Category Archives for Dog Crates

Best Dog Crates Australia (2021 Buyers Guide)

The Best Dog Crates Australia -
Including Puppy & XL Options

Our #1 Pick

i.Pet Pet Crate

The Best Value for Money

i.Pet Pet Cage

  • Excellent size range
  • Easy to set up
  • Portable design
  • Easy to clean

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! We have rounded up 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.


What To Look For In A Dog Crate

When searching for the right dog crate for your pup, there are some fundamental questions you must ask yourself. Here are five of them:

What am I using the dog crate for?

Crates are used for a whole host of reasons. The most common is for housetraining. (1) Many puppy owners use crates to house train their puppy. 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 housetraining 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.

Jason Nicholas, BVetMed, 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 of the protective nature of them. (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.

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, you’ll be looking for a lightweight structure that is easily assembled with no tools.

Knowing what you and your dog are likely going to use the crate for will help the buying process.

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 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 for their adult size for extended use. 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 line. Simply because giant breed puppies can be quite a lot smaller than their eventual full size, so the giant crate could feel very empty and disproportionate to their current tiddly size.

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. By their very nature of being metal dog cages, crates are often 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, you’ll also need it to be easy to set up. Luckily this isn’t hard to come by. Many manufacturers make their dog crates with portability in mind. Foldable dog crates are very easy to find. You 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 housetraining or not, you need a crate that is easy to clean. Accidents surely happen, but also sweat, drool, crumbs from dog treats - it all adds up.

If your dog truly loves being in their crates, they can even drag food in there.

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.


The Best Dog Crate In Australia 2021 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.

#1: Best Overall: i.Pet Pet Cage

i.Pet Pet Crate

What sets this product apart from the rest?

  • Excellent size range
  • Easy to set up
  • Portable design
  • Easy to clean

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.

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 housetraining. 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. The crate is 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 60cm in length at its smallest to 122cm 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!

Verified Review - 18/03/2021
Great Value For Money
"I use two of these as feeding stations for my cats. It keeps them from getting into each other's special diet foods, and keeps the puppy from harassing them as they eat. It didn't take them long at all to learn to go into the cage for their meals, and to wait to be let out when they were finished. The top door means I can reach in and give one of the cats their insulin shot while they eat. Very pleased with this purchase."

Pros

Cons

  • Excellent size range
  • Flimsier than some of the others on this list
  • Easy to set up
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  • Portable design
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  • Easy to clean
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Zampa Portable Foldable Pet Playpen
  • Great size range
  • Portable
  • Sturdy design
  • Cool design

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. It is like a baby’s playpen rather than a dog cage.

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. It is water-resistant and easy to clean. The fully foldable structure and pop-up assembly mean you can take it anywhere and everywhere too.

The Zampa Dog Playpen comes in 4 sizes. The smallest version is 74 x 74 x 43 cm. The largest version is 154 x 154 x 76cm. We love a representative product. 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!

Verified Review - 28/03/2021
Safe Place For Two Small Dogs
"We use this playpen as a safe spot for our two little dogs to sleep. Both their soft crates fit nicely inside and we can close up the playpen during the night. During the day they run through the pen or use it as a place to rest. We have found the quality really good apart from the zip on top which had some a spot where the stitching was not complete - I fixed that myself with the sewing machine and it is now perfect. It is the perfect size for two small dogs and is very easy to set up or down."

Pros

Cons

  • Great size range
  • Mixed reviews
  • Portable
  • No warranty
  • Sturdy design
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  • Cool design
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#3: Budget-Friendly Pick: New World Folding Metal Dog Crate

New World Folding Metal Dog Crate
  • Budget-friendly
  • Durable
  • Highly portable
  • Easy to clean

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. Ideal for housetraining.

It has a secure heavy-duty sliding bolt that is durable. 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 60cm x 45cm x 48cm. 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 dog crate to make their cosy den.

Pros

Cons

  • Budget-friendly
  • Only for small dogs
  • Durable
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  • Highly portable
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  • Easy to clean
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#4: Best Extra-Large Dog Crate: Midwest Life Stages Folding Metal Dog Crate

Midwest Life Stages Folding Metal Dog Crate
  • 1-year warranty
  • Good size range
  • Durable
  • Portable

We most often associate dog crates with puppies as they are most commonly used for housetraining. But what if your dog likes the den life? Or if you have adopted an older dog who needs housetraining too? For our extra-large pooches, products can be tougher to source. Luckily, we’ve 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 72cm tall and 92cm long so many large breeds will get on with this crate.

It is extremely durable. Made of heavy-duty steel and tight wire mesh, this large dog cage will surely last you 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 carte also makes it easy to store 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.

We 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 housetraining needs or their cave-dwelling habits. This is certainly one of the best wire dog cages in Australia.

Pros

Cons

  • 1-year warranty
  • Could do with one larger size for giant breeds
  • Good size range
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  • Durable
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  • Portable
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#5: Best Puppy Crate: iCrate Dog Crate

iCrate Dog Crate
  • 1-year warranty
  • Complete starter pack
  • Good size range
  • Easy to clean

Finally, we come onto puppy crates. For this one, we thought of all of the essentials you may need for a puppy to feel safe and secure in their den. A puppy cage needs:

  • A soft padded bedding that is machine washable
  • Some dog bowls for food and water
  • A lightweight cover for the crate to create a dark sleeping environment at night time
  • A removable plastic tray at the base for easy clean-up

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 housetraining your puppy straight away.

This crate for dogs comes in 4 sizes. The extra-small crate is just 55cm in length. The small crate is 60cm in length. The medium crate is 76cm in length. The medium-large crate is 91cm in length. For puppies, the extra-small to small range is perfect. Your puppy will feel safe and secure.

The cover is made of black polyester. The dark environment will help your pup to sleep at night. We love 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 as 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, 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!

Verified Review - 8/10/2020
Great Durable Harness
"Pretty solid, and as a package, great deal for the whole set, better than expected. We bought extra big to give our small dog lots of space, folded the pillow in half so he has a couch area to sit and sleep, and the plastic area to eat/drink over and lay down if he gets hot on the pillow. Wish they made these cages more flexible so we could cage the direction the doors open, but I knew that it wasn't before I bought it, so I didn't deduct any points"

Pros

Cons

  • 1-year warranty
  • Mixed reviews
  • Complete starter pack
  • Not as durable
  • Good size range
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  • Easy to clean
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The Final Verdict: Best Dog Crates Australia

Out of the best dog cages Australia has to offer, our money is on the iPet Cage. 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 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.

FAQ

Are dog crates cruel?

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.

How do you use a crate to house train your puppy?

To housetrain your puppy, a crate is a great tool if used properly.

There are a couple of golden rules to remember first.


  • A puppy of 6 months or younger should not be kept in a crate overnight. Their bladder cannot hold it for over 4 hours.
  • A crate is meant to be a place of calm, not a place of punishment.

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.

What should you do if your dog pees or poops in their crate?

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.

How long should a dog be kept in their crate?

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.

References
  1. Scott, D. September 8, 2020. “6 Steps To Successfully Crate Train Your Puppy”. Dog Naturally Magazine. Retrieved December 12, 2020. https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/crate-training-a-puppy/
  2. Nicholas, J. July 14, 2020. “Everything You Need to Know About Crate Training Your Puppy or Adult Dog”. Preventative Vet. Retrieved December 12, 2020. https://www.preventivevet.com/dogs/everything-you-need-to-know-about-crate-training-your-puppy-or-adult-dog 
  3. Leigh, P. November 30, 2015. “Crates are Forever – Not Just for Puppies”. American Kennel Club. Retrieved December 12, 2020. “https://www.akc.org/canine-partners/crates-are-forever-not-just-for-puppies/ 
  4. Meltzer, M. Lagrave, K. & Kuta, S. November 2, 2020. “Everything to Know About Flying With A Dog”. Conde Nast Traveller. Retrieved December 12, 2020. https://www.cntraveler.com/story/flying-with-a-dog-everything-you-need-to-know 
  5. “How To Crate Train Your Dog” Paws.org. Retrieved December 12, 2020. https://www.paws.org/resources/how-to-crate-train-your-dog/ 
  6. Sharpe, S. December 23, 2019. “How to Crate Train Your Dog in 9 Easy Steps”. American Kennel Club. Retrieved December 12, 2020. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/how-to-crate-train-your-dog-in-9-easy-steps/

Best Large Dog Crate (2021 Buyers Guide)

The Best Large Dog Crate Australia - The Review

Our #1 Pick

The Best Value for Money

K9 Pet Carrier Extra Extra Large

  • Sturdy construction
  • Ventilation holes on all sides
  • Perforated floor panel
  • Tie-down strapping points for safer travel
  • Approved for air travel

Finding the best dog crate is a must-have for any pet parent. They are useful in many situations: a crate can provide a safe space for your dog to rest at home, or anywhere else for that matter. In addition to this, travelling with a dog is much easier if you have an appropriate crate.

Finding a good crate for a small dog is easy, as there are many options on the market to choose from. However, the larger the dog, the harder the task of finding a good crate.

Today’s guide will help you find the elusive large dog crate.


What To Look For In A Dog Crate?

The first question to address before we start is - what will this crate be used for? In general, there are two kinds of crates: those used at home and those used for travel (although there is no reason why it couldn’t be the same crate.

Using dog crates at home is a relatively new concept in Australia, but these days it is supported by many dog behaviourists, and even recommended by RSPCA. 

Crate training works because dogs desire a snug resting place that affords security and privacy while they sleep. Like their wild ancestors, dogs need a safe “den” to call their own. (…) Crate training is an integral part of welcoming dogs into our lives and building a bond of canine-human trust” - Pat Storer, author of the book called Crate Training Your Dog (1).

The reason why some people oppose crate training dogs is that some dog owners do it the wrong way. If used as punishment, crate training is cruel, but if done right it can be good both for pet parents and for the dog (2). So, keeping that in mind, try to look for a crate that will be a comfortable safe place for your pup, and not a punishment.

The same rules apply for crates that are used for travel, but you also need to pay attention to portability in addition to what we mentioned above.

Size

How big should a dog crate be? 

“A crate that is large enough for the dog to comfortably sleep and move around with enough room for some special enrichment toys and treats” for adult dogs and young adults. For elderly animals, I prefer to use a much larger size crate so that they have plenty of room to move, stretch and reposition.” - Kelly Armour, a certified trainer and behaviour analysis specialist (3).

When getting a crate, you will use at home, there is no need to confine your dog to a small space. However, it shouldn’t be huge either as it defeats the whole point of a crate. If you are looking for a crate for travelling, though, then you can go a bit smaller. But in any case, the dog should be able to stand up, turn around, and lay down inside. When it comes to air travel, having a crate spacious enough is required by IATA (4), although airlines can have additional requirements.

Portability

Another thing to consider about your dog’s crate is whether you would like to keep it in place or move around from time to time. If you don’t intend to move it, you have no problems - no matter what kind of crate you choose.

If you travel often and want your dog to always have a home (but not necessarily to use it for travelling), then you can look for foldable crates that can be packed neatly for moving and storage. On the other hand, if you want to transport your dog inside the crate, look for options that are made for that. They will usually have useful handles and reinforced floors for the purpose.

Material

When it comes to the material a crate is made of, there are many options. Wire crates are quite sturdy, provide a lot of airflow, and are often foldable. However, they do require additional covers to block out the light.

Crates made of plastic are a good option. A quality crate made of plastic will be solid and sturdy, while still not being overly heavy. This is generally the preferred option for travel. This type of crate is also easy to clean as plastic does not absorb liquids and odours.

The final option you have are soft crates. These are usually made of fabric with a metal frame. They usually have mesh windows on the sides to ensure appropriate airflow. Soft-sided crates are convenient because they are lightweight and portable. However, they can be a bit more difficult to clean. In addition to this, they are not that good at preventing a dog from escaping. In general, this is a good option for crate-trained dogs that like to spend time inside their cozy cave.


Best Large Dog Crates Australia

Once you have figured out what kind of crate you want, it’s time to look at actual available products. Below you’ll find some great options, no matter what your budget is and what kind of crate you are looking for. And most importantly, they all come in large sizes.

  • Sturdy construction
  • Ventilation holes on all sides
  • Perforated floor panel
  • Tie-down strapping points for safer travel
  • Approved for air travel

This pet carrier from K9 is made for travel, but due to its overall functionality, it is also one of the best crates we have found - for staying at home as well as for travel. And, after all, using the same crate at home and when travelling can help keep your dog calm.

This crate is made of tough, durable plastic - blue at the bottom and white at the top. We admit it, plastic is not the most stylish material, but it’s definitely the best for dog crates. It is durable, it is easy to clean, and does not retain smells - which can be a problem with some other materials.

The crate comes with a sturdy metal door on the front. There are holes in the walls on every side. This ensures good airflow, which is extremely important, especially when travelling. The floor inside has a perforated panel which ensures the floor will stay dry despite any accidents that might happen. There is also a food bowl inside and a water funnel conveniently attached to the door.

This is the largest version of this crate. It is 94 centimetres long and 62 centimetres wide. Due to the size it’s quite heavy too, weighing 8 kilograms, but that’s kind of necessary for this size. If you are looking for something a bit smaller though, this crate does come in a variety of sizes from small to extra extra large.

Pros

Cons

  • Sturdy construction
  • A bit pricey
  • Ventilation holes on all sides
  • Not foldable for storage
  • Perforated floor panel
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  • Tie-down strapping points for safer travel
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  • Approved for air travel
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#2: Budget Pick: iPet Foldable Pet Crate

  • Extra large
  • Foldable for storage
  • Affordable
  • Bottom tray slides out for easier cleaning

If you have a large dog, but don’t want to nicest a fortune in their new crate, you might have a tough time finding any good options. But this cheap large dog crate from iPet might just be what you are looking for.

The main selling point of this crate is that it is larger than most other ready-made options. The largest version is 123 centimetres long and 79 centimetres wide, which is quite spacious. It is great for one large dog or even two smaller ones. Smaller sizes are available too, of course, in case this is too large.

The crate itself is made of steel wire with a black coating that prevents rusting. The spacing between bars is 33 millimetres. That is quite a small distance which makes it less likely for the dog to stick their paw out and get stuck somehow.

Finally, another great thing about this crate is that it is completely foldable. It folds down onto the bottom panel and it looks just like a briefcase in the end. Perfect for travel and storage.

Since it is essentially a wire cage, this crate ensures good airflow. However, it does not block out light which can sometimes be a problem. However, this can be easily solved by getting a cover for the crate - or simply throwing a blanket over it. Add a comfortable pillow for the floor and your canine companion will feel like a king.

Pros

Cons

  • Extra large
  • Not as durable as some other options
  • Foldable for storage
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  • Affordable
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  • Bottom tray slides out for easier cleaning
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#3: Best Large Soft Dog Crate: Bono Fido Kennel Soft XLarge

  • Sturdy construction
  • Comfy fleece pad for the floor included
  • Multiple doors for easy access
  • Good airflow control
  • Easy to clean

The Bono Fido Kennel is one of the most beloved soft dog crates in Australia. Even though it is soft-sided, this crate comes with a sturdy frame that ensures the durability of the crate. It also comes with everything your dog needs to be comfortable which makes it one of our favourites!

So what does this crate look like? A durable and water-resistant fabric stretches across the rectangular frame. The doors are equipped with heavy-duty zippers and there are three of them. One at the front, one on the side, and one at the top. In addition to this, there are mesh windows on all sides. You can open them to increase the airflow or close them to give your pooch more peace and quiet.

In addition to this, the crate comes with a soft fleece pad for the bottom of the crate. The pad gives additional warmth and keeps the dog feeling comfy. Both the pad and the cover are washable in the machine which makes cleaning a lot easier.

Pros

Cons

  • Sturdy construction
  • Not chew-proof
  • Comfy fleece pad for the floor included
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  • Multiple doors for easy access
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  • Good airflow control
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  • Easy to clean
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#4: Best X-Large Dog Crate: Kazoo Mobile Home XXL

  • Larger than most competitors
  • Tough and durable construction
  • Removable tray for easy cleaning
  • Removable tray for easy cleaning

This Mobile Home from Kazoo is a great option for large dogs. It’s 122 centimetres long and 76 centimetres high, which is bigger than most crates offered by competitors. So, if you are having trouble finding a crate large enough, this could be a good choice. And even if your dog is smaller, why not give them a bit of extra space?

This is a wire crate made of powder-coated steel wire. The form was designed carefully to ensure stability and safety for your dog. The crate is equipped with two sturdy doors with latches. They are easy to open and stay closed.

This large dog cage comes with a thick plastic tray for the bottom. The tray slides out which makes cleaning exceptionally easy. The only complaint that we have is that the floor is bare, hard plastic. However, this is easily fixed by throwing your pooch’s favourite pillow inside.

This crate is foldable too which makes storage and transport much easier.

Pros

Cons

  • Larger than most competitors
  • Needs an additional floor mat and cover
  • Tough and durable construction
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  • Removable tray for easy cleaning
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  • Removable tray for easy cleaning
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#5: Best Large Dog Travel Crate: Bono Fido Portable Pet Home

  • Foldable and lightweight
  • Includes soft floor padding
  • Sturdy zippered door
  • Windows for airflow control

This is the second option from Bono Fido on our list. It’s similar to the first one, but this one is more portable and smaller. The largest version of this portable pet home is 77 centimetres long. This does count as large when it comes to crate sizing, but for owners of really large dogs, it could actually be quite small.

If the size fits, though, you are probably going to love this crate. It is not only lightweight, but it is also foldable. It comes with a cute fabric bag which is great for carrying this pet home around when not in use. In addition, it is also portable when fully assembled with the dog inside. A sturdy handle at the top allows you to lift the crate easily.

The floor of this crate is enriched with soft padding. This way, the crate is ready to use without any extra accessories. There are windows on two sides closed with strong mesh fabric. The windows additionally have lids that you can open or close to regulate the temperature and light.

Pros

Cons

  • Foldable and lightweight
  • Might not be big enough for larger dogs.
  • Includes soft floor padding
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  • Sturdy zippered door
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  • Windows for airflow control
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Shopping For An Extra Large Dog Crate: Final Thoughts

Finding a large dog crate is not easy, but we hope we have shown you it is definitely possible. If you are looking for a travel crate, especially for airline travel, the K9 Pet Carrier will most likely fulfil your needs.

 On the other hand, if you need a large rate for your home you can customise, consider the Kazoo Mobile Home, or the iPet Foldable Pet Crate which is quite similar but comes at a much lower price. In any case, we hope this guide has helped you find the perfect crate for your canine!

FAQ

How do I start crate training a puppy?

Getting a puppy “crate trained” is all about convincing them that the crate is a friendly place. The key to success is taking it slow and not trying to force the process. First of all, make sure the crate looks comfortable. What could help is placing a familiar item - such as a pillow or a toy - inside the crate. Encourage the dog to go inside and wait until they are completely comfortable with this.

Once the pup is comfortable with going inside the crate, you can also start slowly encouraging the dog to eat inside the crate. The next step is extending the time inside the crate - with close doors. Place the dog inside the crate, close the door, and leave it closed for a few minutes. If the dog is whining and trying to get out, don’t try to force it. Let them out and try again later. Over time, staying inside the crate should become something completely normal for the dog. (5)

How long can a dog stay inside a crate?

Dogs should never be left in a crate for extended periods of time. According to RSPCA, it is acceptable to leave a dog in a crate alone for 4 hours max. For puppies, the recommended time is even shorter: 2 hours at most.

What if my dog keeps peeing in the crate?

When dogs pee in the crate, it can be a behavioural issue, a crate issue, or neglect. You should consider all three possibilities until you rule them out.

First of all, puppies who have not been house-trained (i.e. they don’t know they need to pee outside) might not understand the concept of a crate. For elderly dogs, though, this shouldn’t be an issue. It’s more likely to be an overly sensitive bladder in which case a vet should be consulted. Finally, always make sure that the dog is not simply locked up inside for too long. They must get plenty of opportunities for their physiological needs.

References
  1. Storer, Pat. 2012. Crate Training Your Dog: Storey's Country Wisdom Bulletin A-267. Storey Publishing.
  2. Martin D, Campbell L, Ritchie M. 2017. “Problem Prevention”. In: Martin, D., Shaw, J., Eds. Canine and Feline Behavior for Veterinary Technicians and Nurses. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.: Chichester; pp. 145-203
  3. “How to Make Your Dog’s Crate Feel Like Home”. September 24, 2018. PetMD. Retrieved March 23, 2021. https://www.petmd.com/dog/care/how-make-your-dogs-crate-feel-home
  4. Traveler's Pet Corner. IATA. Retrieved March 23, 2021. https://www.iata.org/en/programs/cargo/live-animals/pets/
  5.  “Why and how should I crate train my dog?”. RSPCA. RetrievedMarch 23, 2021. https://kb.rspca.org.au/knowledge-base/why-and-how-should-i-crate-train-my-dog/#ftn1

Best Soft Dog Crates Australia (2021 Buyers Guide)

The Best Soft Dog Crates Australia - An Overview

Our #1 Pick

The Best Value for Money

Bono Fido Portable Pet Home

  • Easy to set up and fold down
  • Strong but lightweight
  • Good ventilation
  • Padded floor for comfort

Looking for a dog crate you can easily fold down and store or take with you wherever you go? Or maybe you just prefer a soft crate for your canine companion?

Today’s Soft Dog Crate Australia guide will help you find the perfect chill place for your dog.


Benefits of Portable Dog Crates

“A crate is a valuable tool for house training and management. Teaching a puppy to be comfortable and relaxed in a crate should be done as early as possible. A dog’s crate can be a place for him to get away from the complex human world” - Authors of Canine and Feline Behavior (1).

All experts in dog behaviour agree on this: crates can be really good for dogs when used appropriately. That means that a crate does not have to be a prison; or a space for a time-out when your canine companion does something bad.

“When crate training is done properly, most dogs enjoy spending time in them and actually view the crate as their own special place. The most important thing is to make the crate a pleasant experience from day one.” - Kelly Armour, a certified trainer and behaviour analysis specialist for PetMD

 And when dogs get used to being able to spend time in the crate, when they want to, they also start expecting this safe place to be there, no matter what. If you travel often with your dog, or just go on extended outings, it’s only logical to have a crate to take with you. However, bulky metal or wooden crates are simply not practical for this. Although somewhat less sturdy, soft-sided crates are perfect for providing a safe space for your dog on-the-go.


How to Choose a Soft-Sided Dog Crate

Soft-sided dog crates and carriers are very practical, but it’s important to choose one that is well-made. Especially if you expect the crate to last. Answering the questions below can help you find the perfect crate for your canine companion.

How big is your dog?

In general, soft-sided dog crates work better for smaller dogs. If your dog is not very heavy, you’ll be able to find a soft-sided crate that also works as a carrier. If this is the case, and you plan to take the dog with you sometimes while inside the crate/carrier, make sure to check the weight limit. If the crate is going to stay in place only, then your only concern is the size. Larger crates that are soft-sided are more difficult to find, but there are a couple of options available (you’ll find them on the list below).

Is your canine companion crate-trained already?

Dogs that are not crate trained tend to try to chew their way out sometimes. Some dogs (especially while puppies) are simply chewers and will destroy anything around them if not thought otherwise. When dogs are used to being in a crate, the chewing issue usually disappears. However, if it is your first time trying a crate with your dog, you might want to be careful with soft-sided options. No matter how well-made they are, these cannot withstand chewing attacks.

Indoors or outdoors?

Do you plan to use your new crate only indoors, or also outdoors? This is important to decide because some soft crates work very well outdoors, while others don’t. For example, you’ll want the crate to have a solid, water-resistant roof, sides, and floor if you plan to use it outside from time to time. If you only plan for indoor use this is not that much of an issue.

Ventilation and Light

Last but not least, any dog crate needs to be properly ventilated. In most soft dog crates, the airflow is regulated by opening windows which are protected with mesh to prevent the dog from jumping out. Make sure there are enough of these openings, especially if you want to use the crate in warm weather.

Moreover, while lots of windows and openings are good for the airflow, they also let in significant amounts of light. For some dogs this is fine, but some canines can benefit from having a dark space to sleep (especially if they are anxious). Of course, it is always possible to shut out the light by covering the crate with something, but it is something to keep in mind when shopping for crates.


Best Soft Crates For Dogs Reviewed

When buying a soft crate, it’s especially important to get a quality product that is well made. Below, you’ll find some great options, for small canines as well as those on the larger side.

#1: Best Overall: Bono Fido Portable Pet Home

  • Easy to set up and fold down
  • Strong but lightweight
  • Good ventilation
  • Padded floor for comfort

Portable soft dog crates that are strong and durable can be difficult to find, but the Bono Fido Portable Pet Home is the perfect example of how they should like. This portable carrier can be set up and folded down in a matter of seconds, and it even comes with its own canvas bag for carrying the crate around folded when not in use.

Once you open this pet home, you’ll notice that it’s very spacious and comfortable. No features were sacrificed to achieve portability. The floor is padded to increase comfort, the walls are made of a durable fabric and the frame is quite strong. There is a zippered door at the front for the dog to come in and out of the crate. On the backside, there is a cute pocket to store small dog-related items. There are also two large windows on both sides. The windows are, of course, covered with mesh fabric to prevent the dog from jumping out. The windows can be opened and closed using zippered flaps on the outside. By opening and closing the windows, you can also regulate the airflow. On the top of the crate, there is also a handle for moving it with the dog inside.

Overall, this is a great pet crate for travelling, dog show, and similar occasions. It is as comfortable as any other crate and it works both as a movable pet home and as a pet carrier. The only sad thing about it is that it only works for smaller dogs (which is usually the case with soft-sided crates). This portable pet home comes in 3 sizes - the largest one being 77 cm long. This will be enough, approximately, for dogs who weigh less than 20 kg.

Pros

Cons

  • Easy to set up and fold down
  • Only for small dogs
  • Strong but lightweight
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  • Good ventilation
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  • Padded floor for comfort
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  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
  • Spacious interior
  • Comes with a soft fleece pad for the floor
  • Good ventilation

This crate from AUSWY is another great product for those who need a portable home for their dog. The sturdy steel frame, the lightweight but durable fabric, and the functional design make it a great choice for anyone who is often on the move with their dog.

This soft crate folds down completely when you need to carry it with you, but it quickly turns into a spacious home for your dog. The crate is over 120cms long and almost 80cms wide. This means it offers enough space even for (somewhat) larger dogs to spread out.

This crate succeeds at being strong even though the walls are made of fabric. This is possible thanks to the tough frame made of powder-coated steel. The fabric the walls are made of, in turn, is tightly woven polyester which is water-resistant as well as lightweight. Thanks to the water-resistant exterior, this crate is suitable for being used outdoors too.

Another thing we liked about this crate is that it has windows on all sides. The window openings are protected with mesh everywhere, and you can close each of them with external flaps. This allows you to regulate the airflow perfectly. You can open everything to create an airy space for your dog when the weather is warm or close the windows when it’s cold outside or you just want to calm down your canine companion. Finally, this crate also comes with a pad for the floor. This reversible pad is made with warm, fluffy fleece on one side and water-resistant polyester on the other.

Pros

Cons

  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
  • Not suitable for carrying with the dog inside
  • Spacious interior
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  • Comes with a soft fleece pad for the floor
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  • Good ventilation
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  • Affordable
  • Water-resistant
  • Easy to clean
  • Lightweight

This travel carrier from PPOGOO is a quick solution if you have a small dog (only up to 10kg!) and don’t want to invest too much in a portable crate. This is technically not a crate, but a pet carrier, but for small dogs, it can work just as well as a comfortable place for sleeping.

This carrier is shaped somewhat like a gym bag. It has a sturdy, thick bottom and walls made of polyester. The carrier features mesh windows on all sides, as well as on top, so you can rest assured your canine companion will get enough air in there.

On the top of the carrier, you’ll find cute handles for carrying. The front of the carrier opens up completely when needed. This way, you create an entrance through which your dog can walk comfortably.

Truth be told, this is not the most durable carrier you can find. The hardware is not the toughest and could use a little upgrade. However, it is a good deal for the price. This is also a great choice for puppies, who will overgrow this crate/carrier anyways.

Pros

Cons

  • Affordable
  • Not the most durable
  • Water-resistant
  • Only for small dogs
  • Easy to clean
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  • Lightweight
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#4: Best for Small Dogs: Kurgo Wander Pet Carrier

  • Easy to use
  • Great for taking your pup everywhere with you
  • Multiple entry points
  • Quality hardware

This ped carrier from Kurgo is one of the most well-made soft carriers we have seen, but it’s only made in a small size. It only supports dogs weighing up to 8 kg.

That being said, if your dog is small, you will enjoy using this carrier. The Kurgo Wander can work both as a carrier and a portable crate. There are shoulder straps that let you take your pooch with you anywhere. There are zippered entry points both at the front and at the top, so you can also let your pooch stick their head out when you are going somewhere.

The inside space of this carrier is shaped almost like a crate, so it can become a comfortable space for your dog to rest when needed. In addition to this, this carrier is also great for car travel. There are special loops on the exterior that let you attach the carrier to your seat belt, thus adding a layer of security when driving with your canine companion.

Pros

Cons

  • Easy to use
  • Only available for tiny dogs
  • Great for taking your pup everywhere with you
  • No soft padding on the floor
  • Multiple entry points
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  • Quality hardware
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#5: Best for Large Dogs: Bono Fido Soft Kennel

  • Flexible design with multiple entry points
  • Soft fleece floor mat included
  • Good airflow control
  • Durable

The Bono Fido Soft Kennel is soft-sided but robust and stable just like any other crate. This kennel is made with a strong frame covered in a thick fabric that makes it look like a tent. The crate includes everything your dog needs for a comfortable night, including large windows that can be opened or closed as needed and a soft fleece pad for the floor.

What we really love is how this square soft-sided crate was designed. There are large windows/doors on 3 sides of the crate. The window is covered, first, with a strong mesh material, and then with another flap to close it. Each of these layers closes with a quality zipper. The system creates a lot of flexibility, as you can create the entrance for your dog on either side, depending on the occasion. It is also possible to open up the top for easier access.

Finally, this crate was built to last, despite being soft-sided. It can also be used indoors and outdoors. The bottom features rubber pads to prevent slipping, and all the corners are reinforced with additional thick fabric.

Overall, this is a great crate that can work well both at home and when you are travelling. When you need to move, the crate folds down easily, but it looks very nice when all set up so you might as well end up using it all the time. Those looking for an extra large dog crate will also be happy to know that this one from Bono Fido does come in bigger sizes.

Pros

Cons

  • Flexible design with multiple entry points
  • Not chew-proof
  • Soft fleece floor mat included
  • A bit expensive
  • Good airflow control
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  • Durable
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#6: Best Portable Kennel: Zampa Portable Foldable Pet Kennel

  • Easy to fold down and set up
  • Lightweight
  • Quality stitching for durability
  • Lots of space inside

This foldable playpen from Zampa works just like a pop-up tent. No special assembly required. Simply take out the “tent” from its cute carry bag, spread it out, and there is the playpen for your pup!

This particular product is called a playpen because it is shaped differently from most dog crates. Namely, it has an octagonal shape. The enclosure consists of 8 panels that are connected. The walls and the floor are made of water-resistant polyester. There are mesh windows on all sides as well as storage pockets on the outside.

To be honest, this collapsible soft dog crate will not work for every dog, but for some canines, it’s the best possible option. First of all, this is not a crate for heavy chewers. Truth be told, it is quite easy to chew through if the dog is dedicated to escaping. However, the spacious octagonal design creates a perfect space for a small to medium dog to stretch out inside - and many of them love this. There will be enough space inside to add a sleeping mat, a bowl with water, and some toys.

And, of course, when you need to go travelling, this crate comes with you easily. Just fold it down (a bit tricky, but once you figure it out it takes literally 30 seconds) and put it in its own carry bag with handles.

Pros

Cons

  • Easy to fold down and set up
  • A bit difficult to fold down neatly
  • Lightweight
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  • Quality stitching for durability
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  • Lots of space inside
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Final Thoughts

If you are looking for a portable soft crate, that’s also aesthetically pleasing, the Bono Fido Portable Pet Home is a great choice. It’s durable, cleverly designed, and comfortable - it simply checks all the boxes.

On the other hand, the AUSWY Portable Soft Dog Crate features a similar design but comes in slightly larger sizes.

FAQ

How big should a dog crate be?

The universal advice is: the crate should be big enough for your dog to stand up, lie down, turn around, and stretch (3). But how big is that exactly? The best thing you can do is measure your dog while standing up. Measure the height from the floor to the top of the head, the length from nose to tail and the width at the widest point of your dog's body. This should give you an idea about the size you should look for, but make sure that the crate is a couple of inches larger than your measurements, to ensure your pup will feel comfortable in there.

Do dogs need crates?

Well, dogs don’t necessarily need crates, but cate-training your dog actually comes with benefits to you and your dog. Crate-training helps with teaching your dog to be well-behaved, it creates a safe space for your dog, and it can help with transporting your dog from one place to another.

Are crates cruel to dogs?

As we mentioned above, crates can bring benefits to dogs, mainly by giving them their own space where they can feel safe. Crates are not cruel if used appropriately. What is cruel, however, is locking a dog inside a crate for long periods of time.

How can I start crate-training my dog?

The most important thing with crate-training (and most other things) is to not force anything. Use positive reinforcement and give your dog time to get used to the crate. In the beginning, you can encourage the dog to go inside the crate by placing a treat or their favourite toy inside. Once the dog is used to being inside, you can try feeding your dog inside the crate and closing the door for short periods of time.

References
  1. Martin D, Campbell L, Ritchie M. 2017. “Problem Prevention”. In: Martin, D., Shaw, J., Eds. Canine and Feline Behavior for Veterinary Technicians and Nurses. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.: Chichester; pp. 145-203
  2. “How to Make Your Dog’s Crate Feel Like Home”. September 24, 2018. PetMD. Retrieved January 25, 2021. https://www.petmd.com/dog/care/how-make-your-dogs-crate-feel-home
  3. “Why and how should I crate train my dog?”. RSPCA. Retrieved January 24, 2021.https://kb.rspca.org.au/knowledge-base/why-and-how-should-i-crate-train-my-dog/#ftn1