While they may not be strictly necessary, quality wire crates 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 guide on the best wire dog crates below, or continue on reading for more details!
Best Wire Dog Crates: Our Quick Picks
- Midwest Crates 2-Door. [Best For Large Dogs] This 48 inch crate is perfect for big dogs (it comes in several smaller sizes too). It includes two doors with slide-bolt latches, plus a free divider and removable tray.
- Ritchell Mobile Pet Bed. [Best Aesthetics] This wire crate features a wooden trim for a more elegant look. 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.
- AmazonBasics Folding Crate. [Best For Small Dogs] This economic wire crate comes in several sizes, with the 22 inch working perfectly for small dogs. It features double doors, slide-bolt latches, a divider, and a plastic pan.
This is a big guide we have today, so we’ve broken it down into sections. Feel free to jump ahead if you want to get ahead to certain topics.
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 a break from the world, and your dog can benefit from that alone time too! A crate gives him a private place 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.
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 most other crate styles, 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 cages 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 idea 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 straight forward. 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 theAssociation of Professional Dog Trainersinclude:
|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 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 cover designed to fit a kennel, like the Precision Pet Indoor/Outdoor Crate Cover.
- 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.
Best Wire Dog Crates: Our Top Picks!
The following five 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. Richell Mobile Pet Pen
About: The Richell Mobile Pet Pen is a high-quality, functional dog crate, with one-of-a-kind styling.
- Available in small (25”L X 18”W X 22”H) and large (36.8”L X 24”W X 26”H) size
- Includes locking casters that allow the crate to be moved between rooms easily, and then locked in place for safety
- Detachable base and washable plastic tray for easing cleaning
- Hardwood frame with an attractive design
- Slide-locking system keeps the crate secure
The Richell Mobile Pet Pen stands head-and-shoulders above the other kennels in terms of both aesthetics and features. Additionally, the locking casters allow you to roll the crate around as necessary, yet still ensure that the kennel won’t move once you put it in the desired spot and engage the caster locks.
The Richell Mobile Pet Pen is only available in small sizes, up to about 36 inches in length. Accordingly, it isn’t appropriate for larger dogs. It also bears a pretty high price tag, but this is to be expected from such a great-looking and well-built crate.
2. ProSelect Pastel Dog Crate
About: Another option for owners looking for a kennel with a unique aesthetic, the ProSelect Pastel Dog Crate is a simple kennel, finished in either pink or blue.
- Available in 3 sizes: Extra Small (18″L x 12″W x 15″H), Small ( 24″L x 17″W x 20″H), Medium (30″L x 19″W x 22″H).
- Includes a color-coordinated plastic tray and a removable divider for containing multiple pets
- Folds down for easy transport
- Tight-bar spacing for added strength and security
Most owners rave about the color and aesthetics of this kennel, while also reporting that it works well. Most also report that the kennel is very easy for one person to set up or break down.
The ProSelect Pastel Dog Crate looks great, but you’ll pay for such a good-looking crate. Additionally, the kennel is only available in a few, relatively small sizes, so it is not appropriate for larger dogs.
3. ProSelect Deco Dog Crate
About: The ProSelect Deco Dog Crate is a great kennel for small dogs who require fancier accommodations than your average pup.
- Comes in several sizes: Extra Small (19.3” x 13.5” x 5”), Small (25” x 18.3” x 5”), and Medium (32” x 22.3” x 5.8”)
- Available in purple or pink
- Features several floral-themed decorations for fanciness
- Includes black plastic tray that can be removed for easily cleaning
- Crate folds flat for easy transport
PROS: The ProSelect Deco Dog Crate is an adorable and unique-looking kennel that still features quality construction and the types of features you’d expect in a modern dog kennel.
CONS: The ProSelect Deco Dog Crate is not made in sizes appropriate for larger dogs, so it’ll only work for petite pooches.
4. IRIS Wire Dog Crate with Mesh Roof
About: The IRIS Wire Dog Crate with Mesh Roof is a unique kennel style, that features a soft, mesh top and plastic-molded corners with heavy-duty epoxy-coated wire panels.
It’s worth noting that with this crate, pricing and shipping times can vary considerably between size and color models.
- Comes in Small (24.80″L x 36.22″W x 23.62″H) and Large (31.00″L x 44.25″W x 23.50″H) sizing.
- Available 8 colors, ranging from green to pink!
- Sliding access door improves its space efficiency
- Heavy-duty, epoxy-coated wire walls with 1.5” of space between wire bars.
- Fits IRIS brand training pads
The IRIS wire Dog Crate is a very handsome-looking crate, which will look great in your home. Additionally, the sliding door takes up less floor space than a swinging door.
Although the IRIS Wire Dog Crate provides lots of space for your pooch, it isn’t a good option for leaving your pet unattended, as the mesh roof allows for easy escape when it comes to determined Houdini dogs.
5. AmazonBasics Folding Metal Dog Crate
About: The AmazonBasics Folding Dog Crate is an affordable, no-frills kennel designed to get the job done at a reasonable price point.
- Includes both front and side doors with slide bolt latches.
- Sturdy metal construction with mini diver bars (1.35 cm between bars) to prevent paws from slipping between gaps and rounded corners to avoid injury.
- Available in 6 different sizes ranging from 22- to 48-inches-long
- Divider panel and removable plastic tray included
- Collapses quickly and easily to make transporting the crate a snap
Crates are very useful training aids, but that doesn’t mean they need to be fancy. This simple crate will work for the vast majority of dogs and owners who lack any special needs – especially those working within a tight budget.
Although the AmazonBasics Folding Crate is well-built, some owners noted that the panels would occasionally flex slightly when trying to assemble the crate. While this is not likely to be a problem for smaller and calmer dogs, it is probably not the ideal crate for Houdini-inspired pups and really strong dogs.
6. MidWest iCrate Folding Metal Dog Crate
About: The MidWest iCrate Folding Metal Dog Crate features a straight-forward design and a few bonus features to make it one of the most attractive options available. And for extra piece of mind, this crate comes with a 1-year warranty from the manufacturer.
- Available in 7 sizes, ranging from 18 inches wide to 48 inches wide
- Slide bolt latches are easy to operate, yet secure
- Crate folds flat and features a sturdy handle to make transporting it easy
- The bottom of the crate features rubber feet to prevent skidding or scratching on the floor
- Pan stop keeps the undertray from sliding out of position
- Includes leak-proof plastic pan and adjustable divider
The Midwest iCrate Folding Dog Crate comes with several great features, including a removable divider so you can gradually increase the size of the crate for your growing puppy. Additionally, the crate’s rubber feet will help to protect your hardwood or tile floors.
Several dog owners have reported that particularly determined pets were able to bend the metal bars and escape, so use caution if your dog is likely to test the crate’s wire for weaknesses like a hungry velociraptor.
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.