The 8 Best Dog Crates Australia: Tested & Evaluated 2023
A dog crate is one of the basics of a dog-owners tool kit. I remember when we adopted our first puppy and introduced her to the crate life. It wasn’t the most appealing place but after learning how to crate train properly, she soon began to love it!
Crates appeal to a dog’s natural denning instinct. Like many animals, dogs enjoy the security and safety of a comfy crate. For you as an owner, you have the added benefits of keeping your puppy confined when they are unattended during the day.
It’s a win-win situation! However, you need to find the right crate for you and your dog before achieving that level of security. Luckily, we teamed up with veterinarians and dog parents to form a research panel for this very purpose. After months of research, and several dozen crates, we compiled this list of our favourite dog cages in Australia for your crate training needs. But first, let’s go through the key factors of what makes a great dog crate.
Quick Picks - The Top 3
Our Number 1 Pick -
Snooza 2 in 1 Convertible Training Pet Crate
- Well made and durable
- Slide out tray at the bottom
- Folds down flat
- Comes with a 10-year warranty
- Available in 4 sizes, including XL
- Easily customisable with covers and mats
Runner Up -
Teddy the Designer Dog Crate
- Made from top-quality materials
- Looks like a piece of furniture
- Sleek design
- Available in 3 different sizes
- Made in Australia
Third Choice -
Showmaster Double Door Folding Crate
- Durable but not too heavy
- Folds down flat
- Two doors for easy access
- Available in a variety of sizes
- Removable base tray for easy cleaning
Australia's Best Dog Crates Reviewed
Dog crates seem like quite simple products, don’t they? And yes, they are to a degree, but there are still some cool outliers that innovate the meaning of “dog crate”.
Sizing is the most important thing so we were careful to provide a good range of sizes in our recommendations. Here is the very best dog crate on the Australian market, followed by winners in other categories. All of these have been tested by our expert panel and received two paws up from our pups.
What sets this product apart from the rest?
"I like the Snooza 2 in 1 Convertible Training Pet Crate in the top spot. Our testing highlighted how well made and sturdy it was and this is backed up by a 10 year warranty. Not the fanciest option on the list but no doubt the best bang for your buck."
This option from Snooza is the perfect choice for a puppy’s first crate that will also last into adulthood. The reason we say this is because this is a basic crate that’s well-made and includes all the necessary features. If you are not sure what exactly you are looking for, this crate is a good place to start.
So let’s start with the construction of the crate itself. The walls are made from sturdy double-coated wire. The double coating ensures the wires are smooth to the touch and also resistant to rust. Now, yes, this crate looks a lot like a cage, but our research team found this kind of design actually great.
The wire-mesh walls create a sense of safety, while also ensuring optimal ventilation. And, if you or your dog want the crate to appear more solid and cozy, you can purchase an additional cover for it or simply throw a cute blanket over.
At the bottom of the crate, you’ll find a sturdy plastic tray. The tray has raised walls, so when liquids spilt inside the crate, I was able to easily slide out the tray like a drawer. This means I was able to take it out for cleaning, without creating a huge mess or destroying the whole cozy setup.
Another great thing about this crate is the removable doors. That’s what makes the crate ‘convertible’. With doors on, it becomes a safe place to contain your dog. When you remove the doors, your canine companion can come in and out of the space freely, thus getting to understand the crate as their own safe space - which is the basic principle of crate training.
Oh, and the crate can also be folded down flat for storage or travel. This puts it a step above our next choice, which is not so easy to transport. Overall, this is a great product that you surely won’t regret buying - and it comes in a variety of sizes so you can find the perfect option for your pooch.
What sets this product apart from the rest?
Who said your dog’s crate has to look like a cage or like an ugly plastic box? Instead, Teddy the Designer Dog Crate is a fashionable piece of furniture. And why not? Your canine companion certainly won’t mind!
Related: The Best Dog Crate Furniture.
Unlike our number one choice and the others on this list, the Teddy crate is made from thick birch plywood. And as our testing panel quickly noted, looks very much like a cupboard or a living room table, depending on the size you choose. The plywood walls are a combination of stylish shapes that create a bright, well ventilated space inside while the exterior seamlessly fits into your home.
The Teddy the Designer Dog Crate being tested by our independent expert team.
The top is a flat piece of plywood which makes the crate multifunctional. Feel free to place deco pieces or houseplants or top - the crate is quite stable so there shouldn’t be any issues with that.
As for the door, it’s made from perspex. I don’t blame you if you have no idea what that means, though! I did some research and found that perspex is a type of acrylic sheet - and one of the best and toughest that exist. But our favourite thing about the door is the fact that it’s transparent - it not only looks cool but also lets you see your furry friend at all times.
If you are looking for a crate that will fit right into your living room or bedroom, this is the right choice.
What sets this product apart from the rest?
This crate from Showmaster is a basic wire crate. But think about it, what exactly do you need from a crate? In most cases, what we need is a stable and appropriately sized structure that can contain your dog. That’s it, plus bonus points if it’s easy to clean.
Well, that’s what this crate offers. The walls consist of a fairly dense wire construction. The wires are coated and there are no sharp edges on the inside, best for even the most injury prone pup.
There are two doors - one on the side and one at the “front” (the narrower side). The doors can be opened or closed as needed, and they come equipped with a security latch to keep your pet safely inside.
The floor of the crate is a sturdy plastic tray - pretty much the standard for this type of product. Like our number one option, you can slide the tray out when it needs cleaning, wipe it down or wash it and then slide it back in. It couldn’t be any simpler.
Of course, the plastic floor isn’t very comfy, so our panelists suggest you supply a blanket or a mat if you want to create a cozier environment for your pup. If you want the “lights out” effect, you’ll also need a cover for the crate (can be a simple blanket or sheet also). However, as a basic structure that can be upgraded to suit your dogs comfort needs, this crate works well.
Plus, it folds down flat so you can easily store it away when not in use or take it with you when going on a trip.
What sets this product apart from the rest?
Sometimes the most boring option is the best one. The i.Pet Dog Cage is a basic but wonderful crate for all your training needs.
There isn’t much to say about the design. Close your eyes and picture a dog crate. What you are surely imagining is the i.Pet, Pet Cage. There are no bells and whistles here but that’s the perfect thing for many dogs. You can always improve the snug factor of the crate using a crate bed, blanket and other creature comforts for your creature’s comfort.
The i.Pet Pet Cage being tested by our independent expert team.
This crate has three doors for a top, front, or side entry. It has a removable pan at the bottom which is essential for good house-training. Should there be any accidents in the crate, it is incredibly quick and easy to clean. The metal is sturdy steel that wipes clean in no time at all.
The black powder coating on the steel is ideal for preventing rust and decay over time. Unlike our number three choice that looks very much alike, this crate has a carry handle, making it perfect for carting around when fully assembled. The crate is also fully foldable and easy to set up wherever you need to around the house. The ability to pack down makes it great for travelling too.
The i.Pet Cage comes in 5 sizes from 60 cm in length at its smallest to 122 cm in length at its largest. Therefore, dogs of all sizes should be able to fit into one of the models comfortably. For the size and durability, they are also sold at a fabulous price point.
To top it off, this is the best selling dog crate on Amazon due to thousands of great reviews, so we’re certain you’ll love it too!
It may seem odd for the second dog crate we rave about to be somewhat the opposite of the typical dog crate. It isn’t all metal (making it a great soft dog crate option), it isn’t rectangular and it doesn’t even have “crate” in the name. So why on earth are we recommending it so highly? Well, the Zampa Playpen is everything you need in a dog crate and more.
For one, it is much less cage-looking than typical dog crates, which I think is a plus. If you are sensitive to the idea of your dog being in a cage but want to dabble in crate training for potty training, this is the ideal choice. I love how it is like a baby’s playpen rather than a dog cage, and so does my dog.
The Zampa Portable Foldable Pet Playpen being tested by our independent expert team.
The appealing hexagonal design promotes a lot of space and comfort for your dog. It is inviting as well as customisable.
It is a highly functional crate too, being water-resistant and easy to clean. The fully foldable structure and pop-up assembly mean you can take it anywhere and everywhere too, similar to the metal crate options on this list.
The Zampa Dog Playpen comes in 4 sizes. The smallest version is 74 cm x 74 cm x 43 cm whilst the largest version is 154 cm x 154 cm x 76 cm. Our entire team of independent researchers love a representative product like this. As for the colour variations, it comes in blue, pink, brown, and red.
For a portable, convenient and stylish dog crate option, you can’t go wrong with the Zampa!
As our team of independent researchers quickly learnt, crates can be pretty pricey for such simple items. So, for an economical option, New World Crates makes a great range. We recommend the Folding Metal Dog Crate as a simple crate that will get the job done.
The base has a leak-proof plastic tray that is easy to clean and ideal for house-training. It has a secure and durable heavy-duty sliding bolt. The crate also completely folds flat and sets up with no tools at all. Perfect for using on the go.
This particular crate is quite small, measuring only 60 cm x 45 cm x 48 cm. For small dogs, this is perfectly fine but medium and large dogs could only use this as a very uncomfortable head accessory.
The design is very stripped down to the bare essentials. No fancy additions here. Adding a blanket or crate bed would help add to the comfiness of your dog’s new den.
Overall, this economical option is a perfect choice for small dogs in need of a crate to make their very own cozy den. If you have a mid-sized or large-breed dog, we have to recommend the other options on this list, including our next pick...
We most often associate dog crates with puppies as they are most commonly used for house-training. But what if your dog likes the den life? Or if you have adopted an older dog who needs house-training too? For our extra-large pooches, products can be tougher to source. Luckily, our expert team found a suitable crate for extra-large dogs that will surely be suitable for your lovable canine.
The Midwest Life Stages Dog Crate is a simple crate that will be fit for purpose. It can support a dog of up to 72 cm tall and 92 cm long, so a great crate option for many large breeds.
I also appreciate that it is extremely durable. Made of heavy-duty steel and tight wire mesh, this large dog cage will surely last for years. The manufacturer even has a 1-year warranty on the product for extra peace of mind. Not that you’ll likely need it. The great reviews can attest to its quality and durability.
This is another crate that requires no tools at all to set up. It is a folding crate so it folds flat for extra portability. You can set it up again wherever and whenever you need it. The flat-folding nature of the crate also makes it easy to store away when you are not using it.
As with most crates, the Midwest comes with a plastic tray that is removable and simple to clean. Any accidents can be solved very quickly.
Our experts highly advise that if you purchase this crate, you add in some extra bedding to make the crate more inviting. A snuggly crate bed or set of soft blankets will make your dog feel all the more safe and secure in their den.
Overall, for large and extra-large dogs, this is an ideal solution for your house-training needs or their cave-dwelling habits. This is certainly one of the best wire dog cages in Australia.
Finally, we come onto puppy crates. For this one, our panel of experts want to share all of the essentials you may need for a puppy to feel safe and secure in their den. A puppy cage needs:
Well, the iCrate Dog Crate Starter Kit has it all! All of these items plus a sturdy metal dog cage are packed into one convenient pack so you can start house-training your puppy straight away.
This crate for dogs comes in 4 sizes. The extra-small crate is just 55 cm in length while the small crate is 60 cm in length. Need something larger? The medium crate is 76 cm in length. The medium-large crate is 91 cm in length. For puppies, the extra-small to small range is perfect and will help them feel safe and secure.
The cover is made of black polyester. The dark environment will help your pup to sleep at night. Our research panel especially loved that this crate kit comes with a fleece crate bed for the ultimate comfort. It is machine washable so you can keep their bed fresh and clean easily. However, the crate mat is not chew-proof. Bear this in mind as your puppy teethes. You may want to opt for an indestructible, chew-proof crate mat instead.
As for the durability of the crate, this is where this particular product falters a little. It is not as heavy-duty as say the Midwest Life Stages crates we placed at number seven since it is made of a less heavy-duty steel. That’s not to say that it can’t be suitable for your pup, but it doesn’t have the same staying power as others may do on this list.
Regardless, there is a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty on the product, so if you do have any issues, you can contact them straight away for a replacement.
Overall, I think this is a fantastic place to start with your puppy’s crate training journey. You have everything you need to begin training with confidence and create a homely environment for your pup’s new favourite den!
What I Look For In A Dog Crate
If you're wondering what to look for in a dog crate, our panel of experts have some suggestions. When searching for the right dog crate for your pup, these are some fundamental questions you must ask yourself:
What am I using the dog crate for?
Crates are used for a whole host of reasons. The most common is for house-training your puppy (1). The principle is that a puppy is unlikely to soil their own bedding, so keeping them in a crate overnight will prevent any accidents being left for you in the morning. If house-training with a crate if your main intention, you’ll want a crate that is adequately sized and is simple to clean.
Beyond that, dogs love the solace that a comfortable crate can provide them.
Cathy Madson, dog behaviour expert, from Preventative Vet writes “some of your puppy’s earliest memories tie back to the comfort and safety of being with mom (and littermates) in a safe, secure, den-like space. Additionally, when dogs are ill, injured, or otherwise needing a place to relax and feel safe, they will seek out a den or “den-like” protected space.” (2)
It can become a sanctuary for your dog to soothe any anxieties or woes they may be feeling. Some dogs will always prefer to sleep in a crate too because they feel protected and safe (3). If you are creating a crate haven for your den-loving dog, you’ll want more spaciousness. Your dog’s crate may need to fit a water bowl, toys and lots of comfy bedding.
Related: Best Dog Crate Cover.
Some crates also double up as dog carriers. You can therefore use them for any trips you take with your dog. (4) If this is your main intention, our team of vets recommend you look for a lightweight structure that is easily assembled without tools.
Knowing the use you and your dog need the crate for will help narrow down your choices when buying.
How much space do I need?
The general rule of thumb is that a perfectly sized dog crate should be comfortable enough for your dog to stand in and turn around. (5)
If the dog crate is too large, it won’t have that secure den-like feeling your dog craves. If it is too small, they will feel claustrophobic and trapped. If in doubt, consult the manufacturer’s guidelines of the crate you choose or consult your vet for the best course of action.
If you have a puppy and intend to use the crate for some time during their growth, it is best to buy a crate suited for their adult size. That said, if you have a Newfoundland puppy, you may want to start with a medium-sized crate before progressing to an extra-large crate later down the track. Simply because larger breed puppies can be quite a lot smaller than their eventual full size, so the giant crate could feel very empty and disproportionate during their puppy phase.
How long will this product last?
Durability is a repeat topic here on the Gentle Dog Trainers site! We think that it is worth paying a little extra to get products that last.
You always want a decent return on your investment, so durability is a top priority for us. Dog crates are commonly metal cages, so they are naturally pretty durable. Puppies can sometimes take to chewing on the bars of some crates, so it is worth checking how strong they report to be.
Beyond that, though, dog crates generally do stand the test of time if used and cared for properly.
How easy is this crate to assemble?
This all comes back to the reasons for use. If you never intend to travel with your dog in a crate then assembly may not be so important for you. You may not mind using your at-home tools to set up a crate because it will be staying put for the rest of its life (or at least until your dog gets bored with it).
However, if you want a portable dog crate like we needed in my household, then you’ll also need it to be easy to set up. Luckily, I quickly discovered this isn’t hard to come by. Many manufacturers make their dog crates with portability in mind. You can easily find foldable dog crates, which need no tools at all to use them. Simply unfold them to create the structure.
We have recommended some foldable dog crates in our later reviews.
How easy is this crate to clean?
This is crucial. Whether your dog crate is going to be used for house-training or not, you need a crate that is easy to clean. Accidents surely happen, but also sweat and drool - it all adds up.
If your dog is like mine and truly loves being in their crates, they can even drag food in there, which means crumbs!
Most metal crates for dogs come with a removable plastic base. You can use soapy water to scrub both the cage and the plastic tray whenever you need to.
This is an aside, but make sure that any crate accessories you use are also easy to clean. We’re talking about crate beds, dog bowls and blankets. Materials that are simple to wipe down or even machine washable are your best friends.
My Final Verdict
So what is our team of researchers final verdict after testing all of these products? Out of the best dog cages Australia has to offer, our money is on the Royale Heavy Duty Pet Carrier Crate. Yes, it is basic but it is everything you need in a decent dog crate. Durable, easy to clean and highly portable. You can’t go wrong with that one.
If you want a crate with a bit more pizzazz, but still with all the basic functions of a dog cage, then we think the Zampa is the one for you. We love how stylish it is, whilst also maintaining the core functionality. It is portable, spacious, water-resistant and doesn’t look so “cagey”. A unique choice if that’s what you’re looking for.
Dog crates may seem cruel from the outside looking in. The image of a cage conjures up ideas of imprisonment or punishment to humans which is totally understandable. It is certainly true that some poorly educated dog owners use their dog crates in this way which is never the intention.
A dog crate is meant to be a safe space for your pup.
PRO TIP: Shannon Sharpe from the American Kennel Club writes “While many people view crates through the human lens of being “caged up,” dogs are naturally den animals and enjoy being in small, enclosed places. It provides a sense of security and calms anxiety.” (6)
If you use your dog crate in the right way and make it a safe environment for your pup, it is the ideal resting place for them as well as a place to chill out during the day.
To house-train your puppy, a crate is a great tool if used properly.
There are a couple of golden rules to remember first.
Start by making sure that the crate is an inviting place to be. Use toys, bedding and perhaps a water bowl to establish the crate as a soothing environment for your pup.
The first times your puppy uses the crate should be to explore on their own accord and to sleep with the doors open. Let them get to know the space over time, building a bond and sense of comfort.
Once your puppy is using the crate voluntarily, you can start closing the crate when your puppy is unsupervised. This will encourage your puppy to hold their bladder and not pee or poop around the house when you are not around.
The first thing to do is not shame them. It is not going to be effective to tell them off for something they have already done.
The next thing to do is to clean the crate thoroughly. If your dog smells even a trace of their prior accident, they will soon associate the crate as a private indoor bathroom, rather than a safe sleeping space.
Next review the potential underlying causes. Did you leave your dog in the crate for too long? Were they calling out to you to let you know they needed to pee? Are they feeling unwell?
Think of some potential root causes of what may be going on.
Often accidents in the crate are just that - accidents - and should be treated as such. It is rare that this becomes a repeat behaviour. If it does happen again, however, it might be worth seeking the help of your veterinarian or a professional dog trainer to guide you through crate training effectively.
If you have a puppy that is younger than 6 months, they should be crated for a maximum of 3 hours. They can’t really hold their bladder for much longer than that.
The maximum for a dog or puppy that is used to crating would be 6 hours.
However, you should use your best judgement. If your dog has been in a crate all day whilst you are at work, and then you crate them again overnight, they are sure to feel frustrated and trapped. If you are concerned about your dog being unsupervised in the house whilst you work, consider hiring a dog sitter instead to look after them.
Keeping them in a crate all day is demoralising to them and taints their associations with the crate as a safe space.
- Scott, D. December 5, 2022. “Crate Training a Puppy: 6 Easy Steps”. Dogs Naturally Magazine. Retrieved March 13, 2023. https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/crate-training-a-puppy/
- Madson, C. May 2, 2021. “Crate Training your Puppy or Adult Dog: Everything You Need to Know”. Preventative Vet. Retrieved March 13, 2023. https://www.preventivevet.com/dogs/everything-you-need-to-know-about-crate-training-your-puppy-or-adult-dog
- Leigh, P. November 30, 2015. “Crates are Forever – Not Just for Puppies”. American Kennel Club. Retrieved March 13, 2023. https://www.akc.org/canine-partners/crates-are-forever-not-just-for-puppies/
- Meltzer, M. Lagrave, K. & Kuta, S. October 7, 2022. “Everything to Know About Flying With A Dog”. Conde Nast Traveller. Retrieved March 13, 2023. https://www.cntraveler.com/story/flying-with-a-dog-everything-you-need-to-know
- “How To Crate Train Your Dog”. Paws.org. Retrieved March 13, 2023. https://www.paws.org/resources/how-to-crate-train-your-dog/
- Sharpe, S. November 5, 2021. “How to Crate Train Your Dog in 9 Easy Steps”. American Kennel Club. Retrieved March 13, 2023. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/how-to-crate-train-your-dog-in-9-easy-steps/