How to Choose the Best Indoor Dog Crates and Kennels

Indoor dog crates and kennels can keep your dog safely confined for short periods of time. Dogs usually view an indoor crate or kennel as their personal ‘den’. And spending time in a dog crate can help fulfill some of a pet’s basic needs. A dog kennel used to refer to a house for the dog to live in outside. But these days, dog crate and dog kennel are both used to mean a plastic, fabric or metal cage where your dog can be locked up. Different designs of crate are available for different purposes. And travel crates are often designed with access to water and food, to keep pets comfortable during train, car, or air travel.

Best Indoor Dog Crates and Kennels

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Measuring for an indoor dog crate

When choosing a dog crate, the first step is measuring your pet. An indoor kennel should be at least large enough for him to stand-up and turn around easily. And for regular use, make it comfortable with a dog bed that fits the size of the crate.

  • Height of crate: Measure your dog from the top of the head down to the ground. For breeds with erect ears, measure from the tip of the ears.
  • Width: Measure your dog’s width and then add on about 2” for small breeds and 4” for larger breeds.
  • Length: Measure your dog from nose to the end of the tail, adding about 2” – 4” to the overall length depending if you pet is small, medium or large.

Dog crates and indoor kennels are available in several different materials, including plastic, wire, steel, aluminium, fabric, and wood.

Plastic dog crates and kennels

Plastic crates are very popular for being affordable, light-weight and easy to take apart for cleaning. Kennels for small dogs often have a handle on the top for easy carrying. But plastic crates for larger dogs usually come with removable wheels, to facilitate easy handling at home or when traveling. The average plastic dog kennel has a wire door at the front and plenty of openings along the sides for light and ventilation. Plastic crates intended for use as travel containers may have water dispensers, and food trays fixed to the sides. And some take absorbent material to allow your dog to urinate when traveling.

Fabric soft-side dog kennels

Soft-side dog crates are mostly used to house small dogs safely. They provide comfort and safety for young pups and delicate small breeds. Fabric dog crates are lightweight and portable and come in different colors and styles to suit your home décor. Soft-side crates should be made of machine-washable fabric to allow easy cleaning. This type of indoor dog crate usually has mesh ventilation panels at the sides and back. And there may be flaps you can tie up or bring down depending on the temperature and for traveling. Soft dog crates can be folded up and stored in a small space. And that makes them convenient for use at home or on vacation.

Wire kennels and crates

Wire dog kennels resemble a cage made of strong wire, and this allows good visibility for checking how your dog’s doing. And wire crates also allow maximum light and air-flow to enter. This type of indoor dog crate is more likely to keep your dog cool and prevent overheating in hot weather. Most wire crates have some type of metal tray at the bottom that you can slide in or out when the crate is empty. Toilet trays can be cleaned easily and owners often line them with paper or absorbent material. To make a wire dog crate more comfortable, you need to add a special dog bed. Wire dog crates can be used for dogs that chew, but may not be strong enough for boisterous and strong breeds.

Decorative wooden dog crates

Wooden dog crates are popular for folks who want an indoor crate that will harmonize with their existing furniture. They can give 360º visibility and have excellent air-flow and light. When you don’t want your dog jumping onto your sofa, training them to use a crate provides a handy, individual den. Owners may use a decorative, wooden dog crate with the door open, as their dog’s everyday relaxation spot.  You can also buy great-looking, indoor dog crates made of wood and wire.

Dog crates for powerful dogs

Heavy-duty indoor dog crates and kennels are available for large, active dogs that may have an aggressive temperament or be destructive when left alone in your home. These are available in reinforced steel and aircraft-grade aluminium, and have special locks for added security.