Best Small Dog Crates for Your Furry Friend

At some time in their lives, dogs will need to be crated. This might be when traveling, at a vet clinic, or when you cannot watch them.

There are many different types of dog crates. They are available in numerous sizes, materials, and designs. When looking for a dog crate for your pet, it can be difficult to choose the right one. You need to find one that is the right size and is made from a material that your pet will not escape from or chew through.

This article helps you find the best small dog crate for your petite pup. We also offer you some valuable tips on crate training.

Keep reading to learn about different types of small dog crates and how to choose the best one for your pet!

What Is The Ideal Crate Size For A Small Dog?

When buying a dog crate, choosing the right size for your pet is important. If you have a small dog breed that weighs under 30 pounds, you will need a crate that measures 18″ x 18″ or 18″ x 24″. If your small dog breed weighs between 30 and 38 pounds, you will need a crate that measures 24″x18″ or 24″x24″.

What Are the Signs That My Dog’s Crate Is Too Small?

If your dog’s crate is too cramped, you’ll notice the following:

  • Your dog’s head must rest on the top of the box to stand erect.
  • Your dog cannot rest flat on his back with his legs stretched out.
  • In the crate, your dog cannot turn around uncomfortable for them. This can result in significant stress and muscle spasms.

What Should A Small Dog Crate Include?

There are a few factors to consider while buying a tiny dog crate, including:

Safety and Quality In Mind

Many people use a small dog crate outdoors with their pets. They also use it when the pet is left home alone. You want to get a good-quality crate that is safe for your dog.

You should look for a crate made from strong materials such as thick plastic or steel wire. The crate should also be water-resistant. Make sure that it has good ventilation on all sides.

Useful Features

When choosing crates for small dogs, it is important to be aware of a few crate features:

  • Plastic or Metal Tray

If you are using a wire crate for potty training, you will need a crate with a metal wire frame that has a removable, easy-to-clean metal or plastic tray. This will help keep your crate clean.

  • Carry Handle or Shoulder Strap

It is important to have a secure carry handle or shoulder strap on crates used for travel. This will help keep the crate safe while it is being moved. In addition, a crate with wheels and the ability to fold down makes it much easier to store and transport.

  • Crate Divider

If you’re looking for a crate for your puppy, search for one with a divider. As your puppy develops, you’ll be able to make the kennel smaller.

Using a divider, a double-door crate can be divided into two pieces. You can keep your puppy in the same crate as they develop. Because you won’t have to buy many new crates as your puppy grows, this is a good method to save money.

  • Crate Cover

Many dogs find their kennel a safe and relaxing place to go during stressful times or when they need to sleep.

A crate with a cover might help your dog establish a warm den-like environment. You can use the crate outside in the summer if the cover is waterproof.

What Is The Difference Between Hard And Soft Crates For Dogs?

You have the option of a hard or soft dog crate. What is the distinction?

Plastic, wood, or metal wire are used to make hard crates. Fabric walls, fabric paneling, or mesh fabric are common features of soft crates, including a panel front zipper and a complete mesh panel. A washable softbox composed of durable polyester fabric is common.

Hard Dog Crates Advantages and Disadvantages

There are several advantages and disadvantages of hard dog crates and their relevant characteristics.

Let’s start with the pros:

  • Hard dog crates are durable and long-lasting. They are well-liked by puppy owners. Some include dividers that you can use to expand the crate as your puppy develops.
  • A plastic or metal break-resistant floor pan slips underneath a metal dog crate is recommended. If your dog has an accident, the plastic floor pan is leak-proof and easy to clean.
  • Puppies and teething dogs benefit from some types of hard dog crates, such as metal ones. They are also effective for chewing dogs.
  • If you wish to fly with your pet, you’ll need a durable plastic travel crate. This allows your pet to travel in the cargo hold.
  • Most hard dog cages offer adequate ventilation, which is crucial for your dog’s safety and comfort in hot weather.

There are also a few disadvantages to using hard dog crates:

  • Cheap metal wire dog crates can become distorted if not stored or transported carefully.
  • Some plastic pet carriers can have sharp edges that may harm your pet.
  • Crates made from wood or plastic can be hard for dogs that chew.
  • Metal dog crates can be folded and stored, but hard crates are generally heavier and bulkier to transport. You need to think about the dimensions you want before you buy one.

You can buy a hard dog crate just for transporting your pet, or you can buy one that looks nicer and can also be used as furniture in your home.

Soft Dog Crates Advantages and Disadvantages

Soft dog crates come with both pros and cons and some extra features.

The advantages and plus points of soft dog crates include:

  • Soft crates are light and easy to transport.
  • Some soft dog crates come with additional storage, such as a pocket for your pet’s belongings.
  • Soft dog crates are available in various styles, including backpacks and wheeled models.
  • Many airlines permit you to bring a small dog in the cabin if he is secured in a soft-sided carrier.

Now, let’s check out the disadvantages of soft dog crates:

  • Generally, soft dog crates are not a good idea for dogs that are good at escaping. They can get out of the crate very easily.
  • A teething puppy will quickly be destroyed by a soft crate, making this crate style unsuitable for puppies.
  • Some soft crates, particularly wire crates, are poorly ventilated compared to hard containers. In hot weather or during a lengthy journey, your dog may overheat or become dehydrated.
  • This ergonomic carrier is more difficult than cleaning metal boxes with removable trays.
  • Soft crates are not recommended for housebreaking.

When choosing between a hard or soft crate, it’s important to think about what you need.

Travel Crates

It is safest for your dog to travel in a crate in the back of your vehicle. If your dog is crated, he cannot move around the car and become a distraction for the driver. Crating also protects your dog in case you have to brake quickly. A travel crate is a large wire cage with a solid, waterproof floor and a door that opens to the front of the crate.

Your dog will be more comfortable if the crate is large enough for him to stand up, sit down, and lie down in. Always remove your dog’s collar and leash before putting him in the crate. The leash may become entangled around your dog’s neck and choke him if he moves excessively during transport.

Training Your Dog To Accept His Travel Crate

  • Before leaving your dog in his crate, give him plenty of time to get used to it. You can do this by using his favorite toys to encourage him inside. Make the crate training a fun game for your dog.
  • Leave the crate door unlocked so your dog can freely enter and exit. Remove the divider to make your dog’s crate comfier.
  • When your dog is inside his new crate, give him a treat.
  • Before embarking on a lengthier road journey, take your dog on brief drives around the block. This will help him become accustomed to driving and minimize his fear.
  • Before placing your dog in his crate for the automobile ride, you should take him on a lengthy walk. This will assist him in calming down and being less agitated.
  • If a dog is agitated, it may overheat. You may avoid this by ensuring the car is not overheated. Turn on the air conditioner or slightly open the windows.

Preparing For The Trip

Dogs can get sick when they travel in cars. This can happen if the dog is not used to traveling. To help your dog, don’t give him any food while in the car. Give him a light supper approximately four hours before your departure. This will help reduce the chance that he will vomit while you are driving.

If you are going on a long car ride with your dog, give him a chance to go to the bathroom before you leave. It is also good to buy some waterproof seats and floor covers if your dog has an accident.

7 Best Small Dog Crates For Pet Owners

This section will discuss the best crates for little dogs.

1. Midwest Life Stages Wire Crate

This producer has been in business for many years and enjoys an excellent reputation. Therefore, it should be no surprise that the MidWest Life Stages Small Dog Crate is an incredibly popular product that provides excellent value to the buyer.

This crate is more sturdy. It is available in both a single-door and double-door version. The double-door version might be better for you because it gives you more flexibility. But, remember, if your pup is a Houdini, he might be able to escape through one of the doors. You can solve this problem by latching one of the doors shut with a carabiner.

This crate comes with an interior divider that can be useful if you have a puppy who is still potty training. You can also fold the crate flat for easy storage. The crate also has rubber roller feet to protect your flooring and a carrying handle for easy portability. The crate also has a durable liner, so your dog will be comfortable inside it.

PROS

  • Crate divider included
  • Foldable for easy storage
  • Single/double door options
  • Rubber roller feet to protect your floorings.
  • Includes plastic tray

CONS

  • Not entirely escape-proof

2. Pet Mate 21859 Vari Kennel

The Pet Mate 21859 Vari Kennel is a high-quality, durable crate that is escape-proof and virtually indestructible. The producer has been in business for many years and consistently creates high-demand pet goods.

This plastic carrier doubles as a home crate and may be used to transport your dog. The primary disadvantage of this kennel is that it may not be particularly durable; thus, some dogs and young puppies may be able to chew it.

There are several different sizes of portable crates. The smaller crates can be snapped together to make two halves. The larger crates have strong bolts to keep them together. The metal rods that keep the door shut are held in a reinforced plastic holder, significantly safer than some less expensive crates. The rods fit into a hole drilled in the rim of the crate.

This carrier’s squeeze latch fastening design ensures that your dog can’t escape while you’re transporting him.

PROS

  • A secure door latch design makes crate escape-proof
  • High-quality materials
  • Easy to clean
  • Reasonably priced

CONS

  • Unsuitable for young puppies and serial chewers

3. Risco Fold & Carry Double Door Collapsible Wire Dog Crate

This is a heavy-duty wire crate that is the house brand of Chewy.com. It is a good option for crate training your puppy because it comes in different sizes and is cheaper than other brands.

This high-quality crate can be used as a travel crate and keep your dog contained at home. The crate requires no tools for assembly and can be folded flat for easy storage. This crate is special because it comes with a divider panel. That means you can make the inside of the crate smaller, which is perfect for a growing puppy. You won’t have to buy multiple crates as your puppy grows up. You can also use the divider when housetraining your puppy. This crate comes in both single and double-door versions.

PROS

  • Collapsible crate design for easy storage
  • There are no required tools for assembly.
  • Included is a durable plastic container.
  • Reasonable in cost

CONS

  • Not as sturdy as comparable brand-name wire crates

4. Carlson Pet Products Secure and Foldable Single Door Metal Dog Crate

The wire dog box from Carlson Pet Products is well-made and robust. It is a no-frills design that does the job at a reasonable price.

The crate is a single-door design that is secure. The locking system will keep your dog inside the crate while in transit. The flat tray shape is easy to wash and keep clean.

This pet box is ideal for transporting your canine companion to work, the dog park, or any other destination. The crate is easy to fold up and store away when not in use, and it’s suitable for puppies and small breed dogs up to 25 pounds.

PROS

  • Portable and foldable for easy storage
  • Secure locking system
  • Leak-proof bottom tray
  • Excellent quality

CONS

  • Doesn’t have rubber feet to protect the flooring

5. Merry Products Slide Aside Dog Crate

Suppose you need a crate in your home but don’t need it for traveling. In that case, this beautiful solid wood construction makes an attractive and functional solution.

If you choose a wooden dog crate, consider that a few small issues might come up. The crate can also be a safe den space for your dog.

  • Puppies can cause damage to wood by chewing it.
  • Accidents with the toilet can discolor wood.
  • Your dog’s crate should be a calm area for relaxation. If you intend to utilize the crate as furniture, ensure that your dog’s setting is not too loud.

This sturdy construction comes in two colors, Espresso and Mahogany, and two sizes. The crate floor is easy to clean if something happens, and it also keeps urine from going into the wood or floor below the crate.

PROS

  • An attractive, well-made wooden crate
  • It can function as a side table
  • Includes melamine-coated MDF flooring to prevent water damage.
  • Excellent quality

CONS

  • Not suited for chewing dogs

6. Donoro Dog Crates Kit for Small Size Dogs

This wire dog crate is a good solution for your home. The crate can also be used when you travel with your small dog or puppy.

The wire crate has a front and side double-door entry system. This way, your dog can come in and out from either the front or the side. It is a heavy-duty dog crate that will keep your dog from escaping. The crate also comes with a handy carrying handle and a leak-proof base liner tray dog.

There is a stylish, functional Oxford fabric crate cover that is waterproof and machine washable. It fits easily into place using a hook and loop system.

PROS

  • Easy to assemble kit
  • It can be used for travel and in your home
  • Attractive, waterproof cover
  • One-year guarantee

CONS

  • It may be difficult to assemble for some individuals.

7. Amazon Basics Two-door Top-load Hard-sided Pet Travel Carrier

If you like to travel with your small dog, this small, top-loading kennel could be a good choice for you.

The crate has two doors. The doors provide good ventilation on hot days. They also have a good view for your dog. The latch can be opened with one hand. This makes it easier for solo travelers. The top door opens to the left and the right.

This carrier has a top handle for easy carrying. The carrier is held together with four latches reinforced with extra screws, which gives you and your pet peace of mind.

PROS

  • Sturdy and robust construction
  • It can be used for travel and in your home
  • Ample ventilation
  • Easy-open, one-handed operation door latch

CONS

  • Only suitable for very small dogs

Considerations for Selecting the Ideal Type of Dog Crate

No one knows your dog better than you do, which is the most crucial consideration when selecting a crate.

Consider the following considerations before you begin shopping.

  • Size: A crate should not be so small that your dog cannot stand without striking the ceiling. Should it be so large that it encourages disruptive behavior, such as urinating in a corner? Here is a helpful guide for finding the ideal crate size for your dog.
  • Age: This is for the dogs. Consider investing in a large wire box with a divider if your puppy is expected to develop into a large breed dog.
  • Temperament: She may suffer from separation anxiety. Does she prefer a secluded environment? These personality indicators can help you decide between an open wire crate and an enclosed soft crate.
  • Behavior: Certain canines are experts at escaping their crates. If this describes your dog, you may invest in a more robust remedy.
  • Your home: Are you interested in fashionable items? There are stylish crates that serve as a dog kennel and a piece of furniture.
  • Travel: If you travel frequently or spend a great deal of time outside, you should seek something portable, versatile, and comfortable for your dog. The pet carrier must adhere to particular specifications if you intend to bring her on the plane.

Buyer’s Guide

Some dog owners require a crate for training a new puppy. In contrast, others want their older dog suffering from separation anxiety (see solutions for neurotic dogs) to feel safe and secure. Specific considerations will help you select the best option regardless of your motivation for purchasing a crate.

Rather than purchasing the least expensive option, take the time to analyze your dog’s individual requirements to ensure that the enclosure is spacious and pleasant for extended periods.

Dog Size

We have grouped our favorite dog cages according to the size of each dog breed, but you must consider the size of your personal dog. Although we have included examples of breeds that fall into the small, medium, and large categories, breed sizes can vary.

Never make a purchase based solely on your dog’s breed; instead, focus on the measurements and whether or not your dog is expected to grow. When your dog utilizes a crate, it should have ample space to lie down, stand up, and move around without feeling cramped or injuring itself. Even if your dog likes small spaces, they want sufficient space to roam freely, particularly for extended periods or when traveling.

Small crates are common for puppies, but remember if you have a medium- or large-breed dog. They will quickly outgrow it, and you will need a larger alternative. We recommend purchasing one with a separation your puppy can “grow into.” This will facilitate training and save you money in the long run.

Overall Purpose

Does your dog require a quiet spot to rest and lie down? Does your dog experience anxiety and benefit from a secure environment? Perhaps you have a puppy that requires assistance with housebreaking. The crate you select will largely depend on your primary motivation for purchasing one. Suppose you are not concerned about your dog being destructive or getting into mischief. In that case, you may be interested in something with ornamental features and minimal security.

A dog with behavioral disorders such as separation anxiety demands a cage that can endure (and prevent) the odd effort to escape, as well as some biting and clawing. In these circumstances, selecting a durable and resilient dog crate is best to make it as inviting and peaceful as possible.

How Many Are Required

Many dog cages are simple to set up and use in the car, but if you frequently travel with your dog, disassembling and reassembling a crate can be inconvenient. You may decide it is more convenient to get two for your home and one for your automobile.

When estimating how many you require, you should also consider the number of dogs that require crates. Can you create your two dogs together, or do they prefer separate enclosures? If you kennel multiple puppies together, ensure that each has sufficient space proportional to its size. In most instances, only larger enclosures can accommodate more than one puppy adequately.

Crate Use (Indoor, Outdoor & Travel)

Most dog crates are built for indoor use. Still, suppose you want one that can be used outside. In that case, you must check for features such as enough airflow and rust- or corrosion-resistant materials.

Do you intend to take your pet on a flight? In addition to being able to endure the movement of loading and unloading, your dog’s kennel should also provide as much comfort as possible during a bumpy trip.

Before purchasing a durable crate for an airplane, you must ensure that it fits all airline criteria for animal travel. If the bag you select does not satisfy all requirements, you may often purchase kits to adapt it. Still, it is typically simpler to purchase a bag built for air travel.

What Characteristics Should a Small Crate Possess?

A sturdy crate should be exactly that: sturdy. A superior crate is distinguished by its superiority and safety.

You should choose sturdy materials such as thick plastic or steel wire for hard or wire containers. Softboxes should have durable, water-resistant fabric sides. All cartons must have enough ventilation on all sides.

Look for wire crates that come with a detachable plastic or metal tray that slips underneath the model for simple cleanup in the event of an accident or during crate training.

Portability is also an essential quality. The most convenient crates will have detachable wheels, a carrying handle, or a shoulder strap or will fold up effortlessly.

We recommend investing in a large crate with a divider if you purchase a large kennel for your growing puppy. This rigid, flat piece allows you to adjust the size of your crate over time, saving you money on new crates.

Learn more: How to Help Your New Pet Feel at Home

Frequently Asked Questions About Best Small Dog Crates

Are Smaller Crates Better for Dogs?

When choosing a crate for your dog, make sure it is big enough for the dog to stretch out on his side and to be able to stand up and turn around without hitting his head. A crate that is a little too big is better than one too small.

Do Small Dogs Need Small Crates?

The dog should be able to sleep, stand up, turn around, and sit within the kennel. If the crate is too large, the dog will sleep and eliminate it, making it harder to train them.

Should I Put My Dog in a Crate at Night?

A good rule of thumb is to have your puppy spend one hour in the crate for every month old they are. So, a three-month-old puppy can be in the crate for up to three hours. Puppies should also sleep in their crates at night to learn to sleep through the night.

How Do I Choose a Dog Crate?

When looking for a dog crate, get one big enough for your dog to stand up, turn around, and stretch out. If the crate is too large, your pet might choose one side to sleep in and use the other side as their bathroom.

Should I Cover the Puppy Crate?

Dogs can get anxious in their crates and may try to reach out and grab anything they can. It’s important to use a cover they can’t pull through the bars and destroy. You don’t need to leave food or water in the crate overnight.

How Long Should a Dog Be in a Crate?

Adult dogs should not be crated for longer than six to eight hours. Puppies older than 17 weeks can tolerate up to four or five hours in a crate. A dog’s mental and physical health can suffer if left in a crate for longer than this, as they will become bored and restless.

Should a Dog Crate Be Covered?

When you cover your dog’s crate, it is important to do it safely. Make sure you don’t cover your dog completely, as this can block the airflow. Also, be careful with what type of blanket you use. Make sure it is breathable and won’t catch on fire.

At What Age Can Dogs Stop Sleeping in a Crate?

Many dogs will use the crate as their bedroom. They will sleep and relax in there. You can stop using the crate as a place for your dog to stay when they turn two years old.

Are Our Plastic Dog Crates Safe?

A dog crate made of plastic is an excellent choice if you and your dog frequently go places. These crates keep dogs safe and secure while traveling by plane, train, or car. When looking for a plastic crate, be sure to choose one that is durable, well ventilated, and airline-approved.

What Does Crate Train Only Mean?

Crate trained means that the dog sleeps in their crate. It’s easy to think that crate training is cruel if you’ve never done it before. Dogs that have been crate trained actually learn to love their crates because it becomes their safe place.

Can You Put a Dog Door on a Garage Door?

If your garage-style door is just one big piece of metal or wood, you can put any pet door in it without any problems. But if your garage door is in sections, the pet door you put in must not be bigger than one section.