The best dog crates for all types of dog, recommended by animal experts
When it comes to buying a dog crate, there's more to consider than you might think. We spoke to leading animal experts to get their take on what to look for and what to avoid when buying a dog crate for your furry friend.
If you own a dog you'll know that they tend to take over the home and if they're not asleep on your washing you can often find them mucking around on your sofa, dirtying the carpets, or attempting to steal food from the table. Whilst you might feel like your dog has free roam of your house they do still need a place they can call their own where they can go to sleep at night and feel secure during the day.
That's where a dog crate comes in. Dog crates often house your dog's bed and give your pup privacy and security. The majority of dog owners have crates and crate training is an important part of welcoming a new pooch to the family and can help your new addition with toilet training and separation anxiety.
When looking to buy a dog crate for your pet, it can be hard to know where to start. That's where we come in. The Recommended sought the opinions of three leading animal experts and got their take on what to look out for (and avoid) when finding the best dog crate for your four-legged friend. In line with their advice and recommendations, we put together our list of the best dog crates to keep your furry friend happy and content.
The best dog crates at a glance:
- Best overall dog crate: Ellie-Bo dog crate, £35.99, at OnBuy
- Best dog crate for puppies: MidWest Homes For Pets Dog Crate Starter Kit, £88.74, at Amazon
- Best space-saving dog crate: Double Door Dog Crate, £54, at Argos
- Best dog crate for travel: MOOL Lightweight Fabric Crate, £39.99, at Amazon
- Best fabric dog crate: Amazon Basics Folding Soft Dog Crate, £66.26, at Amazon
- Best dog crate for cars: Easipet Folding Sloping Car Crate, £26.99, at B&Q
- Best wooden dog crate: PawHut Wooden Pet Crate, £85.99, at Robert Dyas
- Best chew-proof dog crate: Kelixu Heavy Duty Dog Crate, £179.99, at ManoMano
The best dog crates
Best overall dog crate: Ellie-Bo Dog Crate
Versatile and built to last
A real all-rounder, this dog crate speaks to all our expert’s recommendations. With a removable tray base and a durable steel structure, the Ellie-Bo dog crate is easy to maintain for long-lasting quality.
Designed with safety and comfort in mind, the Ellie-Bo dog crate features two doors with durable latches, as recommended by our experts. The crate folds flat and comes with a carry handle for easy transport, and the steel, chew-proof tray base fits most dog beds to keep your pet comfortable.
Best dog crate for puppies: MidWest Homes For Pets Dog Crate Starter Kit
Helps little dogs feel secure
This crate brings innovative, convenient solutions to your pet’s needs. Coming with a fleece dog bed and crate cover, this starter kit prioritises your pet’s comfort, helping them to feel secure.
Equipped with two pet bowls and built-in holders, this dog crate offers a convenient travel solution, while the two-door design speaks to our expert's recommendation of easy access. Made with durable materials, this crate is set to survive the chewing stage and the collapsible structure folds flat for easy storage.
Best space-saving dog crate: Double Door Dog Crate
Easy to pack away
This dog cage is suitable for indoor use or travel and is easy to set up, fold down, and transport due to its suitcase-style folding mechanism and convenient carry handle. The removable plastic tray simplifies cleaning, while the double door equipped with two locks allows for secure access and containment.
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This medium-sized cage is suitable for breeds like Boxers, Whippets, Beagles, and Westies. It comes with a manufacturer's 1-year warranty and can also be brought in larger sizes for a few extra quid.
Best dog crate for travel: MOOL Lightweight Fabric Crate
For on-the-go comfort
Ideal for small breeds, this crate is equipped with carrying handles for ease of use. With added storage, this dog crate pairs comfort with practicality, helping you to adventure without compromise.
Compact and lightweight, this travel dog crate is equipped with a reversible fleece mat to keep your pet comfortable in all temperatures. Made with a durable, powder-coated steel frame, this crate provides the stability our experts recommend while also folding flat for easy storage when needed.
Best fabric dog crate: Amazon Basics Folding Soft Dog Crate
Soft yet strong
Designed with two zippable doors, this fabric dog crate ensures easy access to your pet, while the mesh windows on each side offer improved ventilation.
With a durable yet lightweight PVC frame, this foldable, soft dog crate features a heavy-duty, water-resistant polyester covering for optimal longevity. Rounded corners protect your home and interiors from unwanted marks, and the pop-up design assembles in seconds for ease of use.
Best dog crate for cars: Easipet Folding Sloping Car Crate
A tailored travel solution
With an innovative design tailored to fit most bar boots, this dog crate keeps your furry friend safe on the move.
The dog crate’s sloping design allows it to fit easily into the boot of most hatchback cars. Made with a sturdy metal frame and removable tray base, this crate is easy to clean and collapses for easy storage.
Best wooden dog crate: PawHut Wooden Pet Crate
Stylish and versatile
Suitable for small breeds, this pet crate is a stylish alternative to the standard metal dog crate. The PawHut Wooden Pet Crate delivers on our expert recommendations without compromising on aesthetics.
Equipped with two doors, as our experts recommend, this wooden dog crate has a water-resistant surface and is easy to maintain. Metal caging allows for great air circulation while ensuring your pet’s security.
Best chew-proof dog crate: Kelixu Heavy Duty Dog Crate
Super strong and secure
Made from corrosion-resistant steel, this heavy-duty dog crate is ready for anything. The slide-out plastic tray is easy to clean and ensures ease of use, while its 360-degree rotated locking casters provides excellent mobility.
Ideal for medium and large breeds, the Kelixu Heavy Duty Dog Crate is large enough to let your pooch move around freely, as recommended by our experts. Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, this dog crate is made with reinforced steel and sturdy safety buckles to ensure the safety of even the most determined chewers.
Dog crates buyer's guide
Here's our buyer's guide to help you buy the perfect dog crate for your pooch.
Our dog experts
Our experts are qualified animal experts with established careers as veterinarians and animal behaviourists. They shared their thoughts with us as to what to think about when looking for a dog crate for our four-legged friends.
A featured expert on Channel 4’s Embarrassing Pets, Caroline Clark is a qualified vet nurse and a registered clinical animal behaviourist with over 30 years of experience in the industry. Caroline believes in a holistic approach to pet management and specialises in the diagnosis, treatment and management of behavioural problems in companion animals, including dogs.
With a lifelong love of dogs and over 15 years of experience as a dog behaviourist and trainer, Adem Fehmi works with dog owners to help them understand their pets and create a common language between pooches and humans. Adem is driven by a passion to help both owners and dogs get the most out of their relationship and offers one-to-one and group training sessions on how to manage and overcome behavioural problems.
A certified vet, Johnny Mullins works with pet owners to advise on the treatment and care of a range of health and well-being issues that affect their animals. A graduate of the Royal Veterinary College, Johnny now works in a UK veterinary practice treating hundreds of pets each week.
What should you look for when buying a dog crate?
When looking to buy a dog crate, our experts encourage us to choose a crate that’s in for the long haul. Johnny tells us it may be beneficial to purchase a crate “based on the estimated size of the fully-grown pet”. Caroline agreed, adding that the crate “must allow the dog enough space to stand up, lie flat out and move around in comfortably”. As well as size, Caroline touched on the importance of durability, telling us, “a dog crate should be sturdy and easy to clean”.
Adem agrees that crates must be easy to clean and that “the best designs will have a tray ‘insert’ style base”. He also talks about the number of doors on a crate, telling us, “I would always suggest at least two that are able to be securely locked, this is for ease of accessibility, especially if you will be using the crate in multiple locations”. Adem also encourages us to think about how easy the crate is to “collapse and transport”, especially if you’ll be travelling with your pet. Adem recommends The Pet Carpenter, which makes bespoke dog crates for a stylish solution to your dog’s needs.
What should you avoid when looking for a dog crate?
In terms of what to avoid when finding the best dog crate for your furry friend, Caroline tells us to consider the materials of the dog crate saying, “steer clear of ones that are flimsy as they can injure or frighten a dog if they fall in on them”.
Adem also highlights how important materials are, telling us, “ if your dog is a chewer, you should also avoid anything made of fabric or hessian as this can be easily damaged”. It’s also worth keeping your pet’s safety first and foremost in your mind, with Adem noting that, “fabric and hessian can also be ingested if chewed and cause health complications for your dog”.
Where should you put your dog crate?
Choosing the right location for your dog crate is essential to ensure your furry friend feels comfortable and secure. Experts recommend placing the crate in a quiet, low-traffic area of your home where your dog can have some privacy. Avoid placing it in areas with direct sunlight, drafts, or near noisy appliances. The goal is to create a cosy and calm space where your dog can retreat when they need rest or alone time.
Consider the layout of your home and your dog's preferences. If your dog enjoys being around family activities, placing the crate in a room where you spend a lot of time can help them feel connected while still having their own space. Make sure the crate is situated away from any potential disturbances that might cause anxiety or stress.
Want to know how to travel well with your dog in a crate? Check out our guide to Dog car travel tips.
How to get your dog comfortable with their crate
Introducing your dog to their crate in a positive and gradual manner is crucial for them to associate it with safety and comfort. Here are some steps to help your dog feel at ease with their crate:
- Positive association: Place treats, toys, and familiar bedding inside the crate to create a positive association. Let your dog explore the crate at their own pace.
- Meal time: Begin feeding your dog near the crate and gradually move their meals inside the crate. This encourages them to associate the crate with pleasant experiences.
- Gradual enclosure: Start by closing the crate door for short periods while your dog is inside, gradually increasing the duration. Stay nearby to reassure them and offer treats.
- Calm environment: When your dog is in the crate, create a calm environment. Avoid making a big fuss when opening or closing the crate door.
- Comfort items: Place your dog's favourite toys or a piece of clothing with your scent inside the crate to make it feel like a safe and comforting space.
- Patience: Each dog's comfort level with the crate may vary. Be patient and let your dog progress at their own pace. Never force them into the crate.
How to clean your dog crate
Maintaining a clean and hygienic dog crate is essential for your pet's health and well-being. Follow these steps to keep the crate clean:
- Regular cleaning: Remove your dog's bedding and wash it regularly to prevent odours and dirt buildup.
- Deep cleaning: Depending on how frequently your dog uses the crate, give it a thorough cleaning every 1-2 weeks. Use a pet-safe disinfectant to clean the interior and exterior surfaces.
- Remove debris: Check the crate for any leftover food, treats, or toys that might attract pests or cause odours.
- Wash the tray: If the crate has a removable tray, clean it with mild soap and water. Make sure it's completely dry before placing it back in the crate.
- Ventilation: Allow the crate to air out after cleaning to ensure it's dry and fresh before your dog returns to it.
- Regular inspections: Regularly inspect the crate for any signs of wear and tear and ensure that latches and doors are functioning properly.
When to change your dog crate
Knowing when to change your dog's crate is essential to ensure their safety, comfort, and well-being. As your dog grows or their needs change, it's important to assess whether their current crate is still suitable. Here are some indicators that it might be time to consider changing your dog's crate:
- Size: Dogs grow at different rates, and puppies can outgrow their crates quickly. If your dog no longer has enough space to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably, it's time for a larger crate. Similarly, if your dog seems cramped or uncomfortable, upgrading to a more spacious crate is recommended.
- Physical condition: Over time, a crate can experience wear and tear. Check for rust, bent wires, or broken hinges that could make the crate dangerous. If the crate is showing signs of damage, consider replacing it.
- Health issues: If your dog develops specific health issues, their crate needs may change. For instance, a dog with joint problems might benefit from a crate with extra padding or memory foam bedding. Consult with your veterinarian for recommendations on the most suitable crate for your dog's health needs.
- Behavioural changes: If your dog is displaying signs of anxiety, stress, or discomfort in their current crate, it might be worth exploring alternatives. Some dogs might benefit from a different style of crate, such as a soft-sided one or a crate with a different door configuration.
- Travel requirements: If you're planning to travel with your dog, you might need a crate that is more suitable for transportation. A crate designed specifically for travel, with features like secure latches and the ability to fit in your vehicle, can be beneficial.
- Lifestyle changes: Changes in your living situation or routine may also prompt the need for a different crate. For example, if you've moved to a smaller space or if your dog's crate is now in a busier area of your home, a crate with noise-reducing features might be advantageous.
- Multiple dogs: If you've added another dog to your household, you might need to reevaluate your crate situation. Some dogs may need their own crates, while others might be comfortable sharing a larger one.
Want to read more expert-recommended pet product round-ups? Check out our pets page for a full list of recommendations, including our list of the best dog beds, the best dog toys and the best dog treats, all recommended by dog experts.
Isobel Nutbrown is a Staff Writer at The Recommended and works with leading industry experts to help readers make informed decisions and shop smarter online.
Finn Byrne is a Digital Writer for Immediate Media. He works across several brands including The Recommended, RadioTimes.com, MadeforMums and BBC Gardeners’ World. Finn has previously written for publications including MyLondon, The Mirror, The Express, and The Star. When not writing Finn enjoys spending time on the football pitch and getting stuck into a book.