Three Keys to Selecting a Dog Kennel

Having a good dog crate in your home can make living with your canine friend more pleasant for both of you.

dog kennel
A good kennel can give your dog a sense of security when you’re not around.MidWest Homes for Pets

A good home dog crate or kennel makes life easier for both you and your canine companion. While many people see crates as miniature canine prisons, if trained properly, many dogs see them more as a safe retreat—somewhere they can go and be safe and secure. Dogs have a natural denning instinct, and many prefer safe, enclosed quarters for their naps. Having a crate available to put your dog in when you go to run errands or leave the house for another reason can help avoid destruction of furniture and other valuable objects in the house. Consider these factors when choosing a dog crate for your home.

Wire Kennels

wire dog crate
This wire dog crate comes in several different sizes and folds down for easy storage and transporting.AmazonBasics

Wire crates are the most popular type of home crate for those who crate train their dog. They’re ideal for dog owners who want to set their crate up in one area and leave it there. Most have a pull-out tray on the bottom that can be removed and easily cleaned if an accident occurs. They provide a good view of the dog’s surroundings and are easy to fold down and store when you wish to have them out of the way. Also, for dogs with longer coats in warmer climates, wire crates are more comfortable because air can flow through the kennel. When traveling, wire crates are good to take along and set up when you get to your destination, and since most fold down into a compact package, they’re handy to take along with you. However, they’re not sturdy enough for safely hauling your dog in the back of your pickup. A plastic crate is much better for that purpose.

Plastic Kennels

plastic animal crate
The plastic crate has a door on the top and the front, making it easy to load a dog from either direction.AmazonBasics

Plastic crates have their up sides and down. They’re typically not as good for around the house because the way they are made doesn’t allow the dog to see out very well to know what’s going on around it. Plastic crates also have less ventilation than wire crates. While they’re very strong, most don’t fold down for easy transportation. However, a plastic kennel’s strength makes it perfect for transporting your dog in the back of your truck or SUV when you take it on your travels. However, some homeowners prefer a wood dog crate for in the house, using it both as a decoration and a place to crate their dog. Many wood crates are crafted like fine pieces of furniture, and they often have the price tag to match that craftsmanship.

Size Considerations

huge dog crate
This huge crate is made for very large dogs that need a wider, longer and taller space.MidWest Homes for Pets

Once you’ve picked the material for your crate, size is the most important remaining consideration. Since dogs descended from den animals, most like to have a confined place they can retreat to for quiet and solitude. Or course, dog crates, like dogs, come in a wide variety of sizes. Many people worry about their dog’s comfort and get a crate that is too large. That nearly always leads to problems. If the crate has more room than just enough for your dog to stand up, turn around, stretch out and lie down, he or she is liable to use part of the crate for sleeping and lounging, and the other part of the crate for pooping and peeing. In a crate that is perfectly sized, a dog will seldom relieve himself since that’s where it will sleep. If you’re buying a crate for a puppy, it’s not bad to buy a crate that will fit it when it’s full grown. Many crates come with dividers so you can make the crate grow as your puppy does.