The best dog crates

best dog crate buying guide

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Amber Sallot/Shutterstock/Business Insider

  • Dog crates are great for keeping your pup out of trouble when you’re gone from home, and dogs love to curl up in them for a nap.
  • There are many types of dog crates to consider, and each has its own pros and cons. From plastic crates and soft-sided crates to heavy-duty and furniture crates, we’ve done the research to find the best of the best.
  • With its heavy-gauge, powder-coated steel wire construction, the MidWest Ultima Pro Folding Crate is our top pick. Not only is it highly durable and easy to clean, but you can use it for dogs of all ages and sizes.

Whether you need to keep your dog confined when you’re away from home or you simply want to provide them with a space to call their own, every dog needs a good crate. Having descended from wild wolves, dogs have a natural desire to sleep in a den. Providing your dog with a nice crate will give them a safe, comfortable space to rest, and it gives you peace of mind knowing that they aren’t going to get into trouble while you’re away from home. Having a crate is also extremely useful for potty-training a puppy.

When you think of dog crates, you probably picture a rectangular contraption comprised of metal wire. While this is certainly one type of dog crate, there are many others to consider and they each have their own pros and cons. From plastic crates and soft-sided crates to heavy-duty and furniture crates, we’ve done the research to find the best of the best. Keep reading to see our picks for the top dog crates on the market in four popular categories as well as our top pick overall.

Here are the best dog crates you can buy:

Updated on 11/04/2019 by Lisa Sabatini: Updated prices, links, and formatting.


The best dog crate overall

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MidWest/Business Insider

The MidWest Ultima Pro Folding Crate is a durable and versatile wire dog crate that’s perfect for puppies or adult dogs.

Dog crates come in many different forms but you need to shop smart to make sure you get the right one. The ideal dog crate would offer excellent ventilation, high durability, easy cleaning, and comfort for your dog. Perhaps the most popular option in dog crates is the wire crate because it offers excellent ventilation and is easy to clean. Overall, wire crates are typically very affordable and available in a wide range of sizes. For all of these reasons, our top pick for the best dog crate is a wire crate – the MidWest Ultima Pro Folding Crate.

Not only is the MidWest Ultima Pro Folding Crate constructed from durable powder-coated steel wire, but it features five cross-beams for maximum strength and durability. Because the wire is resistant to bending, the crate keeps its shape well to ensure that the hooks and latches are always properly aligned. Easy to assemble and disassemble, this crate is portable and easy to store, plus it comes with a carry handle for your convenience. You’ll also love the slide-out plastic tray that makes cleanup a breeze.

HerePup gave the crate an A- rating and praised the convenience of having five size options, all of which come with a free divider panel in case you want to use the crate for a puppy. Wirecutter says the crate is designed to last for your dog’s entire lifetime and that it is sturdily constructed. The reviewers also note that while the heavy-gauge mesh may increase the price of this crate, it also adds to the durability.

The wire bottom of the cage may also scratch your flooring if you don’t use the plastic feet.

Pros: Heavy-gauge steel wire, five cross-beams for maximum strength, removable plastic tray for easy cleanup, five different sizes, sturdy latches and hinges, two-door design for easy access, free divider panel, strong handle

Cons: Plastic tray may not stand up against heavy chewing, larger sizes can be heavy, latches may not line up if the wire becomes bent, may scratch your flooring if you don’t use the plastic feet

Buy the MidWest Ultima Pro Folding Crate on Amazon for $42.99 and up


The best plastic dog crate

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PetMate

With its quality plastic construction and simple slide and snap assembly, the Petmate Compass Plastic Kennel is our top pick for plastic dog crates.

Though a plastic dog crate may not be the most attractive option around, these crates offer your dog a little extra privacy and they are more difficult to escape from. The downside of plastic crates is that they offer limited ventilation and aren’t quite so easy to clean. They are, however, great for travel and they can generally be disassembled for storage. Our top pick for plastic dog crates is the Petmate Compass Plastic Kennel.

Made from high-quality plastic with a sturdy construction, the Petmate Compass Plastic Kennel is a great choice for at-home use as well as travel. This crate features an oversized doorway for easy entry and the unique slide and snap assembly is quick and easy. With a metal grid door and plenty of ventilation all the way around the crate, your dog will relax in cool comfort while enjoying 360-degree visibility.

HellowDog calls the Petmate Compass Plastic Kennel the “perfect dog kennel for training or traveling.” The Happy Pooch makes note of the large door and 360-degree ventilation as well as the quick and easy assembly system. This crate also comes highly recommended by Pup Picks for a quality plastic kennel that is simple but effective.

Pros: Quality plastic, easy to clean, slide and snap assembly requires no tools, large two-way door for convenience, airline approved, offers 360-degree ventilation and visibility, six sizes for dogs up to 90 pounds

Cons: Assembly may be challenging, airline approval not guaranteed for all airlines, cannot fold flat for storage or transport, may not accommodate dogs over 90 pounds

Buy the Petmate Compass Plastic Kennel on Amazon for $17.14 and up


The best soft-sided dog crate

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EliteField/Business Insider

The EliteField 3-Door Soft Dog Crate is constructed from durable 600D fabric with a steel tube frame and three doors for your dog’s convenience and comfort.

If you don’t like the look of a plastic or wire crate and you want something that will work well for travel, a soft-sided dog crate may be a good option to consider. These crates are typically lightweight and easy to store, though they can be more difficult to clean and may not withstand chewing or escape attempts. Soft-sided crates also tend to be better for smaller dogs. Our top pick for soft-sided dog crates is the EliteField 3-Door Soft Dog Crate.

Made from high-quality 600D fabric, the EliteField 3-Door Soft Dog Crate is lightweight but surprisingly durable. It features hex mesh fabric side panels that offer 360-degree ventilation and visibility – they also double as doors for easy access. The crate comes with a free carrying bag and a fleece bed for added value. It also folds down to just 3 inches high for easy storage and transport.

Top Dog Tips praises the quality of the construction and the convenience of the hand carrying straps and the free carry case. A review from Central Park Paws mentions the steel tube frame that is highly durable but lightweight, making this crate easy to transport. This crate also earns the number one spot from Ultimate Home Life as a generously sized crate that will keep your dog cool and comfortable.

Pros: Durable 600D fabric, hex mesh fabric side panels for ventilation and visibility, lightweight, folds flat, three doors for easy access, five sizes and many colors, comes with a carrying bag and fleece bed, two-year warranty, removable washable cover

Cons: May not withstand heavy chewing or hyperactive dogs, zipper may break or separate with rough handling, folding mechanism may stick sometimes

Buy the EliteField 3-Door Soft Dog Crate on Amazon for $39.99 and up


The best crate for puppies

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MidWest/Business Insider

The MidWest Life Stages Pet Crate is a great option for puppies because it has a divider that you can remove as your pup grows up.

When choosing a crate for a puppy, you have to consider more than just the size. You could purchase a small crate and then buy new crates as your puppy grows or you could make the smart choice and purchase a crate that has removable panels so the crate effectively grows in size alongside your puppy. Our top pick for a crate for puppies that offers this feature is the MidWest Life Stages Pet Crate.

Available in six different sizes as well as both single and double door options, the MidWest Life Stages Pet Crate is great for puppies of all sizes. Simply choose the crate that will best accommodate your puppy when he’s fully grown and use the included divider to make the crate smaller until they grow up. This crate is made from heavy-gauge steel wire for durability and it features two slide-bolt latches for security and a slide-out tray for easy cleaning. It also folds flat for storage and travel.

My Sweet Puppy names the MidWest Life Stages Pet Crate its top pick for dog crates overall, praising the crate’s excellent visibility and ventilation. The site also notes that setup doesn’t require any tools and the crate folds flat for transport. Dogs Recommend speaks to convenient features like the fold-flat design, sturdy carry handles, and the removable tray. The review also mentions that the buyer can choose from a one-door or two-door design with six size options ranging from 22 inches to 48 inches.

Pros: Heavy gauge steel wire, two slide-bolt latches on each door, six sizes, one-door or two-door design, easy to assemble, folds flat for storage and portability, slide-out tray, easy cleaning, rubber feet protect floors

Cons: May not be strong enough for very large or hyperactive dogs, wire may bend under excessive force, assembly can be tricky for some users

Buy the MidWest Life Stages Pet Crate on Amazon for $26.99 and up


The best heavy-duty dog crate

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Pro Select/Business Insider

Designed to stand up against even the largest, most powerful dogs, the ProSelect Empire Dog Cage is our top pick for heavy-duty dog crates.

Many of the dog crates on the market are made from wire, plastic, or fabric. These materials are lightweight and inexpensive but they won’t hold up against a heavy chewer or a large, powerful dog. For dogs like these, a heavy-duty dog crate is a must. You need something made from high-strength, durable materials with a high-quality construction. Our top pick for a dog crate that meets all of these criteria and more is the ProSelect Empire Dog Cage.

The ProSelect Empire Dog Cage is significantly more expensive than many metal dog crates but it is virtually indestructible so you won’t have to replace it time and time again. Built from 20-gauge steel-reinforced tubes with heavy-duty welds and stout dual door latches, this dog crate will stand up against anything your dog throws at it. Designed specifically to contain very large, powerful, and aggressive dogs, the ProSelect Empire Dog Cage stands up to the test.

K9 of Mine highlights the convenient features like four 4-inch locking wheels and a removable tray for easy cleanup. Doggy Toggery comments on the strong steel build as well as the crate’s rust-proof durability. MySweetPuppy points out that this crate offers excellent ventilation and visibility to keep your dog cool and comfortable both indoors and out.

Pros: Virtually indestructible, high-quality steel, excellent ventilation, 360-degree visibility, removable tray, easy cleanup, rustproof, works indoors and outdoors, easy to assemble, built specifically for large and powerful dogs

Cons: Very expensive compared to other metal crates, heavy (medium weighs 76 pounds and large weighs 99 pounds), requires some assembly, not collapsible for storage or transport

Buy the ProSelect Empire Dog Cage on Amazon for $369.99 and up


The best dog crate furniture

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Crown Pet/Business Insider

With a beautiful hardwood construction, the Crown Pet Crate Table is both attractive and functional.

Many dog crates get the job done, but they don’t look particularly attractive. A fashion dog crate is the best of both worlds – it will keep your dog safe and confined when necessary but it won’t stick out like a sore thumb against your home decor. Fashion dog crates come in many different forms but our top pick is the Crown Pet Crate Table.

The Crown Pet Crate Table may be more expensive than many of the dog crates on the market but you have to remember that you’re paying for aesthetic appeal as well as quality construction. Made from durable hardwood and available in three finishes, this fashion dog crate will keep your dog comfortable without detracting from your home décor scheme. It features a swing-through door plus plenty of ventilation all the way around the crate. It also features a waterproof melamine-covered floor for easy cleaning if your dog has an accident.

The Happy Pooch names the Crown Pet Crate Table its top choice in wooden dog crates, making note of its generous size and the ventilation bars that go all the way around the crate to keep your dog cool while giving them a 360-degree view of their environment. Labrador Training HQ also gives this crate a positive review for its quality construction, easy assembly, and generous size. The reviewer does warn, however, that the finish may have an odor that disappears after a few days.

Pros: Hardwood construction, attractive finishes, two sizes, plenty of ventilation, floor is covered with waterproof melamine for easy cleaning, can be used as an end table

Cons: Only available in two sizes, colors may be darker than pictured, door swings both inward and outward, bars are wood and not steel, won’t’ withstand heavy chewing

Buy the Crown Pet Crate Table on Amazon for $227.56 and up


Check out our other great guides to the best dog gear

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Lunja/Shutterstock/Business Insider

Best puppy potty-training gear

With the right supplies and a little determination, you can potty train a puppy in a matter of weeks. We’ve done the research to find the best house-training products. Here are the best products you can buy:

The best dog toys

With so many dog toys available, it can be hard to find the right toy for your dog. That’s why we’ve done the research to find the best dog toys for chewing, chasing, fetching, treat dispensing, and playing tug. Here are the best dog toys you can buy:

The best dog food

Your dog deserves high-quality food that’s nutritious and healthy. That’s why we scoured the reviews and compared dozens of products to find the top dog food brands in different categories. Here is the best dog food you can buy:

The best organic dog treats

Your dog deserves a healthy and balanced diet which includes both kibble and treats. Make sure your dog’s treats are made from wholesome, natural ingredients, and if you really want to pamper your pooch, consider going organic. Here are our top picks for the best organic dog treats:

The best snow jackets for dogs

Whether your dog has short or long fur, a slender or thick build, a snow jacket is a winter necessity to keep them warm and protected during daily walks and outdoor play. Dog snow jackets come in all shapes and sizes, so we evaluated the many options to help you make the best choice for your dog.

The best puppy gear

Before you bring your new puppy home, you should stock up on all the things they will need to be happy and healthy in their furever home. With our expert opinion and in-depth research, we’ve rounded up some of the best basic puppy supplies around.

The best dog muzzles

Depending on why you use need to use a dog muzzle, for how long, and your dog’s facial structure, you may want to consider a basket muzzle, soft muzzle, short-snout muzzle, or a custom-fit muzzle. Here are the best dog muzzles you can buy:

The best supplements for dogs

If your dog has been diagnosed with a nutritional deficiency or a specific health problem, your veterinarian may recommend a supplement. Here are our top picks for the best dog supplements:

The best no-pull dog harnesses

A no-pull harness is a safe and effective method for training your dog to walk nicely on a leash. These are our top picks for the best harnesses to keep your dog from pulling: