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How to choose a good dog crate

Updated on December 29, 2012

Crating may be a helpful training tool

The great thing about dog crates is their extreme versatility, they may have many specific uses for your canine friend. A dog crate can be your dog's safe, comfy haven while you are away from home, it can work as a tremendous aid for potty training purposes, it can be essential for when your dog needs confinement while recovering from a medical condition or it can simply provide a secluded area when you have guests over that are not particularly fond of dogs.

If you are considering buying a dog crate for your dog make sure to follow some specific guidelines in order to avoid some common mistakes. Many first time dog owners that get a puppy are not aware that in order to best potty train their dog they will need a crate of the right size. People may erroneously get a large size crate for their puppy thinking that he/she will outgrow it soon if too small. Then shortly thereafter, they are surprised on how challenging it is to potty train their pup.

Truth is, in nature dogs will not urinate or defecate in the same areas they sleep. If the crate is too large the puppy may find that the crate makes a great place to sleep AND to urinate/defecate. Not a very good way to start potty training! The ideal crate for a puppy would therefore be one that allows him/her to properly stand up, turn around and yet will not be that large to make him/her comfortable to have accidents without bothering their sleeping area. You puppy must be able to stretch in the crate as well, and should not be forced to sleep curled up just to fit inside.

If you are concerned about buying a crate for your puppy and then having to buy larger size crates as he/she grows, invest in dog crates equipped with divider panels that allow you to adjust the crate size as the puppy ages.

If you are thinking to buy a crate to keep your dog confined other than for potty training purposes you need to look instead for the biggest size you can afford. If you are crating your dog while you are away, make sure he/she gets a nice spacious crate that will accommodate a bowl of water as well as pillows and blankets.

If you are looking for a crate instead to keep a litter of puppies inside, make sure to get one that has an opening door on the side and also an opening on the top. It is really a great idea to open the top so you can be able to pick up a puppy without worrying about other puppies escaping out as well.

The most popular dog crates are wire frame crates. These allow plenty of ventilation and good visibility. Make sure that they are free from any sharp edges that can easily injure your dog. Also check the doors and make sure that hinges and are working properly.

Plastic crates are mostly built for travel purposes. They mostly are composed of two units that are assembled together easily. They have a handle as well so you can easily carry them with you. If you are planning to buy a crate for flying your dog make sure to contact the airline company first so to meet their specific requirements. If your dog is small enough to be allowed to fly in the cabin look for soft sided crates that fit under the seat. Sherpa bags make great soft and unique traveling bags for you and your dog.

Depending on size and material plan to spend between 30 to 100 dollars for a dog crate. You can find dog crates at most retail pet stores or department, hardware or garden centers.

Many people still believe that it is cruel to crate dogs. They still see a crate as a cage, therefore, as an unjust confinement, a prison cell. When crates are introduced properly and used correctly, just as leashes and other equipment you use, they can be conditioned to be positive places.

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    • profile image

      Jason 6 years ago

      I'm a firm believer of crate training and dogs need a place to call their own. It has also prevented Andre from chewing things he isn't suppose to when we are away and can't bring him along. I purchased my dog crate at www.digitpet.com. They carry the GoGo line of Crates and are much better built than the ones i've seen at petco.

    • L A Dreamin profile image

      L A Dreamin 6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      GREAT Hub. I am also a fan of crate training, it is the easiest way to house train your puppy! Also good information on picking the right crate size.

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