We all love our furry family members, and they too deserve a comfortable, private dwelling to relax in. If you are like most other pet owners (especially first-time owners) you might stumble or draw out the process of purchasing your dog a crate. Between guilty feelings and overanalyzing the process to make sure that you get the perfect dimensions so that it doesn’t look like you are placing your pet in doggy jail, you may feel a bit worn out from the start. However, most dogs actually become quite fond of their kennels and choosing one to satisfy their needs doesn’t have to be as difficult as it seems (read more on that here). Here is how to choose the perfect crate for your family dog.
Determine Its Purpose
What is the sole purpose of the crate? Sure, it is going to be a place in which our furry companion will spend some of its most precious moments in, but what is the primary purpose of the crate? Will it be solely used for transportation purposes? Will it only be occupied during dinnertime, while you are away working, or only for a couple of hours a day? Is it just a spot where your pet will go to whine down and get some quiet time? Will it only be used for training purposes? Or will most of the time be spent in the crate? Establishing the “why” is key so that you not only choose the proper size but also make sure that the crate is made up of the appropriate material.
Measure Your Dog
Arguably, size is the most key feature of a dog crate and getting one that is too small can make your dog feel cramped and uncomfortable while getting one too large can make it feel intimidated and unsafe. The key is to provide enough room to roam around but not too much space. To determine its width, measure your dog from its nose to the base of its tail. Most dogs are taller when they sit up versus when they stand, so for length, allow them to convert to a seated position then measure it from top to bottom. Once you have attained these measurements, add about four inches and you will use this to choose the perfect crate size. If your dog is still a puppy, account for its growth and either purchase a crate that will fit its adult size or prepare to buy a new one in the near future.
Decide On The Material
To the surprise of many, there are actually a lot of kennel types to choose from. The material is another key crate feature and each variation has different qualities to offer.
While the kennel itself is made of plastic, the bottoms are solid and leak-proof while the sides have open panels for ventilation purposes. Plastic kennels are approved for airline travel (depending on its size of course).
Metal crates are probably the most common and are ideal for bigger dogs and training purposes. Metal crates are generally quite tough and can handle aggressiveness without damaging. While these crates are often as tough as nails, they aren’t too likely to be heavy which makes them durable as well (most are also approved for airline travel).
Wooden crates are less for dogs and more for home decoration as they are fancy looking but lack common features of many other dog crates. Sure, they can provide comfort to an extent but they are more for the purpose of giving the dog a furnished place to dwell within the home. They typically aren’t durable.
Now that you have the key knowledge needed to pick a safe haven for your furry life companion, you can now choose the one that you feel is the most worthy. Just remember to always factor in any distinguishing personality and physical features that your dog may have.