Top 15 Best Crates for Small Dogs and Puppies

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One of the first decisions you’ll make as a dog owner is what type of crate to invest in.

For the wee fur babes, there are more kennel options out there than for large dogs, with varied features that can be overwhelming to navigate through.

More specifically, when it comes to puppies, you may have questions about crate training or how to save money as your pup blossoms from a clumsy furball into a big, muscular Boxer.

In this post, we’re looking at the best crates for small dogs and puppies. We’ll shed light on the different types offered, features you can’t skip and how to find the best quality kennel for your buck.

IMAGEPRODUCT
MidWest LifeStages Dog Crate

    • Multiple sizes available
    • Can choose single or double door model
    • Comes with a divider panel, dog tray, carrying handle and rubber “roller” feet
    • Heavy duty slide-bolt latch on a door
Check Price
AmazonBasics Folding Metal Dog Crate

    • Multiple sizes available
    • Can choose single or double door model
    • Comes with divider panel and easy clean dog tray
    • Heavy duty 2 slide-bolt latches on the door
Check Price
Carlson Pet Deluxe Pet Crate

    • Multiple sizes available
    • Steel construction
    • Includes removable/washable pan
    • Easy to fold up for transport
Check Price

Important Factors for Choosing the Best Type of Dog Crate

Small dog in hard crate

No one knows your dog like you do, and this is the single most important notion to consider when choosing a crate.

Here are some factors to ponder before you start shopping.

  • Size: A crate shouldn’t be too small to where your dog can’t stand without hitting the roof, nor should it be big enough to tempt her with destructive behavior, such as defecating in a corner. Here’s a handy guide on determining the right size crate for your dog.
  • Age: This is for puppies. Small crates work for them, but if your pup will grow into a large breed dog, consider investing in a big wire crate with a divider.
  • Temperament: Is she prone to separation anxiety? Does she prefer a den-like atmosphere? Personality cues such as these can help you choose between an open wire crate or a more enclosed soft crate.
  • Behavior: Some dogs are masters at escaping from crates. If this is the case with your dog, you might want to invest in a more heavy duty solution.
  • Your home: Are you interested in something stylish? There are fashion crates that double as a dog kennel and furniture piece.
  • Travel: If you travel quite a bit or spend ample time outdoors, you’ll want to look for something portable and versatile that offers security and comfort for your dog. If you plan to bring her on the plane, pet carriers need to follow certain guidelines.

What Features Should a Small Crate Have?

A solid crate should be just that: solid. Quality and safety are what an exceptional crate is all about.

For hard or wire crates, you’ll want to go for durable materials, such as steel wire or thick plastic. Soft crates should feature strong fabric sides that are water resistant. All crates need to offer proper ventilation on all sides.

To make clean up easy in case of accidents or if you’re crate training, look for wire crates that come with a removable plastic or metal tray that slides underneath the model.

Portability is also a vital asset. The best crates will come with detachable wheels, a carrying handle/ shoulder strap or they will fold up easily for convenience.

If you’re going to invest in a large crate to accommodate your growing puppy, we recommend going for the divider feature. This is a hard, flat piece that allows you to customize the size of your crate over time, so you don’t have to keep spending moola on new crates.

This video shares some more tips about choosing a crate for a puppy.

The Difference Between Soft and Hard Crates

Not sure which material to go with? Hard crates include ones constructed from metal wire, plastic or wood. Soft crates are constructed from durable fabric and mesh. This is how they compare.

Hard Crate Pros & Cons

Petmate Two-Door Small Dog Kennel & Cat Kennel (Top Loading or Front Loading Pet Carrier, Great for Small Animals, Made with Recycled Materials, 24 inches in Length) For Pets up to 15 Pounds

Pros:

  • Durable for protection
  • Easy to clean
  • Tougher against chewers (but not chew-proof)
  • Mandatory for dogs flying in cargo (Must be hard plastic)

Cons:

  • Bulky and heavier to transport
  • Can have sharp edges that are harmful
  • Wires can bend and distort

Soft Crate Pros & Cons

PEEKABOO Foldable Pet Crate Soft Dog Carrier Portable Dog Kennel for Small Medium Dogs Cats Indoor Travel Outdoor

Pros:

  • Lightweight and easy to transport
  • Can come with extra side pockets to carry supplies
  • Can come in multiple styles, such as wheeled or backpack
  • Perfect for small dogs flying in cabin

Cons:

  • Not recommended for escape artists or chewers
  • Unless well ventilated, can get hot and stuffy
  • More difficult to clean up accidents

Common Breeds That Qualify for a Small Crate

Dog sleeping in crate

For your convenience, we’ve pulled together a handy size guide to help you determine if your dog needs a small sized crate.

Extra Small Breed Options

Extra small or toy breeds range anywhere from 6 to 12 inches (15 – 30 cm) in height and weight from 1 to 10 lbs (0.5 – 4 kg). Crates that are 18 to 22 inches(45 – 56 cm) is what we recommend.

These are the most common extra small breeds:

  • Affenpinscher
  • Bichon Frise
  • Boston Terrier
  • Brussels Griffon
  • Chihuahua
  • Jack Russell Terrier
  • Japanese Chin
  • Maltese
  • Miniature Dachshund
  • Papillon
  • Pomeranian
  • Pug
  • Russkiy Toy
  • Shih Tzu
  • Toy Fox Terrier
  • Yorkshire Terrier

More crate dimensions to consider

  • 18″ L x 12″ W x 14″ H
  • 18.5″ L x 12.5″ W x 14.5″ H
  • 19″ L x 12″ W x 15″ H
  • 22″ L x 13″ W x 16″ H

Small Breed Options

Small breeds range anywhere from 13 to 17 inches(33-43 cm) in height and weigh from 11 to 25 lbs(4-11 kg). Crates that are 24 inches (61 cm) is what we recommend.

These are the most common small breeds:

  • Affenpinscher
  • Australian Silky Terrier
  • Bichon Frise
  • Border Terrier
  • Boston Terrier
  • Cairn Terrier
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Chinese Crested
  • Dachshund
  • Fox Terrier
  • French Bulldog
  • Havanese
  • Jack Russell Terrier
  • Italian Greyhound
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Maltese
  • Miniature Pinscher
  • Miniature Poodle
  • Miniature Schnauzer
  • Norfolk Terrier
  • Norwich Terrier
  • Parson Russell Terrier
  • Pekingese
  • Scottish Terrier
  • Shih Tzu
  • Skye Terrier
  • Tibetan Spaniel
  • Welsh Terrier
  • West Highland White Terrier
  • Yorkshire Terrier

More crate dimensions to consider

  • 24″ L x 18″ W x 19″ H
  • 24″ L x 17″ W x 20″ H
  • 24″ L X 18″ W X 21″ H
  • 24.5” L x 17.5” W x 19.5” H
  • 24.5” L x 18” W x 19.5” H
  • 25” L x 18.5” x 21” H

Our Pick of Top 15 Small Dog Crates for 2020

Now, you’re ready to start on your search for the perfect small dog crate. We’ve done a lot of digging ourselves, and these are the ones we loved the most, from hard to soft, crate training, puppies, lifestyle, price and more.

Best Overall
MidWest LifeStages Dog Crate

  • Multiple sizes available
  • Can choose single or double door model
  • Comes with a divider panel, dog tray, carrying handle and rubber “roller” feet
  • Heavy duty slide-bolt latch on a door
Price:
Our Rating:

This standard wire crate is a steal for the price. Easy to assemble and fold down for storage, it’s a convenient option for dog owners on the go.

It also comes with pertinent features that dissuade escape and injury, such as rounded corners instead of sharp edges and a durable, bolted latch.

Best Value
AmazonBasics Folding Metal Dog Crate

  • Multiple sizes available
  • Can choose single or double door model
  • Comes with divider panel and easy clean dog tray
  • Heavy duty 2 slide-bolt latches on the door
Price:
Our Rating:

This offers the same thoughtful features as the Midwest Homes dog crate, including the handy 1 or 2 door option with double slide locks instead of one for extra security.

We loved that it’s easy to assemble and the plastic tray slides underneath with no hassle, making it a cinch to scrub.

The only questionable characteristic is that we felt the edges of this metal barred crate are too sharp, which could be a potential danger for your dog.

Honorable Mention
Carlson Pet Deluxe Pet Crate

  • Multiple sizes available
  • Steel construction
  • Includes removable/washable pan
  • Easy to fold up for transport
Price:
Our Rating:

This is a simple wire crate, but the quality is top notch. Steel construction and a slide latch door keep your small dog or puppy securely enclosed, especially if you’re crate training.

If you like to take your dog in the car, it’s lightweight and not complicated to fold up. Just add a nice, soft pad on the floor and you’re good to go.

Paws & Pals Dog Crate

  • Multiple sizes available
  • Steel wire construction
  • Includes removable/washable pan
  • Comes with a divider and double door
Price:
Our Rating:

If you’re on a budget and your dog is already crate trained, then this is a perfect option for you.

The price is low, considering the features that come with it. You get a divider, plastic dishes and an easy-to-clean pan. Double doors also allow for convenient accessibility.

The only gripe is that if you have a puppy or crate newbie, the construction seems a bit flimsy. We definitely do not recommend it for a dog that is a master at escaping.

Petnation Port-A-Crate

  • Multiple sizes available
  • Portable, lightweight for indoor/outdoor use
  • Mesh fabric paneling over a steel wire frame
Price:
Our Rating:

For outdoor lovers, this small dog crate is for you! It puts a comfy twist on the typical wire design by adding fabric walls that are considerably ventilated and make for easy portability.

It doesn’t come with any extra features, so be sure to add your own padding. Nonetheless, if you’re on the go a lot and need a durable, reliable crate that can be packed up in a jiffy, then this works quite well.

If you have a dog or puppy that likes to chew, we found that the soft fabric doesn’t hold up well against ambitious teeth.

ProValu Double-Door Wire Crate

  • Multiple sizes available
  • 2 doors with 5-point lock system
  • Includes: divider & easy clean pan
  • Rust resistant
Price:
Our Rating:

We love this crate for puppies (and small dogs, of course) if you are introducing your pet to crate training.

For a low price, you get a divider and easy clean polypropylene pan for accidents. The crate is also sturdy, with rounded wire edges instead of dangerous sharp ones that could cut a dog.

It’s secure as can be with extra locking mechanisms and a top-loading door that makes it convenient to drop treats inside.

The crate comes with a handy brochure that provides tips on crate training and an online tutorial for housebreaking puppies.

Petmate Two Door Top Load Kennel

  • Sizes: 19” & 24”
  • 2 doors with an ergonomic carrier handle
  • Hard plastic walls; well ventilated on all sides
Price:
Our Rating:

This is an indestructible crate if you want something of sturdy quality.

The plastic walls are thick and well ventilated with oval-shaped holes on all 4 sides. Even the roof is ventilated and opens up for easy access.

One small worry we had concerned the ventilation holes. The cut-out plastic circles are sharp, which could be dangerous if a dog tries to stick her nose through.

2PET Foldable Dog Crate

  • A foldable dog crate that is recommended for indoors, outdoors and travel
  • 2 zippered doors in the front and on the top
  • Features a steel-tube frame that is lightweight and covered with water-resistant fabric
Price:
Our Rating:

Classy and colorful, this stylish soft crate isn’t just about looks- we found it to be highly efficient.

It can be used indoors or outdoors and is easy to fold up for portability if you’re riding in the car. The mesh windows offer adequate ventilation and the top-loading door grants convenient access for feeding.

We do not recommend this one for puppies though. The soft sides are nice for small trained dogs to enjoy a comfortable, portable crate, but a rambunctious pup could chew through the fabric in no time.

Carlson Pet Products SECURE AND FOLDABLE Single Door Metal Dog Crate

  • Comes in multiple sizes
  • Strong steel wire structure with a single metal door on the front
  • Includes removable & washable pan
Price:
Our Rating:

We give this basic wire crate two thumbs up if you’re looking to introduce your dog to crate training.

The quality is steely strong, with a frame that can easily be folded down for transport. The size is a bit clunky, which might bother some people if they are traveling with their dog frequently.

The price is excellent for a first-time crate that won’t fall apart. The washable pan makes housebreaking more tolerable as well.

EliteField 3-Door Folding Soft Dog Crate

  • 3 mesh doors on the top, front and side of the crate
  • Made from steel tubing with sturdy fabric covering, mesh windows
  • Includes a fleece bed insert & top pocket for storage
  • Easy to fold with shoulder straps for carrying
Price:
Our Rating:

This soft crate is the king of convenience if your small dog is already crate trained.

The fabric covering makes it an attractive option from the usual wire configurations and the wide mesh windows offer excellent airflow.

The structure of the crate seems quite strong, especially for transportation. The fabric does seem light and easy to tear, which is why we don’t recommend it for puppies.

New World Folding Metal Dog Crate

  • Comes in multiple sizes
  • Metal wire construction with heavy duty lock latch
  • Single or double door option
  • Comes with a leak-proof bottom tray
Price:
Our Rating:

This sturdy wire crate is an absolute steal for the price! It’s simple, but the quality is substantial, making it a perfect all-around crate for puppies and small dogs.

The metal construction can be folded down easily for indoors or outdoors. Be careful, as we noticed some slightly sharp edges that could potentially cause harm, but nothing sharp enough to make us shake in our boots.

Casual Home 600-44 Pet Crate

  • Solid wood construction
  • Doubles a dog crate and piece of furniture
  • Single or double door option
  • Fashion piece with elegant design and single latch lock door
Price:
Our Rating:

This beautiful, dark wood doggie crate makes it the perfect fashion piece for those who don’t like the look of a clunky wire crate in their home.

Keep in mind that since it’s a fashion crate, don’t expect it to hold up against escapee pups or crate trainees. It is more suitable for small adult dogs who have crate experience.

The price is more expensive than the traditional wire set up, but that’s to be expected with a designer wood crate. It is less expensive than other wood crates on the market but looks just as elegant.

Petco Classic 1-Door Dog Crates

  • Solid metal wire construction with baked powder coat finish
  • Includes a divider panel and removable plastic pan
  • Multiple sizes available
Price:
Our Rating:

Here is another great wire crate built with quality in mind. It works well for puppies and comes with a divider to accommodate your pup’s growth.

It’s a worthy choice for crate training, as the sides are smooth and rounded for safety.

There is a single door on the front featuring a basic slide latch lock. The plastic pan located underneath slides in and out for easy cleanup.

Overall, this is a low-cost option for first-time dog owners who are interested in crate training or just want a quality crate for your small dog to relax in.

Precision Pet Two-Door Great Crate

  • Multiple sizes available
  • Rust resistant
  • Precision Lock System at 5 locations
  • Includes: Divider panel and removable tray
Price:
Our Rating:

If you’re crate training or have an exuberant puppy on your hands, this heavy-duty wire crate is built tough with safety in mind.

The structure feels durable and strong. The manufacturers put a lot of effort into the latch system, which securely locks at 5 different points to subdue escape artists.

This is an excellent choice for puppies and small dogs beginning crate training. For the low price, we were pleasantly surprised by the quality.

PEEKABOO Foldable Pet Crate

  • Soft-sided crate with ample ventilation on all sides
  • Easy to fold and transport
  • Can be used for indoors and outdoors
  • Includes: Side pockets, detachable shoulder strap, soft cushion pad with hardboard insert
Price:
Our Rating:

This is an excellent choice for doggie travelers. The soft sides make it lightweight, while the metal structure is durable enough for puppies.

Mesh sides offer ample ventilation so your small dog stays cool and comfortable. It folds up in a snap and comes with a detachable shoulder strap for effortless carrying.

A side pouch allows you to store poop bags and other supplies.

Compared to other soft-sided crates, the price is affordable.

Conclusion: The Midwest Homes For Pets Crate Has Our Hearts

For the best-wired dog crate for small dogs that covers all of the bases while maintaining quality and giving a little something extra, the Midwest Homes For Pets Dog Crate is our favorite option for small dogs and puppies. You can’t beat the features it offers, such as the divider and clean up pan.

For honorable mentions, if you need a plastic crate for flights, our favorite is the Petmate Two Door Top Load Kennel for the easy accessibility it offers with a door located on the top.

When it comes to soft crates, the PEEKABOO Foldable Pet Crate comes with multiple features that we love, such as the side pockets and carrying strap. It’s a great choice for outdoors enthusiasts.

Last update on 2022-07-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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