crates are made of a wide variety of materials and in a great many
designs ranging from basic and practical to fancy, high-end designer
dog crates. You may want only one crate, or after seeing the possibilities,
you might decide to get two or more, depending on your and your
dogs needs. Educate yourself on the choices before making your purchase,
and then you’ll have a better feel for what’s available to help
you select a crate best suited for your particular situation.
Dog crates are made of many different materials and combinations
of materials, including:
Steel wire is probably the most common material for dog crates.
They are very durable and will last for years and years. In general
wire dog crates have good visibility, ventilation, and are easy
to clean. Style and quality vary considerably. Some wire crates
are quite flimsy, while others are sturdy and well-made. In addition,
some that are advertised as “collapsible” really aren’t. One point
to keep in mind is that wire crates are, for the most part, not
approved for airline use.
– Plastic is the next most popular material for dog crates. Most
are made of injection molded plastic, often available in a range
of colors, are strong but lightweight, offer more shelter from cold
and wet environments, and usually meeting regulations for airline
travel. However, quality varies, so be sure the one you select is
strong enough to resist chewing.
– Fiberglass is similar to plastic – some crates are made of molded
fiberglass, which is also lightweight and strong, often meeting
airline regulations. (Plastic and Fiberglass crates are often called
– Aluminum sheeting. If you need a crate that is exceptionally strong
and secure, you might want to consider one made of aluminum sheeting.
These come with ventilated sides and fronts.
– Wood is used for both sturdy airline-style shipping crates, as
well as for attractive furniture-style crates.
– Wicker or rattan look-alike. Some of these are made entirely of
the wicker material, while others consist of wicker pieces interwoven
through the slats of a wire cage. Either way, these are decorative
cages, meant for permanent indoor use and not intended for travel.
– Fabric, such as nylon, nylon-mesh or canvas is often used together
with aluminum or composite tubing for soft-sided or tent-style crates.
There are innumerable styles of dog crates, though they tend to
fall within three major categories:
Rigid crates that come fully and permanently set up.
2. Take-apart dog crates that come in sections, and can be put together
as needed, or taken apart for transport or storages.
3. Collapsible (or foldable) dog crates.
wire dog crates or wire mesh dog crates in one of several finishes,
such as black epoxy, plain galvanized metal, zinc or chrome finish,
or painted white. These come as general dog crates, or sometimes
as specifically-designed dog car crates that fit in the cargo space
of a van or SUV.
– Drop pin wire dog crates, designed for permanent set up, and come
in sections that are fastened together with pins.
– Solid wood frame dog crates with steel bar or mesh insulation
– Solid aluminum panel dog crates, similar to the toolboxes on pickup
trucks, but with ventilation panels.
– Solid plastic dog crates, which usually come in two parts, top
and bottom, with ventilation holes on the sides, and a steel mesh
– Collapsible wire dog crates that fold up and can be carried “suitcase
style” with a handle.
– Soft/soft-sided dog crates are usually made of a combination of
plastic or aluminum tubing framework, or sometimes a steel frame,
combined with fabric sides and top. Some of these are rectangular
in shape like a traditional wire dog cage, while others are dome-shaped
and similar in appearance to a cabana or tent.
– Portable dog crates can be collapsed or folded and carried, or
a type that adds wheels to one of the other styles – typically a
wire dog crate adding ease of transport to its other functions.
– Dog show crates are usually of the wheeled type, and some have
These are a necessity if you intend to show your dog, as you will
need to have a way to segregate your dog from other dogs, to protect
him from becoming dirty or injured, to provide him with a safe and
calming place in which to rest, and to make it easy for you to both
transport him and move him about while at the show.
– Dog crates with dividers can be used for several purposes, including
to house two or more smaller dogs, or to adjust the size of the
crate as a puppy grows.
– Designer dog crates embellish one of the basic styles creating
a posh, luxurious environment for your pet. These can include sides
or overlays of fancy materials, such as silks or brocades, beds
of velvet or faux fur, decorations ranging from beads to custom
embroidery, and extra touches like fans or built-in dishes. Designer
dog crates are not recommended for puppies in their teething or
chewing stage (which is usually up to 6 months of age), nor for
dogs with chronic chewing problems.