If you have a large dog, you might be wondering how to find the best crate for them. A crate can provide a safe and comfortable space for your dog to relax, sleep, or travel. It can also help with house training, behavior management, and separation anxiety. However, not all crates are created equal, and choosing the wrong one can cause discomfort, injury, or escape attempts. In this article, we will guide you through the process of choosing the best large dog crate for your furry friend.
What Size Crate Do You Need?
The first thing you need to consider is the size of the crate. A dog crate should be large enough for your dog to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably, but not so large that they can roam around or soil one corner. To measure your dog, use a tape measure to find their length (from nose to base of tail), height (from floor to top of head), and width (at the widest point).
Then, add 2-4 inches to each measurement to get the minimum crate size. For example, if your dog is 40 inches long, 30 inches tall, and 24 inches wide, you should look for a crate that is at least 42-44 inches long, 32-34 inches tall, and 26-28 inches wide.
The standard length of a large dog crate is 42 inches, but some also consider the 48-inch crate a large. This is one of the reasons it is important to accurately measure your dog before choosing a crate. The standard large dog crate dimensions are 42 inches long, 28 inches wide, and 31 inches tall, but they can vary from brand to brand. You can also find extra-large crates that are 54 inches long or more, which are suitable for giant breeds or multiple dogs.
What Type of Dog Crate Do You Need?
The next thing you need to consider is the type of dog crate. There are different types of crates available on the market, each with its own pros and cons. Here are some of the most common ones:
– Wire crates: These are made of metal wire panels that form a cage-like structure. They are durable, easy to clean, and provide good ventilation and visibility for your dog. They also fold flat for easy storage and transport. Some wire crates come with a divider panel that allows you to adjust the size of the crate as your puppy grows. However, wire crates can be noisy, heavy, and cold in winter. They can also pose a risk of injury if your dog chews on the wires or gets their paws or collar caught in them.
– Plastic crates: These are made of hard plastic shells with wire doors and vents. They are lightweight, sturdy, and easy to carry. They also provide more privacy and security for your dog, especially if they are nervous or anxious. Some plastic crates are airline-approved and can be used for traveling by plane. However, plastic crates can be difficult to clean, especially if your dog has an accident or sheds a lot. They can also retain heat and odors in summer and become brittle in winter.
– Soft-sided crates: These are made of fabric or mesh panels with a metal or plastic frame. They are very lightweight, portable, and easy to set up and fold down. They are ideal for traveling by car or camping with your dog. However, soft-sided crates are not very durable or secure. They can be easily damaged by chewing, scratching, or escaping dogs. They can also be hard to clean and provide little insulation or protection from the elements.
– Wooden crates: These are made of wood panels that form a box-like structure with a door and vents. They are very attractive and can blend in with your home decor. They can also double as an end table or a nightstand for your dog’s bed. However, wooden crates are expensive, heavy, and bulky. They can also be damaged by chewing or scratching dogs. They can also absorb moisture and odors and require regular maintenance.
What Features Do You Need?
The last thing you need to consider is the features of the crate. There are some features that can make your life easier and your dog’s life more comfortable. Here are some of them:
– Doors: Most crates have one door at the front, but some have two doors (one at the front and one at the side) or three doors (one at each side and one at the top). Having more doors gives you more options for placing the dog crate in your home or car and accessing your dog from different angles.
– Locks: The locks on the doors should be secure and easy to operate. Some locks have latches that slide into place, while others have clips or snaps that hook onto the door. You should look for locks that are sturdy and resistant to tampering by your dog. You should also avoid locks that have sharp edges or protrusions that can injure your dog or damage your floor or furniture.
– Pans: Most crates have a plastic or metal pan at the bottom that serves as a floor and a tray for catching spills or accidents. The pan should be removable and easy to clean. Some pans have raised edges that prevent liquids from leaking out, while others have flat edges that allow liquids to drain out. You should look for pans that fit snugly into the crate and do not rattle or slide around.
– Covers: Some crates come with covers that fit over the top and sides of the crate. The covers can provide shade, privacy, and insulation for your dog. They can also reduce noise and light and create a cozy den-like atmosphere for your dog. However, covers can also reduce ventilation and visibility for your dog. You should look for covers that are breathable, washable, and easy to put on and take off.
– Beds: Some crates come with beds that fit inside the crate. The beds can provide cushioning, warmth, and comfort for your dog. They can also make the crate more inviting and appealing for your dog. However, beds can also take up space and make the crate smaller for your dog. You should look for beds that are durable, washable, and easy to remove. You should also avoid beds that have stuffing, zippers, or buttons that can be chewed or swallowed by your dog.
Choosing the best large dog crate for your furry friend can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. By following these simple steps, you can find the perfect crate that suits your dog’s size, type, and needs. A good dog crate can make a big difference in your dog’s health, happiness, and behavior. So don’t hesitate to invest in one today!