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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.
Important Factors for Choosing the Best Type of Dog 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
Durable for protection
Easy to clean
Tougher against chewers (but not chew-proof)
Mandatory for dogs flying in cargo (Must be hard plastic)
Bulky and heavier to transport
Can have sharp edges that are harmful
Wires can bend and distort
Soft Crate Pros & Cons
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
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
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:
Jack Russell Terrier
Toy Fox 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:
Australian Silky Terrier
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Jack Russell Terrier
Parson Russell Terrier
West Highland White 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 2023-04-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
About Alexandra Animalso
I was raised to be a dog person. My first Shepherd grew up as I did and wanted to be where I was at all times. I got my second dog as a 16th birthday present, and her loyalty for me was just as strong as my first. I hope that my contribution to Animalso will help others find dogs who give them that same unconditional love.