Where are dog crates illegal?

It may surprise you to learn that in some countries the use of dog crates (other than in specific circumstances) is illegal. Let’s take a look at where, and why.

Are dog crates illegal in Sweden?

Sweden signed the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals in 1987, ratified in 1989 and came into force in 1992. In 2018 additional legislation was incorporated in the form of the Animal Protection Act.

Although crates are not specifically mentioned, using one would be in contradiction to the section outlining the rules around restricting an animal’s freedom of movement (with some exceptions regarding veterinary care, shows and if it helps keep the animal’s handler safe). If a dog is crated under one of the exemptions then it must be taken out for exercise at least once every 3 hours.

Containment areas, such as pens or small rooms, can be used but they must be of a minimum size depending on the animal’s size. 2 m2 (22 sq ft) for a small dog (up to 25cm in height at the shoulder) and up to 5.5 m2 (59 sq ft) for a large dog (more than 65cm at the shoulder).

I had such a hard time finding the legislation in English that I’ve made it available for anyone to download below (Google translated to English from the original Swedish PDF).

Are dog crates illegal in Finland?

Like Sweden, Finnish laws do not specifically mention crates but their use would break welfare laws so are essentially illegal.

Finnish law states that an animal can be confined only for “transportation, illness or other temporary and acceptable reason”. (https://finlex.fi/fi/laki/alkup/2010/20100674 Decree of the Government for the protection of dogs, cats and other small companion and hobby animals 2010)

In Finland, the size of containment areas is dependent on the dog’s weight (as opposed to Sweden’s size guide of using the height at the shoulder).

Minimum Cage Size

Minimum Cage Size Finland

Number of Dogs Area (m2) Average Weight <= 5 kg Average Weight = 10 kg Average Weight = 20 kg Average Weight = 30 kg Average Weight > = 40 kg
1 2.0 2.0 2.5 3.5 4.5 5.5
2 2.0 2.5 3.5 4.5 6.0 7.5
3 2.0 3.5 4.5 6.0 7.5 10.0
4 2.5 4.0 5.5
5 3.0 5.0 6.5
6 4.0 5.5
7 4.5 6.0

Are dog crates illegal in Australia?

Dog crates are not illegal to use in Australia however their usage is much lower than in the USA. Although there’s nothing crate specific in the 2001 Animal Care and Protection Act, the Australian RSPCA (the main welfare organisation) states that adult dogs should not be crated any longer than 4 hours and puppies no longer than 2 hours which aligns with their toileting needs.

Are dog crates illegal in Europe?

The only two countries whose laws make it illegal to use dog crates (except in specific situations) are Sweden and Finland, both of which are European countries.

Are dog crates illegal in Germany?

Dog crates are not illegal in Germany however the German Animal Welfare Act outlines limits to their usage including a 2 hour maximum usage in any 24 hour period, a minimum size depending on the dogs size and the dog must have a view of the outside if crated indoors.

Dog Floor Space Requirement

Dog Floor Space Requirement Table

Withers (Height in cm) Minimum Floor Space (sqm)
Up to 50 6
Between 50 and 65 8
More than 65 10

Where are dog crates illegal?

As it turns out, no country specifically bans the use of dog crates however if you were to use them in Sweden or Finland then you would be breaking the law regarding the confinement of animals.

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


Ready to start crate training your dog?

Grab our free guide here

Leave a Comment