2018’s Best Dog Crates: Top Cages and Kennels Reviewed Here

cute puppyHello and welcome to our site!  Here at best dog crates, we believe that our dogs are a part of the family and deserve high-quality products.  We know there are a lot of different types of kennels, crates, and cages out there so we decided to make this site to give our personal reviews of the top products on the market, based on years of experience and owning many dogs.

No matter what type of canine you have, there will be a cage for you. Whether you have a mischievous pup that likes to get out of its kennel, or a timid lap dog we have covered all the highest rated options.

Keep reading to check out the different types of cages and more info about them.  We use our years of experience dealing with many different breeds to give you the best dog crate reviews on the market!

Top 5 Best Dog Crates Overall – Our Picks

Here are some short excerpts of our reviews for the highest quality products on the market today.  Just click the link in each review to get the full, in-depth version!

1. Petmate Vari Kennel

This product by Petmate is extremely highly rated and one of our favorite kennels.  It comes in a wide range of sizes and can accommodate most dogs.  There is an interior moat for easy cleanup and the construction is very high quality.

If you travel by plane or car then the Petmate Ultra Vari Kennel is a solid choice as it is approved by most airlines and can be taken along in the car easily too.

2. Pro-Select Empire Dog Cage

The Pro Select Empire Dog Crate was designed with one thing in mind.  To keep powerful or aggressive dogs contained.  It has tough 20 gauge tubing that will hold even the most problem breeds.

They did a great job with making this cage portable by adding wheels on the bottom. Cleaning is also easy with a removable tray in the bottom.

The Pro Select Empire Dog Crate is a huge favorite for some breeds and for good reason, it works!

3. Midwest iCrate

The Midwest iCrate is very convenient and easy to transport with its folding configuration.  A best seller for a reason, there are a lot of satisfied customers that have bought this crate.

It comes with a divider panel so that you can choose how just how much space you give your canine.  This is great for crate training puppies and adjusting the space as your pet grows.  One of the cool features of this crate is that it comes in blue and pink!

This is great for crate training puppies and adjusting the space as your pet grows.  One of the cool features of this crate is that it comes in blue and pink!

4. Petnation Port-a-Crate E2

One of our top picks for soft sided dog carriers is the Petnation Port-a-Crate E2.  This is a soft-sided carrier that can be used both indoors and outdoors which is a feature that many soft carriers lack.

It has a solid frame and the mesh fabric on the outside is very durable as well.  You can even put straps on the top and carry it like a duffle bag if you want.  Double doors make it easy for your pet to come and go as they please and provide them with a good view out so they don’t get anxious.  Check out the full review for more info.

5. Crown Wooden End Table Pet Crate

The Crown wooden pet crate end table is a product that doubles, not only as a dog crate but as a piece of furniture as well!  Yes, that’s right, you can set this cage up in your living room and have your pet be right there with you.  This is a lifesaver for people that have anxious dogs with separation anxiety.

It comes in three different colors that will compliment any home and two different sizes that will fit most dogs.  Don’t let a lot of the myths about wood crates fool you, this product is easy to clean with a special floor lining. It’s also very durable for a wooden crate.

Types of  Dog Cages

Before you go and buy a portable kennel for your canine it’s important to understand the different types of products out there so you can make an informed decision and get the best one.  Below we will go over the most common types of cages that you can buy.  Which one that’s optimal will depend on your pets individual needs.

Wire Kennels

wire productWire crates and cages like the Midwest Lifestages line have many benefits, including the ability to install a divider to separate sections. Wire type kennels are good for pups that have big coats of fur and get hot easily as air can flow through easier than with other types.

Cleaning up is also made convenient because floor trays are super easy to remove and clean.  Some models can even be folded flat which makes them very good for saving space and transporting them.

The negative points would mainly be that they do tend to be a bit noisier than other types.  The reason for this is that the floor tray makes noise when your pet moves around.  Luckily there’s a solution for this, you just need to put a piece of cardboard down between the bottom of the tray and the wire.

Another issue that can arise with this type of kennel is that they can be heavier and harder to move depending on the model.  Also, more aggressive dogs might be able to bend the bars and get out so they are better for calmer canines.

Wooden Dog Crates

Dog kennels made of wood are another type that can’t be left out.  The good thing about them is that they are stylish and look quite good as furniture.  They are perfect to go in the living area and can serve as an end table.  Your pet will love them as they get to be closer to you while you relax.

There are however a few negatives depending on if the crate will be inside or outside.  The first problem is that wood will naturally not last as long as other materials.  This can be an issue if you want an outdoor crate, as wood will deteriorate faster than aluminum.  Also, another problem that can come up is that your pet can chew the wood and possibly destroy it, so wooden boxes are not a good option if you have a dog that likes to chew.  If you have a calm and relaxed pooch though, then the Crown wooden end table crate is the perfect option for you!

Plastic Crates

plastic productPlastic dog kennels have to be one of the most popular choices as they have quite a few benefits.  First of all, they are very affordable.  They aren’t quite as expensive as the other types, as the plastic is some much cheaper to manufacture.

The second benefit of plastic crates is that they are very portable.  If you need to transport your pet on an airplane then a plastic kennel might be a solid option.  The small space will allow your canine to be cozy which is good for shy dogs.

If you want your kennel to look stylish then you’re in luck as plastic style cages come in a variety of colors and styles.  Some models also make it easy to take off the top and stack it inside for super easy storage.  They are also pretty secure so you don’t have to worry about your dog escaping.

One of the negative aspects of plastic crates would have to be that the closed-off plastic design can get quite hot.  This is a problem in hotter climates and in the summer as your dog can overheat quite easily.  Another negative point is that they are harder to clean.  If your pet has accidents then it can be a bit of a hassle to get in there and clean regularly.  Some people might also not like the look of the plastic design if the crate is indoors.  If you have a hyper dog that likes to interact with people a lot then they might get a bit frustrated with not being able to see out as well.

Some people might also not like the look of the plastic design if the crate is indoors.  If you have a hyper dog that likes to interact with people a lot then they might get a bit frustrated with not being able to see out as well.

Soft Sided Carriers for Small Dogs

soft sided productSoft-sided crates like the Noz2Noz soft krate are a kind of crate that is well suited for pets that are of the non-destructive type.  They are very easy to fold which makes them great for going for picnics and stuff like that.  The lightweight is easy to carry and ideal for smaller dogs that don’t weigh too much.  Storage is a breeze as they can be compacted very small as well.

On the flip side if your pet were to have an accident inside, then the cleanup would be a bit harder.  Some more mischievous canines may also try to chew their way out, so soft-sided dog crates might be more suited for well-behaved dogs.

Products for Problem Pooches

proselectFor certain breeds of dog, such as a Pitbull or Great Dane, or your canine is just like Houdini and manages to break out from whatever enclosure you put it in, then an escape proof dog crate is what you need.

Some brands are crash proof.  You can rest easy when your dog is in one of these, knowing that they cant possibly get out.  They go great in the back of a truck or SUV and can even be bolted down for extra security.

The negative points of these types of crates are that they can be more expensive than a lot of the other options.  However, they can be looked at as an investment if you have a destructive dog that likes to chew, as they won’t need to be replaced like some other crates.

Metal Boxes

If you have a truck or 4×4 and need to transport your dog around, then an aluminum crate like the Diamond Deluxe aluminum dog box is the perfect solution for you!  Whether you want to go for a fishing or hunting trip, or just out for a drive with your hound then there’s a quality dog box for you!

Outdoor Kennels

If you have dogs that mainly stay outdoors and don’t have a fenced yard, then an outdoor kennel is necessary for their safety and comfort.  Having them get loose and run away can be stressful and costly, not to mention dangerous so it makes it worth it to invest in a high-quality outdoor kennel.  It’s also much more humane and better for your pet to have the room to run around, rather than be chained up all day.

Indoor Cages

Picking a crate for inside is something that needs to be done carefully, as this is a place that your pet will spend a lot of their time so you want it to be comfortable well suited for them.  You also need it to be good enough that your canine can’t chew their way out and get into trouble.

Size is another thing that must be selected carefully as you want it big enough for your dog to be able to stand and move a little, but not so big that they end up using it as a bathroom. The bottom line is if you want to effectively crate train your dog then you’ll need a good indoor kennel.

Airline Approved For Travel

airline productIf you need to fly with your dog then it’s important to make sure that the carrier you buy is airline approved.  Different countries have different regulations so it’s important to read up on the specific country you plan to visit.   A safe bet is just to follow the official guidelines of the IATA. Check out their site for all the regulations.

Some general guidelines though are that the travel crate or carrier must be at least as long as the pet and half their leg.  For height, it must be high enough that their ears cant touch the roof of the kennel when they stand.  They have to be able to lie down and turn around comfortably in the kennel as well.  Adequate ventilation is another important thing not just to meet regulations, but for the comfort of your dog.

If you’re not flying but just going for a drive in your car, truck or 4×4 then it helps to get a cage that can be bolted down and is crash proof, as it is dangerous to have your dog unrestrained in a vehicle.  Check out this dog crate for cars  if you want your canine to be completely safe in the event of an accident.

Cheapest Cages

Do you find yourself looking for a top rated dog crate but you’re on a budget?  We get it, sometimes you don’t need a top of the line product and just want something that can get the job done.  There are a lot of different products out there and it can get overwhelming.  It gets even harder when you have multiple pets that all need different things, the bills can really add up!  While a cage or carrier is absolutely necessary for the safety and comfort of your pet, other things might be able to be cut out if you don’t have the budget.

It gets even harder when you have multiple pets that all need different things, the bills can really add up!  While a cage or carrier is absolutely necessary for the safety and comfort of your pet, other things might be able to be cut out if you don’t have the budget.

It’s important to point out that when we use the word “cheap” we don’t mean a low-quality crate.  As responsible pet owners ourselves, we would never recommend a low-quality product as it would be dangerous for your dog.  But if you’re interested in our recommendations for the cheapest dog cages without skimping on quality then we would have to recommend none other than the Petmate Vari Kennel.


We hope that you found what you’re looking for and got a quality product that will last a long time.  Your pet will surely love you for getting a quality home for them.  Don’t forget to check out our sizing guide if you aren’t sure what size to get. Also if you want some general information on different dogs check out our dog breed guide.

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