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Types of Dog Crates

Types of Dog Crates

Dog 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:

– Wire. 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 ‘flight kennels’.)
– 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:

1. 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.

Specific styles include:

– Solid 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 panels.
– 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 door.
– 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 removable wheels.
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.

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