Dog crates are pretty big things — even small ones take up quite a bit of space. This may not be a huge problem for the average pet owner, but those who have several pets or work with dogs professionally can quickly run out of space for all of the crates they need.
Fortunately, there is a pretty simple solution: Just use the often-overlooked and underutilized vertical space available to you. Do this, and you’ll likely find that you can easily accommodate more dogs than you previously thought possible.
The best way to take advantage of the vertical space you have is by using stackable dog crates.
But, picking a good set of stackable crates is a big decision. Stackable crates are not cheap, and once you purchase one, you’ll usually be forced to stick with that model when you need to expand your capacity.
Below, we’ll help you pick the best stackable dog crate for your needs and explain a few of the key things to look for when making your choice. But first, let’s talk about some of the situations in which stackable dog crates provide the most value.
|Homey Pet 37" Heavy Duty Metal Open Top Cage w/Floor Grid, Casters and Tray||83 Reviews||from $34.99||Buy on Amazon|
|Homey Pet New 31" Pet Crate and Durable Plastic Black Tray (Cage)||35 Reviews||$179.99||Buy on Amazon|
Stackable dog kennels can be a great option for anyone with more than one dog, but they’re especially helpful for those who fall in one of the following categories:
If you are in the business of producing more puppies for the world (and breeding dogs in ethical, humane, and benevolent fashion), you’ll almost always find that stackable crates are the best way to maximize the space available to you.
Professional pet sitters will usually need several crates to keep their charges safe, sound, and separated. Consequently, space is just as important an issue for pet sitters as it is for breeders, and stackable crates provide the best way to house a number of dogs in relatively tight quarters.
Even small-time groomers will often find themselves caring for more than one dog at a time, and the only way to do this without renting out a warehouse worth of space is by taking advantage of the space-saving benefits stackable dog crates provide.
No matter how big or small they are, kennels and shelters will always need a number of individual crates. And, because it’ll often be necessary to rearrange the individual crates within the facility, stackable crates provide the kind of flexibility these organizations need.
Even if you aren’t a dog-care professional, you may still benefit from stackable dog crates if you have several pets. By going with stackable crates, you can make better use of space and keep your house a bit tidier.
Most people probably think of stackable dog crates as single units that are designed to be stacked on top of one another.
While this accurately describes many stackable crate designs, some kennels labeled as “stackable” are really multi-tiered crates that are permanently connected. These types of crates are actually like one big crate that has been divided into multiple levels.
Neither style is inherently better than the other, but they each offer a different set of strengths and weaknesses. So, to ensure you get the best crate for your needs, you’ll need to carefully consider your circumstances before making your choice.
Modular designs consisting of individual crates are much easier to move around, and you can alter their arrangement as your needs dictate (you may, for example, need a two-high stack this week, but a three-high stack will better suit your needs next week).
On the other hand, multi-tiered crates are much sturdier and less likely to topple. They’re also much easier to move around in groups. However, you can’t alter their arrangement, so you’re pretty much stuck using them in the manner they’re constructed.
As with any other dog-related product, you’ll need to consider a few different things before picking a specific stackable dog crate.
Unless you have a particularly mischievous pet who needs a heavy-duty, escape-proof crate, collapsible crates are almost always helpful for owners of a single pet. Collapsing crates are easy to store when you don’t need them, and they’re also easy to transport.
But, these types of crates are rarely built to support the weight of additional crates (and the dogs they contain). This could cause them to collapse unexpectedly, with potentially horrific results.
Note that most stackable crates can still be disassembled when necessary, but the good ones use heavy-duty pins or bolts to keep them stable and safe while in use.
Unless you like the idea of unstacking and restacking dog crates on a daily basis (or anytime one of the inhabitants answers nature’s call), you’ll want to stick to stackable crates that feature removable litter trays. This way, you can simply pull out the tray, deal with the mess, and replace it, without moving kennels or disturbing the dogs.
Fortunately, most stackable dog kennels come equipped with removable trays, but a few economy-priced models try to skip them to keep prices low.
If you opt for modular kennels that are designed to be stacked atop each other, it is imperative that you stick to models that feature secure attachment points.
Even the heaviest and sturdiest crates will tend to “migrate” a bit as the dogs move around inside, so you always want stackable crates to feature heavy pins, latches, or some other type of locking mechanism to keep the individual units in place. This is the only way to prevent the stack from toppling.
Many professionals in the market for stackable crates consider foregoing models with wheels to save a bit of money, but this is almost always a bad idea. In practice, you’ll end up facing a number of challenges that require you to move a stack of kennels around, and the only way to do this without giving yourself a hernia is to buy stackable dog crates on wheels.
Just think about it: Anytime one of your dogs drops a chew toy, spills a little food or has a violent number-two, you’re going to need to move the crates and deal with the problem. Wheels will make this so much easier that you’ll quickly forget about the relatively minor increase in cost.
There aren’t that many different stackable dog crates on the market, but that just makes it easier to identify some of the very best options available. If you’re looking for a high-quality set of stacking crates, start by considering the three detailed below.
About: Homey Pet 37-Inch Heavy-Duty Dog Kennels are high-quality, all-metal dog crates, which can be used singly or in stacks of two or three. Each crate features two doors (one on the front and another on the top), which provide great convenience, although you obviously won’t be able to use the top door on the lower kennels when the units are stacked.
These crates also come with heavy-duty removable litter trays, which will even fit inside the main kennel compartment. This can be helpful for pets who aren’t comfortable resting on the wire mesh floor. Alternatively, you can purchase models with an included plastic grid, which will also provide your pet with additional comfort.
The crates also come with locking wheel casters and secure connection points for maximum stability. Both the top and front doors come with escape-proof latches, and the front door also features a chain lock (included). The manufacturer recommends using these kennels for dogs weighing up to 70 pounds. They can be purchased singly, or in sets of two or three.
Note that the wires on the Homey Pet 37-Inch Heavy-Duty Dog Kennels are much closer together than those of most other stackable crates. This can help reduce the likelihood that your pet will stick his paw or muzzle between the bars and become injured.
Size: 37” long x 22” wide x 31” high
The Homey Pet 31-Inch Crate is a two-tiered unit that provides separate housing for two small or medium-sized dogs weighing up to about 40 pounds. It’s a lot like a smaller version of the Homey Pet 37-Inch Kennels, as it has roughly similar bar spacing, heavy-duty plastic trays that’ll fit inside the main compartment, and locking casters.
However, unlike the other stackable dog crates we recommend in this review, the Homey Pet Kennel is a permanently stacked multi-unit kennel; it is not two separate crates stacked together. This makes it safer and more secure than any stackable alternative available. You’ll have to sacrifice a bit of convenience and flexibility for this safety, but that’s a minor cost to pay for additional peace of mind.
The Homey Pet 31-Inch Two-Tier Kennels feature secure latches on both of the front doors to keep your pooch safely contained. The upper unit also features an opening top, which provides additional convenience.
Size: 31” long x 20” wide x 46” high
About: The Go Pet Club 44-inch Heavy-Duty Stackable Crate is a great option for those who need relatively large crates, as they’re the largest stackable crates on the consumer market (you can find larger models, but you’d have to buy them from a veterinary supply organization, and you’d likely have to order 10 or so at a time).
However, you can also use the dividers included with these stackable crates to double the occupancy provided, so they are also a great choice for those who care for a large number of small pups.
Each crate comes with two double-latching doors, and each door also includes a smaller door that makes it easy to feed your critters. These crates are made from hammertone-finished metal and are capable of supporting 120 pounds of weight (although the manufacturer recommends only using these with dogs in the 25- to 50-pound range).
Like all good stackable crates, the Go Pet Club Stackable Crates feature locking casters, a removable litter tray, and plastic alignment pins to ensure that the crates remain stable while stacked. They can be stacked up to three high if necessary.
Size: 44” long x 28” wide x 32.5” high
Have you ever used stackable dog crates? Did you find a model that worked well, or did you pick one that didn’t work out like you’d hoped? What kinds of things do you wish you’d have thought about before you made your choice? Have you ever tried one of the stackable dog crates we recommended above?
Tell us all about your experiences in the comments below!
Last update on 2018-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Ben is a proud dog owner and lifelong environmental educator who writes about animals, outdoor recreation, science, and environmental issues. He lives with his beautiful wife and spoiled-rotten Rottweiler JB in Atlanta, Georgia. Read more by Ben at FootstepsInTheForest.com.