in several size options so be sure to grab the right size for how big your dog is likely to be when fully grown.
Second Choice; Petmate Sky Kennel
The sky kennel is a great option for those of you who fly often with your dog and are looking for a multi purpose crate design for both travel and home use.
It’s IATA approved and includes and airline travel kit.
It’s robust and with the lack of lower ventilation, provides that needed warmth and cosiness without any draughts for your puppy.
The only downside to this crate is that it might be too cosy for some who prefer a little more visibility to feel less anxious.
It’s important to note that while plastic crates have these advantages, they may not be suitable for all puppies. Some puppies may find the limited visibility of a plastic crate unsettling, and they may prefer the openness of a wire crate. Additionally, plastic crates are generally less adjustable in size than wire crates, which could be a drawback if you want a crate that grows with your puppy.
Best metal crate for puppies
Feandrea Dog Crates
We like the Feandrea crates available on Amazon because they’re one of the few who specify the width of the bars on their metal crates.
At just 3.5cm (1 1/3rd inch) these narrow bars are unlikely to be wide enough for your puppy to poke their head through or get a leg stuck in.
We tend to think that a metal crate is just a metal crate but the cheaper ones can be finished poorly leaving sharp edges, and they save a little money by making those bars further apart which reduces the safety of them somewhat.
Feandrea crates come in several size options, all of which are foldable if you just want to get them out at nighttimes and tuck them away during the day (or as a second crate for another room perhaps).
Ultimately, selecting the right crate for a new puppy involves considering size, material, safety, ease of cleaning, and the specific needs and preferences of both the puppy and the owner. The recommended plastic and metal crates offer various advantages, catering to different situations and preferences. Ultimately, choosing the ideal crate is crucial for a puppy’s comfort, safety, and successful training.
All articles on tetradog.com are written by qualified behaviorist and dog trainer, Cheryl Walker.
- · Foundation degree (Level 5) in canine behaviour management
- · WSDA instructor (World Scent Dogs Association) and level 1 competition judge
- · ADTB Puppy level instructor Diploma
- · Diploma in Puppy Training
- · Diploma in canine behavior training
- · Canine First Aider
- · Veterinary Support Assistant Diploma
- · Completed Dr. Ian Dunbar’s Sirius academy
- · Owner of an extraordinary working Cocker spaniel called Huckleberry
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