If you have recently added a new dog to the family, then chances are you’ve been running around trying to find the very best essential products for your new furry companion. One of the things you’re going to need is a dog crate.
With all different variations of crates on the market, it can be difficult deciding which one to actually buy. That is why we have put together this helpful guide. Read through it and learn everything you need to know about buying and using a dog crate.
- Top 8 Best Wire Dog Crates for the Money 2018
- What Is It?
- Why You Need A Crate For Your Dog
- Wire vs Plastic Crates
- What Size Do You Need?
- Features To Look For
- Common Accessories For The Crate
- Benefits of Crate Training Your Dog
- Is Crate Training Cruel?
- How To Use A Dog Crate
Top 8 Best Wire Dog Crates for the Money 2018
MidWest iCrate Folding Metal Dog Crate
|(4.7 / 5)|
AmazonBasics Folding Metal Dog Crate
|(4.7 / 5)|
OxGord 24-Inch Folding Metal Pet Crate with Double-Door and Divider
|(4.6 / 5)|
Carlson Pet Products Compact Single Door Wire Dog Crate
|(4.5 / 5)|
MidWest Life Stages Folding Metal Dog Crate
|(4.8 / 5)|
Precision Pet ProValu Double Door Dog Crate
|(4.9 / 5)|
Precision Pet Snoozzy Baby 2-Door Crate
|(4.6 / 5)|
New World Dog Crate
|(4.7 / 5)|
What Is It?
Dog crates are pens that can house a dog of any size. Dog crates range in size from small to extra large. Dog crates can be made of metal or plastic.They range in price based on the material its made from and the size. Dogs are usually in crates when their owners are not around to supervise them. A dog’s crate is their safe place and their bed. The purpose of crate training a dog is for safety reasons for the family and for the dog, to house train and to prevent any behavior that might be considered destructive. Crate training can also be for the purpose of travel.
Why You Need A Crate For Your Dog
Dog crates are important and necessary for many reasons. If you have a puppy or a dog that hasn’t been housebroken, then crates are an excellent way to get your dog accustomed to doing its business outside instead of in its own living area. During the housebreaking phase, dogs can be crated until they understand their new routine.
The most important reason that you need to buy a crate, for any dog of any age, is for use when there is nobody home to supervise your dog. This is both for the dog’s safety as well as the protection of your house, furniture, and personal belongings. Even the most well-behaved dogs sometimes chew up objects out of stress and separation anxiety when left alone. Crating your dog while you’re out of the house prevents damage and accidents and also protects your dog from potentially getting into something unsafe while unsupervised.
Additionally, crates are also one of the safest ways to travel with your dog. You protect yourself with a seat-belt, and it is important to consider your dog’s safety as well. Crates prevent your dog from flying from the car in a bad accident. They also ensure that your dog doesn’t escape and run away into traffic after an accident if a door pops open.
Crates also provide a safe and comfortable environment for your dog that is all their own. Many dogs become anxious when left alone, and being in their crate while you’re away gives them a sense of security. In fact, many dogs enjoy relaxing, sleeping, and chewing toys in their crates with the door open even when you’re home. Crates are not a punishment, but rather a safe-space for your dog.
Wire vs Plastic Crates
While shopping for crates, you will come across both wire and plastic options. We highly recommend that you opt for a wire option.
Plastic crates are much darker and less ventilated than wire options. While wire crates allow for proper air flow between the bars, plastic alternatives have solid walls. This can make the crate hot and stuffy in warm weather, and deprive your dog of light during the day.
A huge benefit of wire crates over plastic crates is how easy they are to clean. The wires are simple to wipe down, and most wire crates have a solid tray that pulls out to wash down in the case of an accident. Alternatively, plastic crates require you to practically crawl inside and clean the floor in the dark.
What Size Do You Need?
When it comes to dog crates, you want to buy an option that is large enough for then to stand up and comfortably turn around but not much bigger that that. If a crate is too small, then your dog might not even be able to readjust if they are uncomfortable. Too much time in tight quarters can lead to back and joint issues that will cause your dog pain over time.
Alternatively, a crate that is too large can encourage anxiety or accidents. A trained dog is unlikely to go to the bathroom right where it has to lay and sleep. Large crates might lead to anxious dogs pacing instead of relaxing into a secure and comfortable position.
Features To Look For
Crates with pull-out bottom trays are much easier to clean than crates without this feature. While this may be a matter of convenience that some overlook, it is absolutely critical to look for a crate that at least has a solid bottom. Wire bottoms are painful on your dog’s paw pads and uncomfortable to sleep on.
Make sure that the crate your buying has a sturdy and reliable locking feature. Large dogs might push against a door, and they run the risk of harming themselves or damaging your house if they break out.
Dogs need constant access to clean drinking water, so ideally you’ll want to find a crate that has attachments for either a bowl or water bottle.
Common Accessories For The Crate
Like we mentioned above, many people choose to buy attachable water bottles for their dog crates. Additionally, you can buy no-tip and no-spill bowls that are same and clean on the crate floor.
Another common dog crate accessory is a crate cover. Severely anxious dogs may become over-stimulated if their crate isn’t covered while they are home alone or especially in a moving vehicle.
If you want to improve a dog crate’s comfort, it is recommended that you buy a sleeping pad to fit the crate bottom. That is warm, far easier on your dog’s joints and encourages sleeping.
Finally, the most common accessory you can buy for a dog crate is a pee pad. Because people often use crates to housebreak their dogs, it is likely that an accident will eventually occur on the crate floor. Laying down a pee pad makes the clean-up process much easier.
Benefits of Crate Training Your Dog
Getting a puppy can be a thrilling experience. Puppies are fun, exciting, cuddly little creatures but they need to be trained in order to live in the home without behavioral issues. Many puppy owners may be apprehensive about crate training but it do some good for the behavior of the dog. There are many benefits to crate training a puppy, it just needs to be done carefully to be successful. There are many things that need to be consider when crate training your dog. You must get ready to endure the long days and nights of training your dog. You will hear crying, you will barking, you just need to be prepared. Patience is key when crate training your dog. It may seem difficult at first but it will all pay off in the end. According to expert professional trainers and veterinarians, crate training your dog is an accepted form of training and it is considered a least stressful version of training. We will discuss some of the benefits of crate training.
The Use of A Dog Crate For Training
If you use it correctly, crate training can be beneficial to both the owner and the dog. Crate training can give you peace of mind that when you are away from home, ensuring that your home and belongings are not destroyed and that your dog is safe. It is also helpful in house- training. The crate creates a secure environment where your dog can learn self-control. It allows for you to create a routine, so the dog knows when and where to relieve itself. The crate also prevents accidents when you are away from home or when it is nighttime. When your dog is overly – excited or bothered by something, the dog crate can help alleviate those issues. Another benefit of the crate training is that the dog can travel with you and be comfortable with the experience.
Why You Should Use It
Crate training can be very beneficial to the dog in many ways. The crate can create a sense of security for the dog. It can be a place where the dog can walk into and rest. Crate training can also allow the dog to learn how to control their bowels. It will help to decide when it’s a good time to venture outside of the crate and relieve itself. The crate can also be helpful on alleviating any stress you may have due to the dog’s behavior.
There are so many reasons why crate training is good for dogs. If you are looking into welcoming a new dog into the family, it is best to look into crate training to help the dog follow his natural instincts. When a dog feels comfortable around a group people, his or her behavior will change. Dogs, just like humans long for interaction and with crate training they can get that and much more.
Is Crate Training Cruel?
The great debate on crate training your dog isn’t one that is coming to a conclusion any time soon. Some people believe crate training is a form of animal abuse while others believe it’s the best way to train a dog in an area of comfort. Dogs aren’t humans so there aren’t any studies that show without a doubt that crate training is doing any arm to dogs. Dogs may not love to be stuck in a crate for training, but they seem to leave that crate happy to see their owner once again. When done correctly, crate training does not cause long term psychological effects.
Here’s the deal, crate training is great unless it is used for the wrong purpose. The cage should never be seen by the dog as a place of punishment. This will make the dog think it’s bad when he/she is sent to the crate. Never leave the dog in the crate for extended periods of time. Think of you were locked in a small area for hours on end. Every human or animal needs to be let out to use the restroom, to breathe fresh air and stretch their legs. More than three hours in a locked area would make any animal disturbed.
Crates are a place for training. Dogs feel this is their little home. A crate provides a small, enclosed area where they can sleep, hide from any danger and feel comfortable in their own home. Feeling safe and secure in their little home keeps the dog from ripping up your home when you’re out for a jog or using the restroom on your sofa just because they’re mad you left. Wild dogs spend the first weeks of their lives in a small den. This is a natural thing within them to want to be in an enclosed area. The best thing about this little den is it is also a natural thing within them they want to keep the place they sleep free of urine and feces. This means a dog will try with all their might not to use the restroom until you return and let them out. Young pups learn better bladder control and are able to hold it in the crate. After being house trained, your dog will hopefully see the crate as a place of security, a place they can come and go without fear. It’s no longer a cage to them.
Many pups love to chew. The worst part is when they chew up your favorite pair of shoes. Leaving the dog in a crate for a little bit with chew toys will help this problem. You don’t want the dog to continue chewing and find your wires, chair legs, kids’ toys and favorite slippers as they grow. Crating the pups that love to chew with a few toys, especially toys with treats inside them, should them them to chew on these toys in their crate instead of your favorite things.
A crate needs to be seen by the dog as a second home. They need to think of it like you think of your bedroom with your cozy bed, television remote in hand sitting back on your favorite pillow. A crate needs to be their own personal haven. There is no way there own personal space can cause psychological damage unless it becomes a place of pain. Psychological damage to a dog in a crate happens when the dog is stuck in the tiny area for hours on end, waiting for contact with people and feeling as if they have been left alone without understanding. Crate training is not bad for your dog unless you make it that way. A happy dog that loves his little den will make the whole home happy.
How To Use A Dog Crate
Owning a pet is a very difficult task, as they are a lot like children. You have to make sure they are fed, cleaned up after, and exercised. However, just like children, they will get into everything if they are not watched. This is one of the many benefits of having and using a dog crate. It is important to know how to purchase a crate, how to properly use it, and then when you should not use the crate. This article will cover all three of those topics.
A Note About Sizes
When you first take ownership of a dog, you will want to have a safe place for them to call their own. Dog crates come in a variety of styles and sizes. To prevent being cruel to your pet, you will want to make sure you purchase a crate that is big enough for your pet when he or she is full grown. However, if you purchase a crate that is too big, your dog may use it as a bathroom.
Properly Using Your Crate
When you purchase a kennel, it will need to be made as an enjoyable place for your dog to spend his or her time. Crate training is much easier if you have a few accessories in there, such as a chew toy and a bed. You will also want to make sure that there is always access to water, and clean the kennel after any mess is made. You do not want the dog to feel like that is the place to use the restroom, and you also do not want to let your dog lay in water. Finally, make sure you have taken your pet out before and after time has been spent in the kennel.
Vary Use of Kennel
It is important that you vary the use of your dog’s crate. If you only put your dog in the crate when you are leaving, your dog will associate the kennel as time of you not being present. This can lead your pet to suffer from anxiety and then not want to enter the kennel. During the crate training process, it is a good idea to use the kennel as a place to rest from hard play or even as a form of potty training if your pet is young. Most dogs do not want to go to the bathroom where they have their bed, but the crate also gives you the ability to watch for signs of needing to use the restroom. If you notice they have had a small accident, you can take them out and let them get praised for using the bathroom in approved locations. Dogs learn better off of praise, so crates are a great way to reduce the amount you are upset by accidents because they are easier to clean, and your pet will experience more praise.
Another use for the kennel is a timeout from your other children in the house. Puppies have a tendency to get very excitable and do not realize that their teeth hurt humans more than they do other puppies. A great way to help your dog calm is to place them in their kennel to relax and destress. You are also giving them a break from your children, who may also get too wound up from playing. This is why it is ideal to have chew toys in the kennel, so they realize they are going in there as a way to get some space, rather than be punished for playing. However, it is also important to note that you want to make sure that your children do not enter your dog’s space. He or she should feel comfortable that they get a full break and that the kennel is their property. There is a fine balance though, as you will want to make sure your dog does not become territorial of the crate, or you will find it difficult getting items in and out while they are in there.
Aid with Supervision
Allow your dog’s crate to act as a place to go when you are not able to supervise them. While, yes, this does mean use it when you are leaving the house, it also means using it during the day. When you have a puppy, you will notice that they often get into everything they can. If you work from home, it can be troublesome to have both a puppy and young children if you do not have a way to separate them when you are working. In addition, you can use the crate as a place for your dog to go overnight when you are unable to watch for any accidents or boredom disasters during the night. Your pet will not automatically know what is theirs to play with and what is not. You can protect your shoes, electrical wires, or even your children’s toys. Anything that you do not want damaged when you are not watching your pet, you will want to keep protected by having your pet in a safe place. You are also protecting your family pet from death by preventing them from getting into something toxic when you are not home or you are asleep.
Freedom of Use
It is also very important that you allow your pet to have free access to the kennel when you are not regularly using it. You want them comfortable with the space, and if they feel like they can go there whenever they want, it will lessen the anxiety of them needing to be in the kennel when you need it. As your dog matures, and is able to not need as much supervision, he or she may still want that separation from children. They also may feel more relaxed in the crate and want to have access for mid-day naps.
Help Manage Problems
While you do not want to regularly use the kennel as a place of punishment, you will want to use it as a way to manage any problems that arise. Dogs that like to jump up on new people to the house, or guard the house, or dogs that have problems begging for food during meal times can be placed in the kennel to help prevent the overuse of the word “no.” As you lessen the amount of negative terms used towards your pet, you will automatically increase the amount of praise they receive, and they will want to continue the positive behavior. You can use the kennel as a temporary solution, by letting guests into the house and giving everyone a few minutes to settle before letting your dog back out of the kennel. If they still do the poor behavior, then they can go back into the kennel until they are settled, and repeat the process.
Periods of Introduction
The crate is also a great tool when it comes to new introductions to the house. If you are adopting a new animal, you can use the kennel as a safe place for the dog to go, especially if your current dog is elderly and not able to tolerate the energy of a new puppy in the house. In addition, you can use the same kenneling technique when you are bringing a new baby home from the hospital. The kennel helps your dog feel safe, but also gives you the ability to control the behaviors from your dog. You do not want to have to worry about a fight breaking out and not having a place to put the offending party.
Finally, a great use of the kennel is to keep your pet safe while you are on the road. You do not want your dog jumping around the car, especially not onto your lap, while you are controlling the vehicle. Having them in a kennel that is secured will also help keep them safe in the case of an accident with another vehicle. It will make traveling easier on the whole, as you can find many hotels that will allow you to bring your pet, if they have a kennel they will be placed during the night or when you leave the room. This will lower the amount of money you will have to have for petsitters or boarding, but you are also helping reduce the stress of traveling because they will be in a known environment.
Not a Catch All
However, with all the benefits that come with having a dog crate for your pet, it is important not to use the crate as a catch all. You do not want to use a crate if your dog has anxiety about small spaces or the kennel in general. Watch for signs of stress, such as ears laid flat, tail down, trembling, or whining. You do not want them to be extremely stressed inside the kennel, but at the same time they do need to get used to the environment. If your dog has never been in a kennel, they may be stressed, so reward with treats and be upbeat about the kennel. However, if they still show signs of stress, you will want to have another option available for them. This will prevent damage to the crate, injuries on your pet, or even accidents in the kennel.
If your dog already has separation anxiety, you will not want to use the kennel as a place for them to go when you are gone. This will exacerbate the problem, but leaving them home alone may also cause destruction to your property. It is best to consult a professional to handle the behavior problems to make sure you have a solution that your dog is comfortable with and works for your family. You do not want neighbors calling because they feel your dog is in danger or is annoying others with barking.
In addition, if you are using the crate with house training, you want to make sure your dog is taken out when they have an accident. You do not want to try to lengthen the time between bathroom trips, as it will lead to medical complications. It also may lead them to think that the crate is where they are supposed to go to the bathroom, and you will find yourself cleaning it more than you would like. However, if they are sick, the kennel is much easier to clean than your house, so temporary use of the crate in this manner is acceptable.
Do not use a crate if your dog is developing arthritis and laying in a confined space makes the pain worse, and do not use it for long periods of time except overnight. You want to make sure your pet still has the ability to use the restroom every two to four hours. Even if they do not need to go to the bathroom, they need to have the social interaction and exercise. Crates are not designed to be a way for you to have peace from having to deal with the animal. You want to make sure you are prepared for dog ownership and not use the crate as an out for ownership responsibilities.
This may mean you will need to consider hiring a pet sitter to let your pet out during the day while you are at work. Pets are a huge responsibility and do not understand when they are punished for things they have no control over. Dogs inherently want to please their owners and be near them. They will demand a lot of your attention, and will not understand if you do not have any desire to be with them. This has a tendency to lead to poor behaviors, so use the kennel to help teach but not long term.
When your dog is old enough to be trusted, then it is time to start leaving the crate open for him or her to use as they want. There is no reason to use the crate if they are not destroying your property or leaving messes. The crate should be used as a tool to provide a safe place for your pet, and protect your belongings and other members of the house. This allows your pet to have their little space that they can go to when they want, as well as a place to go when they are being a little out of hand.