Top 5 Dog Kennel and Crate Styles

The words "kennel" and "crate" can generally be used interchangeably. Technically they both refer to a type of shelter and confinement for a dog. Though some people believe cages are inhumane, the fact is that proper kennel or crate training can have a positive impact on obedience and security of your dog, helping fulfill some basic needs. There are many dog kennels and crate styles available for general use, while others are designed for travel or outdoor exercise. Choose a dog...MORE kennel or crate that your dog can stand up and turn around in. For maximum comfort, choose a dog bed that fits in your dog's kennel or crate.

  • 01 of 05

    Plastic dog kennels are one of the more popular dog crate choices. Not only are they lightweight, easy to clean and economical, these crates typically come apart in three pieces for portability or cleaning. Smaller plastic kennels may have a handle on the top. Large kennels sometimes come with optional wheels to make traveling with big dogs a bit easier. Plastic kennels usually have a wire cage door on the front and holes or slats on the sides to let in light and air. Consider getting a dog bed...MORE made to fit the bottom of your dog's kennel.

  • 02 of 05

    Wire kennels consist of four walls and a roof made entirely out of metal caging, allowing for maximum visibility from inside and outside the kennel. The bottom of the cage typically contains a metal tray that can slide in and out when unoccupied. The tray can then be cleaned easily and lined with paper or pads. Wire cages usually collapse flat so they can be easily stored and transported. Special kennel dog beds can be added to fit the bottom of your dog's crate for extra comfort. Important...MORE note: though a rare occurrence, some dogs have been known to get toes stuck in the metal bars of these cages. Use caution, especially in dogs who may become very active in their kennels.

  • 03 of 05

    Dog houses are primarily intended for outdoor use, though there is no reason they cannot be used inside (if you have the space). Any dog that lives outdoors must have some form of shelter, and dog houses can provide this. Typically made of wood or plastic, dog houses offer shelter from the weather and give outdoor dogs places to curl up. Some dog houses can even have heat and air conditioning! If you have an outdoor dog house, make sure it is not kept in an area that is likely to become flooded....MORE Ideally, a dog house should stay in a shaded area to help keep it cool during warmer months. Remember, dogs should never be left unattended during extreme temperatures!

  • 04 of 05

    Exercise pens are made out of materials similar to those used in wire cages. They are often hexagonal cages without roofs that can be set up to give a dog - or dogs - a bit of room to play. Exercise pens are easily collapsed and transported. They can be used indoors or outdoors. However, they are not intended for use when dogs are unsupervised, since dogs may try to jump out and could be injured. Some outdoor exercise pens are designed with very high walls or fencing on the top - these might be...MORE permanent fixtures that are appropriate for unsupervised use.

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  • 05 of 05

    Portable kennels and carriers come in many varieties. Carriers for small dogs often resemble duffel bags with screening on the sides. Some small dog carriers even look like designer purses. Soft, portable kennels are also available for large dogs. These are often collapsible structures made of nylon or a similar material which can be perfect for camping or other travel.

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