Doggy Housing: Can a Dog Crate Be Too Big?

Dog crates are usually the first thing a person buys whenever they are adopting a dog into their home. Though they look like a cage, do not be discouraged; crates can feel like a den to dogs! Dens will make them feel more at home, safer, and more comfortable when they are in the wild, something they can also sense when they are in a crate.

Before you get all excited, can a dog crate be too big? Yes! A crate too big for a dog may feel unsafe for them. On the other hand, a smaller crate can make a dog feel uncomfortable. Though it can be tempting to buy a bigger crate for the extra space, when choosing and purchasing a crate or a kennel for your dog, it is important to buy just the right size for your pup. 

Buying a crate for a dog can be a bit tricky. Different dogs require different lifestyles. Some dogs prefer to have a bigger space for play or just to stretch, while some prefer smaller spaces. When adopting a pet dog, it is vital to check and research their lifestyle to buy the things that they will use during their stay with you. Although breed does not necessarily determine the dog’s personality, it can be useful as a reference when looking for a dog and the things you will buy for him.

How to Choose the Right Crate For Your Dog?

right dog crate for your dog

Whether you are buying a crate as a permanent bed for your dog or for which to use to transport them, it is essential to choose the right size.  Eyeballing a crate will not work if you did not do any research and if you did not test it out first. Here are the things that you should consider before buying a crate for your pup:

Size

Dog crates come in different sizes, and it is crucial to purchase a crate with a size that dogs will feel comfortable and safe whenever they are inside of it. To know which size is right for your dog, you can measure his standing and sitting height. When measuring for the crate’s width, you can start the measurement from your dog’s nose to the base of his tail. Similarly, for your dog’s height, let him sit and measure how tall he is. Remember to add two to four inches to his measurements when choosing a crate to give him ample space for movement!

Materials

A dog crate can be made of plastic, metal, or even wood— and each type has its pros and cons. It is advisable to use a plastic crate for smaller dogs since it is more compact than metal crates, and is significantly lighter. However, for larger dogs, collapsible metal crates are more appropriate. Collapsible metal crates can be folded for easy transport and can be sectioned off when it is used in a house. Moreover,  larger dogs can not easily break out of them.

Safety

Pet owners want their crates to last as long as they can. It should be durable, strong, and at the same time, still easy to carry. Additionally, it does not just protect your furniture from a curious pup, but it also protects them from potential danger. Much like a child’s car seat, a dog crate should also be secured, especially during travels.

Style

While this aspect is not as important as the other factors that might affect your purchase, it is better if the crate you are going to bring home will fit well with your home’s ambiance. It is also good to think ahead and decide where you will be placing it. For example, you might want to consider buying a wooden crate if most of your furniture is wooden. There are also open kennels wherein your dogs can play with each other. Purchasing an open kennel gives your dogs a designated place where they can play whenever they want, and you do not have to clean after them because they will only stay in one area in your home.

Where to Put the Dog Crate?

As mentioned earlier, the place where you put your furry friend’s new home should be thought of in advance. Your house is a bigger area than his, and it is sometimes difficult to decide where to put your dog’s crate. You may want to place the crate that will give the dog comfort, but you just do not know where. We can help with that concern! Here are some criteria that might help you in making this decision:

Place it in an easy-to-socialize space

Dogs love to socialize with humans and dogs. Be sure to put the crate in an area in your house where they can still socialize with you.  If you have other dogs, it’s best to put the crates near each other. That way, even though dogs are in an enclosed space, they can still socialize with other dogs and humans without feeling lonely.

Temperature-controlled area

Remember not to place the dog’s crate in direct sunlight because prolonged exposure might cause them harm. In addition, do not place the crate near a fireplace and a radiator, as this will also make them feel hot. Instead, look for an area that is neither too cold nor too hot and place your dog’s crate there.

No potential hazard

It is impossible for someone to keep their eyes on the dog all the time. Thus, it is essential to take precautions and place their dogs away from potential hazards. As a general rule, do not put the dog’s crate near an electric outlet and toxic houseplants. 

What to Put Inside a Dog Crate?

dog crate toy

You can put many things inside a dog crate, but most importantly, you must put the things that will help your dog feel comfortable in his crate. Here are some of the things you can put in a dog crate:

  • Bedding. If you want your dog to feel comfortable, it is nice to give him something to lie on. However, for puppies, be sure to put easy-to-wash bedding, especially if he is not yet potty trained. Moreover, regardless if you are housing puppies or adult dogs, make sure to provide them bedding that does not get easily torn out as a precaution for when they want to chew their bedding.
  • Toy. Without a doubt, toys help dogs to feel less lonely. Be sure to put their favorite toy with them in the crate, especially if you are going to leave them alone for the day, so they do not feel lonely. Additionally, it will give them something to play with. These toys can also be a substitute so that they will not chew on their bedding.
  • Food and Water. Just like in humans, food and water are essential for animals to survive. Be sure not to forget to put food and water inside your dog’s crate. However, when you put it inside the crate with them, they might bump against it, causing spillage. To avoid this, you might also want to try spill-proof bowls, or you can also try a lickable water bottle, which will also save you time in cleaning the spills.

Best Dog Crates in 2021

Dogs naturally want their own space in an area. Simultaneously, they also want to feel safe in their enclosed den. If a dog was introduced to a crate when he was a pup, then buying a crate will not be a problem for you. However, if your dogs are not trained to live in a crate, it can be tough to let them sleep in their crate. To help you choose what to purchase for your fur baby, here are some of the best dog crates you can get in 2021:

  • Midwest Portable Tent Crate

The Midwest Portable Tent Crate is made of water-resistant material and has a secure, easy zip door. This is recommended for medium to large dogs, probably ones that weigh from 41 to 70 pounds. This can also be brought anywhere because it is a lightweight travel dog crate and has a sturdy steel frame. For easy portability, it has a buckle latch and handles. Moreover, this portable tent crate is easy to break down and fold. There is also nice bedding provided. This can be very comfortable for dogs because it is big enough for them to have some space to move. 

  • Midwest iCrate Double Door Folding Metal Dog Crate

The Midwest iCrate Double Door Folding Metal Dog Crate comes in many sizes and two colors: pink and blue. It also includes a divider panel which comes in handy when you have to adjust the space in the crate for the dog for when he grows and a durable dog tray. The crate also comes with carrying handles, four “roller” feet to protect the doors, and a one-year warranty. The Midwest iCrate Double Door Folding Metal Dog Crate features a heavy-duty slide bolt latch that firmly locks the door in place. It is also easy to assemble and has a portable design.

  • iCrate Dog Crate Starter Kit

The iCrate Dog Crate Starter Kit is perfect for new dog parents. Everything that a new owner needs comes with this crate: a dog bed, a black dog crate cover, two 10-ounce pet bowls affixed to the dog crate, and a one-year manufacturer’s warranty. While this crate also comes in many sizes, it is most recommended for small dog breeds. To add, this model comes in three colors: black, pink, and blue. Like in the iCrate Double Door Folding Metal Dog Crate, the divider feature is an excellent inclusion because it gives you the freedom to adjust the space depending on your dog’s size and just adjust it once the dog grows bigger.

  • EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate

The EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate comes in many sizes and colors. This dog crate comes with a high-quality crate cover made of mesh fabric, making the crate well ventilated, lightweight, and stylish, and comes with a frame made of durable steel tubes. There are three mesh doors, on the top, front, and side, for convenience, and breathability, making it great for traveling and home use. Just like others, the EliteField 3-Door Soft Dog Crate also comes with a two-year warranty.

  • Pawhut Heavy Duty Steel Dog Crate

The Pawhut Heavy Duty Steel Dog Crate is made of high-quality steel tubes that guarantee long-lasting durability. There are two doors in this crate that give easy access for the owners, a large front door secured with a double-bolt lock and an easy-open hatch at the top that also comes with a bold lock that makes the dog secured. The Pawhut Heavy Duty Steel Dog Crate also comes with four removable wheels, so it will be easier to travel with this heavy-duty crate. Even though this crate is easy to put together, it will not be easy to break by the dog.

Dog crate size matters not just for dogs but also their owners, for it provides convenience for both of them. When taking your newly purchased crate home, be sure to put it away from possible hazards, and show the dogs that it is not a form of punishment to be inside a crate. In cases that your dogs feel too comfortable staying in their crate, teach them that they still need to get out of their dens to socialize. You can avoid this situation by not leaving them in the crate for extended periods. Staying in a dog crate for a long time without interacting with other dogs or people can get lonely over time and might also be the reason for the dog to end up anxious and depressed. You may change up your schedule when you let the dog out of his crate just to give him something fun to do. Remember, be sure to make the crate as comfortable as possible for your dogs. A dog crate is also their den, and they want to be able to stay in their den as comfortable as they can.