Buyers guides

8 best dog crates to give your pup its own safe space

“The key is that a dog crate must be used in the correct way."
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If you’ve got a new puppy or are thinking about getting one, you’ve probably heard about crate training. 

Watch: How to crate train your dog

Crate training is the process of teaching your dog to love spending time in their crate, thinking of it as a safe space. Advocates of this method say dogs are den animals, and the crate provides a similar environment for them. 

What is crate training for dogs

Dr Michael Yazbeck, Greencross Vets Veterinary Director says, “My view is that ultimately dog crating, when used correctly, is a great way to provide a dog with its own safe space and in this way, it can be used as both a retreat and an excellent training tool.  

“The key is that it must be used in the correct way and to recognise that it may not be appropriate for all dogs.”

The Paws Room dog crate
(Credit: The Paws Room)

The pros of crating a puppy

When you first bring a puppy home, there’s lots of changes happening for both the puppy and owner as everyone adjusts to their new way of life. 

“In this context, crating creates a safe space for the puppy to sleep, play, eat and drink (food, treats and toys help make positive associations with the crate),” says Dr Yazbeck.

“The end goal is for the puppy to enjoy the area and want to be there.”

It can also help with toilet training. 

“As dogs tend not to urinate or defecate where they sleep, it can help with the toilet training process,” says Dr Yazbeck.

“It is really important to give them plenty of opportunities to use the toilet in an appropriate area early on in the training process.”

sausage dog dog crate
(Credit: Getty)

How big should the dog crate be?

“The crate needs to be the right size, stable, assembled correctly, comfortable and set up in an appropriate space,” says Dr Yazbeck.

“It is absolutely essential that the dog feels completely at ease in the crate and wants to be there. You can think of the crate like a den, or as you would your own bedroom. It must not be used as punishment when the dog is misbehaving or as a means to confine them for long periods of time.”

When shouldn’t you crate your puppy or dog?

Keep in mind that dog crating is not for every pooch. 

“The cons to crate training in my opinion usually come down to two main reasons. Either it is used incorrectly, or crating is not appropriate for the individual dog, says Dr Yazbeck. 

“Crates should not be used to confine a dog for long periods of time, for example, while the owner is at work all day. They are relatively small spaces and when used in this way can deprive dogs of exercise, toileting and mental stimulation, and may contribute to the development of anxiety disorders.”  

Other times dog crating isn’t suitable include:

  • Dogs with a medical or behavioural disorder. “For example, some diseases (such as kidney disease or diabetes) cause dogs to drink and urinate larger amounts and more frequently, so crating overnight without free access to the yard to eliminate is not ideal.” 
  • Dogs who experience separation anxiety. “Whilst crating can be introduced early as a tool to assist in managing potential future separation anxiety, it may not be appropriate for a dog with separation anxiety that is currently not well managed.” 

7 best dog crates to shop in Australia

1. Teddy the Crate, $695, The Paws Room

Teddy the dog crate
(Credit: The Paws Room)

Shop now at The Paws Room

2. Pet Gear Dog Crate, $89.99, Kogan

dog crate Kogan

Shop now at Kogan

3. Cruiser Wire Dog Crate, $102, Pet Circle

DOG CRATE PET CIRCLE

Shop now at Pet Circle

4. Pet Gear Dog Crate, $210, PETstock

DOG CRATE PETSTOCK

Shop now at PETstock

5. Kazoo mobile home, $279, My Pet Warehouse

dog crate my pet ware house

Shop now at My Pet Warehouse

Love a discount? Find your My Pet Warehouse Discount Code here.

6. Paw Mate Wire Dog Cage Foldable Crate Kennel, $148.90, Catch

DOG CRATE CATCH

Shop now at Catch

7. Contour Dog Training Crate, $209.99, Petbarn

DOG CRATE PET BARN

Shop now at Petbarn

8. Max & Mittens Folding Pet Crate, $45, Big W

DOG CRATE BIG W

Shop now at Big W

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