While they may not be strictly necessary, quality wire crates are indispensable tools, which are almost as valuable as food dishes or leashes are. They are helpful for a variety of dog-care challenges and will make your life as a puppy parent that much easier.
We’re discussing the qualities of great wire dog crates and reviewing a few top picks. Check out our guide on the best wire dog crates below, or continue on reading for more details!
Best Wire Dog Crates: Our Quick Picks
- #1 Midwest Folding Crate [Best Basic Wire Dog Crate] This crate features flexible sizes to accommodate pint-size pooches, gentle giants, and anything in between. With a removable tray and a strong latching system, it’s a great pick for most pets.
- #2 Ritchell Mobile Pet Pen [Best-Looking Wire Dog Crate] This wire crate features a wooden trim for a more elegant look that will blend in with the rest of your furniture. It also includes lockable wheels so you can easily move the crate around. Only downside is that it’s only suitable for small and medium-sized dogs.
- #3 iCrate Kit [Best Wire Dog Crate Package] This crate kit comes with a wire crate, crate cover, and compatible food bowls to help your hound love his doggie den. It also comes in sizes ranging from 22- to 48-inches, so this crate kit should accommodate most furry friends without issue.
This is a big guide we have today, so we’ve broken it down into sections. Feel free to jump ahead if you know what info you’re interested in!
Why Do You Need a Crate for Your Dog?
A good crate has a ton of uses. Some of the most common purposes they serve include:
1. Housebreaking a New Puppy
Puppies do not want to go to the bathroom in the same place they rest and sleep, so a crate can often prevent your dog from eliminating until you are ready to take him outside, aiding in the puppy housebreaking process.
Just be sure you don’t force young puppies to wait more than about 3 hours at a time – they can’t hold it much longer than this.
2. Keeping a Sick or Injured Dog Calm
Dogs often exacerbate their injuries by running and playing, so many vets recommend confining injured or ill dogs to their crate until they heal.
3. Providing Private Den for Your Dog
Many of us enjoy going to our bedroom whenever we need some quiet time and a break from the world, and your dog can benefit from that alone time too! A crate gives him a private space to call his own.
4. Transporting Your Pet
Whether you are heading to the park or moving across the country, you want to keep you and your pet safe while traveling.
Wire crates aren’t the best for protecting your pooch in the even of a car collision, but they can keep your dog contained and prevent them from becoming a distraction, which results in a safer trip for everyone.
5. Behavioral Modification
If you like, you can use a crate as a “time out zone,” for disciplining your pooch. Some fear that this will cause their dog to fear the crate, but this is rarely the case. The crate is a location; the punishment is not getting attention for mommy or daddy for a few minutes.
6. Temporarily Restricting Your Pet’s Activity
If your dog is untrustworthy when unattended, or unable to control himself when company comes over, you can use the crate to keep him out of trouble and out of the way.
Just remember that while crates are not necessarily unpleasant for your dog, he still needs plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. Keeping him in a crate for prolonged periods of time is cruel, and likely to lead to behavioral problems, depression and frustration.
There are no hard-and-fast rules about the amount of kennel time that is acceptable, but it is probably unwise to keep your dog in a crate for more than about 5 or 6 hours at a time.
Best Wire Dog Crates: Our Top Picks!
The following nine crates are among the best available at this time. Just be sure to look over the features carefully and select the best one for your specific pet and needs.
1. MidWest iCrate Folding Metal Dog Crate
MidWest iCrate Folding Metal Dog Crate
A basic wire dog crate that’s available in an array of sizes and will work well for the majority of dogs.
About: This wire crate from Midwest Homes provides pups of any shape or size with a sturdy, straight forward yet secure crate. While it may not be the coolest crate you can find, it’s simple, affordable, and gets the job done. It also comes with a couple of helpful bonus features including multiple doors, a removable tray, and slide bolt latches.
- Available in 7 sizes, ranging from 18 inches wide to 48 inches wide
- Crate folds flat and is easy to transport with the attached handle
- Features a leak-proof pan to catch accidents
- Metal slide bolt latches are easy to operate, yet secure
- The bottom of the crate features rubber feet to protect your floors
- Available in sizes suitable for most dogs (except giant breeds).
- This crate comes with a divider, making it perfect for growing pooches.
- The crate’s rubber feet will protect your floors and prevent it from “wandering.”
- The crate comes at an excellent price given its features and size options.
- This crate isn’t secure enough for some escape artists.
- A few dogs managed to bend the bars of this crate.
2. Richell Mobile Pet Pen
Richell Mobile Pet Pen
A stylish and unique wire dog crate equipped with several nifty features, such as lockable casters.
About: If you’re seeking a stylish yet functional pet pen for small to medium sized pooches, this cool-looking crate from Richell is certainly worth considering. With a slide locking system and lockable base and casters, this crate is sure to keep your canine secure.
- Available in small (25”L X 18”W X 22”H) and medium (36.8”L X 24”W X 26”H) sizes
- Includes locking casters to prevent the crate from rolling around
- Detachable base and washable plastic tray for easy cleaning
- Hardwood frame with an attractive design
- Slide-locking system keeps the crate secure
- Pooch parents loved the stylish look of this pet pen.
- The included casters make this crate easy to move around.
- Most owners reported that the frame was strong and durable.
- The slide-lock works well and is easy to use.
- This crate isn’t available in sizes suitable for larger breeds.
- The crate is not collapsible, so travel and storage can be a pain.
- This is a pretty expensive (though attractive) option.
3. Best Pet Crate
About: This wire dog crate from Best Pet may not have all of the fancy bells and whistles some other models offer, but it’s safe, secure, and won’t empty out your wallet. The affordable wire crate comes in sizes ranging from 24- to 48-inches wide so it’s suitable for most furry friends.
- Secure wire crate with rounded edges and dependable slide-bolt latches
- Foldable crate is easy to take on the go thanks to the attached handle
- Leak proof tray helps prevent messes
- Crate features double doors for maximum accessibility
- The crate can be assembled without the need for any tools
- This crate is priced very affordably (especially for its quality).
- The crate is available in an array of sizes.
- It comes with a bunch of convenient features including multiple door options and a leak proof tray.
- The included puppy divider makes this crate perfect for growing canines.
- Some clever canines were able to break out of this crate.
- A couple of pooch parents found this crate pretty difficult to assemble.
4. Midwest Homes XXL Crate
Midwest Homes XXL Crate
A roomy, durable wire dog crate that’s specifically designed to accommodate large furry friends.
About: Do you have a big best buddy at home? If so, you’ll need an enormous crate like this option from Midwest Homes to contain your canine. The huge, heavy-duty crate is designed for giant breeds like Great Danes and features single or double door versions to meet your needs.
- Extra-large crate measuring 54″ x 37″ x 45″
- Choose between single or double door configurations
- Each door is secured with three slide-bolt latches
- Leak-proof plastic pan is designed to catch accidents
- 1-year manufacturers’ warranty is included for additional peace of mind
- These crates are roomy enough to comfortably contain most large and giant dogs.
- Owners reported that this crate seemed strong and secure enough for big puppers.
- The double-door option provides additional access and convenience.
- This wire dog crate weighs about 80 pounds, so it’s certainly not the most portable option.
- This crate is huge, so make sure you have room for it before buying.
A complete crate kit, that provides everything you need, including food bowls, a crate cover, and a comfy bed.
About: If you want to just go ahead and pick up a wire dog crate with all the associated gear, this crate kit from Midwest Homes for Pets is a great choice. It comes with everything you need to craft an inviting doggie den, including a bed insert, a crate cover (which can help pooches feel more secure while chilling in their canine cave), and two small food and water bowls that attach to the inside of the crate.
- Complete wire crate kit with bed, crate cover, and crate-compatible food bowls
- Flexible crate sizes ranging from 22- to 48-inches are fit most furry friends
- Collapsible crate has handle for easy storage
- Bedding and cover are machine washable for convenience
- Choose between black, blue, or pink color options
- You get everything you need in this kit and don’t have to worry about sizes or compatibility.
- The included bowls attach to the crate sides, preventing spillage.
- Dogs seemed to love the included fleece bed.
- The included bowls may be too small for big dogs.
- While it comes with almost everything you need, this kit doesn’t feature a divider.
6. Folding Kennel
About: While this impressive dog crate from The Whole 9Yards doesn’t have a ton of reviews, we wanted to share it anyway since it has a number of unique features that are tricky to track down elsewhere. The crate features four feeding doors, lockable wheels, and a grid floor system that catches any accidents in the removable leak-proof tray underneath.
- Dog crate features locking wheels and is easy to move from one place to another
- Included divider is perfect for growing puppies
- Tray and grid floor design helps keep dogs comfortable while containing accidents
- Each door features two latches for extra security
- Covered wheel casters protect hardwood floors
- The plastic floor grid makes this crate perfect for puppies who are still potty training.
- The multiple openings provide easy access to your pooch.
- This crate’s heavy-duty construction makes it great for escape artists.
- The crate features auto-locking latches for security.
- Despite being a foldable crate, a carrying handle isn’t included.
- Some dogs may not like the feel of the plastic floor grid.
7. Paw Hut Crate
About: This mobile crate from Paw Hut features sturdy, lockable wheels making it easy for you to move this crate from one room to the next. The robust metal crate also comes with a removable tray and cover to keep your canine comfortable.
- Front door and top opening system for ease of access
- Removable plastic tray is designed to catch accidents
- Double bolted door for extra security
- Foldable design for storage and transport
- Built in wheels and braking system for easy transport throughout the house
- Dog owners loved how easy this crate was to assemble.
- The crate has rounded corners to help prevent injuries.
- The large kennel comes in sizes large enough for pretty big pooches.
- While it rolls easily, this crate isn’t easy to fold up and transport.
- This crate is one of the more expensive options on our list.
8. Merry Products Crate
Merry Products Crate
A well-made, stylish dog crate that’ll contain your canine and look great while doing so.
About: If you’re looking for something that’s as stylish as it is functional, this wire crate with a wooden cover from Merry Products is definitely worth considering. The crate notably features a solid wooden top, so you can store some of your dog’s favorite items on top of their doggie den for easy access.
- Stylish and functional crate features a solid wooden top
- Included removable plastic tray for catching accidents
- Simple, hardware-free set up
- Double doors provide easy access to your pooch
- Includes a removable divider allowing your furry friend to grow into the crate
- Pooch parents loved how this crate blended in well with the other furniture in their homes.
- Thanks to its furniture-quality aesthetics and high-quality construction, you can use this crate in place of an existing end table.
- This crate comes at a pretty reasonable price considering how great it looks.
- A couple of pooch escape artists were able to break out of this crate.
- This crate isn’t very easy to move around or transport.
9. Pet Expressions Crate
About: For something with a little more personality, these colorful crates from Pet Expressions are an excellent pick. The sturdy crates come in cheery lime green, pink, or blue and are super portable with a collapsible design.
- Crate comes in sizes ranging from 24- to 48-inches long to fit most furry friends
- Choose between green, pink, or blue wire colors
- Two slide bolt latches keep pets secure
- Removable leak-proof tray contains accidents with ease
- Durable crate is easy to set up and collapse when not in use
- Pet parents loved the look of these fun, eye-catching crates.
- The crate’s foldable design make it perfect for travel.
- Owners found this crate super easy to assemble.
- The crate was reportedly more durable than you may expect.
- This crate probably won’t fit giant breeds, but it’s still great a great crate for puppies, as well as small or medium-sized dogs.
- This crate doesn’t have a lot of reviews relative to some of the other options on our list.
Why Opt for a Wire Dog Crate?
Pet owners have a variety of different crate styles available from which they can choose. However, wire crates are the most popular and widely available style, making them the best choice for the average puppy parent.
Wire crates provide a number of advantages over plastic crates and most other options, including:
- Portability – Most wire crates fold flat, so you can bring them with you on vacation, or wherever else your travels take you. Additionally, once folded, they can be stored in a relatively little space.
- Ventilation – Because they lack solid walls, wire cages allow much more air-exchange than enclosed crates. This helps to keep your pup from overheating and ensure the cage stays dry.
- Visibility – While sitting in a wire crate, your dog can still see outside, which may help prevent him from feeling left out. Better visibility also makes it easier for you to keep an eye on your dog when he is inside.
- Durability – Well-made wire metal crates are generally pretty tough, and will safely contain the average dog (although exceptionally strong or large dogs may require especially high-strength kennels).
- Value – Dollar-for-dollar, no other crate style is as effective and affordable as wire models are. Wire crates work very well for most circumstances, and there just aren’t that many cheaper options available.
This is not to suggest that wire crates are ideal for every situation. There are some cases in which wire dog crates may not be the best choice. Disadvantages of wire crates include:
- Aesthetics – If you don’t need the strength and security of a wire crate, you may prefer a more aesthetically pleasing, if less secure, soft-sided crate or an end-table styled kennel. If you’re comfortable spending big bucks, you may opt for ordering a custom-built crate.
- Bad for Outdoors – Wire dog crates don’t hold up well for long periods of time outdoors, as the metal can rust over time when exposed to the elements. For regular outdoor use, an outdoor dog kennel might be more suitable.
- Not Ideal for Anxiety – Wire crates aren’t always the best crate option for anxiety-stricken dogs, as they can sometimes injure themselves trying to break out of a wire crate.
Characteristics of Good Wire Crates
Distinguishing good crates from bad crates is pretty straightforward. There isn’t a whole lot to a crate, so there aren’t a whole lot of ways you can go wrong.
Nevertheless, you should keep the following tips in mind when trying to select the best crate for you and your dog.
- Crates with multiple doors are very convenient. This is particularly true of large crates, which aren’t easy to push around.
- Crates for large (or escape-inclined) dogs must be constructed of heavy-duty materials to prevent escapes. Unfortunately, many dogs manage to injure themselves during their frantic efforts to escape. If your dog is a chewer, beware low-quality wire crates, which your dog may attempt to chew at, injuring his mouth in the process.
- Crates should have a plastic tray or padded floor, so that your dog doesn’t have to lay on the hard wire. Initially, you should probably cover the bottom of tray-lined crates with a blanket, but don’t be surprised if your dog continually pushes it out of the way, either. Trays are also convenient for potty training and accidents, as they can be removed and easily cleaned.
- Dividers are great for puppies, as adjustable dividers can be used to keep your pup in a smaller contained space (which is important for potty training), and then expand the given space as your dog grows.
- Some crates feature water and food dishes that attach to the door, so your pooch can sip and snack while safely tucked inside his kennel. Additionally, by feeding your dog while he is in his kennel, you help to establish a positive association with his crate. Leaving water may not work for all dogs though, as some will use it to make a mess!
- Colored crates are fine if they help you fit the kennel into your home’s color scheme, but realize that your dog won’t care what color his crate is – he probably can’t tell much of a difference. Colored crates appeal to people; dogs have more important things (like formulating a plan to catch the cat) to worry about.
Wire Dog Crate Sizing Guidelines: Find The Perfect Fit
Many first-time owners (or first-time crate buyers) have trouble determining the best crate size for their pup.
Size Matters: Avoiding Goldilocks Syndrome
While you never want to cram your dog into his crate, modest accommodations are often preferable to mansion-like kennels. Dogs prefer enclosed spaces that provide a sense of safety. What we might call cramped, dogs would find cozy!
Many new owners tend to select crates that are too large for their dog. This is an understandable impulse, but it undermines some of the benefits crates provide.
For example, the reason crates are helpful for housebreaking young puppies is because dogs have a natural desire to relieve themselves some distance from where they sleep.
If you deny them the chance to do so, they’ll usually hold their poop and pee until you allow them to come outside. But if you provide them with a spacious crate, they can just go at the opposite end!
Crates can also serve as a private “den” for your pup. But the larger the den is, the less likely it will make your dog feel comfortable and safe. Large crates also fail to keep injured dogs immobile, posing a safety risk. Larger crates can also be much more difficult to transport.
Keep in mind that your dog does not view a crate the same way you would. Many wild canines retreat to surprisingly small burrows to avoid inclement weather or predators, or to give birth to young.
Most healthy dogs are perfectly comfortable crawling into relatively tight spaces, and many come to love their little hideaway. As owners, we want to provide our pups with the best.
For humans, bigger is usually better. However, we need to remember that this isn’t true for dogs – they actually prefer those tight, close quarter spaces!
Some of the basic size recommendations offered by the Association of Professional Dog Trainers include:
|Dog Size||Crate Size|
|Small Dogs ( 0 – 30 lbs )||18″ – 24″ long|
|Medium Dogs (40 – 60 lbs )||30″ to 36″ long|
|Large Dogs ( 80 – 100 lbs )||40″ – 48″ long|
|Extra Large Dogs ( 100 – 150 lbs )||60″ – 72″ long|
Of course, your dog’s weight is not the ideal metric by which the ideal crate size can be determined. Your dog’s length and height are far better measures.
Accordingly, many experts recommend that your dog’s crate allow him to:
- Lie down comfortably
- Turn around easily
- Have 4-inches of headroom while standing
You’ll have to measure your dog first, and then compare his dimensions against the dimensions of the crate you decide upon. Additionally, most manufacturers provide their own size guidelines, which should factor into your decision as well.
Making Your Dog’s Crate Comfy: Home Sweet Home!
Just because your dog will probably enjoy his new crate as-is, doesn’t mean you can’t spoil him a bit and make it a little plusher.
- Add plenty of blankets or towels to the crate, so your pup can carve out a little “nest” with the materials. If you want to really provide your dog with a comfortable cushion, consider grabbing a soft cozy crate mat, like the the Simmons Beautyrest Orthopedic Memory Foam Crate Mat.
- If your dog becomes anxious while he’s in his wire crate, consider draping a dark blanket over the enclosure. This will give the crate a cave- or den-like feeling, which may calm him down some. You can also purchase a crate cover designed to fit a kennel.
- Get a very durable, safe chew toy for your dog’s crate. This will give your dog something to do while he’s inside, and it may help temper some of his anxiety. Many use the Classic KONG Toy in this manner – just be sure you watch your dog with any toy and ensure it is holding up before you leave it with your dog unattended.
- As a bonus, Kong’s can even be filled with food and given to your dog as a meal (which is especially helpful for dogs that tend to gobble down their food). Consider feeding your dog in his kennel to help your dog associate the crate with positive experiences.
Do you have a wire crate that works well for you and your dog? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below – maybe we’ll even add it to our list.