There are several reasons to use a crate for a medium to large-size dog. Crates can be positively used to create a safe space where your dog can retreat when he’s stressed, when there are too many people or kids running around or when he just wants to relax without being bothered. (When dogs are in their enclosed space, keep the door open for him, so he can come and go as he pleases.) It is also a great tool to use for housetraining, but only temporarily. And crates are a perfect — and safe — way to transport dogs to vet visits and on trips.
What a crate is not for is to keep your dog locked up for all day long. Indeed, the maximum time a dog should be left alone, crate or not crate, is 4 hours a day, as they are social animals. (For those who work, a dog walker, neighbor or doggie daycare can do the trick). And if he is destructive, or suffers from separation anxiety while you are gone, consider providing a puzzle, Kong or working with a trainer to help him, rather than confinement. Also, a crate should never be used for punishment, as your dog could begin to fear it.
Here are some of the best crates for denning, traveling and using for housetraining.
1. Bowhaus Crate
From DenHaus, the Bowhaus is a crate for art lovers. A modern, graphic round crate that can double as an end table, it features a sliding door, a cutout design and room for a padded bed (sold separately). The fiberglass construction is easy to clean, and the starburst provides plenty of ventilation. This crate works best for dogs up to 30 pounds. It’s available in a small and medium size, and comes in silver, red and black. The price is between $379.99 and $397.99.
The ZenCrate is the world’s first “smart” anti-anxiety dog crate. When your dog goes inside, the crate automatically senses his presence and begins playing “calming music selected based on research studied.” It is designed to muffle outside noises, and with its “vibration damping technology” to reduce the vibrations from thunder, garbage trucks or machinery, your dog will soon be in her own zen state of mind, free from worry, anger, ego, fear or any other emotions. This crate is truly made to be a safe space as it doesn’t have a door. It costs between $549 and $659.99.
3. Crown Pet Crate
If you like the look of the crate-as-end-table but don’t want to break the bank, the Crown Pet Crate is a good alternative. It’s made of sustainable rubberwood and comes in two finishes and sizes. The “swing-through” door can rotate outside or tuck inside to save space. Wooden slats give your dog a 360-degree view. The floor is covered with waterproof melamine, so it’s easy to clean and doesn’t absorb odors. Medium fits dogs up to 45 pounds; large fits up to 80-pound dogs. The price tag is $237.99
4. B&B Kustom Kennels
B&B Kustom Kennels will set you back a few bones, but that hasn’t stopped people from ordering the kennels. With a current wait time of 16-18 weeks, owners love how these crates, known as Doggie Dens, fit right into a room, with their beautiful, yet functional design. Taking 8 to 10 hours to complete, each kennel uses high-quality wood and can be used as end tables, consoles, cabinets and dressers. The wood is sealed and each Doggie Den has a plastic tray in case of accidents or water spillage. They start at $699.
5. Noz2Noz Crate
The Noz2Noz soft-sided crate is lightweight, making it easy to pick up and move around. It can be folded for storage. Heavy-duty mesh sides allow for great ventilation, and rounded corners protect home and auto interiors. The crate door can be rolled up and secured to make the crate a dog bed. It’s also easy to clean with a washable, water-resistant cover. Heavy-duty industrial zippers keep your pooch safely inside. Available from 21-inches to 42-inches, which fits dogs from 15 up to 90 pounds. $50.26 – $79.99
6. Petmate Kennel
This may not be the most glamorous crate, but it still does the trick. One of the strongest and most secure, the Petmate Ultra Vari Kennel is great for travel. Made of durable plastic, it has metal vents on all four sides, a secure lock and an interior “moat” designed to keep your dog dry. It comes with tie-down belts for securing in your car. It’s also lightweight. It comes in four sizes, from dogs 25-30 pounds up to dogs 70-90 pounds. The crate will set you back $69.95 to $139.95