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Dog Crate - How to Buy A Dog Crate

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Should you have a dog crate for your dog? In a word, we believe the answer is “yes”. As the well-known behaviorist Nick Dodman says, “A crate for life should be the dog owner's maxim.” A dog crate should be one of your first pet purchases. There are several styles, materials and sizes to choose from. To help you shop, consider these factors.

Features to Consider in a Dog Crate

  • Materials
  • Size
  • Durability
  • Ability to clean
  • Chew proof
  • Safe

    Ideal Choice of a Dog Crate

  • A sturdy wire frame dog crate is easy to clean, durable and offers good ventilation and visibility.

    Shopping Tips for a Dog Crate

  • Dog crate designs that fold may be useful for travel situations.

  • If you have a puppy, choose a crate size that will accommodate his as an adult and allow enough room for him to stand, lie down, or sit in any position in the crate without restriction. Since puppies grow, consider a design that can be sectioned off to allow for expansion.

  • Scrutinize the design. When selecting a wire frame crate, consider the size of the wire; be sure your dog's paws won't fall through the grid. Also, check for any sharp edges. Check the front door to see if it is spring loaded, these doors can snap shut on a paw or tail.

  • Plastic dog crates are easy to clean, durable but offer less ventilation than a wire frame crate. Most are airline approved for travel.

  • The bottom of the dog crate can be solid or raised. Raised floors keep your dog elevated over a solid pan that will catch any food, water, or waste that would otherwise accumulate in your dog's living space.

    More Tips for Dog Crates

  • Your home is your castle, sanctuary and safe place to retreat. You can offer your dog this same comfort by selecting the proper crate and demonstrating to your pet that it is his private space. Acclimate puppies early by offering food or treats in the crate, or by throwing favorite toys into the back of the crate for them to retrieve. Make the crate an everyday object, not something he sees only twice a year.

  • Consider the dog create as part of his overall training. NEVER use the crate as punishment. Your dog should regard his crate as his haven. If you use the crate to isolate or punish your pet, he will come to associate his crate with unpleasant circumstances and feelings.

  • Crate training is important, as there are a variety of situations in which kenneling your pet may become socially, medically, or even legally necessary.

  • Even if your pet lives primarily indoors, don't underestimate the usefulness of a dog crate. Your pet will travel safer in the car if he is confined.

  • When you put your dog in a crate, remove his collar so there is no chance of it getting hocked or stuck thus trapping or choking your dog.

    Users' comments about this Buyer Guide
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    Pet crates
    by cgillesb, Monday, December 03, 2007

    Comment: I purchased a zippered nylon foldable crate for my cattle-dog poodle mix. It's great for traveling, even up and down the stairs. Major caveat: an energetic dog can burst right through the zipper. The dog can be trained to sit until the zipper is opened.

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    Wire crate?
    by Mikka, Saturday, December 01, 2007

    Comment: When I asked my trainer for the best crate for my dogs he told me to stay away from wire crates because the dog can see through them and some dogs feel too vulnerable! He suggested that I use a pet porter or something of the like because that way when the ...

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