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What Size Dog Crate Does My Dog Need?

Written by ADAPTIL Expert, published on April 18, 2023

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Sometimes known as a dog cage or indoor kennel, a dog crate is a useful addition to your dog's resources. They are great for training dogs when they are puppies; they make an excellent space to keep your dog out of harm's way for short periods of time, and they are a perfect doggy safe haven that your pooch can retreat to of their own free will!

Dog crates are normally made of a substantial wire frame with a removable tray which is useful for cleaning. They can be collapsed and stored if not required all the time. Some are made from lighter and more flexible materials - useful if you are travelling with your dog in the car and don't want to dismantle a wire framed crate all the time - and they also come in different sizes. Always make sure the materials are safe for your dog and allow free air flow at all times.

beagle dog in crate

Why and where to use a dog crate?

Using a crate as a tool to train your dog is an excellent way to create rules and boundaries - if you ask your pooch to 'go to bed' it should be somewhere they want to go to willingly. It should never be used as a punishment, where you lock your dog in because they have been disobedient - this would have the absolute opposite effect. A crate should be used as a safe haven for your dog - filled with a comfy bed and favourite toys - and a place that you know they will be happy for short periods of time.

Make sure the crate is in a good location, where your dog can see everything that is going on around them, but is in an area with free air flow and not too close to a radiator (you don't want them to overheat and not be able to escape). Train your dog to go into their crate on command, perhaps enticing them in with some treats!

Also be sure that the crate is not close to electric cords or power cables that your pet can reach or chew and is well away from poisonous houseplants like corn plant, sago palm, or aloe vera.

If your dog seems stressed, add a cover over the top to make their den or safe haven feel really secure. Make sure they can still see around the rest of the room, add in some treats and water and you'll soon have a relaxed pooch!

You will find a crate useful for:

  • Short-term - if you need to keep your pooch out of the way for a short time
  • Safety a den the dog can retreat to if they get nervous
  • Training can be useful when helping puppies getting used to being on their own
  • Transportation keeping your dog safe in the car
  • Veterinary sometimes a crate may be advised if your dog has had surgery and you need to limit their movement.

happy yellow lab in crate with red cushion

What size crate does my dog need?

When choosing a crate for your dog, remember:

  • To allow for growth. If you have a puppy and want to start early training, make sure you know what size your dog will be when they are an adult.
  • Your dog should be able to stand up at full height, stretch out and lie down in a natural position and be able to turn around.
  • If measuring your dog, remember to consider their height when they are sitting, and measure from nose to tail base for length.
  • Remember not to get one that is too big - if they have too much room they may start to move around too much if they are excited, and may harm themselves.
  • What is the main use of the crate going to be? At home as a safe haven for your pooch, or for travel - and choose accordingly.

small terrier asleep in dog crate

Your Dog's Crate Should Always Be A Safe Haven

Using an ADAPTIL Calm Home Diffuser, in the same room as your dog's crate will help your pooch relax and feel at home in the crate. Additionally, if you are planning to travel you can spray ADAPTIL Transport Spray into the crate 15 minutes before you travel to make the journey in the crate less stressful. Remember, never spray directly on to your dog.


ADAPTIL transport spray



Following our expert tips will help to ensure your bond with your dog goes from strength to strength.

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