When training a new puppy or getting an adopted dog used to your household, crate training can be invaluable as a way to give your dog a safe place that is only theirs while they learn the rules. Primarily used for housebreaking, the theory goes that a crate creates a “den” for your pup and dogs don’t like to soil their den. While the science there isn’t exactly proven, the method is. Many well-behaved dogs were trained with the crate method, which can be used as a way to keep a dog on a tight schedule for going out and for sleep. After the initial training period is over, many dogs will continue to use an open crate as a bed, which can save the frustration of keeping them out of yours or off of furniture.
Crates are also the safest method for transporting a dog. Having a crate for the house and one installed in your car ensure that your pooch will remain relatively still while the car is moving. This will prevent injury for them and could prevent an accident for you. There are generally three different styles: plastic or flight crates, fabric foldable crates, and metal collapsible crates.
Crates aren’t a total solution as some dogs can see them as frustrating and anxiety-producing. Given the success of them as a training tool, though, they’re a great option. Here’s our list of the top five best dog crates for everything from your tiny puppy to your full-grown mutt.
1. MidWest iCrate Pet Crates
Probably the gold standard for convenience in dog crates, this MidWest product is the ubiquitous metal crate. It’s simple, easy to assemble and use, and folds flat for easy storage and transport. The double door version is especially useful since it can be used in different orientations in cars. I’ve owned two of these at different points and have always found them useful. In a pinch, they can be used as travel cages for other animals, too. MidWest makes pet beds and polyester covers for these crates.
Need more options? Browse all MidWest products here.
Price: $56.99 for 42-inch double door (53 percent off MSRP)
- Very durable
- Easy to transport
- Simple setup
- Not solid-sided
- Some units have sharp edges
- Pan is flimsy
2. Casual Home 600-44 Pet Crate End Table
If you only need something for a well-appointed living room, consider a crate made to blend in. This end table model will perform all the necessary functions of a dog crate without being an eyesore in your living room. Since it doubles as an end table, you won’t give up any needed floor space, either. Also available in white and black, this gives you a couple of options. Especially in tiny spaces, having dual-function furniture is a must. Even after training, this will serve as a perfect dog bed. Other brands have models for larger breeds.
Need more options? Browse all Casual Home products here.
Price: $86.65 for 24-inch size (26 percent off MSRP)
- Attractive furniture design
- Dual purpose
- Not made to be used in the car
3. Petsfit Travel Pet Home Indoor/Outdoor Collapsible Soft Dog Crate
For dogs that aren’t prone to chewing or otherwise destroying things, this soft dog crate is a great travel option. Built for ventilation, this is a good solution if you need your dog to be crated while outside. This will work pretty much anywhere, though, and the metal locking frame sets up in seconds. A good option for maximum dog comfort.
Need more options? Browse all Petsfit products here.
Price: $49.99 for medium to large dogs (50 percent off MSRP)
- Ultra portable
- Good ventilation
- Flaps roll up for use as a bed
- Not as durable as other designs
- Not an option for destructive dogs
Find more Petsfit Travel Pet Home Indoor/Outdoor Collapsible Soft Dog Crate information and reviews here.
4. Petmate Sky Kennel
When it comes to flying with your dog, the plastic flight crate is the only option. The heavy duty plastic shell and durable door meet airline requirements for animals and this form factor will keep your pet safe while airborne. This model comes with a food and water dish that clip to the inside of the door. With windows on all four sides, it’s designed for maximum ventilation. It even includes a “live animals” sticker so there can be no confusion.
Need more options? Browse all Petmate products here.
Price: $130.41 for extra large (62 percent off MSRP)
- Very durable
- The only option for flying
- Corrosion resistant fittings
- Doesn’t collapse
- Relatively large
5. PetSafe Cottageview Dog Kennel
If you’re looking for something a bit larger to use in the yard, consider a kennel-style enclosure. This will give your dog more freedom to move around without the danger of wandering off. This could also be used for training purposes. We don’t recommend sticking your dog in one of these alone for hours at a time, but it can be a useful product while you’re working in the yard or to get them to associate a certain area of the yard as theirs.
Need more options? Browse all PetSafe products here.
Price: $245.15 (15 percent off MSRP)
- Ideal for yard use
- Large enough to let your pet move around
- Sets up in less than an hour
- Can’t be used in the house or car
- Not at all portable
- Dog could dig underneath and escape